September 22, 2014 9:11 pm

WATCH: Proposed cell phone tower in West Kelowna runs into neighbourhood interference

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A proposal to improve cell phone communications in West Kelowna is creating static in a Mount Boucherie neighbourhood.

Rogers Communications wants to build a 20 metre cell phone tower in a vineyard of a small winery.

Some nearby residents are concerned about the visual impacts.

“It spoils the view I have in front of my house. Any time I go out, I’d be starring at this thing,” says Trevor Bumby.

There is also concern about possible ill health effects of radio frequency radiation coming from the tower.

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“And another thing is the value of my house, it’s going to go down,” says Ivona Shchurek.

And there are complaints Rogers didn’t notify many nearby residents of its proposed communications tower.

“They’re trying to get it in the back door without anyone noticing it and it bothers me,” says Sandy Dore.

Close to 200 names have been collected on a neighbourhood petition opposing the proposed tower.

A Rogers spokesperson says the project is still in the consultation phase and the company encourages residents to provide their feedback.

“Their views are very important to us – we’ll review the results of the consultation and will determine if an alternate site might better serve the community’s needs,” says Jennifer Kett in an email statement to Global Okanagan News.

Kett also adds: “To make the tower less noticeable, we’ve proposed a thin monopole design that’s uses camouflaging techniques to help it blend into the community’s backdrop.”

The District of West Kelowna council will provide Rogers its input into the proposed tower but final approval is up to Industry Canada.

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