Ravenwood residents launch petition opposing cell tower pitched for Kingston

Ashley Thompson athompson@hantsjournal.ca
Published on March 14, 2016

KINGSTON - Several residents of Ravenwood Subdivision are concerned a new telecommunications tower could soon be built too close to home.

Tanya Kinner attended the March 10 meeting of Kingston's village commission to represent citizens opposing the construction of the proposed tower in a location near subdivision’s recreational space off of Balser Drive.

The site Eastlink is eyeballing is a wooded property owned by the Municipality of the County of Kings. Area residents recently launched a petition to make their concerns known.

“The goal of the petition is to keep the designated green space as just that,” said Kinner in a follow-up interview.

The petition has more than 100 signatures so far, she said.

“Our property backs onto that green space and our children play in that wooded area,” added Kinner, a mother of three.

“I grew up in an area where we had woods to play in and so it's kind of a neat opportunity for them to have a little bit of what I had when I was a kid.”

While wanting the land reserved for recreational uses is her chief concern, Kinner said there's still more work to be done before the long-term effects of building telecommunications towers close to residential communities can be fully understood.

“They haven't been around long enough for us to truly know what harmful effects they could potentially have.”

Ravenwood resident Steve Nickerson, a former chairman of Kingston's village commission, sent the commission a letter to express his concerns regarding the site.

“I feel that the proposed site is in no way suitable for this tower. This area, and the adjacent property, is a green belt area that includes two baseball fields, [a] basketball/tennis court, playground and park/canteen services,” the letter, dated for March 2, reads.

“The wooded area contains walking trails currently enjoyed by many residents of Kingston.”

The installation of a telecommunications tower, Nickerson said, could prevent any future recreation-related developments from taking place on the land the Municipality of the County of Kings had reserved as a green space.

“Should the county approve this proposal, I believe that the interests of the residents in the Kingston/Greenwood area would not be properly and fairly considered,” he wrote.

Coun. Wayne Atwater was present in the gallery for the March meeting of Kingston's village commission, and he advised the commissioners to write a letter to the municipality to ensure their position is considered. Kings County’s council will ultimately be deciding if Eastlink's proposal is approved.

Reflecting on a March 3 public information session Eastlink was required to hold for the project, Atwater said the crowd was not in favour of the proposal.

“The message was loud and clear: they don't want a tower on that particular piece of land,” he said.

The commission unanimously agreed to draft a letter of support backing the citizen-led petition.

Residents interested in viewing the petition can contact Kinner directly at 902-765-6505 or tanyakinner@me.com.

Eastlink weighing feedback

Eastlink spokesperson Jill Laing said the company is considering input from the public as the process progresses.

“Eastlink works very hard to find wireless site locations that minimize impact to the community while meeting the ever-increasing cellular needs of customers,” she said via e-mail. 

The pitched site is about 165 metres from the nearest residence, Laing said.

“During a recent public meeting held in Kingston, we received feedback from community members, which we take seriously. We continue our efforts to work with the municipality and the community as we review next steps, including possible alternatives.

Residents wishing to contact Eastlink to weigh in on the topic can call 902-818-5971 or e-mail community.relations@corp.eastlink.ca.