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Municipal concurrence and public consultation process for antenna systems

Overview

Radiocommunication and broadcasting antenna systems are federal undertakings regulated by Industry Canada. Antenna systems include the antenna, and may include a supporting tower, mast or other supporting structure, and an equipment shelter.

Industry Canada requires proponents of proposals for new or modifications to existing antenna systems, to consult with municipalities and the public. Industry Canada’s public and municipal consultation requirements are set out in CPC-2-0-03 entitled Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems, and provide that proponents must follow the consultation process put in place by the municipality where one exists.

Under Section 6 of CPC-2-0-03 proponents of certain types of antenna system development are exempted from having to consult with the municipality and the public. These types of antenna systems include those that are ground mounted and under 15 metres in height, except where used primarily for residential purposes, such as for amateur radio.

The Municipal Concurrence and Public Consultation Process for Antenna Systems, approved by City Council on March 28th, 2012 and which came into effect on April 28th, 2012, allows the City of Ottawa meaningful involvement in the location and design of antenna systems by affording the ability for purposeful and relevant input. Guidelines and criteria for the siting and design of new or modifications to existing antenna systems not otherwise exempt are set out, as well as requirements for proponent driven consultation with the public and the City.

At the conclusion of the consultation process City staff under delegated authority will provide their concurrence, conditional concurrence, or in instances where for example the proposal is considered unsupportable due to size, location or poor design, their non-concurrence for each proposal.

Generally, the steps in the Municipal Concurrence and Public Consultation Process for Antenna Systems are as follows:

  1. Pre-Application Consultation with City staff
  2. Application Submission
  3. Public Notification and Consultation carried out by the Proponent
  4. Application Review by City staff
  5. Municipal Concurrence, Conditional Concurrence, or Non-Concurrence

The Municipal Concurrence and Public Consultation Process for Antenna Systems distinguishes between antenna systems used solely for personal use by residents, such as for amateur radio (classified as “Residential Use Antenna Systems (RUAS)”), and all others (classified as “Antenna Systems”). This distinction recognizes limitations in the size and scale of antenna systems used by residents, their location within residential areas, and the means available to a resident to undertake extensive consultation. As such the process introduces separate siting and design guidelines, as well as different submission and public consultation requirements for antennas used primarily for personal use, from all other antenna systems.

Where a proponent of an Antenna System (other than an RUAS) is otherwise exempt from municipal and public consultation under Section 6 of Industry Canada’s CPC-2-0-03, the City of Ottawa requests that the proponent still consider consulting with City staff and the community where the proposed antenna system is to be established in a community sensitive area, such as in close proximity to a residential area or existing dwelling.

Final approval for the siting and design of an Antenna System and an RUAS rests with Industry Canada.
Health issues associated with Antenna Systems and RUAS are regulated by Industry Canada and Health Canada. Information concerning this topic can be found on Health Canada’s website.
In addition to requiring public and municipal consultation Industry Canada requires proponents to comply with the following:

  1. Transport Canada’s lighting and marking requirements;
  2. NAV Canada’s aeronautical safety requirements;
  3. Health Canada’s safety guidelines regarding limits of exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic fields, commonly known as Safety Code 6;
  4. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, where required;
  5. Industry Canada’s immunity criteria dealing with the minimization of malfunctioning of electronic equipment in the local surroundings; and,
  6. CPC-2-0-17 - Conditions of License for Mandatory Roaming and Antenna Tower and Site Sharing and to Prohibit Exclusive Site Arrangements.

How to Apply

Before making an application, a proponent should discuss their proposal with staff. Pre-application consultation with City staff is required for an application for Municipal Review and Concurrence of an Antenna System. Please review the Fee Schedule for the appropriate fee. Application forms are available at all Client Service Centres or online together with the requirements for submissions. It should be submitted at one of the City’s Client Service Centres with the required fee and any other information that may be needed to assess your application.

What Happens Next

The nature and extent of consultation required as part of an application will depend on the type (RUAS or antenna system), location and height of the installation proposed.

Where required, consultation with technical agencies and public bodies such as the Conservation Authority, National Capital Commission, and school boards, as well as registered community groups and the public is the sole responsibility of the proponent.

Following the submission of an application, staff will provide a proponent with a list of those Ward Councillors, technical agencies, public bodies, registered community groups, and a list of the addresses of those members of the public the proponent is responsible for notifying and consulting in accordance with the Municipal Concurrence and Public Consultation Process for Antenna Systems.

Following the completion of all consultation, a proponent will be required to submit the details of how they addressed all reasonable and relevant concerns, and which shall be used by staff, along with the site selection and design guidelines contained in the Municipal Concurrence and Public Consultation Process for Antenna Systems, to establish under delegated authority the City’s position of concurrence, conditional concurrence, or non-concurrence with your proposal.

Appeal

Because antenna systems are federal undertakings regulated by Industry Canada, there is no appeal of a position taken by the City of Ottawa on an installation to the Ontario Municipal Board. Questions or concerns relating to an installation should be directed to Industry Canada’s Spectrum Management and Telecommunications Regional Office at:

Eastern and Northern Ontario District
2 Queen Street East
Sault Ste. Marie ON P6A 1Y3
Telephone: 705-941-4139
Fax: 705-941-4607
E-mail: spectrum.sault-ste-marie@ic.gc.ca

Other Approvals or Permits that may be required

A proponent is responsible for securing any other permits, such as from the Conservation Authority, or a building permit, that may be required for the construction of the proposed installation.

For information regarding antenna systems within the municipal Right-of-Way please contact Linda Carkner, Program Manager, Right of Way Information and Approvals, 613-580-2424 ext. 16057, or by e-mail at linda.carkner@ottawa.ca

For further details, please contact:

In the Rural area, Cheryl McWilliams, Planner III, Development Review – Rural, 613-580-2424 ext. 30234, or by email at cheryl.mcwilliams2ottawa.ca

In the Central area, Simon Deiaco, Planner III, Development Review – Central, 613-580-2424 ext. 15641, or by email at simon.deiaco@ottawa.ca, OR Erin O’Connell, Planner 3, Development Review – Central, 613-580-2424 ext. 27967, or by email at erin.oconnell@ottawa.ca

In the East area, Michael Boughton, Planner III, Development Review – East, 613-580-2424 ext. 27588, or by email at michael.boughton@ottawa.ca

In the West area, Louise Sweet, Planner III, Development Review – West, 613-580-2424 ext. 15134, or by email at louise.sweet@ottawa.ca

In the South area, Sean Moore, Planner III, Development Review – South, 613-580-2424 ext. 16481, or by email at sean.moore@ottawa.ca

Municipal Review Process for an Antenna System and RUAS:

Pre-Application Consultation with City staff (required) Prior to filing application
Pre-Application Consultation with Ward Councillor Prior to filing application
Application Submission Day 1
Application Reviewed for Adequacy Day 6
Public Consultation Undertaken by Proponent
Where Proponents must only consult Technical Agencies and Public Bodies, or in the instance of an application for an RUAS, Proponents have 60 days to complete the required consultation and to provide the public consultation package to City staff.

In all other instances Proponents have 80 days to complete all required consultation and to provide the public consultation package to City staff.
 
Day 14


 
Day 14


 
Where Proponent has 60 days for Public Consultation Where Proponent has 80 days for Public Consultation
Public Consultation Package Submitted by Proponent Day 74                   Day  94
Issue Resolution Day 94 Day 114
Delegated Authority Report Sign-off Day 97 Day 117
Letter with City’s position to Proponent Day 100   Day 120

If following the public consultation by the proponent more time is required to resolve issues with the proposed installation, the 120 day time period may be extended upon discussion with the proponent by City staff. 

Policy

Municipal Concurrence and Public Consultation Process for Antenna Systems

1.0 Introduction

Radiocommunication and broadcasting antenna systems are federal undertakings regulated by Industry Canada. Antenna systems include the antenna, and may include a supporting tower, mast or other supporting structure, and an equipment shelter.

Industry Canada requires proponents of proposals for new or modifications to existing antenna systems, to consult with municipalities and the public. Industry Canada’s public and municipal consultation requirements are set out in CPC-2-0-03 entitled Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems, and provide that proponents must follow the consultation process put in place by the municipality where one exists. Under Section 6 of CPC-2-0-03 proponents of certain types of antenna system development are not required to consult with the municipality and the public.

This Municipal Concurrence and Public Consultation Process for Antenna Systems allows the City meaningful involvement in the location and design of antenna systems by affording the ability for purposeful and relevant input. Guidelines and criteria for the siting and design of new or modifications to existing antenna systems not otherwise exempt are set out, as well as requirements for proponent driven consultation with the public and the City.

At the conclusion of the consultation process City staff under delegated authority will provide their concurrence, conditional concurrence, or in instances where for example the proposal is considered unsupportable due to size, location or poor design, their non-concurrence for each proposal.

This process distinguishes between antenna systems used solely for personal use by residents, such as for amateur radio, and all others. This distinction recognizes limitations in the size and scale of antenna systems used by residents, and the means available to a resident to undertake extensive consultation. As such the process introduces separate siting and design guidelines, as well as submission and public consultation requirements for antenna’s used solely for personal use, different than those for all other antenna systems.

Final approval for the siting and design of an Antenna System rests with Industry Canada. In addition to requiring public and municipal consultation Industry Canada requires proponents to comply with the following:

  • Transport Canada’s lighting and marking requirements;
  • NAV Canada’s aeronautical safety requirements;
  • Health Canada’s safety guidelines regarding limits of exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic fields, commonly known as Safety Code 6;
  • The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, where required;
  • Industry Canada’s immunity criteria dealing with the minimization of malfunctioning of electronic equipment in the local surroundings; and,
  • CPC-2-0-17 - Conditions of License for Mandatory Roaming and Antenna Tower and Site Sharing and to Prohibit Exclusive Site Arrangements.

2.0 Objectives

The objectives of this process are:

  • to establish a documented and predictable land-use consultation process for the review of proposals for antenna systems and residential use antenna systems (RUAS) in accordance with Industry Canada’s regulatory framework;
  • to establish guidelines which set out the City of Ottawa’s preferences for the development of antenna systems and RUAS throughout the city;
  • to encourage the development of antenna systems and RUAS in a manner which minimizes their visual impact, and leaves undisturbed natural and human heritage features and sensitive lands to the greatest extent possible;
  • to minimize the number of new towers within the city and encourage the placement of antennas on existing towers, buildings or structures; and,
  • to provide an opportunity for public consultation to address concerns over the development of non-exempted antenna systems and RUAS.

3.0 Definitions

Antenna – means a device designed for the purpose of the reception and/or transmission of radiocommunications, but does not include a tower or other supporting structure, or an equipment shelter.

Antenna System – means all the components and equipment required on a site, including an antenna and, if required, its supporting tower and an equipment shelter, for the operation of a wireless communication network, but does not include a residential use antenna system.

Co-location – means the placement of antennas by at least two proponents on the same building, structure or tower.

Equipment shelter – means a building or structure containing electronic equipment for the operation of an antenna system, which is not staffed on a permanent basis and only requires periodic maintenance.

Height – means the vertical distance between the grade at the base of the tower, or if the installation is located on a building or structure, the average grade abutting the building or structure, to the installations highest point including any antenna, lighting, lightning rod or other attached device.

Mixed Use Building - means a building which contains both residential and non-residential uses as defined within the City of Ottawa Zoning By-law No. 2008-250 (the “Zoning By-law”)

Residential Use Antenna System (RUAS) – means an antenna used primarily for personal use by a resident, such as satellite dish or for amateur radio communications, and may include a supporting tower.

Residential Use Building – means a building which contains solely residential uses as defined within the Zoning By-law.

Stealth Design Techniques – the blending in or hiding of an antenna system within surrounding buildings, structures or landscaping such as camouflaging antenna systems within church steeples, clock towers, flagpoles or lighting standards.

Tower for an Antenna System – means all types of towers including but not limited to: a monopole; tripole; lattice tower; guyed tower; self-supported tower; pole; mast; or other structure, which are used to support one or more antennas and may be located at ground level or attached to a building or structure.

Tower for a Residential Use Antenna System (RUAS) – means all types of towers built for the purpose of supporting an antenna used primarily for personal use, including but not limited to a monopole; tripole; lattice tower; guyed tower; self-supported tower; pole; mast; or other structure, which are used to support one or more antennas and may be located at ground level or attached to a building or structure, but does not include vegetation such as trees.

4.0 Exemptions to the City of Ottawa Municipal Concurrence and Public Consultation Process

4.1 Exemptions

All proposals for new or modifications to antenna systems or residential use antenna systems (RUAS) are subject to this process except for the following:

  1. proposals for new RUAS provided the proposal;
    1. is a satellite dish less than or equal to 1 metre in diameter which does not have a supporting tower and is attached directly to a building or structure by means of an arm and a bracket; or
    2. complies with all of the applicable guidelines set out within Part 5.1 and is not expected to contain medium or high white intensity lighting for the purposes of satisfying Transport Canada requirements;
  2. proposals for temporary antenna systems or RUAS installed for no longer than six months;
  3. maintenance of an antenna System’s painting or lighting in order to comply with Transport Canada’s requirements;
  4. maintenance of existing radio apparatus including the antenna, transmission line, mast, tower or other antenna-supporting structure;
  5. proposals for new ground mounted antenna systems including masts, towers or other antenna-supporting structure, with a height of less than 15 metres above ground level;
  6. proposals for the addition to, reconstruction of, or modification of a RUAS or an antenna system provided the addition, reconstruction or modification does not result in an overall height increase above the existing antenna system or RUAS of 25% or more of its original height; and,
  7. proposals for rooftop or structure mounted antenna systems that do not result in an overall height increase above the existing building or structure of 25% or more of the original height of the building or structure.

Proponents should consider and incorporate the siting and design guidelines contained in Part 5, even if exempt pursuant to this part.

4.2 Parliamentary Precinct

Despite the exemptions contained in Part 4.1 above, in order to protect the visual integrity and symbolic primacy of the Parliament buildings, a proposed new or modification to an antenna system or RUAS is subject to this process if it will protrude above the maximum permitted height limit specified in the Zoning By-law within the following areas:

  1. the Central Area as identified in Schedule 11 of the Zoning By-law; and,
  2. the Beechwood Cemetery viewshed as shown in Annex 12 of the Official Plan.
4.3 Antenna systems within the Municipal Right-of-Way

Antenna systems located within a municipal right-of-way are not subject to this process, but instead are subject to the municipal consent process. A decision by the City under the municipal consent process shall constitute the City’s position on the proposal for the purposes of satisfying Industry Canada’s requirements under CPC-2-0-03.

Despite the above, where an antenna system is proposed within a municipal right-of-way, and would not otherwise qualify under one of the exemptions listed in Part 4.1 above, a proponent must undertake public consultation in accordance with Part 8.

5.0 Site Selection and Design Guidelines

5.1 Residential Use Antenna Systems (RUAS)

The purpose of these guidelines is to encourage the development of RUAS in a manner which mitigates the visual impact on the adjacent property owners.

A proponent of an RUAS proposed on a lot less than 1 acre in size should ensure the RUAS:

  1. a) If located within the front yard:
    1. i. Contains only a self-supporting (non-guyed) mast or pole with a diameter no greater than 3 inches at its widest point and used solely for a wire antenna;
    2. ii. is less than 15 metres in height; and,
    3. iii. is set back at least 1.5 metres from all lot lines;
  2. b) If located within a side yard, including the extension of a corner side yard into a rear yard:
    1. i. is set back at least 1.5 metres from all lot lines;
    2. ii. is less than 15 metres in height; and,
    3. iii. does not consist of a guyed or lattice tower, unless the tower abuts and is attached to the principal building;
  3. c) If located within the rear yard, excluding the extension of a corner side yard into a rear yard:
    1. i. is less than 18 metres in height; and,
    2. ii. is set back at least 1.5 metres from all lot lines if less than 16 metres in height; or
    3. iii. is set back an amount equal to a quarter of its height if 16 metres or more in height; and,
  4. d) A wire antenna, not including a tower, need not comply with (a) through (c) above
  5. e) if located on the roof of the principal building:
    1. is less than 16 metres in height, and if 15 metres or more in height:
      1. is located on that half of the roof closest to the rear yard; and,
      2. is setback from all lot lines at least 1.5 metres; or
    2. if the building is greater than 3 storeys in height, the RUAS does not exceed a height equal to 25% of the existing height of the building.

A proponent of an RUAS proposed on a lot at least 1 acre, but less than 5 acres in size should ensure the RUAS:

  1. is no higher than an amount equal to the lot width to a maximum of 29 metres;
  2. if it includes a guyed or lattice tower, is located outside of the required front yard; and,
  3. is set back from all lot lines an amount equal to a quarter of its height;

A proponent of an RUAS proposed on a lot 5 acres or more in size should ensure the RUAS is:

  1. no higher than 29 metres; and,
  2. setback from all lot lines an amount equal to a quarter of its height;

In all instances a proponent of an RUAS should:

  1. ensure the RUAS carries no advertising, flags (unless a flagpole is being used as a tower), graphics or other such devices, as well as permanent lighting above five metres;
  2. avoid placement of an RUAS within:
    1. Natural Environment Areas, Significant Wetlands or Urban Natural Features as shown on Schedules A & B of the Official Plan;
    2. Any 1:100 year flood plain, and Unstable Slopes shown on Schedule K of the Official Plan;
    3. significant habitat of endangered and threatened species as defined in Section 4.7.4 of the Official Plan; and,
    4. 30 metres to the normal high water mark or 15 metres to the top of the bank of any water course or water body, whichever is greater.

Where a proposal for an RUAS does not conform to all of the applicable guidelines above, it should be designed so as to mitigate negative impacts on the surrounding properties and the environment, including but not limited to decreasing the size and visibility of the RUAS, or selecting an alternate location on the property. To reduce the scale and visual impact mitigation measures could include the installation of screening and landscaping, the application of appropriate design features, colour and materials. Non-reflective surfaces and neutral colours that blend with the surrounding should be used

5.2 Antenna Systems

The purpose of these guidelines is to:

  • minimize the number of new towers associated with antenna systems by encouraging co-location and the use of existing infrastructure, where appropriate;
  • minimize their impact on residential communities by encouraging the placement of antenna systems outside of residential communities;
  • minimize their impact on natural and human heritage features as well as sensitive land uses; and,
  • promote their integration, to the extent technically feasible, into their surroundings by reducing their visual impact.

Antenna systems should have minimal impact on living areas and areas of historical or environmental significance. In general, the City prefers that antenna systems not locate in or near residential areas and that proponents explore opportunities for co-location and the placement of antennas on existing towers, buildings or structures. However, where an antenna must be located in or near a residential area, the use of unobtrusive towers such as monopoles or the use of stealth design techniques may be preferable to the co-location of the antenna on an existing tower, building or structure.

5.2.1 Site Selection

When selecting a site for an antenna system a proponent should:

  1. attempt to co-locate the antenna on an existing tower or place it on a building or structure before constructing a new tower;
  2. maximize the distance of new towers from residential zones, residential use and mixed use buildings;
  3. avoid placement of an antenna system within:
    1. Natural Environment Areas, Significant Wetlands or Urban Natural Features as shown on Schedules A & B of the Official Plan;
    2. Areas designated as Sand and Gravel or Limestone Resource Area, except as an interim use pending future extraction of mineral resources;
    3. Any 1:100 year flood plain and Unstable Slopes shown on Schedule K of the Official Plan or as identified through a site specific geotechnical investigation
    4. significant habitat of endangered and threatened species as defined in Section 4.7.4 of the Official Plan; and,
    5. 30 metres to the normal high water mark or 15 metres to the top of the bank of any watercourse or water body, whichever is greater.
  4. ensure compliance with those policies within Section 3.6. of the Official Plan that deal with protecting the visual integrity of the Parliament Buildings including protected views from Beechwood
    ​Cemetery, and avoid exceeding the maximum permitted height limits set out in the Zoning By-law within the following areas:
    1. the Central Area as shown on Schedule 11 of the Zoning By-law; and,
    2. the Beechwood Cemetery viewshed as shown in Annex 12 of the Official Plan;
  5. avoid blocking or marring views or vistas identified in the Official Plan;
  6. ensure that new towers and equipment shelters are setback an appropriate distance from lot lines;
  7. avoid placement of an antenna system within the Heritage Conservation Districts set out in Official Plan Annex 4, and if for technical reasons the antenna system must be located within the Heritage Conservation District take steps to minimize the antenna system’s visual impact;
  8. avoid placement of an antenna system on a property designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act and if for technical reasons the antenna system must be located on a property designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act take steps to minimize the antenna system’s visual impact; and,
    1. minimize the impact on the natural environment and preserve where feasible existing trees and vegetation.

5.2.2 Engineering, Design and Landscaping

When designing an antenna system a proponent should:

  1. where it includes a new tower and the tower is located more than 120 metres or three times the antenna system height, whichever is greater, from a residential zone, residential use or mixed use building, ensure that the antenna system is designed to provide for future co-location;
  2. where the antenna must be located within 120 metres or three times the antenna system height, whichever is greater, of a residential zone, residential use or mixed use building and requires a tower because;
    1. the antenna cannot be placed on an existing building or structure; or
    2. co-location would increase the adverse visual impact of an existing antenna system, utilize a monopole or stealth design technique, and not design the antenna system to provide for future co-location;
  3. in all instances mitigate negative impacts on surrounding uses including but not limited to the use of stealth design techniques, or decreasing the size and visibility of the antenna system so that it blends in with the surroundings to the greatest extent possible. To reduce the scale and visual impact of antenna systems, mitigation measures should include where feasible the installation of screening and landscaping, design features, structure type, colour and materials. Non-reflective surfaces and neutral colours that blend with the surroundings are to be used (though it is recognized that new antenna systems must comply with the requirements of Transport Canada and NAV Canada);
  4. not include any offices, maintenance uses or indoor or outdoor storage facilities unless otherwise permitted under the Zoning By-law;
  5. ensure that the antenna system is no higher than is necessary to operate effectively and safely;
  6. place a small plaque in a clearly visible location and in accordance with By-law No. 2005-439, as amended, and entitled “A by-law of the City of Ottawa regulating permanent signs on private property”, which identifies the owner of the tower and contact information. No advertising or promotion is permitted on the antenna system unless used for the purposes of stealth design;
  7. where Transport Canada requires an antenna system be lit, limit lighting to the minimum number of lights and the lowest illumination allowable;
  8. ensure that any lighting other than that required by Transport Canada meets the criteria for “full cut-off” and results in minimal spillage onto adjacent properties, generally not exceeding 0.5 foot candles;
  9. provide appropriate parking, access, security, servicing, grading, and drainage;
  10. ensure that the placement of any parking space or any component of the antenna system does not create or cause a situation of non-compliance with the Zoning by-law for any other use, building, or structure on the same lot;
  11. where feasible, locate equipment in an existing building or structure before constructing a new equipment shelter; and,
  12. when a new equipment shelter is necessary, ensure that it is attractively designed and screened from public view.

6.0 Pre-Application Consultation

Unless otherwise exempt under Part 4, pre-application consultation is required prior to the submission of an Application for Municipal Review and Concurrence. At the pre-application consultation meeting City staff:

  1. will outline the City’s site selection and design guidelines;
  2. will discuss with the proponent the appropriateness of the selected site for, and design of the antenna system or residential use antenna system (RUAS), including all proposed works and any expected lighting requirements in light of the City’s site selection and design guidelines, as well as alternative siting and design options if necessary;
  3. may, where it is anticipated that there will be no negative impacts associated with an RUAS, exempt the proponent from the requirements of this process and will issue concurrence or conditional concurrence in accordance with Part 12;
  4. will if necessary provide the proponent with a copy of this document;
  5. will explain the application submission, public consultation and review process including:
    1. the extent of the lands to be included on the site plan or sketch; and,
    2. the applicable public consultation requirements.

Proponents of antenna systems must bring to a pre-application meeting a map of the service area showing any existing towers within the search area and the closest residential zone, residential use or mixed use building to the base of the antenna system.

Following the pre-application consultation with City staff, proponents of antenna systems are strongly encouraged to undertake pre-application consultation with the applicable Ward Councillor.

Following the pre-application consultation the City shall e-mail the proponent the Applicant’s Study and Plan Identification List detailing any plans, studies and / or reports that are required by the City for its review of the antenna system or RUAS proposal.  For the purposes of determining the required plans, studies and reports, an Application under this process is to be considered an application for Site Plan Approval under the Official Plan.

7.0 Application Submission Requirements

Unless exempt under Part 4 or Part 6(c) a proponent must submit an Application for Municipal Review and Concurrence to a Client Service Centre comprised of the information outlined below.

7.1 Submission Requirements for Residential Use Antenna System (RUAS)
  1. Site Selection / Justification Report which sets out:
    1. the rationale for the RUAS location and its height; and,
    2. any design elements or mitigation measures proposed in order to minimize the impact of the RUAS;
  2. a sketch including the dimensions of the lot or that part of the lot on which the RUAS will be located, showing the RUAS and its distance in metres to adjacent lot lines, as well as the location of the principal dwelling, and where relevant, the location of any accessory buildings and structures; and,
  3. a completed Application for Municipal Review and Concurrence including the Application fee.
7.2 Submission Requirements for Antenna Systems
  1. Site Selection / Justification Report which sets out:
    1. a map showing the area to be serviced by the antenna system and the location of all existing towers within it;
    2. the rationale for the antenna system’s location and its height;
    3. why the antenna couldn’t/shouldn’t be co-located on an existing tower, or placed on a building or structure within the proponent’s search area;
    4. any alternate sites for the location of the antenna system that were investigated by the proponent, and the rationale for eliminating these sites as the preferred alternative;
    5. any design elements proposed in order to minimize the visual impact of the antenna system;
    6. any lighting and marking features that are anticipated to be required by Transport Canada; and,
    7. in addition to the above, any site selection and design guidelines which have not been met, and the reasons why;
  2. a photograph of the selected lot taken from the street lot line closest to the antenna system with the installation superimposed in colour showing its height, design and any expected lighting and marking features;
  3. a site plan which includes the antenna system, the leased area, and those applicable elements set out in the City of Ottawa Guide to Preparing Plans and Studies;
  4. any other plans, reports and studies identified on the Applicant’s Study and Plan Identification List which may include landscape plans, site servicing plans grading and drainage plans, and erosion and sediment control plans;
  5. scaled elevation drawings noting any expected lighting and marking features;
  6. certification from an acceptable professional engineer that all lighting features other than those required by Transport Canada have been designed using only fixtures that meet Full Cut-Off Classification as recognized by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and that spillage onto adjoining properties will not exceed 0.5 foot candles, or an amount acceptable to the City;
  7. confirmation as to whether or not pre-application consultation was undertaken with the Ward Councillor;
  8. an undertaking to provide the City with written confirmation of any lighting and marking required by Transport Canada;
  9. any other information requested by City staff; and,
  10. a completed Application for Municipal Review and Concurrence including the Application fee.

Once an Application for Municipal Review and Concurrence has been submitted City staff will review the Application to ensure that all required information has been submitted, and upon verification deem the Application complete. Once deemed complete City staff shall:

  1. in the instance of an antenna system, provide the Ward Councillor (if the proponent did not pre-consult) and the Councillors of all Wards within 120 metres or three times the antenna system’s height, whichever is greater, of the base of the tower with a heads-up indicating the location and nature (including the height and any expected lighting requirements) of the antenna system;
  2. set out which technical agencies and public bodies (e.g., Hydro Ottawa, National Capital Commission, applicable Conservation Authority, School Board, Ministry of Transportation, Parks Canada etc.) must be consulted by the proponent;
    1. The proponent must provide and inform any such agencies or bodies that they have 30 days to provide their comments to the proponent, and it is the responsibility of these agencies and bodies to comment within these timelines;
  3. if applicable, provide the proponent with a list of those Councillors to be notified and a list of the addresses of all property owners and registered community groups to be notified pursuant to Part 8;
  4. if required, identify the applicable local community newspapers in which notice is to be placed; and,
  5. if required, identify appropriate venues for the Community Information and Comment Session.

A proponent of an antenna system must also notify all neighbouring municipalities within 120 metres or three times the antenna system’s height, whichever is greater, measured from the base of the tower.

In addition to this Application, the proponent is responsible for securing all applicable permits or approvals from City departments or other agencies, if required.

8.0 Public Consultation

Unless exempt under Part 4 or Part 6(c), a proponent must undertake public notification and consultation in accordance with this Part. Where notification of the public is required, the notice must be placed in an envelope and the envelope must have in bold type on its face the statement:

“Contains Information Concerning an [select one] Antenna System or Residential Use Antenna System Proposed in Your Community”

If the provisions of this Part require notification of owners located within a condominium development, a proponent may provide the required notice to the condominium corporation, instead of the individual owners within the development.

8.1 Public Consultation for Residential Use Antenna Systems (RUAS)

A proponent of an RUAS must provide written notice of the proposal to:

  1. the City;
  2. the Ward Councillor; and
  3. all owners or occupants of residential property abutting the lot and directly across the street from the lot on which the RUAS is to be located.

The notification must include the following information:

  1. the statement:
    “I/We is/are proposing [select one] an antenna system or an addition to the existing antenna system at [insert address], which consists of the following: [insert description of proposed works including the location, colour, type and design]. Once completed the antenna system will measure [insert height] metres in height. Industry Canada is responsible for the approval of this antenna system, and requires that I/we review this proposal with the local municipality. After reviewing this proposal the City of Ottawa will provide its position to Industry Canada and myself/us”;
  2. information explaining:
    1. the RUAS purpose;
    2. the need for the RUAS height and its location on the lot;
  3. a statement that the RUAS will comply with Health Canada’s Safety Code 6, and an explanation that Safety Code 6 regulates human exposure to radio frequency emissions from antennas;
  4. a statement that the RUAS will respect good engineering practices including structural adequacy;
  5. the statement:
    “I/We invite(s) you, within 30 calendar days of the date of this notice, to provide by letter your comments, and / or request to be informed of the City’s position on the proposed antenna system. To do so please contact…” followed by the name of the proponent and their mailing address; and,
  6. a statement that the proponent will respond to all reasonable and relevant concerns, and that the City will be taking into account comments from the public and the proponent’s response to each when providing its position to the proponent and Industry Canada.

In addition to the above, where a proponent expects that an RUAS will contain medium or high white intensity lighting for the purposes of satisfying Transport Canada requirements, the proponent must also undertake public consultation in accordance with Part 8.2.4 – Notice in Local Community Newspaper.

Despite the notification requirements of Part 8.1, the City may waive some or all of these requirements, upon consultation with the proponent, where the City anticipates there to be no public reaction to the proposal.

8.2 Public Consultation for Antenna Systems

8.2.1 Waiver of Public Consultation Requirements

The City may waive the requirement for a Community Information and Comment Session, for example where only two or three residences are captured within the notification area, however in such instances notice shall be provided in accordance with Part .8.2.2 and the proponent shall indicate and allow 30 days for property owners to provide their comments to the proponent or request notification of the City’s position on the installation. Similarly, the City may also waive the requirement for a notice in the local community newspaper.

8.2.2 Notice of Community Information and Comment Session

A proponent of an antenna system must host a Community Information and Comment Session within the community in which the antenna system is proposed if the base of the tower is within 120 metres, or three times the antenna system height, whichever is greater, of a residential zone, residential use or mixed use building.

Written notice of the Community Information and Comment Session must be provided in both official languages to:

  1. the City;
  2. all Councillors identified by City staff and the Member of Parliament for that constituency;
  3. Registered community groups; and,
  4. all property owners within 120 metres or a distance equal to three times the antenna system height, whichever is greater, as measured from the base of the tower.

The notification must include the following information:

  1. the statement: 
    “[insert name of proponent] is/are proposing [select one] an antenna system or an addition to the existing antenna system at [insert address], which consists of the following: [insert description of proposed works including the antenna system’s colour, type, design and any lighting and marking features]. Once completed the antenna system will measure [insert height] metres in height.
    Industry Canada is responsible for the approval of this antenna system, and requires [insert name of proponent] to review this proposal with the nearby public and local municipality. After reviewing this proposal the City of Ottawa will provide its position to Industry Canada and [insert name of proponent]”;
  2. a map showing the location of the antenna system within the community;
  3. information explaining:
    1. the antenna system’s purpose;
    2. the reasons why existing antenna systems or other infrastructure cannot be used to support the antenna; and,
    3. the need for the antenna system’s height and its location on the lot;
  4. a photograph of the selected lot taken from the street lot line closest to the antenna system with the installation superimposed in colour showing the height, design and any expected lighting and marking features;
  5. a statement that the antenna system will comply with Health Canada’s Safety Code 6, and an explanation that Safety Code 6 regulates human exposure to radiofrequency emissions from antennas;
  6. a statement that the antenna system will respect good engineering practices including structural adequacy;
  7. if applicable, an explanation of the expected Transport Canada lighting and marking requirements for the proposal;
  8. the statement:
    ​“[insert name of proponent] invite(s) you to attend our Community Information and Comment Session at [insert date, time and location], or within 30 calendar days of the date of this notice provide by e-mail or letter your comments, and / or request to be informed of the City’s position on the proposed antenna system. Please contact…” followed by the name of the proponent, their mailing address, phone number and e-mail.”; and,
    1. a statement that the proponent will respond to all reasonable and relevant concerns, and that the City will be taking into account comments from the public and the proponent’s response to each when providing its position to the proponent and Industry Canada.

8.2.3 Information at Community Information and Comment Session

The proponent must convene a Community Information and Comment Session no earlier than 14 days and no later than 20 days from the date of mailing of the notice or the publication of the notice in the local community newspaper (if required), whichever occurs later.

At the Community Information and Comment Session the proponent must, in addition to addressing all reasonable and relevant concerns raised by the public, present the following information:

  1. an explanation that Industry Canada is the approval authority for antenna systems, Industry Canada’s requirements for consultation with the public and the land use authority under CPC-2-0-03, the City’s role as a commenting body within Industry Canada’s approval process, and the purpose of the Community Information and Comment Session;
  2. an explanation of the purpose of the antenna system, the need for the selected location and height, its future sharing possibilities and what other structures were considered and reasons why existing antenna systems or other infrastructure cannot be used;
  3. a description of the design of the antenna system including its height, colour, dimensions, any expected lighting and marking features, as well as a description of all other works proposed;
  4. a map showing the antenna system’s location within the community;
  5. a photograph of the selected lot taken from the street lot line closest to the antenna system with the installation superimposed in colour and including its height, design and any expected lighting and marking features;
  6. if applicable, an explanation of the expected Transport Canada lighting and marking requirements for the proposal;
  7. a statement that the proponent will respond to reasonable and relevant concerns raised by the public and:
    1. an explanation of what Industry Canada under CPC-2-0-03 classifies as a reasonable and relevant concern; and,
    2. the deadline (i.e. 10 days) for bringing reasonable and relevant concerns to the proponent after the Community Information and Comment Session.

This information may be provided in English, but a representative of the proponent must be available at the Community Information and Comment Session to provide information and respond to comments and questions in French.

8.2.4 Notice in Local Community Newspaper

A proponent must place a notice in the local community newspaper where an antenna system is:

  1. to be 30 metres or more in height; or
  2. after an addition will measure 30 metres or more in height; or,
  3. is expected to contain medium or high white intensity lighting for the purposes of satisfying Transport Canada requirements,

The notice must include the following in both official languages:

  1. the statements:
    “[insert name of proponent] is/are proposing [select one] an antenna system or an addition to the existing antenna system at [insert address], which consists of the following: [insert description of proposed works including the antenna system’s colour, type, design and any lighting and marking features]. Once completed the antenna system will measure [insert height] metres in height.

    Industry Canada is responsible for the approval of this antenna system, and requires [insert name of proponent] to review this proposal with the public and local municipality. After reviewing this proposal the City of Ottawa will provide its position to Industry Canada and [insert name of proponent]”;

    “[insert name of proponent] invite(s) you, within 30 calendar days of the date of this notice, to provide by e-mail or letter your comments, and / or request to be informed of the City’s position on the proposed antenna system. Please contact…” followed by the name of the proponent, their mailing address, phone number and e-mail.”; and,
  2. a statement that the proponent will respond to all reasonable and relevant concerns, and that the City will be taking into account comments from the public and the proponent’s response to each when providing its position to the proponent and Industry Canada.

    Where a Community Information and Comment Session is also required, the notice must, in addition to the above, include an invitation to the Community Information and Comment Session, along with its date, time and location.
8.3 Record of Public Consultation

Within fourteen days of the close of the public consultation period the proponent shall provide to the City the following:

  1. an affidavit executed by an authorized representative of the proponent stating that public consultation was carried out in accordance with the requirements of this process and, if applicable, that all technical agencies and public bodies identified by City staff, as well as neighbouring municipalities were notified of the proposal;
  2. written copies of all submissions made by the public and, if applicable, registered community groups to the proponent and all responses provided;
  3. if applicable, a record of attendees, comments and the proponent’s responses provided at the Community Information and Comment Session; and,
  4. if applicable, copies of all correspondence, comments, etc. provided to and received from technical agencies, public bodies and neighbouring municipalities relating to their review of the proposal, as well as any information pertaining to how concerns or issues were resolved.

9.0 Application Review

9.1 Changes to Application

If at any point during this process the proposal is revised, the proponent must advise the City of these changes as soon as possible. If revisions to the proposal include:

  1. a change in the location of an antenna system, which results in the base of the tower being within 120 metres or a distance equal to three times the antenna system height, whichever is greater, of a residential zone, residential use or mixed use building; or,
  2. a significant change in the height or design of an antenna system,

City staff shall notify those Ward Councillors previously notified under Part 7 of the changes.

City staff shall notify the proponent if:

  1. the proponent is required to resubmit drawings, documents, reports or studies showing proposed changes;
  2. the proponent must consult with additional technical agencies or public bodies, undertake public consultation or further public consultation as the case may be, in accordance with Part 8 as a result of revisions to the proposal; or,
  3. the timeframes under Part 10.0 need to be extended.
9.2 Concluding Review

Where the proposal fails to adequately address the siting, design, engineering and landscaping criteria set out in this process, or any other reasonable land-use issues identified, City staff shall discuss with the proponent alternatives or mitigation measures for resolving any concerns.

Once the review is complete, including the review of any resubmitted documents, drawings, etc., City staff shall determine whether the City will provide its concurrence, conditional concurrence or non-concurrence based on whether the proponent has followed this process and addressed to the satisfaction of the City the following:

  1. the site selection and design guidelines set out in Part 5;
  2. comments received from the public, registered community groups, technical agencies and public bodies; and,
  3. any other reasonable land use issue identified by City staff.

10.0 Timelines for Municipal Concurrence or Non-Concurrence

Once an Application for Municipal Review and Concurrence has been deemed complete, the City will work to conclude its review and provide its position to the proponent within 100 calendar days.

11.0 Letter of Undertaking

A proponent may be required, if requested by the City, to provide a Letter of Undertaking, requiring the posting of security for the remediation of City-owned property.

12.0 Concluding Municipal and Public Consultation

The proponent and Industry Canada will be notified of the City’s position by City staff. Staff shall provide a letter to the proponent, copied to Industry Canada and all those Ward Councillors notified under Part 8 indicating the following:

  1. whether the proponent followed this process and if not, identify what issues remain outstanding; and,
  2. that based on its review the City:
    1. concurs with the proposal, or
    2. concurs with the proposal subject to the proponent meeting certain conditions detailed within the letter to the proponent, or
    3. does not concur with the proposal and the reasons why.

City staff will include with the letter to Industry Canada a copy of all documentation provided by the proponent to the City related to submissions by the public, registered community groups, technical agencies and public bodies as well as the proponent’s response to each.

All proponents are responsible for distributing, within 15 days of receiving the City’s position, a copy of the City’s position to all persons who requested that they be notified in accordance with Part 8.

Frequently asked questions

The following questions and answers are general in nature and do not necessarily reflect every situation, or cover all circumstances related to the City’s involvement in the regulation of antenna systems.

Who regulates and approves antenna systems?

In Canada, all antenna systems are governed by Federal legislation and regulations. For antenna systems such as cell towers or amateur radio antenna towers, Industry Canada, Spectrum Management & Telecommunications, is the licensing body. Companies and individuals must apply to Industry Canada for a licence to operate an installation at each specific location.

The City of Ottawa is not the approving authority for antenna systems. However, as part of the licensing process, Industry Canada requires that licensees (referred to as proponents) seek input in certain circumstances from the City and the public. Industry Canada encourages local land use authorities to adopt their own processes to manage municipal and public consultation by proponents in accordance with its Client Procedure Circular CPC2-0-03. The Municipal Concurrence and Public Consultation Process for Antenna Systems sets out when and how the proponent must consult with the City and members of the public. The City reviews the licensee’s proposal and sends a response to the proponent and to Industry Canada indicating whether or not the proposed installation can be supported by the City.

Where an antenna system is proposed within a municipal right-of-way, municipal consent is also required from the City of Ottawa.

What role does the City play in the location and design of antenna systems?

Where consultation is required the City will receive and review proposals pursuant to the Municipal Concurrence and Public Consultation Process for Antenna Systems. Each proposal would be reviewed for information regarding the design, size, location of the installation, as well as comments received by the proponent from the community.

The City will require proponents to demonstrate why a proposed antenna could not be located on an existing tower, building or structure, and provide a rationale for why a new tower is necessary.

The City may also negotiate with proponents regarding the location, height, type or size of a proposed antenna system. The aim is to reduce the visual impact of proposed towers as much as possible. Placing antennas on existing towers, buildings or structures, such as on the rooftops of high-rise buildings is preferred and encouraged (but cannot be compelled). Integrating antenna systems into existing building or structures, or disguising them is also preferred. Where an antenna system is proposed in or near residential areas the use of monopoles rather than latticework towers may be another preference that is negotiated with the various proponents.

Note that in cases where the City does not support a proposal, it cannot prevent a proponent from ultimately gaining permission from Industry Canada to install the antenna system. However, where an antenna system is proposed within a municipal right-of-way, municipal consent is required from the City of Ottawa.

Does a tower associated with an antenna system need a Building Permit?

No, a building permit is not required. Antenna systems are under Federal jurisdiction and subject to licensing by Industry Canada. The submissions by proponents to the City are not development approval or building permit applications, and the City of Ottawa does not "approve" or "refuse" these submissions. Rather, the City indicates its support or lack of support for each proposal based on an evaluation of each proposal. However, in certain instances a building permit may be required for any accessory buildings associated with an antenna system.

Why does the antenna system have to be in my neighbourhood?

The location of antenna systems is important in providing the quality of service that the public expects. Radio waves are limited in how far they can travel while still being reliable. Demand for wireless services is increasing rapidly; to meet this demand, more antenna systems are required, often closer to users.

Can existing towers, or other antenna-supporting structures, be used?

Industry Canada requires antenna system proponents to use existing structures. In some instances, because of technical or other constraints, sharing a structure is not always feasible.

Can I appeal the proposed installation of an antenna system to the Ontario Municipal Board?

No. As antenna systems are federally regulated and licensed, and, as there is no development application approved by the City of Ottawa, there is no appeal procedure to the Ontario Municipal Board for proposed antenna systems. If you have a question concerning an antenna system in your neighbourhood you should contact Industry Canada.

Does the installation of an antenna system require an amendment to the Zoning By-law?

No. Because antenna systems are Federally regulated and licensed, a zoning by-law amendment would not be needed to allow the location of an installation on any site within the city.

Are antenna systems used solely for personal use subject to this process?

Any antenna system falling under the jurisdiction of Industry Canada is subject to the proposed process. Antenna systems used solely for personal use, such as by amateur radio operators, are specifically exempted from the process provided they meet all of the location and design criteria listed therein. If not, and the process applies, application submission and public consultation requirements have been reduced.

Why must the tower be painted and have lights?

Paint and lights ensure that the tower is visible to aircraft. Proponents must ensure their proposals for an antenna system are first reviewed by Transport Canada to determine which lighting and marking requirements may apply. Transport Canada will advise the proponent of any potential hazard to air navigation and the standards relating to painting and lighting for the antenna system.

Are there any safety guidelines to protect the public's health?

Health Canada has safety guidelines for exposure to radio frequency fields in its Safety Code 6 publication entitled Limits of Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields in the Frequency Range from 3 kHz to 300 GHz. While the responsibility for developing Safety Code 6 rests with Health Canada, Industry Canada has adopted this guideline for the purpose of protecting the general public.

Industry Canada requires all radiocommunication and broadcasting operators to comply with Safety Code 6 at all times, including the consideration of combined effects of nearby installations within the local radio environment. Further, operators must respect updates made to Safety Code 6.

Are environmental concerns taken into consideration?

Yes. Installation and modification of antenna systems must comply with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Depending on the location of the proposed antenna system the City may also require additional studies or reports for the purposes of its evaluation to determine whether it will support the proposal.

Given this, the municipal concurrence and public consultation process will not address health concerns related to exposure to radio frequency fields.

How does Industry Canada ensure that radiocommunication and broadcasting installations respect Health Canada's limits for the protection of the public from radio frequency fields?

While the responsibility for developing Safety Code 6 rests with Health Canada, Industry Canada has adopted the same guideline for the purpose of protecting the general public. Industry Canada requires that all proponents and operators ensure that their radiocommunication and broadcasting installations (antenna systems) comply with Safety Code 6 at all times. Proponents and operators must also consider the combined effects of nearby installations within the local radio environment. For more information, consult CPC-2-0-03. Furthermore, Industry Canada conducts its own assessments and audits as required.

Where can I find more information?

The process for all antenna systems in Canada is outlined in Industry Canada's Client Procedures Circular CPC-2-0-03 entitled Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems.

More information is available on Industry Canada's Spectrum Management and Telecommunications website at http://www.ic.gc.ca/antenna, including CPC-2-0-03.

Who can I contact at the City of Ottawa if I have more questions about the Municipal Concurrence and Public Consultation Process for Antenna Systems?

Please call 3-1-1 and ask to speak to the Manager of Development Review for the area in question.