Landowners in rural areas can receive thousands of dollars a month for simply allowing a cell tower to be built on their property, yet homeowners, living less than 100 meters away, receive no compensation.
These huge and ugly structures are an eyesore. They detract from our enjoyment of home, they cut into our cherished views of the countryside, the mountains, the rolling hills and the stars at night. The towers come with an enormous footprint of support wires, lights at the top and at the base, noise emissions, and radio magnetic waves which many independent and accredited scientists believe can be extremely injurious to human health.
Yet Industry Canada and the telecommunications companies refuse to accept that all these factors decrease property values.
- A major study in New Zealand concluded that a buyer would pay at least 10% to 20% less for a property if it were in close proximity to a cell tower.
- It has been estimated that as much as 30% to 40% of properties in France have been devalued through the installation of cell towers.
Experts from Foret Immobilier, Chevreuse Immobilier and Demeures et châteaux de France have estimated that properties in close proximity to cell towers lose 30% of their value.
- As the awareness of the health risks increases, property values may be further diminished in the future.
Industry Canada and the telecommunications companies refuse to take responsibility for the damage they cause.
Is this fair?
- In December 2013, a Vermont utility was ordered to pay $1 million in compensation and damages to a family over a communications tower.
- The Federation of Canadian Municipalities expects its members to be fully compensated for their losses.
- Judges in France have awarded compensation to property owners. Real estate agents have also raised the issues of “trouble du voisinage”, “risque sanitaire” and “préjudice financier”, all of which have court decision support. It is also possible to invoke the loss of esthetic value in the presence of these unsightly structures.
- In March 2009, three court decisions in France ordered Bouygues Telecom SFR et Orange to take three of their cell towers down.
Why haven’t there been open consultations on the effect on home values in Canada?