The following arrived in my EMAIL inbox this morning from Bill Unger VE3XT who is the RAC Director responsible for the Ottawa Area…. This is the reply to my post of a few days ago whiere I was concerned about some new stuff coming from the City of Ottawa….
Who knows perhaps I was just “foaming at the mouth” and maybe I read too much into things… Time will tell….
From Bill Unger VE3XT:
I ran this past Rich and here is his take on it.
But thanks for the heads up on it. You may want to post this on our blog so everyone knows what is going on.
And thank you as well Rich, as always you’re on top of this.
As I read the City’s proposal, they are not proposing to replace the
existing by-law with another one. They are proposing to replace the
existing by-law with a consultation protocol or process. This would
bring them into conformity with Industry Canada’s expectations of
land-use authorities in CPC-2-0-03, as explained in more detail in
Industry Canada’s “Guide to Assist Land-use Authorities in Developing
Antenna Siting Protocols”. In other words, they are doing what Industry
Canada has asked municipalities to do. The Industry Canada documentation
on this, including links to CPC-2-0-03 and to the Guide to Assist
Land-use Authorities …, can be found at <www.ic.gc.ca/antenna<http://www.ic.gc.ca/antenna>> (the
links I mentioned are about halfway down the page).
The full text of the proposed Ottawa protocol can be found at
The proposed protocol applies to commercial antenna systems as well as
to amateurs. The protocol specifies exemptions in Section 4.0 and 5.1;
antenna systems that meet the conditions are exempt from the rest of the
process. Systems that do not qualify for an exemption must go through a
consultation process, as is required by the Industry Canada CPC. At the
end of the consultation process, the City decides whether to support or
oppose the proposed antenna system, but according to the City’s document
it is Industry Canada that decides, not the City. The City only makes a
recommendation to IC.
Amateur antenna systems come under the definition of Residential Use
Antenna System, or RUAS, in Section 3.0. Note carefully that the
definition of an “Antenna System” in that section does not include a
RUAS. In other words, as I understand it, sections of the City’s
document that only use the phrase “Antenna System” without a modifier do
not apply to amateurs. Only those sections that apply to RUAS apply to
amateurs. As far as I can see, this means that Sections 5.2, 7.2, 7.3,
7.4 and 8.2 of the process would not apply to amateurs.
Exemptions (b) through (f) in Section 4.0 appear to be based on the
exclusions listed by Industry Canada in Section 6 of the CPC. Exemption
(a)(ii) refers to Section 5.1, and the conditions listed in Section 5.1
appear to be taken directly from the existing by-law, with one
exception: there is no longer a height limit other than the one imposed
indirectly by the setback limit. Note also that Section 5.1 allows for
the possibility of a RUAS that does not meet the guidelines, so they are
clearly not considered to be hard limits on antenna systems, just limits
on the exemption from consultation.
If a proposed amateur antenna system meets the conditions in Section
5.1, or if it qualifies for one of the other exemptions in Section 4.0,
then as I read it the proposed antenna is not subject to the rest of the
process, i.e. no public consultation is required. If it does not meet
those conditions, then the consultation requirements in 6.0, 7.1 and 8.1
must be followed. These appear to be based on the requirements listed in
the Industry Canada CPC. At the end of the consultation process, if the
City ends up objecting to the proposed antenna system, Industry Canada
makes the final decision.
There are some things that I believe need to be clarified or changed in
the interests of amateurs. In 5.1(a), it should be clarified that the
setback applies to the antenna tower, not to the entire system. This
would make the protocol consistent with the existing by-law, whose
setback limits apply to the tower. In Section 4.0, points (c) through
(e) and also (g) should apply to RUAS as well as to “antenna systems”.
If these changes are made, as far as I can see the new proposal would be
better for amateurs than the existing by-law (no height limit, more
exemptions coming from the CPC, and explicit recognition that IC can
approve an antenna that does not meet the City’s guidelines), and also
better for amateurs than the CPC without any protocol (the City has
added some additional exemptions from consultation on top of the
exclusions in the CPC).
I would urge all interested amateurs in Ottawa to read the City’s
proposal, and comment on it either directly or through one of the local
clubs, but I would also urge them to read it carefully and understand it
to ensure that their comments are relevant and meaningful. Comments that
display a lack of understanding of what the City is proposing will not
Thanks to Bill and Rich for looking into things….