SaskTel is planning to upgrade three cell phone towers within Estevan city limits.

The city's Land Development Manager Richard Neufeld brought up the topic at a city council meeting Monday night.

"SaskTel currently has three towers in the city in residential areas," Neufeld said. "And they're looking at refurbishing them and maybe increasing the height of them. They're about 15 metres tall right now, and they're looking at moving them up to maybe 30 metres later on."

Neufeld added that he's run into conflicts with towers being near homes before, including visual impediments for homeowners and the flashing navigational light on the top of the tower. He noted that navigational lights are not required until the tower reaches 60 metres in height.

"A potential fix which would accommodate SaskTel and our other operators would be that we allow cell phone towers that are under the 60 metre limit within residential areas," he said. "If someone wants to put a tower up that's in excess of 60 metres, they'd have to jump through some extra hoops, such as amending the zoning bylaw."

"I think it's something that you could consider. You still have the ability (as council) to say no."

Neufeld said cell phone towers are governed by Transport Canada, who have been more receptive in recent years to complaints from cities and municipalities.

"From my experience quite often there's problems with having towers in residential areas, at least historically," he said. "That said, the technology for these towers has improved greatly over the last 20-30 years."

"Really, we're more of a referral agency than anything else on these cases," he said.

SaskTel has towers on McDonald Road, at Hillside Park, and near the Estevan City Cemetery.