[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Lawrence 9-11-2014 by L.L. No. 3-2014. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This Village Board of Trustees hereby finds and determines that public utility companies place poles on Village of Lawrence roads and rights-of-way to facilitate the delivery of electric, telephone, cable television, and other telecommunications services to the residents of the Village of Lawrence.
This Village Board of Trustees also finds that utility poles are frequently damaged by traffic accidents and adverse weather conditions.
This Village Board of Trustees determines that public safety can be compromised when utility lines and equipment remain affixed to weathered/damaged/old poles for unreasonably long periods of time.
This Village Board of Trustees further determines that a utility's delay in removing lines and equipment also delays the removal of the pole itself, which causes a proliferation of aesthetically unpleasant double woods/double poles along roadways, as well as obstructing the paths of pedestrians and travelers on sidewalks.
This Village Board of Trustees also finds and determines that local governments have the authority to regulate their roads and rights-of-way to protect the public.
Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to require utilities that use Village roads and rights-of-way to promptly remove their plants, cables, lines, equipment, and terminals from old and damaged poles and to further require the prompt removal of double poles once all plants, cables, lines, terminals, and other fixtures have been removed.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- DANGEROUS/DAMAGED POLE
- Any utility pole that is structurally compromised due to weather, a traffic incident, and/or age and poses a potential threat to public safety.
- DOUBLE POLE/DOUBLE WOOD
- Any old utility pole from which the plant has been removed, in whole or in part, which is attached or in close proximity to a new utility pole.
- The cables, terminals, conductors and other fixtures necessary for transmitting electric, telephone, cable television or other telecommunications service.
- PUBLIC UTILITY
- Any corporation, authority, or other entity that provides electric, telephone, cable television, or other service including telecommunication service, to the residents of the Village of Lawrence.
- SUPERINTENDENT OF HIGHWAYS
- The Village of Lawrence Superintendent of Highways or his/her designee.
- WRITTEN NOTIFICATION
- A writing directed to a representative of a public utility, who may be designated by the utility, by regular mail, facsimile transmission, or electronic mail.
No person, firm or corporation shall place or erect any pole for any purpose in or upon any Village highway, street, road or right-of-way of said Village, or alter or change the location of any existing pole in any Village highway, street, road or right-of-way of said Village without first having obtained a permit from the Superintendent of Highways.
Application for a permit under this section shall be made upon a form to be provided by the Superintendent of Highways and upon payment of a permit fee to be set by resolution of the Village Board of Trustees.
The Superintendent of Highways shall include in all permits for the installation of utility poles on Village highways, streets, roads, or rights-of-way the following provision:
When the Superintendent of Highways issues a permit for the installation of a utility pole which is directly next to or in close proximity to another utility pole in a Village highway or right-of-way, the applicant shall have 60 days to remove the damaged or double pole following the installation of the new pole. Failure to do so may result in penalties as provided for in § 152-6 of this chapter.
When the Superintendent of Highways determines that a utility pole in a Village road or right-of-way is damaged and poses a potential threat to public safety, the Superintendent of Highways shall notify any public utility with a plant on the damaged pole that it must remove its plant from the pole and immediately replace the damaged pole or be subject to a penalty as provided for in § 152-6 of this chapter. A public utility must replace the damaged pole, replace its plant from the damaged pole and replace any other plants affixed to the damaged pole within 15 days of receiving such notification from the Superintendent of Highways.
When the Superintendent of Highways determines that a double pole is in a Village road or right-of-way, the Superintendent of Highways will notify the public utility which has its plant on the double pole that such plant must be removed within 30 days or be subject to penalty pursuant to § 152-6 of this chapter. Upon removal, each subsequent public utility with its plant on a double pole will have 30 days to remove such plant from the date it receives notification from the Superintendent of Highways.
After all plants have been removed from the double pole, the public utility which owns the double pole shall remove said pole within 30 days after receiving notification from the Superintendent of Highways or be subject to penalty pursuant to § 152-6 of this chapter. This provision shall not nullify or limit any private agreement between and among public utilities that assign responsibility for pole removal.
The Superintendent of Highways shall not give a permit authorizing any act or acts as set forth in § 152-3 that shall be performed unless there shall have been furnished by the applicant sufficient indemnity or performance bond as determined by the Superintendent of Highways as a condition precedent to the issuance of the permit and the commencement of work. Said bond or indemnity shall be for a reasonable amount and may cover one or more than one of the acts specified in § 152-3 of this chapter, and said bond or indemnity may cover any period of time necessary to include the accomplishment of one or more of the aforesaid acts, all as shall be determined by the Superintendent of Highways. The approval of the Superintendent of Highways as to amount, form, manner of execution and sufficiency of surety or sureties shall be entered on said bond before it shall be filed in the Village Clerk's office, and said bond shall be so filed before said permit shall be effective.
Any person, firm, corporation or public utility convicted of a violation of the provisions this chapter shall be guilty of a violation, for a first conviction, punishable by a fine not exceeding $500 or by imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or both; for a second or subsequent conviction, punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or by imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or both. Every day that the violation continues shall be deemed a separate violation.
Any person, firm or corporation or public utility that violates this chapter and fails to remove its damaged and/or double pole or plant from a damaged pole within the timeframe provided in § 152-4 after receiving notification shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $250 for each such violation.
If a person, firm or corporation or public utility violates the provisions of this chapter and fails to remove its damaged and/or double pole or plant from a damaged pole in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, the Village Attorney may commence an action in the name of the Village of Lawrence in a court of competent jurisdiction for necessary relief, which may include imposition of civil penalties as authorized by this chapter, in order to remove the double pole or plant from a damaged utility pole and/or to remove the damaged pole, the recovery of costs of the action and such other remedies as may be necessary to prevent or enjoin a dangerous condition from existing on a Village highway, street, road, or right-of-way.
This chapter shall apply to all utility poles located on Village roads or rights-of-way on or after the effective date of this chapter.
This local law shall take effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State.