[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Shaler 5-8-2001 by Ord. No. 1779. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 192.
Unless the context specifically indicates otherwise, the meaning of the terms used in this chapter shall be as follows:
- The person who has applied for a right-of-way permit or a construction permit.
- The form prescribed by the Township which the applicant must complete in order to obtain a right-of-way permit.
- The building, erection or installation in, on or under a right-of-way. It does not include maintenance or repair of equipment in a right-of-way or a single line extension from equipment in the right-of-way.
- CONSTRUCTION PERMIT
- The document that must be obtained before a person may perform construction in a right-of-way.
- Any interruption of service or a condition that poses a clear and immediate danger to life or health or a significant loss of property.
- Any tangible property located or proposed to be located in a right-of-way, including, but not limited to, wires, lines, cables, conduits, pipes, supporting structures or other facilities.
- Work of a minor nature that will keep an existing condition from failure or decline.
- PERMIT HOLDER
- The person obtaining a right-of-way permit.
- Any individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or other business entity.
- RESTORE or RESTORATION
- The process by which a right-of-way is returned to a state that is as good or better as its condition before construction.
- The surface and space in, on and above any real property in which the Township has an interest in law or in equity, including, but not limited to, any public street, boulevard, avenue, road, highway, easement, freeway, alley, court or any other place, other than real property owned in fee by the Township.
- RIGHT-OF-WAY PERMIT or PERMIT
- A written authorization granted by the Township to an applicant for use of the rights-of-way in the Township for wires, lines, cables, conduits, pipes, supporting structures and other facilities.
- TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES
- The services offered to customers involving the transmission of video, data and/or voice communications and/or content, both active and interactive, and associated usage.
- TELECOMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM
- A system used or to be used to provide telecommunications services.
- UNDERGROUND EQUIPMENT
- All equipment that is located wholly or partially underneath a right-of-way.
No person shall enter upon or occupy any right-of-way for the purpose of installing, constructing, maintaining or operating a telecommunications system without first having obtained a right-of-way permit. Any person maintaining or operating a telecommunications system as of the effective date of this chapter shall also obtain a right-of-way permit.
Before a right-of-way permit is issued, the holder of or applicant for a right-of-way permit shall have applied to any and all regulatory approvals, permits or authorizations from the appropriate federal and state authorities, if required. Upon the request of the Township, the applicant shall submit written evidence of its applications for or receipt of all such approvals, permits or authorizations.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as a waiver of any ordinances or regulations of the Township or the Township's right to require prospective or current right-of-way permit holders to secure and remit payment for any and all required permits or authorizations.
A right-of-way permit shall only be granted after an applicant has completed an application in the form that has been prescribed by the Township, which form may be revised from time to time. Upon request, an applicant shall be provided with a copy of the then current application for a right-of-way permit. The application shall request information regarding the applicant's proposed or actual physical use and occupation of the rights-of-way. Specifically, the application shall request: a brief description of the telecommunications service or services to be offered or provided in or through the Township; specific information regarding the equipment it proposes to place or currently maintains in the rights-of-way; the expected physical burden that such equipment will place or does place on the rights-of-way; and whether the equipment will or does have a detrimental effect on public safety as it relates to the rights-of-way. If the completed application does not fully provide such requested information, the Township may request such additional information as is necessary to enable it to make a determination regarding the physical use and occupation of the rights-of-way by the applicant. The application may request less information from a permit holder applying for a renewal of a right-of-way permit.
Upon submission of a fully completed application to the Township and the accompanying fee, the Township shall review the application as follows. The Township shall grant or deny such applications within 45 days. If the Township fails to grant or reject such application within the time period specified above, the application shall be deemed approved. In each case, the Township shall review the application to determine whether such use would have a detrimental effect on public safety as it relates to the rights-of-way or would place an undue physical burden on the rights-of-way.
In considering an application, the Township may use such outside experts as it deems necessary. In the event that the Township deems it necessary to employ an outside expert or experts to advise the Township with respect to a particular application, the reasonable costs of such expert or experts shall be borne by the applicant.
The right-of-way permit shall be issued for a period of one year. Permit holders may apply for a renewal of a right-of-way permit prior to its expiration. The Township may suspend such right-of-way permit in the event that any one or more of the following has occurred:
The permit holder shall have caused damage to Township property or the right-of-way without the prior consent of the Township (except in the case of an emergency) and without completing proper restoration;
The permit holder or the permit holder's equipment in the right-of-way has had a detrimental effect on public safety as it relates to the right-of-way;
The permit holder failed to pay any of the fees required under this chapter;
The permit holder failed to comply with construction standards in accordance with the provisions contained in § 176-8 below;
If the Township has reason to believe that one or more of the above events has occurred, it shall notify the permit holder in writing. The permit holder shall have 30 days to cure the violation, unless the Township reasonably determines that the event is an emergency, in which case the Township may impose a shorter time period to cure the violation.
If the permit holder fails to cure the violation within the specified time period, the Township shall be permitted to immediately suspend the right-of-way permit. A suspension shall be brought to the attention of the Board of Commissioners at its next meeting, at which time the Board shall be permitted to uphold or withdraw the suspension. The permit holder shall be provided an opportunity to be heard at such meeting.
Except in the case of an emergency, before commencing any construction in the right-of-way, a person shall submit to the Township detailed plans of the proposed construction activity. Such plans shall include the type of construction activity, the equipment proposed to be installed or erected, the specific locations of the construction activity and the scheduled beginning and ending dates of all planned construction. Such plans shall also include the name(s), address(es) and experience of any and all subcontractors whom the applicant intends to utilize. Such information may be submitted concurrently with an application for a right-of-way permit.
Upon submission of all such information required in § 176-5A above, the Township shall review such information and either grant or deny a construction permit within 45 days. If the Township fails to grant or deny the construction permit within such time period, the permit shall be deemed granted. In each such case, the Township shall review the information provided herein to determine whether such construction would have a detrimental impact on public safety as it relates to the rights-of-way. The Township may impose conditions on the construction permit regulating the times, locations and manner of construction to preserve effective traffic flow, prevent hazardous road conditions and/or minimize noise impacts.
Each new applicant for a right-of-way permit shall include with its application an application fee in the amount of $500. This fee is directly related to the Township's costs in reviewing the application (excluding expert costs) and managing the rights-of-way with respect to each permit holder. Such costs in managing the rights-of-way include, but are not limited to, inspection costs, administrative costs, costs of maintaining the rights-of-way and costs of degradation of streets and right-of-way property. This fee will not be refunded in the event that the application is denied. If the application is granted, the application fee will apply to the full term of the right-of-way permit of one year. If the applicant applies for a construction permit concurrently with the application for a right-of-way permit, then the application fee contained herein shall apply to both the right-of-way permit and the construction permit.
Each existing permit holder applying for a renewal of its right-of-way permit shall include with its application an annual fee in the amount of $300. This fee is directly related to the Township's costs in managing the rights-of-way with respect to each permit holder. Such costs include, but are not limited to, inspection costs, administrative costs, costs of maintaining the rights-of-way and costs of degradation of streets and right-of-way property.
Each applicant for a construction permit shall include with its application an application fee in the amount of $200. This fee is directly related to the Township's costs in reviewing the application and determining time, place and manner restrictions on the construction activity. If the application for a construction permit is denied, this fee shall not be refunded. If the application is granted, then the applicant shall pay, within 30 days of the presentation of a statement, the Township's actual costs based on the hourly rate established by resolution of the Board of Commissioners. Such actual costs include, but are not limited to, costs of disruption and rerouting of traffic, inspection costs and administrative costs.
Extraordinary expenses. In addition to the fees set forth above, a permit holder shall pay, within 30 days of the presentation of a statement, any extraordinary or unusual expenses reasonably incurred by the Township as a result of the permit holder's use of the rights-of-way, provided that the Township notifies the permit holder of the expected expenses prior to them being incurred and provides the permit holder with an opportunity to mitigate such expenses. Examples of extraordinary or unusual costs include, but are not limited to, the cost of obtaining and operating a backhoe, dump truck or other heavy equipment used to repair the right-of-way, overtime or special pay for public safety personnel, and/or the cost of hazardous waste cleanup or other emergency services. The statement of such expenses presented to the permit holder shall be directly related to the Township's actual costs.
In the event that payment of any of the fees identified above is not made upon submission of the application or by the date due, the applicant or permit holder shall pay a late payment penalty of simple interest at 10% annual percentage rate of the total amount past due. Such penalty shall be in lieu of any other monetary penalty. Acceptance of payment under this section shall not in any way limit or waive the Township's right to suspend or terminate the permit according to the terms of this chapter.
The Township shall have the right to limit the placement of new or additional equipment in the right-of-way if there is insufficient space to reasonably accommodate all requests to occupy and use the rights-of-way. The Township shall consider requests for occupying and using the rights-of-way in the order of receipt of fully completed applications for right-of-way permits. The Township shall strive, to the extent possible, to accommodate all requests, but shall be guided by the physical condition of the right-of-way and whether such use would have a detrimental effect on public safety as it relates to the right-of-way.
The Township shall have the right to monitor the telecommunications systems and the equipment related thereto located in the rights-of-way in order to prevent interference between and among such systems and equipment.
A permit holder shall allow the Township to make inspections of any part of the permit holder's telecommunications system located in the rights-of-way at any time upon three days' notice, or, in case of an emergency, upon demand.
Whenever a permit holder or any of its subcontractors shall disturb any pavement, sidewalk or other public property in order to perform any underground activities, the permit holder will fully comply by registering with Pennsylvania's "One Call" System pursuant to 73 P.S. § 176 et seq. Such permit holder shall provide the Township with GPS information showing planned locations and reference points for equipment to be installed. Each permit holder shall perform construction activity in a manner consistent and in compliance with the detailed plans it submitted to the Township and all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.
Whenever a permit holder or any of its subcontractors shall cause damage to the right-of-way or to Township property in the right-of-way, the permit holder shall restore such right-of-way or property within 30 days, weather permitting.
The telecommunications system shall not endanger or interfere with the safety of persons or property within the Township. All operating, maintenance, construction and repair personnel shall be thoroughly trained in the safe use of all equipment and in the safe operation of vehicles. Such personnel shall follow all safety procedures required by applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. The permit holder shall routinely inspect and maintain all areas of the telecommunications system so that conditions that could develop into safety hazards shall be corrected before they become a hazard.
Except in the case of an emergency, at least three days prior to the commencement of any construction activity, permit holder shall notify nearby residents of such construction activity in a manner which is satisfactory to the Township. The name of the permit holder shall be clearly disclosed to such residents.
All construction activity shall be performed in an orderly and workmanlike manner and in close coordination with public utilities serving the Township, following accepted industry construction procedures and practices.
All wires, cables and other equipment shall be installed, where possible, parallel with electric and telephone lines, and multiple cable configurations shall be arranged in parallel and bundles with due respect for engineering considerations.
All wires, cables and other equipment shall be installed underground where required by municipal ordinance or regulation consistent with the same requirement being imposed on all other similarly situated companies, including public utilities.
A permit holder shall, at its sole cost and expense, indemnify and hold harmless the Township, its elected and appointed officials, employees and agents, at all times against any and all claims for personal injury, including death, and property damage arising out of the permit holder's use or occupancy of the rights-of-way. A permit holder shall defend any actions or proceedings against the Township in which it is claimed that personal injury, including death, or property damage was caused by the permit holder's use or occupancy of the rights-of-way. The obligation to indemnify, hold harmless and defend shall include, but not be limited to, the obligation to pay judgments, injuries, liabilities, damages, attorneys' fees, reasonable expert fees, court costs and all other costs of indemnification. A permit holder shall not be required to indemnify and hold the Township harmless for claims caused by the Township's negligence, gross negligence or willful misconduct.
A permit holder shall at all times during the life of a permit carry and require its subcontractors to carry liability, property damage, worker's disability, and vehicle insurance in such form and amount as shall be determined by the Township as set forth in the permit. A permit holder shall name the Township as an additional insured on its liability insurance policies. All required insurance coverage shall provide for 30 days' notice to the Township in the event of material alteration or cancellation of such coverage prior to the effective date of such material alteration or cancellation. The permit holder shall provide appropriate insurance certificates to the Township within 60 days after the execution of a permit.
A permit holder shall annually provide the Township, upon application for renewal of the permit or upon request, the current maps of the horizontal and vertical locations of its existing installations and a summary of all additions and deletions of equipment in the rights-of-way, unless no changes have occurred in the previous year. If no changes have occurred in the previous year, the permit holder shall so inform the Township.
A permit holder shall submit to the Township such reasonable information directly related to the permit holder's use and occupation of the rights-of-way as the Township may request. All information provided to the Township shall be maintained by the Township as proprietary and confidential if such information is designated in good faith as such prior to the time it is provided to the Township.
A right-of-way permit may be transferred or assigned, upon 30 days' written notice to the Township, provided that the transferee/assignee agrees in writing to comply with all of the obligations and requirements contained in this chapter.
A permit holder may be required, prior to construction, to obtain a performance bond in a reasonable amount set by the Township, based upon the construction cost of the equipment to be installed in the rights-of-way and the extent of the disturbance of such rights-of-way. The performance bond shall ensure the permit holder's faithful performance of its construction obligations. The Township may reduce or cancel the bond requirement when construction is completed.
In addition to all other rights and powers reserved by the Township, the Township reserves the right to terminate a permit and all rights and privileges of a permit holder for any of the following reasons:
A permit holder fails, after 30 days' prior written notice, to comply with any of the material provisions of the permit or this chapter;
A permit holder becomes insolvent, unable or unwilling to pay its debts, or is adjudged bankrupt;
All or part of a permit holder's facilities are sold under an instrument to secure a debt and are not redeemed by the permit holder within 90 days from such sale;
A permit holder attempts to or does practice any fraud or deceit in its conduct or relations with the Township under the permit;
The Township condemns all of the property of a permit holder within the Township by the lawful exercise of eminent domain; or
The permit holder abandons the telecommunications system.
No termination shall be effective unless and until the Board of Commissioners shall have adopted a resolution setting forth the cause and reason for the termination and the effective date, which resolution shall not be adopted without 30 days' prior notice to the permit holder and an opportunity for the permit holder to be heard before the Board on the proposed resolution.
Upon expiration or termination of the permit, if the permit is not renewed, the permit holder shall, upon 60 days' prior written notice to the permit holder, remove its equipment from the rights-of-way and shall restore said areas. If such removal is not completed within six months of such notice, the Township may deem any property not removed as abandoned, and the Township may remove it at the former permit holder's expense. In the event that the permit holder installed and/or operated any underground conduit or pipe which is six inches or more in diameter, the permit holder shall fill said conduit or pipe with material in a manner satisfactory to Township.
During the term of the permit, if the permit holder decides to abandon or no longer use all or part of its telecommunications system, it shall provide the Township with written notice of its decision at least 30 days prior to such decision, which notice shall describe the equipment and its location. Township shall have the right to require the permit holder to remove the equipment upon 60 days' prior written notice to the permit holder. If such removal is not completed within six months of such notice, the Township may remove it at the permit holder's expense.
If the permit holder violates any of the terms of this chapter, it shall be subject to a fine of up to $100 per day until the violation is cured.
The Township, by granting any permit under this chapter, does not waive, lessen, impair or surrender the lawful police powers vested in the Township under applicable federal, state and local laws pertaining to the regulation or use of the rights-of-way.
The provisions of this chapter shall be imposed upon and enforced against all persons requiring a permit from the Township.