Chapter 14.28: Underground Utility Lines
- 14.28.010 Definitions
- 14.28.020 When Underground Installation Required
- 14.28.030 Undergrounding of New Facilities
- 14.28.040 Exceptions
- 14.28.050 Temporary Utilities
- 14.28.060 Aboveground Appurtenant Equipment
- 14.28.070 In-Lieu Deposits
(a) "Service Lines" are defined for the purposes of this chapter as those electrical, telephone, cable or other utility conductors that extend from the "Distribution Lines" to the building, structure or improvement which consume or uses the utility service.
(b) "Distribution Lines" are defined for the purposes of this Chapter as those electrical utility conductors which are energized at 34, 500 volts or less, telephone, cable or other utility lines that supply utility product to "Service Lines".
(c) "Development" is defined for the purposes of this Chapter as the construction or the enlargement of any primary use building.
14.28.020 When Underground Installation Required
Except as provided in Section 14.28.040, underground installation is required for all electrical lines energized at 34,500 volts or less, telephone, cable, antenna television and similar service wires or cables which:
(a) provide direct service to the property being developed; or
(b) are existing and located within the boundaries being developed; or
(c) are existing between the property line and the centerline of the peripheral streets of the property being developed; or
(d) are located along or within six feet of the lot lines of the property being developed; or
(e) are located within the existing or required right-of-way for the project; or
(f) are relocated as a result of a project.
14.28.030 Undergrounding of New Facilities
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, all new Service and Distribution lines shall be constructed underground.
(a) The following exceptions shall apply, when and only when, a property owner signs an agreement agreeing not to protest the formation of a municipal underground utility district and further agreeing to prepare said property to accept underground utility lines in accordance with the applicable rules of the utility involved. Said agreement shall be recorded as an encumbrance against the land.
- Existing overhead Distribution lines will be permitted to remain in areas where these Distribution lines have existing overhead Service lines to adjacent lots.
(b) The enlargement of any primary use building which is either 50% of the habitable square footage or 1,000 square feet, whichever is less, for residential buildings, or 25% of the total square footage for commercial or industrial properties, shall not be subject to any of the requirements of this Chapter. (Ord. 138, adopted 06-14-94; Ordinance 245 10-9-2001)
14.28.050 Temporary Utilities
Temporary utilities along with the necessary poles, wires and cables may be permitted for the period during which a valid building permit has been issued or for temporary uses which comply with the requirements of the zoning ordinance, building code and other applicable regulations.
14.28.060 Aboveground Appurtenant Equipment
Appurtenances and associated equipment including, but not limited to, surface mounted transformers and switches, pedestal mounted terminal boxes and meter cabinets, and concealed ducts in an underground system may be placed aboveground unless the project is conditioned otherwise. Utility Service poles may be placed in the area within six (6) feet of the rear lot line of the property to be developed where overhead lines exist for the sole purpose of terminating underground facilities.
14.28.070 In Lieu Deposits
If technology or economics of scale require or permit a delay in the underground installation required in the application of this Chapter, then the cost of undergrounding shall be estimated by the Town and a cash deposit in the estimated amount shall be deposited with the Town. This cash deposit shall be placed into an underground utility fund and used solely for the purpose of undergrounding distribution lines as required by this Chapter throughout the Town. (Ord. 89, August 1991)
CHAPTER 14.38: Underground Utility Facilities
- 14.38.010 Purpose and Intent
- 14.38.020 Definitions
- 14.38.030 Public Hearing
- 14.38.040 Designation of Districts by Resolution
- 14.38.050 Unlawful Acts
- 14.38.060 Emergency or Unusual Circumstances
- 14.38.070 Exceptions
- 14.38.080 Notice to Property Owners and Utility Companies
- 14.38.090 Responsibility of Utility Companies
- 14.38.100 Property Owner Responsibility
- 14.38.110 Service of Notice
- 14.38.120 Contents of Notice
- 14.38.130 Failure to Provide Facilities--Work Completion--Report--
- 14.38.140 Hearing--Notice
- 14.38.150 Hearing--Council Decision
- 14.38.160 Assessment--Lien
- 14.38.170 Responsibility of City
- 14.38.180 Extension of Time
14.38.010 Purpose and Intent
It is the purpose and intent of this ordinance to provide for the orderly removal of existing overhead facilities and the construction of new underground facilities by providing a procedure by which the council may create an underground utility district upon finding that it is in the public interest to do so.
Wherever in this chapter the words or phrases hereinafter in this section defined are used, they shall have the respective meanings assigned to them in the following definitions:
- "Commission" means the Public Utilities Commission of the State of California.
- "Person" means and includes individuals, firms, corporations, partnerships, and their agents and employees;
- "Poles, overhead wires and associated overhead structures" means poles, towers, supports, wires, conductors, guys, stubs, platforms, crossarms, braces, transformers, insulators, cutouts, switches, communication circuits, appliances, attachments and appurtenances located above ground within a district and used or useful in supplying electric, communication or similar or associated service;
- "Underground utility district" or "district" means that area in the town within which poles, overhead wires, and associated overhead structures are prohibited as such area is described in a resolution adopted pursuant to the provisions of Section 14.38.040.
- "Utility" includes all persons or entities supplying electric, communication or similar or associated service by means of electrical materials or devices.
14.38.030 Public Hearing
(a) The council may from time to time call public hearings to ascertain whether the public necessity, health, safety or welfare requires the removal of poles, overhead wires, and associated overhead structures within designated areas of the Town and the underground installation of wires and facilities for supplying electric, communication, or similar or associated service. The Town Clerk shall notify all affected property owners as shown on the last equalized assessment roll and utilities concerned by mail of the time and place of such hearings at least fifteen (15) days prior to the date thereof. Each such hearing shall be open to the public and may be continued from time to time. At each such hearing, all persons interested shall be given an opportunity to be heard. The decision of the council shall be final and conclusive. (Section Amended per Ordinance 224 dated 6-13-00).
(b) Prior to holding such public hearing, the Town Engineer shall consult with all affected utilities and shall prepare a report for submission at such hearing containing, among other information, the extent of such utilities' participation and estimates of the total costs to the Town and affected property owners. Such reports shall contain an estimate of the time required to complete such underground installation and removal of overhead facilities.
14.38.040 Designation of Districts by Resolution
If, after any such public hearing, the council finds that the public necessity, health, safety or welfare requires such removal and such underground installation within a designated area, the council shall, by resolution, declare such designated area an underground utility district and include a description of the area comprising such district and shall fix the time within which such removal and underground installation shall be accomplished and within which affected property owners must be ready to receive underground service. A reasonable time shall be allowed for such removal and underground installation, having due regard for the availability of labor, materials and equipment necessary for such removal and for the installation of such underground facilities as may be occasioned thereby.
14.38.050 Unlawful Acts
Whenever the council creates an underground utility district and orders the removal of poles, overhead wires and associated overhead structures therein as provided in Section 14.38.040, it is unlawful for any person or utility to erect, construct, place, keep, maintain, continue, employ, or operate poles, overhead wires and associated overhead structures in the district after the date when said overhead facilities are required to be removed by such resolution, except as said overhead facilities may be required to furnish service to an owner or occupant of property prior to the performance by such owner or occupant of the underground work necessary for such owner or occupant to continue to receive utility service as provided in Sections 14.38.100 through 160, and for such reasonable time required to remove said facilities after said work has been performed, and except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
14.38.060 Emergency or Unusual Circumstances
Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, overhead facilities may be installed and maintained for a period, not to exceed ten days, without authority of the council in order to provide emergency service. The council may grant special permission, on such terms as the council may deem appropriate, in cases of unusual circumstances, without discrimination as to any person or utility, to erect, construct, install, maintain, use or operate poles, overhead wires and associated overhead structures.
In any resolution adopted pursuant to Section 14.38.040, the Town may authorize any or all of the following exceptions:
- Any municipal facilities or equipment installed under the supervision and to the satisfaction of the Town Engineer;
- Poles, or electroliers used exclusively for street lighting;
- Overhead wires (exclusive of supporting structures) crossing any portion of a district within which overhead wires have been prohibited, or connecting to buildings on the perimeter of a district, when such wires originate in an area from which poles, overhead wires and associates overhead structures are not prohibited;
- Poles, overhead wires and associated overhead structures used for the transmission of electric energy at nominal voltages in excess of thirty-four thousand five hundred volts;
- Overhead wires attached to the exterior surface of a building by means of a bracket or other fixture and extending from one location on the building to another location of the same building or to an adjacent building without crossing any public street;
- Antennae, associated equipment and supporting structures, used by a utility for furnishing communication services;
- Equipment appurtenant to underground facilities, such as surface mounted transformers and switches, pedestal mounted terminal boxes and meter cabinets, and concealed ducts;
- Temporary poles, overhead wires and associated overhead structures used or to be used in conjunction with construction projects.
14.38.080 Notice to Property Owners and Utility Companies
(a) Within thirty days after the effective date of a resolution adopted pursuant to Section 14.38.040, the town Clerk shall notify all affected utilities and all persons owning real property within the district created by said resolution of the adoption thereof. The Town Clerk shall further notify such affected property owners of the necessity that, if they or any person occupying such property desire to continue to receive electric, communication, or similar or associated service, they or such occupant, shall provide all necessary facility changes on their premises so as to receive such service from the lines of the supplying utility or utilities at a new location.
(b) Notification by the Town Clerk shall be made by mailing a copy of the resolution adopted pursuant to Section 14.38.040, together with a copy of the ordinance codified in this chapter, to affected property owners as such are shown on the last equalized assessment roll and to the affected utilities.
14.38.090 Responsibilities of Utility Companies
If underground construction is necessary to provide utility service within a district created by any resolution adopted pursuant to Section 14.38.040, the supplying utility shall furnish that portion of the conduits, conductors, and associated equipment required to be furnished by it under its applicable rules, regulations and tariffs on file with the commission.
14.38.100 Property Owner Responsibility
Every person owning, operating, leasing, occupying or renting a building or structure within a district shall construct and provide that portion of the service connection on his property between the facilities referred to in Section 14.38.090 and the termination facility on or within said building or structure being served. If the above is not accomplished by any person within the time provided for in the resolution enacted pursuant to Section 14.38.040, the Town Engineer shall give notice in writing to the owner thereof as shown on the last equalized assessment roll, to provide the required underground facilities within thirty days after receipt of such notice.
14.38.110 Service of Notice
The notice to provide the required underground facilities may be given either by personal service or by mail. In case of service by mail, the notice must be deposited in the United States mail in a sealed envelope with postage prepaid, addressed to the person in possession of such premises at such premises, and the notice must be addressed to the owner thereof as such owner's name appears, and must be addressed to such owner's last known address as the same appears on the last equalized assessment roll, and when no address appears, to General Delivery, Town of Apple Valley. If notice is given by mail such notice shall be deemed to have been received by the person to whom it has been sent within forty-eight hours after the mailing thereof. If notice is given by mail to either the owner or occupant of such premises, the town engineer shall, within forty-eight hours after the mailing thereof, cause a copy thereof, printed on a card not less than eight inches by ten inches in size, to be posted in a conspicuous place on said premises.
14.38.120 Contents of Notice
The notice given by the Town Engineer to provide the required underground facilities shall particularly specify what work is required to be done, and shall state that if said work is not completed within thirty days after receipt of such notice, the Town Engineer will provide such required underground facilities, in which case the cost and expense thereof will be assessed against the property benefited and become a lien upon such property.
14.38.130 Failure to Provide Facilities--Work Completion--Report--Hearing
If upon expiration of the thirty-day period, the said required underground facilities have not been provided, the Town Engineer shall forthwith proceed to do the work with his own force or may let a contract for the work provided, however, if such premises are unoccupied and no electric or communications services are being furnished thereto, the Town Engineer shall in lieu of providing the required underground facilities, have the authority to order the disconnection and removal of any and all overhead service wires and associated facilities supplying utility service to said property. Upon completion of the work by the Town Engineer, the Town Engineer shall file a written report with the Town Council setting forth the fact that the required underground facilities have been provided and the cost thereof, together with a legal description of the property against which such cost is to be assessed. The council shall thereupon fix a time and place for hearing protests against the assessment of the cost of such work upon such premises, which said time shall not be less than ten days thereafter.
The Town Engineer shall forthwith, upon the time for hearing such protests having been fixed, give a notice in writing to the person in possession of such premises, and a notice in writing thereof to the owner thereof, in the manner hereinabove provided for the giving of the notice to provide the required underground facilities, of the time and place that the council will pass upon such report and will hear protests against such assessment. Such notice shall also set forth the amount of the proposed assessment.
14.38.150 Hearing--Council Decision
Upon the date and hour set for the hearing of protests, the council shall hear and consider the report and all protests, if there be any, and then proceed to affirm, modify or reject the assessment.
If any assessment is not paid within ten days after its confirmation by the council, the amount of the assessment shall become a lien upon the property against which the assessment is made by the Town Engineer, and the Town Engineer is directed to turn over t the assessor and tax collector a notice of lien on each of said properties on which the assessment has not been paid, and the assessor and tax collector shall add the amount of said assessment to the next regular bill for taxes levied against the premises upon which said assessment was not paid. Said assessment shall be due and payable at the same time as said property taxes are due and payable, and if not paid when due and payable, shall bear interest at the rate of ten percent per annum.
14.38.170 Responsibility of Town
The town shall remove at its own expense all town-owned equipment from all poles required to be removed hereunder in ample time to enable the owner or user of such poles to remove the same within the time specified in the resolution enacted pursuant to Section 14.38.040.
14.38.180 Extension of Time
In the event that any act required by this chapter or by a resolution adopted pursuant to Section 14.38.040 cannot be performed within the time provided on account of shortage of materials, war, restraint by public authorities, strikes, labor disturbances, civil disobedience, or any other circumstances beyond the control of the actor, then the time within which such act will be accomplished shall be extended for a period equivalent to the time of such limitation. (Ord. 95, November 1991)