(a) Purpose. The City Council finds it is in the public interest and necessary for the comfort and convenience of the that all or newly installed, re-installed, located or re-located or newly constructed or re-constructed in the or in other public property be placed underground in order to promote and preserve the health, safety and general welfare of the public and to assure the orderly development of the .
(b) Undergrounding required. Where directed by the , newly installed, re-installed, located or re-located or newly constructed or re-constructed in the or in other public property held in common for public use must be located and maintained underground pursuant to the terms and conditions of this section and in accordance with applicable construction standards, subject to the following exceptions: above-ground installation, construction, modification or replacement of meters, gauges, transformers, street lighting, pad mount switches, capacitor banks, re-closers and service connection pedestals.
(c) Exceptions to undergrounding. The following exceptions to the strict application of this section may be allowed, at the discretion of the upon the conditions stated.
(1) Transmission lines. Above-ground installation, construction or placement of those commonly referred to as “high voltage transmission lines” shall be allowed unless the Council requires undergrounding of the after providing the notice and an opportunity to be heard. This provision shall not be construed as waiving the requirements of any other ordinance or regulation of the as the same may apply to any such proposed project.
(2) Technical/economic feasibility; promotion of policy. Above-ground installation, construction or placement of shall be allowed in residential, commercial and industrial areas where the Council, following consideration and recommendation by the Planning Commission, finds that:
(i) Underground placement would place an undue financial burden upon the landowner, ratepayers or or would deprive the landowner of the preservation and enjoyment of substantial property rights;
(ii) Underground placement is impractical or not technically feasible due to topographical, subsoil or other existing conditions which adversely affect underground placement; or
(iii) Failure to promote the purposes of undergrounding. The clearly and convincingly demonstrates that none of the purposes under this section would be advanced by underground placement of on the project in question, or the determines on its own review that undergrounding is not warranted based on the circumstances of the proposed undergrounding.
(3) Temporary service. Above-ground installation, construction or placement of temporary service lines shall only be allowed:
(i) During new construction of any project for a period not to exceed three months;
(ii) During an in order to safeguard lives or property within the ; or
(iii) For a period of not more than seven months when soil conditions make excavation impractical.
(d) Appeal. Within 30 days after a decision by the requiring the undergrounding of utilities, or , any requesting a waiver based upon one of the foregoing exceptions may appeal to the City Council for a determination. Any such appeal must be in writing and filed in the office of the . If no timely appeal is made, the decision of the shall become final.
(e) Existing utilities. The City Council may from time to time conduct public hearings to ascertain whether the public necessity, convenience, health or safety requires the removal of poles and overhead lines and associated overhead structures from some designated areas of the . For this purpose the shall notify all affected property owners as shown in the last recorded tax roll of the affected by such utility by mail of the time and place of such hearing at least 30 days prior to the date thereof. If after such hearing, the City Council finds that the public necessity, convenience, health or safety requires the removal, the Council shall by ordinance amending this code declare such an area as an underground utility district. Such ordinance shall include a description of the area comprising such district and shall fix the time within which such poles and overhead lines and associated overhead structures must be removed and within which affected property owners must be ready to receive underground service. The Council shall allow a reasonable time for such removal, having due regard for the availability of necessary labor, material and for such removal and for the installation of such underground as may be occasioned thereby. After the hearing described herein and adoption of the resulting ordinance, the shall cause to be delivered to all affected notice of the requirements of the ordinance.
(Ord. 98-54, passed 11-16-1998; Ord. 2006-32, passed 7-24-2006)