Chapter 13.16
FRANCHISES

Sections:

13.16.010    Franchise required.

13.16.020    Matters subject to franchise.

13.16.030    Franchises—Authority of council.

13.16.040    Franchise terms and considerations.

13.16.050    Franchise application.

13.16.060    Application fee.

13.16.070    Franchise—Call for bids discretionary.

13.16.080    Application—Referral.

13.16.090    Franchise—Notice of hearing.

13.16.100    Hearing.

13.16.110    Franchise bond.

13.16.120    Acceptance of franchise.

13.16.130    Franchise obligation of grantee.

13.16.140    Franchise assignment.

13.16.150    Special permits.

13.16.160    Application for special permit.

13.16.170    Special permits—Granting.

13.16.180    Special permits—Bond.

13.16.010 Franchise required.

No corporation, company, firm, partnership, public agency or district or political subdivision of the state shall exercise any franchise, permit or privilege mentioned herein except insofar as it may be entitled to do so by direct authority of the Constitution or general laws of the state of California or the Constitution or laws of the United States, in, upon, over, under or along any public place in the city, unless it shall have obtained a franchise or grant therefor in accordance with the provisions hereof and of any applicable provisions of the municipal code. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to:

A.    Invalidate any lawful franchise heretofore granted;

B.    Necessitate the obtaining of a new franchise for a use for which a current franchise holder shall have a valid unexpired franchise; or

C.    Apply to any system or facilities providing utility services (as enumerated in Section 13.16.020) within that portion of the city not located within the boundaries of the former Fort Ord Army base on the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter. (Ord. 97-8 § 1 (part), 1997)

13.16.020 Matters subject to franchise.

Except insofar as it may be entitled to do so by direct authority of the Constitution or general laws of California, or of the Constitution or laws of the United States, no corporation, firm, partnership, public agency or district or political subdivision of the state shall exercise any privilege or provide any utility services enumerated in this section unless it shall have been granted an appropriate franchise therefor by the city, namely:

A.    Construct, lay, maintain or operate pipes, tubes or conduits along, upon, over, in, under or across any public place in the city for the purpose of collecting, transmitting or distributing water, wastewater, gas, steam, or other substance or utility;

B.    Erect, construct, lay, maintain or operate poles, pipes, conduits, wires, cables, or appurtenances, upon, over, under, in, across or along any public place in the city for the purpose of transmitting or distributing power, electricity or electric energy, or for a communication by telephone, telegraph, or other system;

C.    Construct, maintain or operate any other plants or system necessary or convenient for furnishing the city and its inhabitants with transportation, communication, water, wastewater collection and disposal services, light, power or other public utility services.

The term “public place” as used herein shall be deemed to include any street, highway, lane, alley, court or other public place in the city. (Ord. 97-8 § 1 (part), 1997)

13.16.030 Franchises—Authority of council.

Pursuant to its constitutional, statutory and municipal code authority, the city council may grant and confirm franchises and privileges for all of the purposes enumerated herein to corporations, companies, firms, partnerships, public agencies or districts or political subdivisions of the state, whether operating under any existing franchise or not, upon such terms and conditions as are in the applicable provisions of the municipal code, and any ordinances adopted pursuant thereto, and may in such franchises impose such other and additional terms and conditions not in conflict with said municipal code or ordinances, whether governmental or contractual in character, as in the judgment of said council are in the public interest. (Ord. 97-8 § 1 (part), 1997)

13.16.040 Franchise terms and considerations.

A.    No franchise shall be granted without reserving to the city adequate consideration for the privilege conferred.

B.    Franchises may be granted either for a fixed or an indeterminate period. (Ord. 97-8 § 1 (part), 1997)

13.16.050 Franchise application.

A.    An applicant for any franchise above mentioned, shall file with the city council a verified application which shall state:

1.    The name of the applicant;

2.    The purpose and term, whether definite or indeterminate, for which the franchise shall be desired;

3.    The amounts and/or percentages, if any, applicant, if granted the franchise, will pay to the city during the life of such franchise;

4.    Any limitations as to time, place or type of services proposed by applicant; and

5.    Any other terms or conditions that applicant may desire, including surrender of existing franchises, or parts thereof, or claims to such franchises, or proposals to settle any litigation or controversies between applicant and the city.

B.    Franchise applications shall set forth such other information as the city council may require. (Ord. 97-8 § 1 (part), 1997)

13.16.060 Application fee.

Every application for a franchise, permit or privilege shall be accompanied by a cash deposit of not less than five hundred dollars, or by a certified check for said amount, payable to the city, as a fund out of which to pay all expenses connected with such application. The deposit of the applicant shall be retained until the acceptance of the franchise and the filing of any bond, or other security required or until the council determines not to grant the franchise. Thereupon the remainder, if any, of the five hundred dollars after the payment therefrom of all such expenses incurred by the city shall be returned to the applicant. (Ord. 97-8 § 1 (part), 1997)

13.16.070 Franchise—Call for bids discretionary.

The council may grant a franchise without calling for bids or may, in its discretion, advertise for bids for the sale of a franchise after notice inviting bids therefor upon a basis, not in conflict with the provisions of the municipal code, to be set out in advertisements for bids and notice of sale, provided that no bidding shall be had or required upon any renewal of a franchise, surrender of existing franchise or parts thereof, or in settlement of litigation between the grantee and the city. (Ord. 97-8 § 1 (part), 1997)

13.16.080 Application—Referral.

Every application made to the council for a franchise, privilege or permit mentioned herein shall, before any action is taken thereon, be referred by the council to the city manager and city attorney for their respective recommendations. Before making his recommendation to the council, the city manager shall obtain the recommendations of the director of public works and the planning director. (Ord. 97-8 § 1 (part), 1997)

13.16.090 Franchise—Notice of hearing.

A.    Upon receipt of the city manager’s recommendation, the council may pass a resolution declaring its intention to grant the franchise, stating the character of the same, setting forth a notice of the day, hour and place when and where any and all persons having any objection to the granting thereof may appear before the council and be heard thereon, and directing the city clerk to publish said notice at least once within fifteen days after the passage of said resolution. The time fixed for such hearing shall be not less than twenty nor more than sixty days after the date of the passage of said resolution.

B.    Such notice shall state the name of the applicant, the character of the franchise, its term, whether definite or indeterminate, the amounts and/or percentages, if any, grantee shall pay to the city during the life of such franchise, any limitations as to time, place or type of service proposed, the amount and character of any bond or other security required, together with an outline of the other major provisions of the proposed franchise. (Ord. 97-8 § 1 (part), 1997)

13.16.100 Hearing.

A.    At any time not later than the hour set for the hearing of objections, any person interested may make written protest stating objections against the granting of such franchise. Such protest must be signed by the protestant and be delivered to the city clerk. At the time set for hearing objections, the council shall proceed to hear and pass upon all protests so made and its decision shall be final and conclusive. The council may adjourn said hearing from time to time.

B.    If no protest in writing shall have been delivered to the clerk up to the hour set for hearing, or such protests as shall have been filed shall have been heard and determined by the council to be insufficient, or shall have been overruled or denied, the council may grant such franchise. Such franchise shall be granted by ordinance adopted in the manner prescribed by the municipal code. (Ord. 97-8 § 1 (part), 1997)

13.16.110 Franchise bond.

The council may require the grantee of any franchise to provide such bond or other security as it deems the public interest requires. (Ord. 97-8 § 1 (part), 1997)

13.16.120 Acceptance of franchise.

The grantee of any franchise granted hereunder shall within ten days after the franchise is granted, file with the city clerk a written acceptance of the terms and conditions thereof and any bond or other security required by the council. (Ord. 97-8 § 1 (part), 1997)

13.16.130 Franchise obligation of grantee.

The grantee of any franchise granted pursuant hereto shall:

A.    Construct, install and maintain all pipes, tubes, conduits, poles, wires, instrumentalities and appurtenances in accordance and in conformity with all of the lawful ordinances, rules and regulations theretofore or thereafter adopted by the city in the exercise of its police powers, and, as to state highways, subject to the provisions of general laws relating to the location and maintenance of such facilities therein;

B.    Pay to the city on demand the cost of all repairs to public property made necessary by any operations of the grantee under such franchise;

C.    Indemnify and hold harmless the city and its officers and employees from any and all liability for damages proximately resulting from any operations under such franchise; and

D.    Make such reports and permit such examinations of its records as the franchise may require. (Ord. 97-8 § 1 (part), 1997)

13.16.140 Franchise assignment.

No franchise, permit or privilege granted by the city shall be, in whole or in part, leased, assigned or otherwise disposed of, or transferred without the express consent of the city; provided, that nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the grantee from the city of such franchise permit or privilege from including it in a mortgage or trust deed without such express consent. (Ord. 97-8 § 1 (part), 1997)

13.16.150 Special permits.

A.    When the council shall find that an emergency exists and that public convenience and necessity require it, a special permit may be granted to any applicant for a franchise to permit such applicant to proceed with the relocation, extension, alteration or other change in existing facilities, except repairs or maintenance changes, which relocation, extension, alteration or other change in existing facilities by reason of such emergency should be made before the securing of a franchise is possible.

B.    Such special permit shall only be granted to an applicant for a franchise, and after the filing of the application for a franchise as provided herein. (Ord. 97-8 § 1 (part), 1997)

13.16.160 Application for special permit.

A.    An application for a special permit shall be filed in writing with the council setting forth such information as will permit action thereon. Reference in said application may be made to the application for a franchise for a description of the proposed extension, alteration or other change in existing facilities.

B.    Applications for special permits shall be referred to the city attorney and the city manager in the manner provided for applications for franchises. (Ord. 97-8 § 1 (part), 1997)

13.16.170 Special permits—Granting.

All such special permits shall be granted under the express condition that if a franchise under this chapter is not granted and accepted, all work done under such special permit shall be removed immediately at applicant’s expense and the streets or alleys or other public places affected by such work shall be placed in as good condition as before such work was done, all to the satisfaction of the director of public works. (Ord. 97-8 § 1 (part), 1997)

13.16.180 Special permits—Bond.

The council may require, as a condition to the granting of such special permits, that a bond of a kind and in an amount determined by it shall be furnished by applicant conditioned upon the faithful performance of the terms and conditions of the permit and further conditioned that applicant shall prosecute diligently to completion all work thereunder including removal work as hereinbefore provided. (Ord. 97-8 § 1 (part), 1997)