CHAPTER 7
ELECTRICITY

Article I. In General.

7.1 Electrical Code - adoption by reference.

Repealed by Ord. No. 99-9, § 8. See Chapter 5, Sec. 5.7

7.2 Same - Amendments.

Repealed by Ord. No. 99-9, § 8. See Chapter 5, Sec. 5.7

7.3 Repealed by Ord. No. 79-28, § 3.

Article II. Underground utilities.

7.4 Purpose of article.

It shall be the intent and purpose of this article to provide for the public necessity, health, safety or general welfare through the establishment of procedures for the underground installation of wires and facilities for the supply and distribution of electric, communication or similar or associated services. (Ord. No. 66-9, § 1.)

7.5 Required; exceptions.

Public or private utility, transmission or distribution lines, wires or cables, to be installed within and for the purpose of serving new subdivisions and all other undeveloped or redeveloped parcels of land shall be placed underground. There shall be no poles, overhead wires or associated overhead structures installed except poles without overhead wires used exclusively for street lighting, fire alarm boxes or other municipal equipment installed under supervision of and to the satisfaction of the director of public works. The subdivider or developer shall be held responsible to make the necessary arrangements with the utility companies. This section does not apply to:

a.    High voltage transmission lines transmitting electricity of fifty thousand volts or more.

b.    Equipment appurtenant to underground facilities, such as surface mounted transformers, pedestal mounted terminal boxes and meter cabinets and concealed ducts.

c.    Wires attached to the exterior walls of a building for the purpose of interconnecting communication facilities within the building.

The city council may grant special permission on such terms as it may deem appropriate for installation of the "streamlined" underground electrical distribution system, and in cases of emergency or extreme hardship without discrimination as to any person or utility company to erect, construct, install, maintain, use, or operate poles and overhead wires and associated overhead structures notwithstanding any other provisions of this article. Application for such special permission shall be filed with the director of public works and shall be transmitted by the city manager to the city council, along with any recommendations which he may have concerning the granting or denial of such application. (Ord. No. 66-9, §§ 2, 3.)

7.6 Penalty for violation of article.

Any person who shall fail to comply with the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punishable by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars nor more than six months in the county jail. Each consecutive fifteen day period in which the failure to comply with the provisions hereof shall constitute a separate offense. (Ord. No. 66-9, § 4.)

7.7 Definitions.

Whenever the words or phrases hereinafter in this section defined are used, they shall have the respective meanings assigned to them in the following definitions:

City. The City of Fairfield, a municipal corporation of the state of California.

Commission. The public utilities commission of the state.

Council. The city council of the City of Fairfield.

Person. Includes individuals, firms, corporations, partnerships, and their agents and employees.

Poles and overhead wires and associated overhead structures. Poles, towers, supports, wires, conductors, guys, stubs, platforms, crossarms, braces, transformers, insulators, cutouts, switches, communication circuits, appliances, and all other attachments and appurtenances located aboveground and used or useful in supplying electric, communication or similar or associated service.

Underground utility district or districts. That area in the city within which poles, overhead wires, and associated overhead structures are prohibited as such area is described in an ordinance adopted pursuant to the provisions of section 7.9.

Utility. Includes all persons or entities supplying electric, communication or similar or associated service by means of electrical materials or devices. (Ord. No. 68-6.)

7.8 Public hearing by council.

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 and overhead wires and associated overhead structures within designated areas of the city and the underground installation of wires and facilities for supplying electric, communication, or similar or associated service. The city engineer shall notify all affected property owners and utilities by mail of the time and place of such hearings at least thirty 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. (Ord. No. 68-6.)

7.9 Provision for removal of overhead structures; underground installation of structures.

If after any such public hearing the council finds that the public necessity, health, safety or welfare requires such removal and such underground installation, the council, shall by ordinance establish an underground district. The ordinance shall designate the area from which such poles and overhead wires and associated overhead structures must be removed and such underground installation made, and shall fix the time within which such work must be done. A reasonable time shall be allowed for such removal and underground installation, having due regard for the availability of necessary labor, materials and equipment for such removal and for the installation of such underground facilities as may be occasioned thereby. (Ord. No. 68-6.)

7.10 Unlawful acts.

Whenever the council orders the removal of poles and overhead structures by establishing an underground district as provided in section 7.9, it shall be unlawful for any person or utility to erect, construct, place, keep, maintain, continue, employ or operate any pole, overhead wire or associated overhead structure in the designated area after the date when such overhead facilities are required to be removed, except as such overhead facilities may be required to furnish service to an owner or occupant of property prior to the performance by such owner or occupant or the city engineer of the underground work necessary for such owner or occupant to continue to receive utility service as provided in sections 7.16 and 7.16.2, required to remove such facilities after such work has been performed, except as otherwise provided in this article. (Ord. No. 68-6.)

7.11 Exceptions Emergency or unusual circumstances.

The council may grant special permission, on such terms as the council may deem appropriate, in cases of emergency or unusual circumstances without discrimination to any person or utility, to erect, construct, install, maintain, use or operate poles and overhead wires and associated overhead structures, notwithstanding any other provisions of this article. The grant of such special permission may include, but need not be limited to, the right to erect, construct, install, maintain, use, or operate an electric distribution system consisting of metal poles supporting high voltage wires, switches, transformers and street lights, with all other facilities for the supplying and distribution of electric energy and service placed underground. (Ord. No. 68-6.)

7.12 Same Municipal equipment, street lighting and traffic control devices.

The provisions of this article shall not apply to poles used exclusively for fire alarm boxes or any other municipal equipment installed under the supervision and to the satisfaction of the city engineer, or to poles and associated overhead structures used exclusively for street lighting and traffic control devices or by any other duly constituted public agency authorized to provide such street light and traffic control devices within city. (Ord. No. 68-6.)

7.13 Same other exceptions.

This article and any ordinance adopted pursuant to section 7.9 shall not apply to the following types of facilities:

(a)    Overhead wires (exclusive of supporting structures) crossing any portion of an underground district from which overhead wires have been prohibited, or connecting to buildings on the perimeter of such portion, when such wires originate in an area from which poles and overhead wires and associated overhead structures are not prohibited.

(b)    Radio and TV antennae, their associated equipment and supporting structures.

(c)    Equipment appurtenant to underground facilities, such as surface mounted transformers, pedestal mounted terminal boxes and meter cabinets, and concealed ducts.

(d)    Overhead wires and supporting structures of transmission lines rated at fifty thousand volts and above.

(e)    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 on the same building.

(f)    Temporary poles, overhead wires and associated overhead structures used or to be used in conjunction with construction projects. (Ord. No. 68-6; Ord. No. 68-8, § 1.)

7.14 Notice to property owners and utility companies.

Within ten days after the effective date of an ordinance pursuant to section 7.9, the city engineer shall notify all affected utilities and all persons owning real property within an area designated in such ordinance of the adoption thereof.

The city engineer 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, subject to applicable rules, regulations and tariffs of the respective utility or utilities on file with the commission.

Notification by the city engineer shall be made by mailing a copy of the ordinance, along with a reference to the appropriate sections of this code, to the affected utilities and to affected property owners as such is shown on the last equalized assessment roll of the county. (Ord. No. 68-6.)

7.15 Responsibility of utility companies.

If underground construction is necessary to provide utility service within the area affected by any ordinance adopted pursuant to section 7.9, 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. Underground construction by the utility shall be accomplished in accordance with established construction standards and in accordance with the rules and regulations authorized by the commission. (Ord. No. 68-6.)

7.16 Responsibility of property owner; notice.

Every person owning, operating, leasing, occupying or renting a building or structure within an underground district shall perform construction and provide that portion of the service connection on his property between the facilities referred to in section 7.15 and the termination facility on or within such building or structure being served, all in accordance with applicable rules, regulations and tariffs of the respective utility or utilities on file with the commission. If the above is not accomplished by any person within the time provided for in the ordinance adopted pursuant to section 7.9, the city engineer shall give notice in writing to the person in possession of such premises, and a notice in writing to the owner thereof, to provide the required underground facilities within ten days after receipt of such notice. (Ord. No. 68-6.)

7.16.1 Service of notice.

Notice pursuant to section 7.16 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 of the county (mailing only secondary). 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 city 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 such premises. (Ord. No. 68-6.)

7.16.2 Contents of notice.

The notice given pursuant to section 7.16 shall particularly specify what work is required to be done, and shall state that if such work is not completed within ten days after receipt of such notice the city 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. (Ord. No. 68-6.)

7.16.3 Performance of work by city; assessment.

If upon the expiration of the ten day period specified in section 7.16.2, the required underground facilities have not been provided, the city engineer shall forthwith proceed to do the work; provided, however, if such premises are unoccupied and no electricity is being furnished thereto, the city engineer may, in lieu of providing the required underground facilities, order the disconnection of all existing connections used for furnishing electric and communication services to such premises. Upon completion of the work by the city engineer he shall file a written report with the 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 premises, which time shall be not less than ten days thereafter. (Ord. No. 68-6.)

7.16.4 Assessment Notice of.

The city 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 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 the report of the city engineer and will hear protests against such assessment. Such notice shall also set forth the amount of the proposed assessment. (Ord. No. 68-6.)

7.16.5 Same Hearing and confirmation.

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. (Ord. No. 68-6.)

7.16.6 Same Lien against property.

If any assessment is not paid within five 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 city engineer, and the city engineer is directed to turn over to the assessor and tax collector for the city a notice of lien on each of such properties on which the assessment has not been paid, and the assessor and tax collector shall add the amount of such assessment to the next regular bill for taxes levied against the premises upon which such assessment was not paid. The assessment shall be due and payable at the same time as the property taxes are due and payable, and if not paid when due and payable, shall bear interest at the rate of six per cent per annum. (Ord. No. 68-6.)

7.17 Responsibility of city.

The city shall remove at its own expense all city owned equipment from all poles required to be removed hereunder in ample time to enable the owner or use of such poles to remove the same within the time specified in the ordinance adopted pursuant to section 7.9. (Ord. No. 68-6.)

7.18 Extension of time.

In the event that any act hereby required of any party herein referred to cannot be performed within the time herein provided on account of shortage of materials, war, restraint by public authorities, strikes, labor disturbances, 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 limitations. (Ord. No. 68-6.)