Chapter 5.48


5.48.010    Definitions.

5.48.020    Erection and maintenance regulations.

5.48.030    Street committee’s decision.

5.48.040    Separate lines.

5.48.050    Compensation due owners when.

5.48.010 Definitions.

“Public utility” as used in this chapter means and includes any person, firm or corporation either public or private, which uses the streets and alleys and other public places of the city, whether by franchise or otherwise, for the erection and maintenance of poles and wires for the transmission of electric energy or of telephone or telegraph messages or television programs. (Ord. 187 § 1, 1953)

5.48.020 Erection and maintenance regulations.

Except as hereinafter provided it is unlawful for any public utility engaged in the business of furnishing electric light and power, telegraph and telephone or television service, to hereinafter erect and maintain any poles in the city except in conformity with the following regulations:

(1) Except as hereinafter provided or as may be prohibited by state laws, including applicable regulations of the Department of Labor and Industries, all public utilities operating in the city shall use jointly the same poles whenever such utilities occupy the same street or streets or alley or alleys, in the city or parts thereof;

(2) Poles between street intersections shall be erected at the property line whenever possible;

(3) All new pole lines, particularly in new subdivisions, shall be erected in alleys or on private rights-of-way off streets wherever possible and practical;

(4) Whenever the adequacy of service or safety of the public shall render it necessary or advisable, the city council, by written permit, may allow the installation of separate pole structures on opposite sides of the streets and avenues, and public utilities shall have the right to install guy stubs and anchors on opposite sides of such streets and avenues in conformity with the provisions of such written permit; provided, however, such written permit shall be granted only in cases where there is no other reasonable way to adequately maintain the stability of the pole structures or to avoid hazards to the general public;

(5) All poles hereafter erected or replaced by any public utility in the city shall be tank treated cedar poles;

(6) Poles in the city shall not hereafter be stubbed by any public utility, nor shall any stubbed poles be replaced except by the written permit of the city council. (Ord. 187 § 2, 1953)

5.48.030 Street committee’s decision.

The provisions of this chapter shall apply to the erection, installation, maintenance and operation of all public utility poles, pole lines, circuits, or conductors erected or installed from and after 1953, except replacement of damaged poles made necessary for public safety, and all other such facilities heretofore installed and existing and in place as of 1953 shall be made to conform to such provisions not later than January 1, 1968; provided, however, that WMC 5.48.020(5) and (6) shall apply to the replacement and maintenance of all public utility poles.

If the public utilities involved are unable to reach an agreement within 30 days after negotiations are started as to which utility or utilities’ poles are to be jointly occupied and which are to be abandoned prior to January 1, 1968, then and in that event the matter may be referred by either utility or utilities to the street committee of the city council. Upon request by either utility or utilities the street committee shall render a decision within 30 days after referral to its members. Such decision shall be by majority vote of the members and shall be final and binding upon all parties. (Ord. 187 § 3, 1953)

5.48.040 Separate lines.

Where compliance with this chapter would compel any public utility engaged in the telephone or television business to jointly occupy with its lines any poles carrying electric power conductors energized at a voltage in excess of 13,000 volts alternating current between conductors, or 7,500 volts to neutral or ground, such company shall be permitted to construct and maintain a separate pole line in a separate location from that occupied, or to be occupied by such power poles. It is further; provided, that where poles are jointly occupied by power and telephone and/or telegraph lines the power voltage shall not exceed the limits above described except by written permission of the other joint users involved. Where, in accordance with provisions of this section, a separate telephone or telegraph or television line or other structure is maintained separate and apart from pole lines supporting power lines, nothing in this chapter prohibits the occupancy of the telephone poles or other structures by local or exchange telephone facilities. The erection of poles on any new streets which may hereafter be established shall be in such locations as shall be determined by the street committee of the city council. (Ord. 187 § 4, 1953)

5.48.050 Compensation due owners when.

Whenever compliance with this chapter compels any public utility to attach its wires and facilities to poles owned by another utility or utilities, the owner or owners of such poles shall be entitled to just and reasonable compensation for their use by the new occupant, including the cost of resulting readjustment, if any, of existing facilities on such poles, such compensation and cost to be determined by agreement among the interested public utilities, if possible. Failure to reach such agreement shall not, however, postpone or delay the obligation of utilities affected hereby to comply herewith, leaving the question of compensation to be adjudicated in such action or actions as the public utilities interested may institute for such purpose. (Ord. 187 § 5, 1953)