Town of Highlands, NY
Orange County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Highlands 4-10-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 167.

§ 192-1 Findings; legislative intent.

A. 
The Town Board hereby finds and determines that public utility companies place poles on Town of Highlands highways, streets, roads and rights-of-way to facilitate the delivery of electric, telephone, cable television, and other telecommunications services to the residents of the Town of Highlands.
B. 
The Town Board finds and determines that local governments have the authority to regulate their highways, streets, roads and rights-of-way to protect their public.
C. 
The Town Board finds and determines that utility poles are damaged from time to time.
D. 
The Town Board finds and determines that public safety can be compromised when utility lines and equipment remain affixed to utility poles that are weathered or otherwise damaged.
E. 
The Town Board finds and determines that when a new pole is installed, a utility's delay in removing lines and equipment from the old pole also delays the removal of the pole itself, which cause a proliferation of aesthetically unpleasant double poles along highways, streets, roads and rights-of-way, as well as obstruction of the paths of pedestrians.
F. 
The Town Board finds and determines that the interest of the public is best served by cooperation and communication between public utilities and the Town Board.
G. 
In enacting this chapter, the Town Board deems this chapter to be an exercise of the police power of the Town of Highlands for the preservation and protection of public safety and is enacted pursuant to the authority contained in the Highway Law, Town Law, and Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York.
H. 
Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to require utilities that use Town highways, streets, roads and rights-of-way to promptly remove their plants, cables, lines, equipment, and terminals from old and damaged poles and to further require the prompt removal of double poles once all plants, cables, lines, equipment, and terminals have been removed.

§ 192-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DANGEROUS OR DAMAGED POLE
Any utility pole that is structurally compromised due to weather, a traffic incident, and/or age and poses a potential threat to public safety.
DOUBLE POLE
Any utility pole which is attached or in close proximity to a new utility pole.
PLANT
The cables, terminals, conductors and other fixtures necessary for transmitting electric, telephone, cable television or other telecommunications service.
PUBLIC UTILITY
Any corporation, authority, or other entity that provides electric, telephone, cable television, or other service, including telecommunications service, to the residents of the Town of Highlands.
HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT
The Town of Highlands Highway Superintendent or his/her designee.
UTILITY POLE
A column or post used to support service lines for public utility.
WRITTEN NOTIFICATION or WRITTEN NOTICE
A writing directed to a representative or public utility who may be designated by the utility to receive such notice, sent by regular mail, facsimile transmission or electronic mail.

§ 192-3 Permit requirements.

No person, firm or corporation subject to the jurisdiction and regulation of the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) shall place or erect any pole for any purpose on any Town highway, street, road or right-of-way of said Town, or change the location of any existing pole on any Town highway, street, road or right-of-way of said Town without first having provided notification to the Town through the PSC required and accepted electronic notification system being utilized by said utilities.

§ 192-4 Departmental notification; time frame for removal.

A. 
When the Highway Superintendent issues a permit for the installation of a utility pole which is directly next to or in close proximity to another utility pole on a Town highway, street, road, or right-of-way, the Highway Superintendent will provide a written notice to the public utility which has the top plant on the double pole that the plant must be removed within 30 days or be subject to penalty. Upon removal of each plant, the Highway Superintendent shall provide written notice to the public utility that owns the subsequent plant on the pole that the plant must be removed within 30 days or be subject to penalty. The last utility to remove its plant is responsible for removing the double pole within an additional 30 days. Failure to comply with the requirements of this provision may result in penalties provided for in § 192-6 of this chapter.
B. 
When the Highway Superintendent determines that a utility pole on a Town highway, street, road or right-of-way is damaged and poses a potential threat to public safety, the Highway Superintendent shall provide a written notice to any public utility with a plant on the damaged pole that it must remove its plant from the pole within 15 days or be subject to penalty as provided for in § 192-6 of this chapter. The last utility to remove its plant is responsible for removing the damaged or double pole. Failure to comply with the requirements of this provision may result in penalties provided for in § 192-6 of this chapter. The affected utility may present documentary evidence to the Town in the form of a report from a licensed engineer certifying that the plant and/or pole is not a threat to public safety within 10 days from the date of the Superintendent's notification. In the event the Superintendent is satisfied that the plant and/or pole no longer poses a threat to safety, he/she shall have the discretion to withdraw the removal notice.
C. 
When the Highway Superintendent determines that a double pole is on a Town highway, street, road or right-of-way, the Highway Superintendent will provide a written notice to the public utility which has the top plant on the double pole that the plant must be removed within 30 days or be subject to penalty. Upon removal of each plant, the Highway Superintendent shall provide written notice to the public utility that owns the subsequent plant on the pole that the plant must be removed within 30 days or be subject to penalty. The last utility to remove its plant is responsible for removing the double pole within an additional 30 days. Failure to comply with the requirements of this provision may result in penalties provided for in § 192-6 of this chapter.

§ 192-5 Extensions authorized; temporary emergency suspension.

A. 
Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, the Highway Superintendent may extend the time frame of any written notice provided under this chapter for an additional period not exceeding the original statutory time frame set forth in this chapter. The public utility shall have a request for an extension, in writing, to the Highway Superintendent prior to the expiration of the time frame contained in the original written notice, together with the basis for the request. The Highway Superintendent shall determine whether the request for an extension should be granted or denied, and provide a written response to the public utility. In such instances where the request is granted, the Highway Superintendent shall issue another written notice, which shall be applicable instead of the previously issued notice.
B. 
In the event of an emergency that affects the repair, replacement, removal, or installation of utility poles or plants, the Town Supervisor may temporarily suspend the deadlines of § 192-4 of this chapter for periods exceeding 30 days.

§ 192-6 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
Any person, firm, corporation or public utility convicted of a violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation; for a first conviction, punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000; for a second or subsequent conviction, punishable by a fine not exceeding $2,000. Every day that the violation continues shall be deemed a separate violation.
B. 
Any public utility found guilty of violating this chapter and that fails to remove its plant from a damaged pole within 15 days of receiving notification from the Town, pursuant to this chapter, shall be punished by a fine of up to $250 for each such violation. Each day that the violation continues shall be deemed a separate violation. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this chapter, no such fines or penalties shall be assessed for violations of this chapter that have occurred within six months as a result of natural disasters, major weather events and similar circumstances affecting the Town.
C. 
Any public utility that fails to remove a double pole within 60 days of receiving notification from the Town, pursuant to this chapter, shall be punished by a fine of $3,000 per full calendar month that the violation continues.
D. 
If a person, firm or corporation or public utility violates the provisions of this chapter, the Town Attorney may commence an action in the name of the Town of Highlands in a court of competent jurisdiction seeking any remedy provided by law or equity, including any civil and/or injunction proceeding necessary to enforce compliance and/or enjoin noncompliance with this chapter. Such action may seek to remove damaged poles and/or double poles, or to remove plants from such poles, the imposition of civil penalties as theorized by this chapter, the recovery of costs of the action and such other remedies as may be necessary to prevent or enjoin a dangerous condition from existing on a Town highway, street, road or right-of-way.

§ 192-7 Applicability.

A. 
This chapter shall apply to all utility poles located on any Town highway, street, road or right-of-way, and to all utility poles installed hereafter.
B. 
The provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to supplement applicable state and local laws, ordinances, codes and regulations. Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to abolish, impair, supersede or replace existing remedies of the Town, county or state or existing requirements of any other applicable state or local laws, ordinances, codes or regulations. In case of conflict between any provisions of this chapter and any applicable state or local law, ordinance, code or regulation, the more restrictive or stringent provision or requirement shall prevail.