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Ord 134 Regulating electric and communication facilitiesORDINANCE NO. AN ORDINANCE REQUIRING THE UNDERGROUNDING OF ELECTRIC AND COMMUNICATION TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION FACILITIES; REQUIRING BUILDING PERMITS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION, RECONSTRUCTION, ERECTION, CONVERSION, ENLARGEMENT AND STRUCTURAL ALTERATION OF ELECTRIC AND COMMUNICATION TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION FACILITIES; PROVIDING FOR A PENALTY NOT EXCEEDING $100.00 FOR VIOLATION; AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY. WHEREAS, the Board of Aldermen finds that the Town of Westlake is a rural community consisting of ranch homes on large tracts of land, flanked on its north side by the prestigious country club development known as Trophy Club, and is relatively free of billboard signs and large electric, telephone and cable television transmission poles; and WHEREAS, the Board of Aldermen hereby determines that overhead electric and communication transmission and distribution lines which are visible from the public roads of the Town of Westlake create hazards, poor aesthetics, clutter and garishness, adversely affect the stability and value of property, produce degeneration of property with attendant deterioration of conditions affecting the peace, health and welfare of the Town, and destroy the proper relationship between the taxable value of the property and the cost of municipal services; and WHEREAS, the Board of Aldermen finds that electric and communication transmission and distribution lines which are erected above ground and which are visible from the public roads are visually offensive and pollute the scenic beauty of the Town of Westlake; and WHEREAS, the Board of Aldermen declares that it is the policy of the Town of Westlake to progress toward eventual undergrounding of all electrical and communication transmission and distribution facilities within the Town of Westlake; and WHEREAS, the Board of Aldermen finds that the public interest requires that, unless and until the Board of Aldermen should determine undergrounding of electric and communication transmission and distribution lines in any particular instance is not feasible or is inconsistent with sound environmental planning, overhead construction should not be authorized; and WHEREAS, in order to protect the health, safety, general welfare and environment of the citizens of the Town of Westlake it is necessary to regulate the installation and construction of all electric and communication transmission and distribution facilities within the corporate limits of the Town of Westlake; and WHEREAS, an emergency is apparent for the immediate preservation of the environment because one or more public utility companies is proposing to erect a series of ninety foot towers supporting high-tension wires carrying electricity to or through the Town of Westlake; therefore, this ordinance shall be effective from and after the date of its passage; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN OF THE TOWN OF WESTLAKE: OVERHEAD TRANSMISSION FACILITIES PROHIBITED Section 1. After the effective date of this Ordinance, no electric or communication utility, whether privately or publicly owned, shall install or reconstruct, or cause to be installed or reconstructed, any overhead electric or communication transmission or distribution facility which is capable of being seen from any public road within the Town of Westlake unless a showing is made before the Board of Aldermen and a finding made by the Board of Aldermen that undergrounding such facility would not be feasible or would be inconsistent with sound environmental planning. "Reconstruct" shall not include repairs or replacements of existing overhead facilities in the same location unless the visual impact would be significantly altered, but shall include moving to, or replacing at, a new location. SUBSTATIONS, ETC. TO BE CONCEALED Section 2. Substations, padmount transformer facilities, and similar padmount equipment shall be placed in vaults where feasible, and otherwise shall be concealed behind shrubbery or otherwise shall be placed out of sight of the public traveling on any public road within the Town of Westlake. BUILDING PERMI Section 3. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to commence the construction, reconstruction, erection, conversion, enlargement or structural alteration of any electric or communication transmission or distribution facility -2- in the Town of Westlake without first applying for and securing a building permit. Application shall be made on forms furnished by the Town Secretary. ENFORCEMENT Section 4. The provisions of this ordinance shall be administered and enforced by the Town Secretary of the Town of Westlake, or such other person as may be designated by the Board of Aldermen. All applications for building permits hereunder shall be accompanied by a plat, in duplicate, drawn to scale, showing the actual dimensions and location of the premises and the right-of-way to be built upon, the size, capacity and other pertinent characteristics of the facility to be erected, the purpose of same and such other information as may be necessary to fully inform the Board of Aldermen of the characteristics of the facility to be erected. A record of such applications and plats shall be kept in the office of the Town Secretary, or such other person as may be designated by the Board of Aldermen. PENALTY OF VIOLATION Section 5. Any person or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this ordinance or fail to comply therewith or with any of the requirements thereof, or who shall build or alter any facility or use any facility in violation of any detailed statement or plan submitted and approved hereunder, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction in the Municipal Court of the Town of Westlake, shall be subject to a fine not to exceed One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) for each offense and each day such violation shall be permitted to exist shall constitute a separate offense. The owner or owners of any right-of-way or premises or part thereof, where anything in violation of this ordinance shall be placed or shall exist, and any architect, builder, contractor, agent, person or corporation employed in connection therewith and who may have assisted in the commission of any such violations shall be guilty of a separate offense and, upon conviction, shall be fined as provided herein. VAT.TT)TTY Section 6. If any section, paragraph, subdivision, clause, phrase or provision of this ordinance shall be adjudged invalid or held unconstitutional, the same shall not affect the validity of this ordinance as a whole or any part or provision hereof, other than the part so decided to be invalid or unconstitutional. -3- REPEALING CLAUSE Section 7. All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict with this ordinance or any part thereof are hereby repealed. HEADINGS Section B. The headings contained in this ordinance are for convenience of reference only and do not constitute a part of this ordinance. ,� ou�erfs�' PASSED AND APPROVED this xt-sf ddy of February, 1985. ATTEST; Wanda G. Wh' e, Secretary Dale L. White, Mayor !m