...By Gift BADEWO for TDPel Media.
Couple Furious After Energy Company Erects Giant Utility Pole in Front of Their Home
A couple in Montrose, Houston, Texas, who recently purchased their dream home have been left angry after CenterPoint Energy erected a giant utility pole in front of their house.
The three-foot metal pole was installed as part of an ongoing project to upgrade transmission structures in the area.
The couple, who chose to remain anonymous, likened the wide column to a ‘trampoline’ and described it as an eyesore.
Local residents are also perplexed as to why the giant pole had to be installed so close to homes in the leafy green neighbourhood.
Residents Express Their Concern
Neighbors have been left worried that the pole will decrease the value of properties around it, and some people have expressed concern that the pole is a safety hazard for drivers and pedestrians crossing the road.
A spokesperson for CenterPoint Energy defended the structure, saying that they were not required to contact residents before taking on such mammoth tasks.
The structures are located in the City of Houston’s road right-of-way.
The City of Houston said that the State of Texas gives public utilities the right to construct equipment on public rights-of-way within neighborhoods under section 181.042.
Texas Law and Regulations
Under the Texas Constitution and Statutes, Utilities Code 181.042 gives the state authority to construct, maintain, and operate lines.
It outlines that an electric utility has the right to construct, maintain, and operate lines over, under, across, on, or along a state highway, a county road, a municipal street or alley, or other public property in a municipality.
This gives companies like CenterPoint Energy the right to install such constructions outside of properties and homes without contacting locals before building.
CenterPoint Energy Apologizes
A spokesperson for CenterPoint Energy said that they should have engaged with their neighbours before installing the pole and that they will ensure such communications occur in the future.
The City of Houston is investigating any enforcement actions that may be available to them, including legal action against CenterPoint if they find a violation of any kind.
While the pole may be necessary for infrastructure, the couple and residents’ concerns about the placement of the pole and its effect on property values are understandable.