City Of Fort Wayne Establishes Underground And Buried Utility District

The City of Fort Wayne’s Board of Public Works today provided protections for property owners regarding the placement of new utility poles in the public right-of-way.

In response to residents’ growing concerns about the placement of large utility poles and in light of recently passed legislation by the Indiana General Assembly regulating such placement for the use of small cell technology, the Board designated the City’s right-of-way to be an area where new utilities must be underground or buried.

The Board found that it was in residents’ best interest of public health, safety, and general welfare to prohibit the erection of all utility, wireless and other poles, support structures, overhead lines, and associated overhead structures for electric, communication, or other services. The Board also authorized collocation of utilities on existing structures and the replacement of existing poles.

The City appreciates, wants, and needs the technology that can result from cell towers. However, without today’s action, the City would have had very limited control over the public right-of-way for the placement of utility poles.