The following Above Ground Facilities Specifications and Procedures (AGFSP) shall govern the approval process for the installation of above ground facilities (AGFs) in the public rights-of-way.
NON-COMPLIANCE WITH ABOVE GROUND FACILITY SPECIFICATIONS AND PROCEDURES
BOE is not the AGF Non-Compliance Enforcement agency. Enforcement is controlled by the Bureau of Street Services.
Violating the City of Los Angeles AGF Specifications and Procedures
Per LAMC 62.09, any person that violates the City’s Above Ground Facility Specifications and Procedures shall be subject to the monetary fines.
An AGF owner shall be subject to a fine of $500.00 per day, every calendar day for each AGF installation found to be in non-compliance with the AGF Specifications and Procedures. The maximum cumulative fine for noncompliance shall be $10,000 per AGF. The AGF owner shall be provided written notice containing the following:
- Location of the AGF installation
- Description of the non-compliance
- A demand to comply within 14 calendar days of the written notice
Non-Compliance of Above Ground Facility Specifications and Procedures
Failure by the AGF owner to take corrective action or respond within fourteen (14) calendar days shall result in the imposition of the fine for non-compliance. The following specific requirements of the AGF Specifications and Procedures shall be subject to the fine:
- Failure to obtain a valid Excavation “U” Permit prior to the installation of an AGF.
- Failure to install an AGF in conformance with the AGF Specifications and Procedures
- Failure to properly maintain landscaping designed to screen the AGF
- Failure to remove graffiti and posters from AGF cabinets.
- Failure to properly maintain AGF cabinet paint or surface treatment
- Failure to remove obsolete or unused AGF installations
- Failure to modify, retrofit, or relocate AGF installations that violate pedestrian passage requirements
Excessive Non-Compliance of Above Ground Facility Specifications and Procedures
Excessive Non-Compliance is determined when a specific AGF is found to be non-compliant more than three (3) times. This determination shall result in the placement of a hold on all current and future Excavation “U”, Excavation “E”, and Revocable Permits issued to the AGF owner until corrective action is taken and a revised mitigation plan is approved by the Board of Public Works.
EXEMPTIONS FROM THE ABOVE GROUND FACILITY SPECIFICATIONS AND PLANS (AGFSP)
- Installations on Private Property: AGF installations on private property shall be exempt from the AGFSP but subject to discretionary review by the Department of City Planning. (See Ordinance 174,132 amending LAMC Sections 15.7 , 12.04.05 , 12.04.09 , 12.12.1 , 18.104.22.168 , 12.17.6 , 12.21 , 12.24 .)
- Installations Below Existing Grade: Facilities installed in the public rights-of-way that do not have a structure, cabinet, electric meter, or other appurtenance above the existing surrounding grade shall be exempt from the AGFSP. Facilities installed below existing surrounding grade in the public rights-of-way shall be subject to BOE Utility, Excavation, and/or Revocable permit requirements.
- Pole-Mounted and Public Facilities: The following are NOT subject to the AGFSP (but subject to all other applicable requirements of law, including, but not limited to, the Joint Pole Agreement, LA DWP guidelines and BSS Rules and Regulations):
- Pole-mounted facilities
- Street light-mounted facilities
- Fire hydrants
- Air/vacuum valves
- Street light poles
- Utility poles
- Traffic and pedestrian control fixtures
- Other: The following are NOT subject to the AGFSP, except for the pedestrian passage retrofit requirements in LAMC 62.08.X.B. These facilities may also be subject to other BOE permit requirements:
- Temporary water service AGFs
- Sampling taps
- Water control appurtenances associated with water regulator stations
- Water flow meters
- Water valves
- Vent stacks related to maintenance holes and vaults
- The below grade requirements (detailed in this section) shall not apply to electric meters and telecommunications tie-in facilities installed to comply with the below grade requirements.
Applicant is required to comply with all Aesthetic Requirements as shown in LAMC 62.08.V - Aesthetic Requirements as well as the Board of Public Works Report BWP-2019-0252 - Formal Aesthetic Requirements for Variance from the Height Limit of thew Above Ground Facilities (AGF) Ordinance. Deviation from these requirements could render an application "incomplete".
Co-Location Requirement for Requests of Variance from Height Limits
Applicants will be required to comply the Board of Public Works Report dated July 31, 2019 - Co-Location Requirement for Requests of Variance from Height Limit of the Above Ground Facilities (AGF) Ordinance.
Public Safety Requirements
Per LAMC 62.08.VI-Public Safety Requirements, applicants will be required to comply with the entire section, summarized below:
- Major and Secondary Highway Pedestrian Passage
- Non-Major and Non-Secondary Highway Pedestrian Passage
- Pedestrian Passage Distances
- Minimum Curb Face Distances
- Vehicular Line of Sight and Sight Distance
- Proximity to Buildings, Houses, Structures
Future Street Improvement Requirements
Per LAMC 62.08.VII-Future Street Improvement Requirements, BOE staff shall determine the status of future street improvements for a proposed AGF installation and provide this information to the applicant. Applicants are hereby notified that future street lighting conduit installation may occur under a proposed AGF installation if the AGF foundation is located within four (4) feet of the distance from the curb face. Street lighting conduit is normally placed within a four (4) feet distance from the curb face. In general, AGF installations should not be located in areas proposed for future street improvements. However, if necessary, AGF installations may be allowed in areas designated for street improvement. All AGF owners, shall be responsible for the cost of relocation of their AGFs and appurtenant facilities in conflict with any future street improvement or driveway installation initiated by the City, unless the improvement is required as a condition of a permit issued to a developer.
Public Notification Requirements
Per LAMC 62.08.VIII - Notification of AGF Installation and the Board of Public Works Report dated September 27. 2019 - Requirement of Notify Occupants of the Installation of Above Ground Facilities, all applicants are required to comply with the notifications requirements.
Below Grade Requirements
Per LAMC 62.08, Section II.A, all proposed AGFs shall be installed below surrounding grade in each of the following areas:
- City Planning Specific Plans (SP) as defined in LAMC Sec. 11.5.7 unless specifically exempted by the Board of Public Works.
- Historical Preservation Overlay Zones (HPOZ) as defined in LAMC Sec. 12.20.3.
- Areas adjoining sites that have been designated as having historic significance. Historic sites are those identified as ZI 145-XXXX on the City of Los Angeles Zoning Map.
- Areas adjoining Open Space (OS) Zones as defined in LAMC Sec. 12.04.05.
- Along Scenic Highways as designated in the Transportation Element of the General Plan as developed by the City of Los Angeles City Planning Department.
- Pedestrian Oriented Districts (POD) as defined in LAMC Section 13.07.
- Community Design Overlay Districts (CDO) as defined in LAMC Section 13.08.
- Areas that have been designated by the Board of Public Works, upon the recommendation of the City Council, as “underground AGF areas.” The Board of Public Works may make this designation only in areas where all existing AGFs, as defined in Parts I. and IX.C, are currently underground or are required to be installed underground by law or contract. (Added by Ord. No. 175,366, Eff. 9/1/03.)
The applicant should submit their application to the City Planning Department and get approval if the proposed AGF is located within the following zones:
The City Planning Department (CPD) approval shall be based on the recommendations of the appropriate Design Review Board or HPOZ Board and must be obtained prior to submittal of any hardship waiver request to the Bureau of Engineering (BOE).
The City Engineer, upon request of the Review Board or City Planning Department, shall participate in any public meetings pertaining to hardship waivers in an advisory role regarding BOE Policy and the AGFSP.
Above Ground Allowance
Per LAMC 62.08, Section II.D, the AGF may be located above surrounding grade in the public rights of way in all locations not falling under the restrictions of LAMC 62.08, Section II.A. All AGF applications for locations outside the restricted areas shall be subject to all other applicable requirements of the AGFSP.
A Hardship Waiver will only be granted if the Board of Public Works finds that hardships would result from the imposition of the eight (8) requirements listed above. Hardship occurs when placing the AGF below grade is technically or financially infeasible and all reasonable alternatives have been exhausted.
- The Bureau of Engineering shall process an application for a hardship waiver within 45 days of submission. The 45-day process deadline shall commence when BOE verifies the application is accurate and complete.
- 2009 Declaratory Ruling, Section 3332(c)(7) - FCC 90 & 150 day shot clock ruling- effective 11/18/2009
In a nutshell ~ the City has stated as part of LAMC Section 62.08,III.C that “The review period many be extended if the permit application includes hardship waivers or variances as stated in LAMC Section 62.08.II.B.1, V.B, Section V.H”. However, the 2009 Declaratory FCC Ruling supersedes the City by stating the City must process the following:
- 90 days for the review of collocation applications
- 150 days for the review of siting applications other than collocations
- The lack of a decision with the above time frames constitutes a “failure to act” on which a service provider may commence an action in court (under Section 332(c)(7)(B)(v).
- FCC 60 day shot clock ruling – effective 4/18/2015: This ruling implements § 6409 of the Spectrum Act (codified at 47 U.S.C. 1455), which requires a State or local government to approve any eligible facilities request for a modification of an existing tower or base station that does not substantially change the physical dimensions of such tower or base station.
- 2009 Declaratory Ruling, Section 3332(c)(7) - FCC 90 & 150 day shot clock ruling- effective 11/18/2009
Board Reports on Hardship Waiver Requests
BOE staff shall prepare a Board Report regarding the application for a hardship waiver for consideration by the Board of Public Works. The Board Report shall include all of the following:
- A report prepared by the applicant detailing the technical infeasibility of complying with the AGFSP. If the applicant alleges financial infeasibility, a report prepared by the applicant detailing the financial infeasibility of complying with the AGFSP, including details on the estimated comparative cost of constructing the AGFaboveground and underground.
- A report prepared by, BOE that documents all comments received by those parties notified per LAMC 62.08, Section VII.D, including the Council District Office in which the AGF installation is proposed.
- A report prepared by the applicant containing evidence of the investigation of all reasonable private property alternatives and justification for not selecting any of those alternatives, if the proposed facility is within 200 feet of a commercial or manufacturing zone, C2, C4, C5, CM, MR1, M1, MR2, M2, and M3, as defined by LAMC Sections 12.14, 12.16, 12.17, 12.17.1, 12.17.5, 12.17.6, 12.18, 12.19, and 12.20, respectively. At least two private property alternatives must be documented to satisfy this requirement.
- A map prepared by the applicant indicating the service area for the proposed AGF, which demonstrates that no less than 50% of the AGFs benefit shall be specifically intended to service customers in the restricted area.
- A statement by BOE Staff that the applicant has completed all other requirements of the AGFSP, including copies of any reports or comments from the Planning Department.
APPLICABILITY TO EXISTING AGF INSTALLATIONS
Existing AGFs installed prior to the adoption of the AGFSP that need to be upgraded or repaired, shall be subject to these Specifications and Procedures if the upgrade or repair causes the AGF volume to increase by more than 10%.
- Pedestrian Passage Retrofit Requirements: All existing AGFs, including those identified in LAMC 62.08.IX.D (Exemptions from the Above Ground Facility Specifications and Plans, bullet D) , which were installed prior to the adoption of the AGFSP, shall be modified, retrofitted, or relocated to provide a minimum three (3) feet of unobstructed distance for pedestrian and wheelchair passage except in the following areas:
- Annual Retrofit Limits: All existing non-compliant AGFs shall comply with the Pedestrian Passage Retrofit Requirements within five (5) years of the adoption of this ordinance. During any 12-month period, each individual company shall relocate 20% of its initial total non-compliant AGFs or thirty (30) non-compliant AGFs, whichever is greater, to comply with the pedestrian passage provisions of this AGFSP.
- The Bureau of Engineering shall be responsible for coordinating with Council offices and City departments for prioritizing AGF relocation needs, with preference given toward locations with higher pedestrian traffic density or near public facilities, and submitting these requests to the respective companies.
- Upon notification from the City, an AGF owner shall have 180 days to complete the relocation. Non-compliant AGFs relocated pursuant to this section (LAMC 62.08.X.A) shall NOT be subject to the remaining provisions of the AGFSP, provided that the replacement AGF is located within 500 feet of the original AGF and the volume is not increased by more than 10%.
- Pedestrian Passage Compliance: Owners of existing AGFs shall be considered in compliance with the requirements of item A of this section (Pedestrian Passage Retrofit Requirements) when the conditions of item B (Annual Retrofit Limits) of this section are met. In the event an AGF owner is in default with the conditions of item B (Annual Retrofit Limits) of this section, compliance with the requirements of item A of this section (Pedestrian Passage Retrofit Requirements) shall take effect immediately and all provisions of Section IV will apply.
- Graffiti Mitigation and Cabinet Identification: Existing AGFs shall be subject to all requirements stated in the Aesthetic Requirements of LAMC 62.08.V.E and 62.08.V.F..
- AGF Locations: Owners of existing AGFs shall submit to the BOE a geographic location identifier (geocode) for all existing AGF installations within the City. The BOE will issue a registration number for each such AGF. New AGFs will be assigned a registration number at the time the AGF installation permit is issued. A registration fee, established by the Board of Public Works, may be assessed to implement the provisions of this section.