Letters to the Editor: July 10, 2009

Staking and aesthetics

The city’s staking for utility boxes and pedestals is incomplete and misleading because it gives no indication of any required walls. In some cases, the staking indicates only half the space eventually required, and many people will be astonished when they see the actual size and additional ground required and the heavy visual impact of the large bulk and mass. Homeowners can’t install such ugly fixtures or anything else near the street without Design Review Board review. Why is the city exempt?

We are shocked that the city can permit this huge project to proceed without oversight by the DRB. The equipment can easily be screened and integrated into front yards, and residents should demand that it be done. In most cases, the equipment is far uglier than wires. Each parcel will obtain an aesthetic view special benefit based on the positive impact upon the overall community appearance when the above-ground installations are hidden from view.

Just as the assessment formula equally allocates the total cost of improved safety and reliability among all properties, so also the added cost of visual screening should be divided uniformly. If the undergrounding propositions are to pass, they must offer our citizens something worth paying for. One of the reasons for proposing the huge project was to make our community look better, not worse!

Don and Carolyn Smith, Patricia Welsh, Nancy Ross, Mike and Helen Grundler

Del Mar