Utility boxes in PHR have neighbors upset


Utility boxes lining Village Center Loop Road have some residents urging the city to develop better standards and guidelines about placement and restoration work.

“This is supposed to be a walking town center,” resident Karen Dubey said. “It’s ugly and it’s not very walkable.”

She also said there was a mess left behind after two recent installations.

Tim Nguyen, an associate planner with the city, said utility boxes are a big issue for the city right now and noted that Bennur Koksuz, the new deputy planning who leads the urban form division, plans to make the issue a priority.

The sidewalks in Pacific Highlands Ranch are doublewide and boxes are located on one side of the sidewalk.

“This is something the community cares about,” Dubey said.

Mel Milstein, a representative for District 1 Councilmember Sherri Lightner, visited the site last week.

The two boxes that were installed most recently were for San Diego Gas & Electric near Canyon Crest Academy and an AT&T box in the Airoso development.

Dubey said the crews left behind wires but later picked them up after installing the AT&T box, which is near her home. The concrete was also sloppily repaired, she said.

After installing the SDG&E box, crews only repainted some of the street and crosswalk lines and didn’t repaint the curb red. They also broke a tree grate without fixing it.

Scott Tillson, a member of the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board, said that the city’s standard is for utility companies to restore sidewalks to the quality they were before.

Unfortunately, he said, Pacific Highlands Ranch is not the only area of Carmel Valley where quality repairs have not been done made.