A couple who just moved into their dream home were left outraged after an energy firm erected a giant utility pole just feet from their house.
The three foot wide metal pole that looms over the home was installed almost directly in front of their door – in a suburban street in Montrose, Houston, Texas – just two weeks after they closed in on the deal.
Unbeknownst to them, the pole was installed by CenterPoint Energy as part of an ongoing project to upgrade transmission structures in the area, according to the company.
The new homeowners have now likened the width of the column to a ‘trampoline’.
And local residents have also been left baffled as to why it was necessary to position the giant pole so close to their homes on the leafy green neighborhood.
The self-supporting three foot metal pole was was installed almost directly in front of the door of a home on the intersection of Fairview and Park Street in Montrose, Houston, Texas
The home before the grey column was erected in May 2022 (left) versus what it looks like now (right). Residents have been left baffled as to why it was necessary to position the structure so close to their homes
Pictured: the pole in front of the home during construction. A spokesperson for the Department of Administration and Regulatory Affairs said that it is aware of the erection of the pole and the impact its installation has had on residents
Has your home been blighted by a utility pole? Email: [email protected]
‘When they first poured the base, I said it’s the size of a trampoline. It’s huge. It clearly belongs on the side of a highway, not a neighborhood.’
They added that the pole has become an attraction in the neighborhood – but for the wrong reasons – and is a complete eyesore.
The couple say that people stop outside their home and apologize for the ghastly grey pole that sits just outside their porch.
And their frustrations are shared with the neighbors, who have been left worried that the column will decrease the value of properties around it.
Steve Wiese, a neighbor, said: ‘They are a utility company, so they can do whatever they want, but what’s it doing to the property values?
‘This can’t be good.’
Another person told Abc7News: ‘I think that is everyone’s question. Why does it have to be in front of a house?
‘Why can’t it be outside the neighborhood? On the street. Not in front of all these houses? It clearly doesn’t belong here.’
While a third resident has been left concerned that the pole is a safety hazard for those either driving on the road or trying to cross it.
This isn’t the first pole of its kind to have cropped up around the city, or in fact the US, as locals have taken to forums to question why the metal poles have unexpectedly been popping up around the areas they live in
One resident has been left concerned that the pole is a safety hazard for those either driving on the road or trying to cross it
A spokesperson for CenterPoint Energy said that it is not required to contact residents before taking on such mammoth tasks
They said: ‘Anyone trying to cross Fairview, the problem is you just can’t see to your left-hand side.
What does Sec. 181.042 mean for residents of Texas?
Under the Texas Constitution and Statutes, Utilities Code 181.042 outlines that the state has the 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 the right for companies such as CenterPoint Energy, and others, to install such constructions outside of properties and homes without contacting locals prior to building.
‘I think the solution would be to put one of those half-round mirrors, the ones that give you a 180-degree view, and then you would always be able to tell what is coming in that lane.’
But in defending the structure, a spokesperson for CenterPoint said that it is 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, according to the electric services company.
And the pole at the intersection is a self-supporting 90-degree structure and provides for the removal of five other electric poles and numerous guy wires, they say.
In the statement, a spokesperson for CenterPoint said: ‘The Public Utility Commission of Texas does not require utilities to file a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) for routine activities associated with transmission facilities such as upgrading to a higher voltage not greater than 230 kV, as was performed for this project (from 69kV to 138kV).’
The spokesperson added: ‘We acknowledge that we should have engaged our neighbors about this pole. We will strive to ensure that such communications occur in the future’
CenterPoint Energy have been contacted by MailOnline for a further comment.
And in a bigger blow to the couple and residents of Fairview and Park Street, 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.
A spokesperson for the Department of Administration and Regulatory Affairs said that it is aware of the erection of the structure and the impact its installation has had on residents.
The pole in Houston isn’t the only one that has cropped up around the States. Another CenterPoint Energy pole was spotted far way from Texas, at an undisclosed road in Fort Branch, Indiana
The spokesperson told abc13: ‘We are investigating any enforcement actions that may be available to us, up to and including legal action against CenterPoint if we find a violation of any kind.’
But this isn’t the first pole of its kind to have cropped up around the city, or in fact the US.
Locals have taken to forums to question why the metal poles have unexpectedly been popping up around the areas they live in.
These hard-to-miss utility poles have sprouted up in rows along Oak Forest in North Houston, near the intersection of Pinemont Drive and Ella Boulevard.
And another was spotted at an undisclosed road in Fort Branch, Indiana. Residents there were left concerned for those with disabilities, as the pole was erected directly by a dropped kerb.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk