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Residents of North Park want to think out of the box, the utility box.

In recent years, artists have been encouraged to use the metal boxes as canvases; with more boxes on the way, however, that won't be enough. SDG&E has installed 45 boxes in North Park in five years time.

"The proliferation of these unsightly utility boxes over the past several years is negatively impacting community aesthetics, pedestrian safety, and the ability of individual residents and businesses to maintain their property in an attractive manner and protect property values," reads a report from the North Park planning group's utility box subcommittee.

The subcommittee is asking the city council to place a moratorium on new boxes in their community, unless property owners request them or the planning group or city council approves the installation. In addition, the subcommittee asks that there be standards for sizes, design, and placement of the boxes as well as plans for graffiti removal.

Members of the committee worry that with the North Park Utility Conversion Project, set to start in 2016, will essentially box the entire community in without any input from residents or review in regards to placement by the City.

Utility companies such as Cox Cable, San Diego Gas and Electric, and AT&T install the boxes upon completion of construction projects, service upgrades, and to house transformers when under-grounding poles and electrical wires.

According to the report, the utility companies are not required to give public notice if the box is placed in the public right of way.

North Park isn't the only community that has issue with the utility boxes in their community. According to the report, planning groups in Uptown, Kensington/Talmadge, and Normal Heights have also raised objections to the number of boxes in their community.

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Founder May 6, 2011 @ 8:10 a.m.

Under-grounding (which rate payers are paying for) was touted as removing all the ugly above ground wiring but we were never informed that they would be replaced with a zillion steel boxes scattered throughout our neighborhoods like the metallic droppings from huge metal dogs!

All these "boxes" could be "vaults" (located below the surface) but of course that would cost a bit more to do. When asked what the difference is SDG&E has been closed mouthed. Expect the wealthy neighborhoods to be last to be polluted by these boxes unless they can get the vaulted boxes instead!

This is yet another example of how the Public Utility is telling the Public how things have to be done (+ insuring that it's shareholders receive maximum value) rather than making our World a better place to live...


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