ORDINANCE BL2017-802

An ordinance to amend Chapter 13.20 of the Metropolitan Code to revise the penalties for improper right of way closures and to require the Department of Public Works to establish a way for the public to submit evidence of improper right of way closures.

WHEREAS, pursuant to Chapter 13.20 of the Metropolitan Code, anyone who excavates in or obstructs the public right of way for construction or other purposes is required to obtain a permit from the Metropolitan Department of Public Works; and

WHEREAS, obstructions and excavations which close or occupy the public right of way pose significant hardships upon pedestrians, motorists, and passersby attempting to negotiate safe passage from one location to another; and

WHEREAS, it is in the best interest of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County to minimize disruptions of the public right of way and to promote public safety by establishing penalties that punish or deter improper right of way closures.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:

Section 1. That Chapter 13.20 of the Metropolitan Code is hereby amended by deleting the provisions of section 13.20.040 in their entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following new section 13.20.040:

13.20.040 – Penalty for violation.

A. In addition to any other penalties specified elsewhere for violations of the provisions of this chapter, the director shall impose the penalties in this section below for the following violations:

1. Failure to obtain the proper permit. Any person who digs or causes to be dug any excavation or causes any obstruction to be constructed or placed in, on, over, or under any street, road, alley, sidewalk, or other public way, or who closes or occupies any portion of the public right of way by means of or in connection with any excavation or obstruction within the jurisdiction of the metropolitan government without having first applied for and obtained from the director a permit to do so, in violation of section 13.20.020.A, shall be required to pay a penalty of fifty dollars ($50.00). Each day that such work is done without the proper permit shall constitute a separate offense, so that the penalty shall be charged for each day.

2. Failure to provide proper notice. Any person holding a valid permit from the director of public works to perform an excavation or to otherwise cause any closure, occupation, or obstruction of any public right of way within the jurisdiction of the metropolitan government who, prior to commencing excavation work that causes such closure, occupation, or obstruction, fails to provide notice as required by section 13.20.020.B, shall be required to pay a penalty of fifty dollars ($50.00). Each day that such work is done without the proper permit shall constitute a separate offense, so that the penalty shall be charged for each day.

3. Exceeding the scope of the permit. Any person holding a valid permit from the director of public works to perform an excavation or to otherwise cause any closure, occupation, or obstruction of any public right of way within the jurisdiction of the metropolitan government who exceeds the scope of such permit shall be required to pay a penalty of fifty dollars ($50.00). Each day that such work is done without the proper permit shall constitute a separate offense, so that the penalty shall be charged for each day. Furthermore, if multiple violations occur on the same day, a separate penalty shall be imposed for each individual violation. Any of the following actions shall constitute exceeding the scope of the permit:

a. Closing, occupying, or obstructing any public right of way within the jurisdiction of the metropolitan government on any date prior to the effective date of the permit or subsequent to the expiration date of the permit;

b. Closing, occupying, or obstructing any public right of way within the jurisdiction of the metropolitan government on any day of the week expressly prohibited by the permit; or

c. Closing, occupying, or obstructing any public right of way within the jurisdiction of the metropolitan government at any time of day outside the hours of work specified by the permit.

4. Dangerous right of way closures. Any person holding a valid permit from the director of public works to perform an excavation or to otherwise cause any closure, occupation, or obstruction of any public right of way within the jurisdiction of the metropolitan government who closes, occupies, or obstructs the public right of way in a dangerous manner as defined herein shall be required to pay a penalty of fifty dollars ($50.00). Each day that such work is done without the proper permit shall constitute a separate offense, so that the penalty shall be charged for each day. Furthermore, if multiple violations occur on the same day, a separate penalty shall be imposed for each individual violation. Any of the following actions shall constitute closing, occupying, or obstructing the public right of way in a dangerous manner:

a. Failure to install or maintain any traffic control devices or to submit or implement any traffic control plans for the site of the right of way closure, occupation, or obstruction as required by Section 13.20.030.C;

b. Failure to test by instrument or other acceptable method for toxic or flammable gases and liquids and, when indicated, to properly ventilate as required by Section 13.20.070; or

c. Failure to perform work in or about any utility manhole in or adjoining any highway, street, alley, sidewalk or other public place with at least two (2) or more persons present at all times, as required by Section 13.20.080; or

d. Failure to guard at all times the site of the right of way closure, occupation, or obstruction with a substantial barricade sufficient and suitable to warn persons traveling on or using such street, road, alley, sidewalk, or other public way of any danger as required by Section 13.20.090; or

e. Failure to provide adequate warning lights at night at the site of the right of way closure, occupation, or obstruction as required by Section 13.20.110.

B. The director shall establish or cause to be established a process by which members of the public can submit to the Department of Public Works by electronic means reports or evidence of any potential violations of this chapter as described in section 13.20.040.A.

Section 2. That section 13.20.060 of the Metropolitan Code is hereby amended by deleting the last sentence in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following new sentence:

Any person found guilty of two or more violations of this section shall, in addition to any penalties imposed pursuant to section 13.20.040, be disqualified for obtaining further permits for a period not to exceed six (6) months.

Section 3. This ordinance shall take effect from and after its enactment, the welfare of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Jeremy Elrod

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

Introduced: July 6, 2017
Passed First Reading: July 6, 2017
Referred to: Budget & Finance Committee
Public Works Committee
Deferred to September 19, 2017: July 18, 2017
Deferred to October 17, 2017: September 19, 2017
Passed Second Reading:  
Passed Third Reading:  
Approved:  
By:  
Next Consideration: October 17, 2017

Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615/862-6770.