Houston, Texas (KTRK) – After months of searching for the perfect home, the Montrose homeowner was excited to finally move into her first home with her husband—that is, until a massive utility pole was put up right in front of their home just two weeks after closing.
The mega pole is part of an ongoing project to modernize transportation structures and enhance flexibility in the Montrose area, according to CenterPoint Energy.
However, the residents do not understand why the giant pillars were placed near their homes.
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The homeowner said, “We saved so much for this house and put so much into it. It’s annoying that they can do that.” “When they first poured the base in, I said it was about the size of a trampoline. It’s huge. It clearly belongs on the side of a highway, not a neighborhood.”
The homeowner, who wished to remain anonymous, said he became an attraction in all the wrong ways.
“If I’m inside, I can see them kind of stopping if they’re out for a walk and looking up and down,” said the homeowner. “If I was out, they’d be like, ‘Do you own this house?'” I’m very sorry. Everyone apologizes, and I’m like, I don’t know what to say at this point.”
Her frustrations are shared with the neighbors, who all worry about what this will do to the property values in the neighborhood.
“They’re a utility company, so they can do whatever they want, but what do you do for property values? That can’t be good,” said Steve Wise, a neighbor.
ABC13 got to the bottom of why this was allowed.
A CenterPoint spokesperson said it is “conducting a project to improve the electrical system in Montrose, which includes upgrading our transportation structures to enhance flexibility.”
The structures are located in the Houston right-of-way, according to CenterPoint Energy.
See also: CenterPoint Energy accreditation revoked after consumer complaints, Better Business Bureau says
This particular pole, at the intersection of Fairview and Park Street, is a self-supporting 90-degree structure that provides the removal of five more electric poles and several guy wires, according to CenterPoint.
ABC13 has also contacted the City of Houston to see if the city can get involved. The speaker also referred to the fact that The State of Texas grants utilities the right to install equipment on public rights-of-way within neighborhoods (sec 181,042).
A spokesperson for the City of Houston acknowledged knowledge of the pole and its impact on the community.
“We are investigating any enforcement action that may be available to us, including legal action against CenterPoint if we find a violation of any kind,” a DAO spokesperson said.
When asked why CenterPoint did not contact residents in advance, a spokesperson said they were not required to.
In the statement, the spokesperson said, “The Texas Public Utilities Commission does not require utilities to submit a Certificate of Appropriateness and Necessity (CCN) for routine activities associated with transmission utilities such as upgrading to a higher voltage of no more than 230 kV, as was accomplished for this project (from 69 kV). to 138 kV).
However, the spokesperson acknowledged that the company should do so, even if it is not required.
The spokesman said: “We recognize that we had to engage our neighbors about this pole. We will strive to ensure that such contacts occur in the future.”
SEE ALSO: CenterPoint repairs tilting power pole in southwest Houston neighborhood after Action 13’s intervention
Andy Abercrombie has lived on the same street since the early 1980s. Abercrombie said he understands why power poles are so important, especially with the February freeze still fresh in his mind.
“We pulled it off. Much better than other people in town, so having someone like that in town is helpful,” said Abercrombie.
However, many residents still do not understand why electricity poles must be placed near their homes.
“I guess that’s everyone’s question. Why does it have to be in front of a house?” said the anonymous homeowner. “Why isn’t he out in the neighborhood? On the street. Not in front of all these houses? He clearly doesn’t belong here.”
Not only is the giant pole an eyesore, some neighbors said, but it’s a safety hazard.
“Anyone trying to cross Fairview, the problem is, you can’t see on your left side,” Abercrombie said. “I think the solution is to put one of those semicircular mirrors, the ones that give you a 180-degree view, and then you’ll always be able to see what’s coming up that lane.”
Amidst the frustrations, construction continues, while some neighbors wonder if their house is next, fearing they have no say in the matter.
“I think this is a very important neighborhood in Houston,” said the anonymous homeowner. “It’s right in the heart of Houston. All of these homes are mostly historic if not beautiful newly built homes. They just destroy the neighborhood.”