League Publishes New Model Short Form Right-of-Way Ordinance

The League had created a new model ordinance to help cities comply with new right-of-way management requirements. The 2017 Legislature revised the state law that regulates telecommunications right-of-way users, and established a process for the deployment of small wireless facilities and the support structures on which those facilities may attach.

Cities have always had the ability to regulate the use of their rights of way and to recover right-of-way management costs. However, cities could do so only if they had an enabling ordinance in place authorizing the regulation.

With the 2017 changes in state law, most cities (other than those with municipal electric) must also comply with certain statutory criteria related to placement of small wireless facilities in rights of way and, in some cases, support structures for those facilities. Because some cities may not have enabling ordinances yet, or because the recent statutory changes may conflict with an existing right-of-way ordinance, the League has developed a new model short form ordinance.

This new model complements the longer, alternative model right-of-way ordinance prepared by the law firm of Kennedy & Graven, which is available on the League website. Cities, in conjunction with their city attorney, now have the option of two different models to work from to best regulate their rights of way.

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