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Chapter 106 of the Official Code of Cobb County Georgia requires all utilities desiring to locate their facilities in Cobb County rights of way to obtain a permit from the Cobb County Department of Transportation ("the Department"). The purpose of these procedures is to establish the policy and the standards of the Department for accommodation of utilities within the County's rights of way, to provide a basis for planning of utility installations and to establish procedures for the issuance of permits by the Department. It is the policy of the Department and the Board of Commissioners that no utility may occupy the county rights of way unless sufficient space is available so that the free flow and safety of traffic is not unduly impaired and the utility installation does not prevent the Department from reasonably maintaining the roadways, structures, traffic control devices and other appurtenant facilities, and that maintenance and operations of the utility do not jeopardize the traffic, road structures or the maintenance thereof.
In keeping with these objectives, the following procedures are to be followed as interpreting and supplementing the current edition of the Georgia Department of Transportation's Utility Accommodation Policy and Standards ("the State's policy") manual. In the event of conflict between these procedures and the State's policy, the least restrictive provision shall apply.
- Chapter 106 of Cobb County Code
- Railroads Section
- Utility Permitting Application and Information Package (Updated January 2011)
- Utility Accommodation Policy and Standards (Updated February 2009)
- Revised Georgia Dig Law
Phyllis Stallings, P.E.
Utility Permitting Manager
(770) 528-3691 (Fax)
1. Permit Request
Permit Request forms for standard utility installations shall be obtained from the Cobb County Department of Transportation at 1890 County Services Parkway. Utilities submitting numerous permit requests may be allowed to create an electronic form with their company name on the form subject to the Departments approval. The general format of the Permit Request form shall be followed.
The Applicant shall provide the Department with concept plans showing the above, including proposed routing, means and methods of construction, and other issues unique to the proposed facility. The Department shall review the permit application and all supporting documents and determine whether the installation is routine or complex and shall notify Applicant of that determination, as well as whether a pre-permit conference will be required. Final engineered drawings will be required as directed by the Department to the standards as required in the State's policy. Applicant submits at its own risk final engineered drawings prior to a pre-permit conference.
Applicants must complete the following steps before proceeding to the final permitting procedure as outlined under the Routine Installations. The following factors will be considered by the Department in determining whether installations are routine or complex:
|short route||long route|
|minimal existing utilities in right of way||number of existing utilities in right of way|
|no congestion of utilities||congestion of utilities (narrow space within workable area of right-of way)|
|no manholes or vaults||existing manholes or vaults|
|no significant effect on traffic or traffic signals||significant effect on traffic or traffic signals|
|not a heavily traveled corridor||significantly traveled corridor|
|industry standard installation means and methods||atypical installation means and methods|
|favorable topographical, geological, and environmental conditions||topographical, geological or environmental challenges|
|other factors impacting the right of way, roadway or other interests of the county and its citizens|
PRE-PERMIT CONFERENCE. For complex utility installation permits, the Applicant and the Applicant's inspector shall meet with the Department to discuss:
- the scope of the installation (duration of construction, capacity, etc.)
- efforts to co-locate with similar utilities
- the origin and destination of the proposed and alternative routes
- connections to possible points of presence or other points of interface
- as-builts of other utilities currently in right of way
- unique topography or concerns in and about roadway
- lane closures
- safety issues
- bonding and insurance
- and any other factors which may affect the installation, routing, or interests of the County
- requirements for photos or video of right of way and adjacent properties
Any directions given by the Department at this meeting shall be non-binding pending submittal and review of the final plans.
SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS. The Applicant shall provide the Department with concept plans showing the above, including proposed routing, means and methods of construction, and other issues unique to the proposed facility.
FAILURE TO COMPLETE PRE-PERMIT REVIEW. Applicant shall take notice that failure to complete the pre-permit review may require extensive changes to engineering designs or ultimately a denial of a permit.
FORMS AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS. At a minimum, the Applicant shall provide:
- Permit Request Form
- The completed checklist called ATTACHMENT 1
- All supporting documents and information required in ATTACHMENT 1. All information requested shall be provided, or if not applicable, shall be noted as N/A on ATTACHMENT 1.
- Special Assurances Form
- Fee Worksheet: Applicant must submit a completed fee worksheet called ATTACHMENT 2, FEE WORKSHEET stating the length of facilities to be installed as measured in feet. Applicant shall calculate fees according to the most recently Board of Commissioners approved fee schedule.
- Any applicant claiming an exemption to the fee schedule shall be referred to the Cobb County Attorney's Office for determination. Checks for fees shall be made to Cobb County Department of Transportation. Requests for electronic drafts should be referred to Accounting.
BONDS. When requested in writing by the Department, Applicant shall provide a bond in an amount to be determined by the Department to be adequate to protect the public interest and pursuant to the Utility Accommodations Policy and Standards manual. The Department may use its discretion when setting the amount of the bond and should consider potential damage to public property or facilities and the relationship to the cost of installation, as well as the factors used in determining whether a project is complex; at a minimum, the Surety must be a company duly qualified and licensed by the State of Georgia. No work shall be commenced unless the bond is acceptable to the County.
INSURANCE. The Applicant shall obtain and carry insurance for the period of time of the installation, including repair and future periods of maintenance or upgrades/installations pursuant to Section 3.5(A) of the Utility Accommodations Policy and Standards manual, as amended from time to time. At a minimum, the insurance company must be a company duly qualified and licensed by the State of Georgia. Applicant shall furnish the department proof of current insurance. No work shall be commenced unless and until such a requirement is met.
EFFORTS TO CO-LOCATE. The Applicant shall demonstrate its efforts to locate existing utilities and to advise the owners of the existing utilities of the proposed work. The Applicant shall try to co-locate its installations with similar utilities to the maximum extent possible. The Department, in turn, may share the general information contained in the permit application to the extent that co-location would benefit all parties concerned.
2. Field Requirements for Installation
Unless approved otherwise, the proposed utility installation shall conform to the Georgia Department of Transportation's Utility Accommodation Policy and Standards as revised and adopted by the Cobb County Board of Commissioners. A certified copy of the Policy and Standards is on file with the Cobb County Clerk.
Copies of the Policy and Standards can be obtained from the Utilities Section of the Georgia Department of Transportation. Any deviation from the standards shall be noted on the submitted utility plans. All utilities locating their facilities in new residential and commercial developments shall locate their facilities pursuant to the Cobb County Development Standards and Specifications. In the event that the Development Standards conflict with the Georgia Department of Transportation's Standards, the Cobb County Development Standards shall be followed.
Notice of Commencement
A 24-hour notification during regular business hours (Saturday, Sunday, and legal holidays excluded) shall be given to the Department prior to the start of any work. Contact with the Utilities Protection Center does not alleviate this requirement. The notification shall include complete project information including project name, location, 24-hour contact name and phone numbers, project schedule, and any other items required by the permit. The 24-hour contact or a designee must be on site at all times work is being performed, and must be able to clearly communicate with the Cobb County Inspector. If requested by the Department, the Applicant's inspector shall meet with a Department representative prior to commencement.
If work begins within 12 months after issuance, and unless otherwise provided in the Special Provisions within the permit, the permit shall be in effect for an indefinite period of time from and after the date issued, unless sooner revoked by mutual consent or suspended, cancelled or revoked by the Department. A permit is automatically revoked when the utility for which the permit is issued ceases or abandons the project.
Posting of Permit
The permit for the route shall be posted along with any placards required by the Department. Such postings shall include the 24-hour contact name and phone numbers, the project name, and any other items required by the Department.
All existing utilities shall be clearly marked or indicated prior to any excavation. Representatives of major utilities affected by the work shall be afforded the opportunity to be present to observe the work.
All traffic control measures required by the permit shall be at the expense of the permitee. No work shall begin until all traffic control measures shown on the approved traffic control plans are in place. Any deviations to the traffic control plans due to changed field conditions shall comply with the Manual on Uniformed Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (latest edition). Equipment and vehicles shall not be allowed to obstruct the roadway unless essential to the utility work to be performed under the permit. All personnel working in the right of way shall wear the proper protection equipment (i.e. Safety Vest).
Work hours shall be limited to the times shown on the permit. Lane closures are allowed only between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Under extenuating circumstances, the Department will consider allowing additional hours. Approval of additional hours must be in writing. The Applicant is to contact the Department immediately if there is the possibility the road or lane closure will exceed the allowed hours. Unless a verifiable emergency exist, no road closures shall be allowed during inclement weather.
Maintenance of Work Area
Use of the right of way shall be minimized to the greatest extent possible. No materials or equipment shall be stored on the right of way without prior written approval. No work shall restrict the sight distances for motorist exiting adjacent streets or driveways unless a flagman is provided. Debris shall not be placed on the right of way, but will be hauled away as the excavation occurs. All trenches opened each day must be backfilled to within 19 feet of the end of the trench and compacted to 95% standard proctor using appropriate tamping or vibratory equipment. Any postings must be properly posted and maintained so they are legible.
Erosion control plans conforming to the Cobb County Development Standards shall be submitted with the permit application if required by Cobb County DOT. The most recent best management practices to control erosion shall be used to develop the plans and shall be used to ensure adequate protection from erosion.
All disturbed right of way and adjacent private property shall be restored to the complete satisfaction of the Department. If required, a pre-construction survey consisting of photos and/or a video of the right of way to be affected shall be provided to the Department prior to any disturbance. All sidewalks shall be restored within 48 hours of disturbance or removal unless a written time extension is given. Prior approval is required to install flush pull boxes or manholes in the sidewalk.
Suspension, Cancellation or Revocation of Permit
The Department has the right to suspend or cancel and revoke a permit for cause by issuing a Stop Work Order when permitee fails to comply with any and all terms and conditions of the permit and with the Cobb County Utiltity Accommodations in Rights of Way ordinance and any other federal, state or local laws. This right includes, but is not limited to, the permitee's failure to maintain facilities in a good state of repair. The Department may require permitee to immediately remove all equipment and materials and to restore the site. The permitee will be required to meet with Cobb County DOT to request a lifting of the Stop Work Order and to enter into any Memorandum of Agreements.
Although no separate written agreement or permit is required for routine maintenance of established facilities within rights of way, the utility is required to give advance notice to the Department for certain types of activities within the rights of way.
(a) The following types of maintenance will not require a permit:
Replacement of parts necessary due to damage, deterioration or obsolescence;
Emergency replacement of poles or other facilities damaged by accidents or natural causes such as wind or ice and when immediate repair is required to restore service;
Installation of lateral service connections to serve occupants of adjacent property, provided such connections do not introduce new obstructions into the right of way and do not require trenching or boring under the roadway;
Installation of additional appurtenances or attachments to facilities which do not affect vertical or horizontal clearances from the traveled way or do not change the rated capacity or transmittant of the facility for which a permit was issued; or
Periodic, routine inspection, testing, and preventive and routine maintenance to insure that facilities are retained in a serviceable condition and good state of repair at all times.
(b) Notice must be given by the utility to the Department within 24 hours of undertaking any of the following maintenance activities within the right of way:
Any work which requires the blocking of one or more traffic lanes for a period of times in excess of 2 hours;
Installation of any temporary structures which are to remain on the right of way;
The cutting, trimming or spraying of any trees or shrubs within the right of way;
Making any pavement cut except in an emergency; or
Making any excavation within the roadbed which may remain open overnight.
4. Inspection of Work
The Department reserves the right to inspect the work during such periods as the Department's field inspector(s) deem necessary to check compliance with the terms of the permit, and to require the permitee to correct all deviations from the approved permit.
If the Department is required to incur additional or unusual expense to insure compliance with the terms of the permit due to inadequate control procedures, permitee shall reimburse the Department for such additional costs of inspection and any repairs the Department must make to the roadway. Any supervision or control exercised by the Department, its personnel or its agents shall in no way relieve the permitee of any duty or responsibility to the general public, nor shall such supervision or control relieve the permitee from any liability for loss, damage or injury to persons or property as provided in the State's Utility Accommodation Policy and Standards manual, incorporated herewith.
5. Liability and Control
Permitee shall indemnify and hold harmless the Department and all Cobb County employees, agents, and the Board of Commissioners from any and all liability as provided in the current edition of the State D.O.T's Utility Accommodation Policy and Standards. These terms shall become terms of and contained within the permit/permit application.
|Footage Fee||$00.176/foot, with a minimum fee of $50.00|
|Total Minimum Fee||$100.00|
These are one-time fees for processing and inspection of the installation of facilities.
Encroachment Permits (including small cell installations)
|Total Minimum Initial Fee||$100.00|
$900.00 per year, if installed on existing pole not owned by County
$1200.00 per year, if installed on County-owned facility
$1500.00 per year for pole or structure owned by applicant
Lane Closure Permits
The lane closure permit is for temporary lane closures on unincorporated Cobb County roads (excluding state routes). An electronic version of the traffic control plan also will need to be submitted with the lane closure permit request. For questions or concerns, please contact Corey Jennings at (770) 499-4461.