Dear PoP – Should the City Remove This Light Pole?

Light_pole, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

“Dear PoP,

My husband and I recently moved to near NE / H street and are working to improve our home. One obstacle we’ve run into is the light pole in the back alley. It currently sits in the middle of the property line, preventing full access to the backyard. Here is a picture. We cannot fully open the gate or park our car because of the limited width of the lot that the light pole creates.

I’ve contacted DC’s Dept. of Transportation, specifically someone in infrastructure project management. He was a very helpful individual, and moved along our request to have the light pole moved about 8ft (to the end of the property line). Unfortunately, the request was denied by his superiors. That means we’d have to pay the cost of moving the light pole instead of the city. The individual gave me a ballpark figure of around $5000 to move the light pole, and an additional $2800 if the light pole is old and should be replaced. Do you know, or do your readers have knowledge of another avenue that we can pursue? Do you think contacting our Alderman Tommy Wells might resolve this? We simply want the light pole moved about 8ft to the end of the property line, but don’t feel it’s just that we should have to front 100% of the costs; especially if the pole needs to be replaced.


Hmm, I can see that would be incredibly frustrating. This is something you should definitely bring to the attention of your Council Member’s office. However, I’m not sure he’ll be able to do anything about it. If the pole sits on city property and you bought the house this way then I’m not sure if the city will be obligated to move it. But I’m just guessing. We have some incredibly knowledgeable readers here so perhaps they’ll be able to give some specific advice. But most definitely approach your constituent services rep. from Wells’ office!

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