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Orange County Focus

LAKE FOREST : Decision Sought on Excavation Permits

September 21, 1993|FRANK MESSINA

Utility companies tonight will ask the City Council for relief from a policy that requires them to get excavation permits for routine equipment checks.

Council members last month had asked city staff to work out an agreement with the utilities. But utility representatives say that three meetings with city administrators have produced little progress toward a settlement.

"We have some differences" with city staff, said Southern California Edison spokesperson Susan Peterson. "I think it's come to the point where the City Council needs to make a decision."

Concerns about the utility companies blocking off portions of major streets, such as the severely congested El Toro Road and Lake Forest Boulevard, prompted the city to start requiring the permits last April.

Also, city officials have expressed concern about safety, and some merchants have complained that the blockages affected their businesses.

Permits are required whenever a utility needs to break the street surface. However, filing a permit for simple equipment inspections would cause a "scheduling nightmare," utility representatives said at the Aug. 19 council meeting.

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