Street Lights

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State of California Law

The Landscape and Lighting Act of 1972 established criteria for street light maintenance/assessment districts and was ratified by the State of California in the Streets and Highways Code, Sections 22500 through 22509.

City Council Action

In 1989, the City Council approved a street lighting policy for the City of Whittier. This policy included requirements for new commercial, retail, and residential developments to install street lights as a condition of approval and to enter into an agreement stating that the property owner will not protest the formation of a future street light assessment district.

Part of the City Council’s policy allows existing residential areas to petition to establish a street lighting district, which would allow the property owners to pay their fair share of installation and maintenance costs. The district enables the City to collect annual assessments on the County’s general property tax bill from the homeowners within the district. The assessments are used to cover all maintenance, repair, and monitoring of the street lights which would be totally covered by the City’s general fund.

Street Lighting Policy

If there are no streetlights in your neighborhood, you may request the installation of a permanent street lighting system with concrete poles and underground electrical services. In some cases, there are utility poles which are typically owned by Southern California Edison (SCE) and lights may be installed by SCE at no cost to you. Portions of the City of Whittier that were unincorporated before annexation may already be within a street lighting assessment district (check your property tax bill).

To establish a street light assessment district and a new street lighting system on your street, there is a four-step procedure:

  1. More than fifty percent (50%) of property owners on a street must approve the establishment of a street light assessment district by petitioning the City.
  2. The City will notify all property owners included in the assessment district and schedule a public hearing before the City Council.
  3. After hearing public testimony, the City Council will need a majority vote to establish a street light assessment district.
  4. If approved, the property owners will be assessed the construction and maintenance costs for street lights on their tax bills.

Please submit completed petitions to:

City of Whittier
13230 Penn Street
Whittier, CA 90602
Attn: Director of Public Works

Following receipt of your petition, your request will be placed on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled City Council meeting. If approved, the new street lighting system will then be programmed in the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for design and construction. The residents on the street will be assessed initial capital costs associated with the design and installation costs of the street lighting system through your annual county property tax bills. Estimated costs will vary depending on the type of light, quantity of lights, and location of the nearest SCE electrical connections to power the streetlights.

If you have any questions, please contact the City of Whittier Department of Public Works at (562) 567-9500 for additional information.

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