Rights of Way

2016 Courtesy Notice to Utilities Operating in the City of Beaverton

On October 1, 2016, the City of Beaverton’s new rights-of-way (ROW) ordinance became operative. The ordinance establishes clear guidelines, standards and requirements for all utilities that request to operate in the city’s ROW and ensures local authority to manage the ROW for the health and safety of local residents. Utility providers have until November 15th, 2016 to apply for a registration and/or license with the City of Beaverton. The city will start collecting the ROW fee starting October 1. 

History: In November 2015, the Beaverton City Council directed staff to move forward with a comprehensive utility licensing ordinance (Ord. No. 4684). On January 5, 2016, staff held a Q&A session for affected utilities to provide information on the ordinance, including a 5% rights-of-way fee, and solicit written comment. On April 5, 2016, Council held a public hearing on the ordinance and a 5% rights-of-way fee resolution (Res. No. 4444). The Council adopted Ord. No. 4684 on May 3, 2016 and Res. No. 4382 on May 27, 2016. Ordinance No. 4684 is codified in Beaverton Code (BC) Chapter 4.15. 

Important Information: Unless a utility operator has a valid franchise from the city, every utility operator who wishes to conduct any work in the ROW and every person who owns or controls utility facilities in the ROW must obtain a five-year license from the city. Every person who desires to provide utility services by means of facilities within the ROW to customers within the city shall register annually with the city this includes resellers. Application fees for licenses and registrations are $150 and $100, respectively. 

Every person that owns or uses utility facilities to provide utility service must pay a quarterly ROW fee of 5% of gross revenue earned within the city. The city will start collecting these payments October 1st. If the utility operator does not earn gross revenue within the city, a $3.50 per-linear-foot fee or a minimum fee of $5,000 will be due. A utility operator whose only facilities are attachments mounted to structures within the ROW must pay $5,000 per attachment. Consistent with the Oregon Supreme Court’s recent decision, the city will collect its ROW fee on cable modem/broadband service when such service is provided via facilities in the city’s ROW. Below is a table outlining the fees and the definition of gross revenue:

Utility ServicesAnnual Rights of Way Fee
Electric5% of gross revenue
Natural Gas5% of gross revenue
Communications5% of gross revenue
Water5% of gross revenue
Sanitary Sewer5% of gross revenue
Storm Sewer5% of gross revenue

Any utility operator not earning gross revenue within the city:
The cost-per-linear-foot fee shown in gross revenue within the table below or a minimum fee of $5,000 (whichever is greater) for Utility Facilities in the Rights of Way (as these terms are defined in BC 4.15.050). The per-linear foot fee and the minimum fee shall increase 3% annually on January 1st of each year, beginning January 1, 2018.

Diameter of utility facilityCost per linear foot
Less than 12"$2.50
12" - 24"$3.50
Greater than 24"$4.50

Gross revenue means any and all revenue, of any kind, nature or form, without deduction for expense, less net uncollectibles, derived from the operation of utility facilities in the City of Beaverton, subject to all applicable limitation in federal or state law. 

If you operate in the city or anticipate doing so – or if you are unclear how BC Chapter 4.15 relates to your business activities in the city – please call or email: 503-526-2531 rightsofway@BeavertonOregon.gov.