Street Light Policy

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How does the City decide where it will put street lights? 

In November 2016, Kent City Council adopted a street light policy, Resolution 1937, that outlines where the City installs and maintains street lights. The policy was written recognizing that the City has limited resources to provide for the installation, power and maintenance of street lights. It states that a clear street lighting policy will protect City resources and provide direction to staff and residents regarding street lighting. The full text of the resolution is available at CodePublishing.com/WA/Kent. 

Which street lights does the City own and maintain? 

The City will provide for the installation and maintenance of street lights on all streets designated as arterials, subject to available funding. Arterials are defined in the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) and include the following functional categories: 

  1. Principal arterial
  2. Minor arterial
  3. Industrial collector arterial
  4. Residential collector arterial 

The current TMP, adopted in June 2008, is available at KentWA.gov.

How does the City handle street lighting on capital projects? 

The City will provide for the installation, power and maintenance of street lighting within all capital projects on arterial and collector arterial streets. Ongoing power and maintenance come from the operations budget. 

What happens if the City had a prior arrangement to provide street lights on a non-arterial street? 

The City may pay for the operation and maintenance of some street lights on roadways not classified as arterials, as stated in the prior agreements. 

Will the City provide street lighting on non-arterial streets? 

The City does not intend to provide for the installation, power and maintenance of street lights on roadways not currently classified as arterials, unless part of a prior arrangement as noted above. The Public Works Director has the authority to add street lights to non-arterials, subject to available funding. 

Do residents have any other options to get street lighting on non-arterials? 

Yes, there are two options that may be available to individuals and homeowner’s associations to privately operate and maintain street lighting. 

  1. Utility districts may bill homeowners through their utility bills and pay the electricity provider directly for street lighting.
  2. Property owners may pay for the power and maintenance of street lights in their homeowner’s association, a neighborhood association or through a local improvement district (LID). 

If either of these options is utilized, the installation, power and maintenance of street lights within neighborhoods shall comply with local, state and federal law, as well as the City’s adopted Design and Construction Standards available at KentWA.gov.