Law School Case Brief
U S W. Communs. v. City of Longmont - 924 P.2d 1071 (Colo. App. 1995)
The basis of the exercise of the police power is the protection of human life and the protection of public convenience and welfare. Municipal regulations not having a fair relation to these subjects are unreasonable, but when they fairly tend to promote these objects, they are generally sustained.
Plaintiff telephone company brought suit pursuant to Colo. R. Civ. P. 106(a)(4) and for declaratory judgment challenging an ordinance enacted by defendant City of Longmont, Colorado. The city had enacted an ordinance that required the owners and operators of existing overhead facilities used for distribution of electricity and transmission or distribution of communications to relocate such facilities underground at their own expense. Plaintiff contended that the ordinance was preempted, that the application of the ordinance resulted in an unconstitutional taking, that defendant exceeded its jurisdiction and abused its discretion in enacting the ordinance, and that defendant breached a pole sharing agreement. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of defendant city upholding the validity of an ordinance which required owners and operators of existing overhead facilities used for distribution of electricity and transmission or distribution of communications to relocate such facilities underground at their own cost. The telephone company appealed.
Was the ordinance a valid exercise of police power?
The court affirmed the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant because the ordinance was a valid exercise of the defendant's police power. The court determined that the ordinance did not conflict with state law and the regulation was not preempted. The court concluded that the ordinance was not an unconstitutional taking of property and did not constitute a breach of the pole sharing agreement, and that defendant did not exceed its authority in enacting it.
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