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Neighborhood Street Lights


Residential streetlights, whether individual or for a whole subdivision, are installed within the City of Charlotte by request. Neighborhood residents may request that a streetlight plan be prepared to light their entire neighborhood. We work closely with Duke Energy to design a pattern of streetlights for specific neighborhoods that will best serve their needs. To start the process, please call the CharMeck Call Center at 311.

Neighborhood approval is required, and once received and the lights installed, the City of Charlotte will pay for the power to operate them. The City also pays for the initial cost of the streetlight fixtures and supports when the standard model is chosen. If the neighborhood desires more decorative fixtures and supports, they will have to make arrangements with Duke Energy to pay the initial cost for such upgrades. As of 5/07/03, those costs range from just under $600 to nearly $1,200 per streetlight, depending upon the fixture selected.

Nomination Form
Once we receive your request, the street lighting coordinator will send you a nomination form. The form requires 25% of neighborhood property owners sign that they are interested in obtaining street lights in the neighborhood. The City requires at least one property owner signature from each street requested for lighting. The form must be returned to the Street Lighting Coordinator within ­­­­90 days or due date provided by CDOT.

Design Preparation
When a valid nomination form has been returned to the street lighting coordinator, we ask Duke Energy to prepare a design showing the proposed placement of streetlights within your neighborhood. The proposed light placement is based upon Duke Energy's existing facilities and CDOT's lighting requirements. A representative of Duke may meet you on site to finalize the plan. The finalized plan will be sent to the neighborhood contact person by Duke Energy and CDOT will receive a copy. Should the neighborhood request changes in the design that require additional underground work by Duke, the neighborhood will be asked to pay for the associated costs.

Neighborhood Approval Process
The installation of streetlights requires the support of the neighborhood. Support can be obtained by one of two methods:

1) A letter of endorsement from the neighborhood association. The neighborhood association will be required to notify affected property owners (as defined by CDOT) of the impending street lights, and no petition will be required, or

2) If the neighborhood association does not support the proposed installation of street lights, the resident can petition. The petition requires signature of at least 60% of property owners. Properties owned jointly must be represented by signature from both owners. Properties owned by corporations must be represented by a signature from a corporate officer / agent. Tenants cannot sign for property owners. Vacant properties must be represented. For the convenience of resident owners, a design map is provided to accompany the petition. We look to the lead petitioner to deal openly with the property owners with regard to the location of adjacent streetlights. Involving the neighborhood association is an excellent way to minimize confusion and expedite the process.

The lead petitioner is also the only party authorized to delete lights from the plan. Streetlights shown on the plan cannot be relocated. Due to the ever changing character of neighborhoods, the petition process must be completed within 90 days or by due date provided by CDOT.

The completed petition is returned to Duke Energy so they can place the job into their work schedule. They forward it to CDOT for final approval and authorization. You will receive a copy of our authorization letter to Duke Energy and they will usually install your streetlights within 90 – 180 days, depending upon the scope of the project.

General Information & Installation Standards

Standard streetlights are placed on wooden utility poles.

  • Underground wiring is used only in areas currently served with underground utilities.
  • Decorative streetlights are available only in areas with existing underground utilities, unless the neighborhood agrees to pay the substantial charge for the underground cable installation.
  • Streetlight supports, whether the standard wooden poles or the more decorative fiberglass options, are always placed on public right-of-way. They are installed along the edge of pavement, in the planting strip or behind the sidewalk so they will not interfere with vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
  • Should Duke Energy have a need to install cable on private property, overhead or underground, the submittal of the petition is recognized as granting them the right to make such installations. In this rare instance, addition of underground cable is typically the reason and a 6" trench is generally sufficient.
  • Private items in the right-of-way, such as sprinkler systems, invisible fencing, cables, wires, pvc conduits, household water lines, etc. are NOT the responsibility of Duke Energy or the City of Charlotte. It is recommended that such items be removed from right-of-way. At minimum, they should be flagged or otherwise marked so that they may be avoided.
  • The Charlotte Department of Transportation retains exclusive authority to determine final placement of all streetlights.