The only voice of opposition at the Land Use Control Board's affirmative vote on the Unified Development Code a few weeks ago came from Memphis Light Gas & Water.The utility had a problem with several sections of the code, especially
A. New electric utility services shall be placed underground where functionally feasible...(section 5.3.4)
I seem to remember the MLG&W rep stating that the aesthetics of the code would be a drag on functionality for utilities. A utility's utilitarian argument.
Yet the mass disruptions whipped up by last weekend's storms (mostly by trees and branches falling on above-grade power lines) and the historic storm data exposed by this NOAA map (hat tip Naomi)
show the impracticality of this opposition. Storms will cross the Mississippi, branches will fall from the sky, above-ground electric lines will get knocked out. But happily, safely, beautifully, increasingly buried electric lines will keep on humming.
Good aesthetics in tree-rich, storm-happy Memphis is good utility.