July 24, 2016

Partly cloudy

Brunswick resident digs in, WOW! Cable relents

BRUNSWICK — A Skyview Drive resident is claiming victory over WOW! Cable, after the company has agreed not to run cable lines through his yard.

The Denver-based cable company has decided it’s easier to bypass Jim Shortle’s home at 3982 Skyview Drive than to fight over easement rights with him.

Matthew Harper, WOW!’s system manager in Cleveland, said the company has the easement and is continuing work in the neighborhood, but didn’t need the headache.

“We’ve decided to move past it and avoid the easement on his property. There’s not much of a story to tell,” Harper said. “We’re aware of his continued concerns and we are working with the city to make sure we can move forward on the timetable we’ve laid out.”

WOW!, whose Ohio headquarters are in Berea, halted work in the neighborhood of Forest Hills last week after agreeing to research utility easements in response to complaints Shortle made about digging on his property.

Work resumed after WOW! presented the city with evidence last week that a utility easement exists 10 feet off the public right-of-way.

Brunswick’s interim City Manager and Police Chief Carl DeForest said the city asked for a more thorough survey, which was presented to the city Tuesday. State law allows utility companies, which include cable companies, to install new lines within the public right-of-way, but requires easements to do any work on privately owned land.

Surveys and title searches revealed that the easement was not recorded on the housing development’s original plat but that a 10-foot easement is in effect with power and telephone lines already running through it.

Shortle maintained no easement exists on his property.

“WOW has not provided any, none, not a single document that shows that they have an easement on my property,” Shortle wrote in an email to The Gazette.

Shortle said that Bob Hammond, a spokesman for WOW!, called Monday.

“He stated that I don’t have to worry about WOW! crossing my property….ever,” Shortle wrote. “They have redesigned the system and are going around me.”

Gazette reporter Loren Genson contributed to this report. Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.