Street Lights

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How are street lights installed?

New street lights are typically installed on major roads when:

  • The road is reconstructed as part of a voter-approved levy
  • An adjacent land parcel is developed and the developer is required to provide illumination
  • A safety issue is demonstrated and lighting is an identified solution

New street lights are typically installed on neighborhood streets by developers when new subdivisions are built. Nearly all new neighborhoods include street lights. The lights are paid for by property owners as Service District for Lighting assessment on their property tax bill. The amount each property pays depends on the number of poles/lights installed, the style of equipment selected and the number of properties included in the benefiting service area. Property owners in neighborhoods without street lights do not pay the assessment.

Adding street lights to existing neighborhoods is possible but requires an agreement from the majority of the benefiting property owners that will be paying for them. Call 503-846-3843 for more information about adding street lights.

Who maintains street lights?

Portland General Electric (PGE) maintains most neighborhood street lights. If a street light needs repair report it to PGE .You may also contact our office at 503-846-ROAD (7623), email at or submit an online service request. If possible, include the map and pole number found on a metal tag on the light pole. In most cases lights are repaired within 30 days.

Maintenance of roadside vegetation blocking light from street lights is the responsibility of the property owner or lawful occupant.

The Service District for LIghting (SDL) is a County Service District established in 1973 by the Board of County Commissioners and approved by the Portland Metropolitan Area Boundary Commission under authority of Oregon Law (ORS 451). The purpose of the SDL is to operate and maintain street lighting in the urban unincorporated areas of Washington County.