Driving along Espola Road over the last few years, have you grown dismayed at the deterioration of the landscaping along the road, as well as other key roads (known as Landscape Maintenance Districts) in the community? The City is proposing to increase taxes with the promise of updated landscaping in these areas.
Per our request, the City has provided the following update on its plan for improving services in these areas (we have bolded some text for emphasis):
A Landscape Maintenance District, or LMD, is an area identified to provide benefitting property owners the option to pay for enhanced landscaping and other improvements, and services beyond those generally provided by the City. There are ten LMDs in Poway. The LMDs were formed in the 1980s when many of Poway’s neighborhoods were first being developed. They cover the cost of contract labor for tree trimming, gardening, litter control, weed abatement and other upkeep and general maintenance (above baseline services provided by the City), as well as costs for water and electricity. LMDs are funded through an assessment on annual property tax bills. The assessment rates, which can vary by zones and LMDs, have remained unchanged for decades. Unfortunately, the funds being collected through the assessment are no longer sufficient to adequately maintain some of the City’s LMDs.
The City is addressing two LMDs this year: 83-1 and 86-1.
- LMD 83-1 encompasses the Arbolitos, Twin Peak/Kindercare, Kent eld Estates, Diroma Estates, Kent Hill, Country Creek, Rio Court, Park Village, Midland Estates, and Poway 16 neighborhoods/ subdivisions.
- LMD 86-1 includes Bridlewood, Old Coach, Piedmont Park, Stone Canyon Ranch, The Grove and Vision, Huntington Gate, Serenata and Green Valley Estates.
The City has taken short-term measures to reduce landscape services and watering schedules to minimize costs in each LMD. Over time, natural deterioration has affected irrigation systems, trees, plants and other landscape features. As the City plans for the long-term, it will invite property owners within each LMD to meetings to discuss how the funding shortfall and maintenance needs can be addressed. The LMD funding shortfalls leave the City and affected property owners with two options. The first option is to further reduce the maintenance services provided so that expenses are in line with revenues. While this is possible, the City is concerned about the poor appearance that will result from further reducing maintenance services. The second option is for property owners to approve a new re-engineered LMD (referred to as 18-1 and 18-2 respectively) with revised assessments, including an annual index (CPI) to ensure that future assessments keep pace with inflationary cost adjustments.
The City held informational meetings with LMD 83-1 owners in November. Staff will invite LMD 86-1 property owners to participate in informational meetings in January. These informational meetings precede a ballot that will be mailed in March 2018 with options for the future upkeep of landscaping along main roads, neighborhood entryways and common areas within each LMD. Ballots will include an option to vote to increase the assessment rate, which will include an annual CPI index, to restore and improve service levels and reinvest in landscaping and maintenance. The outcome will be determined by the majority of the ballots received.
For more information, including an interactive map with proposed assessments for LMD 83-1 and 86-1 (newly reengineered as LMD 18-1 and 18-2 respectively), visit the City’s website at http://poway.org/930/LMD-86-1-2018-Ballot-Measures