TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND COUNCILMEMBERS
FROM: DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS
DATE: JUNE 21, 2005
SUBJECT: CITYWIDE LANDSCAPING AND LIGHTING MAINTENANCE DISTRICT
1. The Citywide Landscaping and Lighting Maintenance District has been in existence since 1992.
2. The revenues from the assessments that are levied annually are used to help pay for the maintenance of traffic signals, safety lighting, streetlights, street trees, median and parkway landscaping and weed abatement within the public rights of way in the City.
3. The Engineer’s Report for fiscal year 2005-06, as filed, proposes the same assessment rates per Equivalent Dwelling Unit (EDU) as have been levied since fiscal year 1999-00.
4. The City inherited a large fund balance from the County of Los Angeles on account of a 1911 Act District and 1972 Act District that were created by the County to maintain streetlights within the City. The fund balance is now approximately $1.1 million. Staff is recommending that monies from that fund balance in the amount of $72,200 be used to maintain City traffic signals and safety lighting for fiscal year 2005-06. This will allow the City to reduce the amount of each property owner’s assessment under the Citywide Landscaping and Lighting Maintenance District for fiscal year 2005-06 by $4.46 per EDU (a single family home is one EDU).
5. As of the date of this staff report, no protests concerning the assessments have been received for this year. No protests have been received for the past five years.
A number of years ago, the County established County Lighting Maintenance District No. 1560 (the "CLMD") in County unincorporated territory. The CLMD was established pursuant to the Improvement Act of 1911, California Streets and Highways Code Section 5000 et seq. (the "1911 Act"). The CLMD is made up of property that, following the incorporation of the City, is now within the City boundaries and includes approximately half of the City.
Pursuant to the 1911 Act, the County previously levied annual ad valorem property taxes against the properties in the CLMD to finance the maintenance of streetlights. Each year the County set the tax rate at a level that was sufficient to fund the maintenance expenses for the coming year. The ad valorem property tax revenues represented the County’s sole source of funds for the CLMD.
In 1978, the passage of Proposition 13, a Constitutional amendment, changed things for the County by halting the County’s ability to set the ad valorem tax rate each year for the CLMD. Proposition 13 generally prohibits local governments from levying ad valorem property taxes. Instead, there now is a countywide property tax rate of one percent of assessed value. At the time of the passage of Proposition 13, each local government that was levying property taxes within the County was apportioned a portion of the one percent tax based on its tax rate prior to Proposition 13. See Cal. Const art. XIIIA; Cal. Rev. & Tax Code §§ 93, 95 et seq. This apportionment continues to dictate the amount of property tax revenues each local government receives from the County on account of the one percent ad valorem property tax and replaces the individual tax levies of local governments.
Following the passage of Proposition 13, the County has annually been allocated the CLMD’s share of the one percent ad valorem property tax. Since this apportionment is a function of Proposition 13 and is fixed, the County was not able to increase its CLMD tax revenues to meet increasing annual maintenance expenses. Eventually the annual maintenance costs exceeded the County’s annual tax revenues for the CLMD. The County, therefore, needed to find an additional source of revenues to address the shortfall. The County’s solution was to form a county-wide overlay assessment district.
In 1979, the County formed District LLA-1 pursuant to the Landscaping and Lighting Act of 1972, California Streets and Highways Code Section 22500, et seq. (the "1972 Act"). Assessments levied annually under the 1972 Act provided a supplemental source of revenues to the County. District LLA-1 included a zone that corresponded to the CLMD, which was called the City of Rancho Palos Verdes Zone (the "Zone"). For a number of years, the County funded street light maintenance in the CLMD/Zone using a combination
of 1911 Act ad valorem property tax revenues and 1972 Act assessments. Over those years, the County built up a substantial fund balance.
The County continued along in this manner until the City decided to take over from the County the responsibility for maintaining the streetlights in the City. In 1995, the County transferred its jurisdiction over the CLMD to the City. As part of this transfer, the County agreed to annually pay over to the City the ad valorem property tax revenues the County receives on behalf of the CLMD under Proposition 13. In connection with the transfer of jurisdiction and detachment described above, the City received the County’s large CLMD/Zone fund balance. The County did not document how much of the fund balance represented proceeds from the 1911 Act ad valorem property taxes and how much represented proceeds of the 1972 Act assessments.
It was not possible for the County to transfer jurisdiction over its 1972 Act Zone to the City. Instead, the County detached the Zone from the remainder of District LLA-1. This allowed the City to include these properties in the City’s Citywide Landscaping and Lighting Maintenance District (the "Citywide District"), which the City had established in 1992, pursuant to the 1972 Act. Since 1992, the District has enabled the City to levy assessments to finance the operation, maintenance and servicing of traffic signals, safety lighting, street lights, street trees, median and parkway landscaping and weed abatement. The Citywide District includes all of the assessable parcels in the City.
The 1972 Act requires that proceedings be undertaken on an annual basis for any year during which assessments will be levied and collected. The 1972 Act also requires the preparation of an engineer’s report in connection with the levy of assessments. On May 17, 2005, the City Council, by resolution, preliminarily approved the fiscal year 2005-06 Engineer’s Report, which establishes the amount of the assessments and set this evening’s public hearing on the proposed levy of assessments for fiscal year 2005-06. The Engineer’s Report establishes the assessment rates per EDU at the same rates per EDU that were assessed last year.
The estimate of the expenses of the District for fiscal year 2005-06 is $851,274. The proposed total assessment for fiscal year 2005-06 is $328,018. $94,855 of general District reserves, $369,400 of 1911 Act ad valorem property tax revenues and $59,000 of general funds will be used to cover District expenditures in excess of the assessments.
The preliminarily approved 2005-06 Engineer’s Report groups parcels into the City into various zones, each of which receives differing degrees of benefit from the operation of the District, as a result of variations of the nature, location and extent of the proposed maintenance activities and improvements. The proposed fiscal year 2005-06 assessment for the majority of single family homes is $20.38. If a portion of the fund balance is used to pay for the cost of maintaining traffic signals and safety lighting in the Citywide zone, the assessment for each parcel in the City will be reduced by $4.46 and the majority of single family homes would be assessed $15.92. For all parcels Citywide, the fiscal year 2005-06 assessment will be less than the assessment for fiscal year 2004-05.
If the City applied a portion of the County fund balance each year to the payment of Citywide traffic signal and safety lighting maintenance costs, the City could spend down approximately $72,200 of the fund balance each year. It would take approximately 15 years of applying the fund balance in this manner to expend approximately $1.1 million of the fund balance.
To levy assessments for District operation, the 1972 Act requires the City Council to conduct a public hearing and adopt a resolution confirming the Engineer’s Report, as filed or as modified by the City Council, and confirming the proposed assessment. By adopting the Staff recommendation and applying moneys from the existing fund balance, the City will be reducing the assessment for all parcels by $4.46 per EDU. For the majority of single family homes the assessment will be reduced to $15.92 for fiscal year 2005-06.
By adopting the Staff recommendation, the Council would be approving a transfer of $72,200 of the approximately $1.1 million dollar fund balance to pay for the cost of maintaining the traffic signals and safety lighting in the City. This will have the affect of lowering the proposed total assessment for each parcel by $4.46, so that the new proposed assessments for fiscal year 2005-06 will be from $3.77 to $41.33 (depending on the zone that the parcel is in) to fund the operation of the District.
Respectfully submitted: Reviewed by:
Dean Allison Les Evans
Director of Public Works City Manager
Attachments: Engineer’s Report
Resolution No. 2005-
RESOLUTION NO. 2005-
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES MODIFYING THE ENGINEER’S REPORT, MAKING CERTAIN FINDINGS, AND CONFIRMING A DIAGRAM AND ASSESSMENT FOR THE 2005-2006 FISCAL YEAR IN CONNECTION WITH THE CITYWIDE LANDSCAPING AND LIGHTING MAINTENANCE DISTRICT PURSUANT TO THE LANDSCAPING AND LIGHTING ACT OF 1972, PART 2 OF DIVISION 15 OF THE CALIFORNIA STREETS AND HIGHWAYS CODE
THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES HEREBY FINDS, DETERMINES, RESOLVES AND ORDERS AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Pursuant to prior resolutions, the City Council of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes initiated proceedings and declared its intention to levy an assessment against the assessable lots and parcels of property within an existing assessment district designated "Citywide Landscaping and Lighting Maintenance District" (the "District") pursuant to the provisions of the Landscaping and Lighting Act of 1972, Part 2 of Division 15 of the California Streets and Highways Code (commencing with Section 22500) (the "Act") for the fiscal year commencing July 1, 2005 and ending June 30, 2006, and ordered Harris & Associates (the "Assessment Engineer") to prepare and file a written report in accordance with Article 4 of Chapter 1 of the Act (the "Engineer’s Report"). The City Council, by prior resolution, approved such Engineer’s Report.
Section 2. The City Council hereby modifies the Engineer’s Report by applying $72,200 of the $1,130,086 1911 Act Lighting Maintenance District fund balance to the costs of traffic signals and safety lighting maintenance, resulting in a total net assessment of $255,818 for the cost and expenses of all the improvements. Such modification results in a credit of $4.46 per EDU against the assessment rate for each assessable lot or parcel in the District. Such application of the fund balance is temporary and may be discontinued in any subsequent fiscal year. In such event, the net total assessment for the cost and expenses of all the improvements may be restored to an amount not in excess of the fiscal year 2004-05 level ($328,163) and the credit of $4.46 per EDU may be discontinued with the assessments apportioned to each assessable lot or parcel in the District restored to amounts not in excess of the assessment rates for fiscal year 2004-05. The City Council hereby finds and determines that the foregoing application of the fund balance will be just and equitable and in the public interest. The City Council hereby directs the Assessment Engineer to prepare and file with the City Clerk the Engineer’s Report as so modified in accordance with this Section 2. The Engineer’s Report, as modified, shall remain on file in the office of the City Clerk and be available for public inspection.
Section 3. Following notice duly given in accordance with law, the City Council has held a full and fair public hearing regarding the Engineer’s Report, as modified, and the levy and collection of the proposed assessment within the District for fiscal year 2005-06 to pay for the costs and expenses of the improvements described in the Engineer’s Report, as modified, pursuant to the terms and provisions of the Act. All interested persons were afforded the opportunity to hear and be heard regarding protests and objections to the levy and collection of the proposed assessment against lots or parcels of property within the District. The City Council considered all oral and written statements, protests and communications made or filed by interested persons.
Section 4. Based upon its review of the Engineer’s Report, as modified, and other reports and information, the City Council hereby finds and determines that (i) the land within the District will be benefitted by the improvements described in the Engineer’s Report, as modified (ii) the District includes all of the lands so benefitted, and (iii) the net amount to be assessed upon the lands within the District for the 2005-06 fiscal year in accordance with the Engineer’s Report, as modified, is apportioned by a formula and method which fairly distributes the net amount among all assessable lots or parcels in proportion to the estimated benefits to be received by each such lot or parcel from the improvements. Any and all oral and written protests and objections are hereby overruled by the City Council.
Section 5. The City Council declares that the diagram and assessment in the Engineer’s Report, as modified, are hereby confirmed as filed.
Section 6. The City Council hereby orders the improvements described in the Engineer’s Report, as modified, to be made.
Section 7. The assessment is in compliance with the provisions of the Act and the City Council has complied with all laws pertaining to the levy of an annual assessment pursuant to the Act.
Section 8. The assessment is levied without regard to property valuation.
Section 9. Public property owned by any public agency and in use in the performance of a public function which is included within the boundaries of the District shall not be subject to assessment to be made under these proceedings to pay for any of the costs and expenses of the improvements.
Section 10. The assessment is levied for the purpose of paying the costs and expenses of the improvements described in the Engineer’s Report, as modified, for fiscal year 2005-06.
Section 11. The improvements described in the Engineer’s Report, as modified, shall be performed pursuant to law.
Section 12. The County Auditor of Los Angeles County shall enter on the County Assessment Roll opposite each lot or parcel of land the amount of the assessment and such assessments shall then be collected at the same time and in the same manner as the County taxes are collected. After collection by the County, the net amount of the assessments shall be paid to the City Treasurer.
Section 13. The City Treasurer shall deposit all moneys representing assessments collected by the County to the credit of a special fund known as Improvement Fund, Citywide Landscaping and Lighting Maintenance District.
Section 14. The adoption of this Resolution constitutes the levy of an assessment against the lots and parcels of land in the District for the fiscal year commencing July 1, 2005 and ending June 30, 2006.
Section 15. The City Clerk is hereby authorized and directed to file the diagram and assessment, or a certified copy of the diagram and assessment, with the County Auditor, together with a certified copy of this Resolution upon its adoption.
Section 16. A certified copy of the assessment and diagram shall be filed in the Department of Public Works, with a duplicate copy on file in the office of the City Clerk and open for public inspection.
PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED this _____ day of ______, 2005.