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By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

April 10 and May 1 hearing dates set for Meadowood CFD

 

Last updated 4/4/2019 at 8:11am



Hearings to form a Community Facilities District for Pardee Homes’ Meadowood development will be part of the April 10 and May 1 San Diego County Board of Supervisors meetings.

The supervisors set the hearing dates Feb. 27, on a 5-0 vote, and since the county supervisors are also the board members of the San Diego County Flood Control District that vote on behalf of the flood control district approved a Joint Community Facilities Agreement which will be part of the CFD and which had previously been approved by the North County Fire Protection District board.

“Pardee Homes has just been great working with the staff to satisfy the conditions of approval,” Supervisor Jim Desmond said.

In January 2012, the board of supervisors approved the 384-acre Meadowood development. The original approved map included 397 single-family homes, 447 multi-family dwelling units, 13 acres for an elementary school which will be built by the Bonsall Unified School District, four acres of park land, 128 acres of biological open space, 47 acres of agricultural open space, 5.9 miles of trails and a wastewater treatment plant. In order to avoid impacts to sensitive environmental resources, a public park was relocated and the number of units is now expected to be reduced to 825 with the public park size increased to 9.1 acres and the trail total reduced to 5.6 miles. Because the deviation was less than 10 percent of the total amount of the previously approved plan, the change was found to be in substantial conformance with the map and no additional hearing was needed. The residential component is now expected to consist of 473 single-family and 352 multi-family homes.

“It’s housing for a variety of income levels,” Desmond said. “It’s also in an excellent location. These will be allowing people to live in San Diego County rather than commuting from other areas.”

The 1-percent property tax will not be sufficient to cover county, San Diego County Flood Control District or North County Fire Protection District services which will be needed to serve Meadowood. The county and Pardee have been working to create a Community Facilities District which would include a special tax to pay for services not funded by the regular property tax. The revenue would be distributed through a Joint Community Facilities Agreement which stipulates the collection process as well as the distribution process.

In 2007, the county supervisors adopted Board Policy I-136 which outlines how potential Community Facilities District projects will be evaluated, ensures that the CFDs are created for the public good and stipulates disclosure requirements which notify prospective property owners of the assessment. Policy I-136 also defines credit requirements to protect bondholders from default for CFDs which issue bonds for reimbursement of constructed infrastructure, although Meadowood will fund services only and will not use long-term bonds. Policy I-136 also limits the tax rate for a CFD to 1.86 percent of the estimated sales price of the residential homes. The first CFD in unincorporated San Diego County was established for a Harmony Grove development, and in 2014 a CFD for the Horse Creek Ridge project near Meadowood became the unincorporated county’s second CFD.

The Community Facilities District for Meadowood would allow for the collection of three special taxes: one for county services, one for flood control services, although the county supervisors serve as the board of the San Diego County Flood Control District and the flood control district is administered by the county’s Department of Public Works, it is a separate legal district, and one for fire and emergency medical services.

The initial tax for county services would be $609 per single-family residential unit and $457 per multi-family unit. The base tax to fund flood control services would be $342 per single-family unit and $256 per multi-family unit. The fire district would receive $283 for each single-family home and $195 for each condominium unit or other multi-family dwelling unit for the first year. There would be no levy for the fire protection and emergency medical services on the undeveloped property.

The initial tax amount is for fiscal year 2019-2020. The taxes would be increased by 2 percent annually to cover the increased cost of services. The total tax for fiscal year 2019-20 would be $1,234 per single-family unit, which equates to an estimated tax rate between 1.31 and 1.35 percent of the sale price and $908 per multi-family unit.

If the Bonsall Unified School District chooses not to build an elementary school up to 42 residential units would be allowed on those 13 acres and would also be subject to the special taxes. If the school district owns the property, that land would not be subject to the assessment.

The North County Fire Protection District board approved the Joint Community Facilities Agreement on a 5-0 vote, Jan. 22.

“We’re really happy that we were able to not only finalize the agreement but work cooperatively with all the various county departments,” NCFPD fire Chief Steve Abbott said.

In 2014 San Diego County’s Local Agency Formation Commission detached the Meadowood land from the San Diego County Regional Fire Authority boundaries and annexed the 384 acres into the North County Fire Protection District. The LAFCO transfer provided the North County Fire Protection District with 7 percent of the 1 percent basic property tax assessment, which was based on previous property tax exchange agreements. That funding will not cover the full cost of delivering fire protection and emergency medical service to Meadowood, so additional revenue to cover the fire district’s cost to serve the area will be obtained through the CFD. Pardee paid a $389,000 annexation fee to the fire district at that time.

The fire district is expected to receive an additional $202,500 in annual revenue when the homes are built but before the 2 percent annual increases.

“We’re certainly looking forward to the additional funding to provide additional staffing out along the I-15 corridor,” Abbott said.

The county not including the San Diego County Flood Control District is expected to receive $423,775 annually in 2019, while the flood control district can expect an additional $252,004 for its maintenance of stormwater drainage and treatment facilities.

The Community Facilities District boundary map has six different tax zones which correspond to the residential planning areas of the Meadowood development. Each planning area comprises a separate phase of the final map. The zone structure allows the assessment for each zone to be recalibrated if there is a reduction in the number of units or taxable acreage at the time the final map is recorded.

The first step required to form a CFD is a petition from the developer, which has been received along with the proposed boundary map. The board of supervisors then adopts a resolution of intention to form a CFD.

The county supervisors initially approved a resolution of intention in March 2018, but due to the change in the map that resolution of intention was withdrawn and will be replaced by the resolution of intention scheduled to be adopted April 10. That hearing will allow the county supervisors to consider not only the establishment of the CFD but also the proposed rate and method of apportionment of the collection of the special tax, the Joint Community Facilities Agreement with the North County Fire Protection District and the San Diego County Flood Control District and other elements of the CFD.

The April 10 hearing will also adopt a resolution calling for an election and approve the first reading and introduction of the ordinance authorizing the special tax. Because the proposed CFD area is uninhabited and Pardee is the sole property owner, a consent and waiver will allow for a waiver of the normal election procedure to form a CFD and the ballot to form the CFD can be returned immediately upon the adoption of the resolution forming the assessment district. The May 1 hearing will approve the results of the election and also approve the second reading and adoption of the ordinance to levy the special tax.

The property is also part of Zone A of the San Diego County Street Lighting District, and property owners will also pay that annual assessment which is currently $13.50 per benefit unit.

 

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