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By Kim Murphy
Murphy and Murphy Southern California Realty 

Real Estate Round-Up: Community Benefit Program and your home's value

 

Last updated 11/7/2019 at 7:50am



When I was a child, my parents took care of everything for me. They not only fed me, but they made sure I had new clothes for school, took me to the doctor and dentist and even supported dance and piano lessons.

As I got older, they continued to support me. They paid for college tuition, my room and board and continued to pay for my clothing, trips to the doctor and dentist and my participation in my sorority and intramural sports.

When I graduated college, that life all came to an end. I was educated; I was an adult, and it was time for me to take care of myself.

Why am I sharing these very normal and ordinary facts of my life? Because I think my parents, like all parents, saw their support of me as a kind of paying it forward activity, with the goal of their love and support yielding to the development of an independent, able-bodied young woman, who was fully capable of taking care of herself and who would in time, pay it forward.

This thought might be a stretch, but if you truly think about it without any preconceived bias, the current caretakers of Fallbrook have been acting like our parents for such a long time that we have all come to take it for granted and presumed on their continued ability and generosity.

Back to my story, I fully understood that once I graduated college, my parents were done supporting me. But, if for example, all those things had been delivered to me via a secret elf, with me unaware of any sacrifice by my parents, I might have expected it to continue forever.

I might not have realized that there was an end to my parents’ generosity and that I was going to have to take over. But there was no elf, and the free stuff came to an end.

I believe that this point is where things are at with the Community Benefits Program. I’ve read comments complaining about the $5 per month commitment it would cost, which is why I am compelled to put it into context.

Everyone in Fallbrook pays nothing to anyone for keeping it graffiti or litter free. Everyone in Fallbrook pays nothing to anyone to maintain the flowering South Mission median, the charming potted plants, trees and park benches along Main Avenue, the Railroad Heritage Square, the downtown Village Square, Palomares House, Art in Public Places or downtown lighting.

Everyone in Fallbrook pays nothing to anyone to maintain Los Jilgueros Preserve, Ingold Sports Park, Jackie Heyneman Park and Pico Promenade or the miles and miles of trails throughout our unincorporated area. Yet, we’ve become accustomed to the secret elves that fund the maintenance and provide the labor.

In what reality does this make sense? I don’t know about you, but one of the big draws to Fallbrook is the charm of the town. Visitors feel like they went back in time. They love the charming downtown area; they like the drive into town up South Mission Road.

Many people return year after year to the same bed-and-breakfast that they rented previously and take advantage of our hiking trails and tranquil rural lifestyle. Many of those visitors become residents once they retire.

All the “free” enhancements increase the value of Fallbrook and our homes.

So, my question is, does maintaining what has been provided for so long for free seem worth keeping? If we were a city, our property taxes would be considerably higher than they currently are, so all these amenities would be paid for out of property tax dollars.

But we’re not a city, so there is no financial arm to pay for these amenities unless we support the Community Benefits Program, even with its $5 per month fee.

Consider one more thing. Some people have incorrectly stated that Fallbrook Public Utilities District has a financial benefit or incentive to administer the program. Nothing could be further from the truth.

FPUD has “latent power” that allows them to step in and help Fallbrook administer this program. The Community Benefits Program does not benefit FPUD; it benefits Fallbrook.

To put it in perspective, San Diego County was approached to administer the program, which they could do. The county wanted 30% of the funds collected to pay for the administration. FPUD is taking nothing.

No matter how you feel about water fees and charges, FPUD would be doing a very nice thing for Fallbrook if they agree to administer the program.

Ask yourself: Are you still the kid or young adult who is expecting the secret elf to pay for everything you need or are you willing to give up the extra things that made your life interesting?

Or, are you ready to step up, be the young adult and take responsibility for maintaining the lifestyle you enjoyed and want to enjoy in the future?

Here’s to the young adults of Fallbrook. It’s great to meet you.

Kim Murphy can be reached at kim@murphy-realty.com or (760) 415-9292 or at 130 N Main Avenue, in Fallbrook. Her broker license is #01229921, and she is on the board of directors for the California Association of Realtors.

 

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