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By Joe Naiman
Village News Reporter 

Meadowood CFD assessment adjusted


Last updated 7/3/2020 at 3:23am

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved an adjustment to the Community Facilities District assessment for Pardee Homes’ Meadowood development.

The supervisors’ 5-0 vote, Wednesday, June 24, approved the assessment and also certified the results of the election to approve the assessment. Because the Meadowood property is uninhabited and Pardee Homes is the sole property owner, the sole vote was in favor of the new rates. Pardee Homes requested the change due to modification of the boundaries of specific tax zones to correlate with the phasing of the development and also due to an increase in the maintenance cost of stormwater facilities resulting from a site plan change and San Diego County Flood Control District input.

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 residential component is now expected to consist of 473 single-family and 352 multi-family homes, while the public park size has increased to 9.1 acres with the trail length reduced to 5.6 miles.

The 1% 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 Homes worked to create a Community Facilities District which will include a special tax to pay for services not funded by the regular property tax. The CFD was created in May 2019 and the revenue will be distributed through a Joint Communities Facilities Agreement which stipulates the collection process as well as the distribution process.

In 2007 the board of 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. Policy I-136 also limits the tax rate for a CFD to 1.86% 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 CFD for Meadowood allows 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 amount for fiscal year 2019-2020 for county services was $609 per single-family residential unit and $457 per multi-family residential unit, the base tax for flood control services was $352 per single-family unit and $256 per multi-family unit and the fire district would have received $283 for each single-family lot and $195 per condominium or other multi-family dwelling unit had such units existed. The taxes will increase by 2% each year to cover the increased cost of services. The total tax for 2019-2020 was $1,234 per single-family unit, which equates to an estimated rate of between 1.31% and 1.35% of the sale price and $908 per multi-family unit.

The Meadowood CFD boundary map has six different tax zones which correspond to the residential planning areas of the 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 when the lots are finalized. Pardee Homes submitted a request to amend the boundary map and the corresponding rate and method of apportionment.

Engineering changes related to stormwater facilities resulted in an increase in the estimated cost for the county not including the flood control district from $423,775 to $446,001 in 2020 dollars. The addition of pre-treatment structures upstream of basins maintained by the flood control district along with changes in detention basin quantities increased the annual cost for the flood control district from $252,004 to $271,378 in 2020 dollars.

When the land was annexed into the North County Fire Protection District in 2014, Pardee Homes paid a $389,000 annexation fee. The fire district is expected to receive an additional $210,616 annually in 2020 dollars when the homes are built.

The new assessment amount changes the base year to 2020-2021. The initial county levy will be $649 per single-family home and $486 per multi-family unit, the flood control assessment will be $374 for single-family units and $280 for multi-family homes and the fire protection tax will be $298 for single-family houses and $199 for multi-family homes. That change totals $1,312 for single-family homes and $965 for multi-family units for a rate of between 1.30% to 1.36%.

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 those taxes. If the school district owns the property that land would not be subject to the assessment.

The county’s processing costs to amend the CFD are estimated at $40,000. Pardee Homes will reimburse the county for those expenses.

The county supervisors voted 5-0, May 6, to set the June 24 hearing date. A second reading and adoption of the assessment ordinance is scheduled for July 8.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected]


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