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By Joe Naiman
Village News Reporter 

Assessment increased for PRD zones


Last updated 7/10/2021 at 8:29am

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved increases for six permanent road division zones including PRD Zone No. 13A in Pala Mesa and PRD Zone No. 13B in Stewart Canyon.

The supervisors' 5-0 vote June 30 increased the assessment for PRD Zone No. 13A from $0 to $50 per benefit unit and the assessment for PRD Zone No. 13B from $25 to $100 per benefit unit. The average single-family residence is three benefit units, so the annual assessment for the average single-family residence would be $150 for PRD Zone No. 13A and $300 for PRD Zone No. 13B. The assessments are placed on property tax bills and will be effective for the 2021-22 property tax payments.

"These are private roads where people put into a fund," said Supervisor Jim Desmond.

The supervisors' action included that county staff return to the Board of Supervisors within 180 days with a draft policy amendment to ensure that PRD zones are adequately funded. "We need to set the expectations so residents understand what they're paying for," Desmond said. "There's not enough money going into these funds."

The money collected from the assessments must be used for road improvement or maintenance but is not required to be spent in any specific year. "Thirty years is way too far off," Desmond said.

"What I don't want to do is overpromise and underdeliver," Desmond said. "It's not the right way to go."

PRD Zone No. 13A Advisory Committee Chair Jim Ramsey is supportive of that policy. "There was no timeline to spend the money," he said.

"This is probably going to be an increase for the residents, but at least they know the expectations," Desmond said.

Currently the expectations are that the money won't result in immediate maintenance. "It's not going to take care of the whole district," Ramsey said.

"It's not going to get all done," said PRD Zone No. 13B Advisory Committee Chair Cathie Ransom.

PRD Zone No. 13A covers six roads in Pala Mesa – Sage Road, Brodea Lane, Citrus Drive, Sumac Road, Wilt Road, and a portion of Pala Mesa Drive – which total 6.84 miles.

"It worked out, I think, for the best," Ramsey said of the assessment increase.

"I'm hoping that with this extra boost of money that we can accomplish more," Ransom said. "I think we're heading in the right direction."

PRD Zone No. 13B covers 1.86 miles of Stewart Canyon Road and an unpaved road west of Interstate 15.

"We didn't have enough money. It hadn't been funded for so long," Ransom said.

The assessment increases had the support of enough residents to be recommended by the advisory committee chairs.

"They're all overdue," Ransom said.

"I think it will work out fine," Ramsey said. "We can continue to make the roads better."

The additional PRD Zone No. 13A funding will be used for road, culvert, and slope work. "We've just got a lot of road repair to do," Ramsey said.

"We can keep them in decent shape where people can actually have a decent road to drive on," Ramsey said. "We're going to try to keep them maintained."

Ramsey noted that culverts as well as road resurfacing would be among the near-term tasks. "We have some culverts to do," he said.

The specific PRD Zone No. 13A work has not yet been finalized. "It's all going to be prioritized," Ramsey said.

The additional PRD Zone No. 13B funding will be used for road and culvert maintenance.

"I think it's going to take three to five years to get up to where we should be," Ransom said. "We can only do so much in a year."

The assessment for the stormwater maintenance zone for Lake Rancho Viejo was also increased as part of the June 30 vote. The San Diego County Flood Control District has three stormwater maintenance zones including Lake Rancho Viejo, whose assessment will be raised from $319.48 to $320.57 due to a Construction Cost Index increase of 0.34 percent.


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