The city of Santa Clarita is planning to reset its Landscape Maintenance Districts, which have grown unwieldy from an administrative standpoint as new areas have been added to the city since incorporation in 1987.
In June the City Council voted to send ballots to approximately 15,000 property owners throughout the city, to obtain their consent, as required by law, to implement the changes.
The changes involve standardizing the way rates are assessed, with an eye toward balancing the landscape benefit between different land uses. Ballots were mailed out July 27 and also request approval for annexing parcels into existing LMDs and creating new LMD zones.
Ballots will be tabulated during a public hearing of the City Council on Sept. 13.
For detailed information about the proposed LMD changes, visit this city website.
ABOUT LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE DISTRICTS
Am I in an LMD?
Your property is in an LMD if it is listed under the “Direct Assessments” section on your annual property tax bill. Some properties are in more than one district.
Landscape easements allow the City or its contractors the right to access district areas for maintenance purposes. These areas are to be maintained as open space or landscaped slopes, and are to be maintained per the original landscape plans and design concept.
Any alteration of the areas within a Landscape Maintenance District must be approved by the City and performed by authorized crews. Homeowner encroachments such as fences, block walls, structures, plantings, alterations to the irrigation, grading, and drainage are not allowed.
Use of the land contrary to the provisions of this section is considered a public nuisance. Upon providing notice to the homeowner, the City may remove any unauthorized construction or plantings at the homeowner’s expense.
The dumping of trash, debris, and the storage of homeowner materials in irrigated/planted areas, brush slopes, or drainage swales is also not allowed. The disposal of animal waste on slopes, common areas, and drainage swales is also prohibited.
The LMD contract crews’ hours are Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. During this time, crews perform mowing, weeding, trimming, irrigation repairs, and v-ditch/drain clearance.