LMAD Funding, Assessments & Prop 218
Many of the landscaping, street lighting, and traffic signal districts are funded and maintained in part through assessments collected by the Yorba Linda Street Lighting and Landscaping Maintenance District (commonly known as the “LMAD” or “District”). The assessment amount levied on a particular parcel of property is based on the proportional special benefit conferred on that property.
YOUR LMAD ASSESSMENT
When your property tax statement is issued by the County of Orange, you will see an assessment shown as “LNDSCP & LTG #1”. This is a compilation of the assessments that benefit your parcel. View Sample Property Tax Statement (PDF).
Alternatively, to determine the LMAD Landscape Assessment that you pay annually, please feel free to contact the Public Works Department at 714-961-7170. Please note:
- The City-wide 49 landscape and lighting assessment estimates are as of October 2018, but may be subject to some adjustments by the County of Orange before posting to the December 2018 property tax bills.
- The assessment rates are subject to change every fiscal year with the adoption of the annual Engineer’s Report.
Requirements & Methodology for assessment increase
In 1996, Proposition 218 was approved by California voters. This proposition precludes the City from unilaterally increasing assessments in order to increase revenue to cover the increasing costs of maintaining a LMAD zone, unless such increases are approved by a vote of the property owners within the LMAD zone. On July 1, 1997, a City-wide ballot proceeding was conducted where 83% of the responding property owners approved the continuation of the City’s LMAD District created under the 1972 Act. In addition, the voters approved a cost escalation clause so that the maximum annual assessment could rise by the same percentage as the Consumer Price Index (“CPI”) for the Los Angeles/Orange County region.
For nearly 20 years (1997 to 2015), no assessments were increased (beyond the Consumer Price Index) in the LMAD. However, costs for maintenance related items, such as utilities and contract labor, escalated significantly over that period of time. The costs for some neighborhoods began running consistently over budget, and over the amount of LMAD assessment funds collected, by the District. For many years, this shortfall was subsidized with City “General Fund” dollars. However, funding from the City’s General Fund budget was counter to the purpose of the District, which was to be self-supporting based upon the assessments collected in each particular zone of the District.
Therefore, on March 3, 2015, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 2015-5296 (PDF). This Resolution established the City Council’s goal to eliminate the use of City general funds to subsidize LMAD zones that were in a funding deficit. To eliminate the funding deficit a Proposition 218 ballot measure process was and is evoked.
PROPOSITION 218 ballotinG PROCESS
Several Local Landscape Zones have undergone such Proposition 218 balloting processes to allow parcel owners to decide if they wanted to increase their annual assessment or have the areas of landscaping in their neighborhood reduced in order to eliminate having maintenance costs exceed the revenue generated by the annual assessment.
When a specific Local Landscape Zone is working in a deficit scenario or trending to do so in the next fiscal year (per the Engineer’s Report (PDF), a Prop 218 ballot measure may be warranted. In general, through this voting process, the property owners of the identified deficient Local Landscape Zones are provided a ballot to vote on either of the following or a variation thereof:
- Yes = To increase their assessment in their zone and retain the existing maintenance service levels; or
- No = To keep their same assessments and reduce the maintenance service levels.
In general, with a Local Landscape Zone No-vote against increasing their assessments, the City will then reduce the amount of landscape maintenance areas it maintains in that Local Landscape Zone and vacate (relinquish) certain City landscape maintenance easements. In which case, the underlying property owner is thereafter responsible for the landscape maintenance in such areas. Information on the prioritization of maintenance areas are explained in the “Guidelines for Deficit Zones" (PDF)
current balloted zones for fiscal year 2020/2021
On November 17, 2020, the City Council conducted a Public Hearing upon the proposed increase in assessments for Zone L-2G. Upon conclusion of the Public Hearing, the Proposition 218 ballots were tabulated resulting in a Majority Protest:
- 71% Voting No
- 29% Voting Yes
With this No Vote, the City Council subsequently held the continued Public Hearing concerning the complete or partial vacation of nineteen (19) designated landscape easements within or adjacent to Tracts 9813, 10731, 11455, 11485 and declared the vacation of these nineteen (19) landscape easements, thus returning the maintenance to the underlying property owner. Pursuant to this direction, the City will remove the existing irrigation lines and/or obtain release agreements from property owners who wish to keep any of the existing onsite irrigation equipment. The City will continue to irrigate and maintain the designated areas until the final recordation of the landscape easement vacation documents is complete.
On September 30, 2020, voting ballots were mailed to all residents in Zone L-2G, providing slightly more than the minimum balloting duration of 45 days prior to the Public Hearing. Property owners in Zone L:-2G have until the closed of the Public Hearing on November 17, 2020 to submit their signed and marked assessment ballot. View the Notice of Public Hearing and Assessment Ballot Procedures for Local Landscaping Zone L-2G (PDF).
On August 18, 2020, after considering public comment and discussion, the City Council initiated Proposition 218 ballot proceedings for a re-vote for Zone L-2G.
On June 16, 2020, the City Council conducted the Public Hearing in accordance with next steps after a failed Prop 218 vote. The City Council continued the Public Hearing declaring the complete or partial vacation of nineteen (19) designated landscape easements within or adjacent to Tracts 9813, 10731, 11455 and 11485 to a date certain of July 21, 2020, allowing the property owners time to initiate and coordinate a petition for Zone L-2G in an effort to determine if a re-vote is warranted.
On May 19, 2020, the City Council declared its intent to vacate complete and partial landscape easements designated within or adjacent to Tracts 9813, 10731, 11455 and 11485 within the LMAD Zone L-2G.
On March 3, 2020, a Public Hearing was conducted upon the proposed increase in assessments for Zone L-2G, and consider all objection and protests, whether written or oral, if any. The Public Hearing was closed at approximately 7:00 p.m. in order to direct staff to tabulate the Proposition 218 Ballots for Local Landscaping Zone L-2G. The agenda item was reconvened at the end of the meeting once the votes were tabulated.
- The result of the vote was a Majority Protest with 74.3% voting No and 25.7% voting Yes.
- Staff will return to City Council in the next couple of months to initiate and implement the reduction in the landscaping maintenance services and the vacation of easements, thus returning the maintenance to the underlying property owner.
View L-2G Proposed Landscape Maintenance Reduction Maps(PDF) - A final map to be posted once approved by City Council prior to the beginning of the fiscal year July 1, 2020.
On December 17, 2019, the City Council adopted and approved the following:
- Resolution No. 2019-5647 (PDF), approving the Engineer’s Report regarding a proposed new or increased assessment within the Yorba Linda Street Lighting and Landscaping Maintenance Assessment District for Local Landscaping Zone L2G for Fiscal Year 2020/2021; and
- Resolution No. 2019-5648 (PDF), declaring its intention to ballot property owners for a proposed new or increased assessment within the Yorba Linda Street Lighting and Landscaping Maintenance Assessment District for Local Landscaping Zone L2G for Fiscal Year 2020/2021, setting March 3, 2020 (during the regular City Council Meeting) for a Public Hearing, and authorizing staff to proceed with the balloting procedures.
Ballots were mailed to residents within Local Landscaping Zone L-2G on January 17, 2020. View the Notice of Public Hearing and Assessment Ballot Procedures for Local Landscaping Zone-L-2G (PDF)
During the City Council Meeting on May 5, 2020 a Public Hearing was conducted upon the proposed increase in assessments for Zone L-4A, and in consideration of all objection and protests, whether written or oral, if any. The Public Hearing was opened at approximately 7:00 p.m. in order to direct staff to tabulate the Proposition 218 Ballots. The agenda item was reconvened at the end of the meeting once the votes were tabulated.
- The result of the vote was 58% voting Yes, and 42% voting No, thus the increase in assessment passed.
Residents of Zone L-4A should anticipate seeing the increase in your assessment on your next property tax bill. Of note, please remember that this Zone chose to vote to increase the level of maintenance, as opposed to keeping the current maintenance service level. These increases will be incorporated into next year’s budget and are anticipate to begin to July 1, 2020, or soon thereafter. Staff is currently in the design phase of the Median Transition Project. Construction will begin in the fall with the restoration of the medians along Arroyo Cajon with other improvements to follow as seasonal weather permits.
The resident-led petition gathering phase closed Monday, February 10, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. In order to recommend a Proposition 218 Vote to the Yorba Linda City Council your Zone needed to obtain 50% + 1 of the single family parcel signatures. The final official result totaled 95 signatures in favor of a Proposition 218 Vote for your Zone, thus meeting and exceeding the 50% +1 requirement. This zone is currently voting, with the ballots due to the City Clerk prior to the 7:00 p.m. Public Hearing on May 5, 2020.
Ballots were mailed to residents within Local Landscaping Zone L-4A on March 19, 2020. View the Notice of Public Hearing and Assessment Ballot Procedures for Local Landscaping Zone-L-4A (PDF)
- View the PowerPoint Presentation from the January 13, 2020 Community Meeting for Local Landscaping Zone L-4A (PDF)
- View the PowerPoint Presentation from the December 10, 2019 Community Meeting for Local Landscaping Zone L-4A (PDF)
During the City Council Meeting on May 19, 2020 a Public Hearing was conducted upon the proposed increase in assessments for Zone L-2E, and in consideration of all objection and protests, whether written or oral, if any. The Public Hearing was opened at approximately 7:30 p.m. in order to direct staff to tabulate the Proposition 218 Ballots. The agenda item was reconvened once the votes were tabulated.
- The result of the vote was 77% voting Yes, and 23% voting No, thus the increase in assessment passed.
Residents of Zone L-2E should anticipate seeing the increase in your assessment on your next property tax bill.
A Community Meeting was held February 19, 2020 to provide information and answer questions for the residents of this underfunded zone. The petition process was also discussed as a means for the residents to request a Prop 218 Vote.
- View the Letter to Residents (PDF)
- View the PowerPoint Presentation from the February 19, 2020 Community Meeting for Local Landscaping Zone L-2E (PDF)
The resident-led petition gathering phase closed Monday, March 2, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. In order to recommend a Proposition 218 Vote to the Yorba Linda City Council the Zone needed to obtain 50% + 1 of the single family parcel votes. The final official result totaled 73 votes in favor of a Proposition 218 Vote for the Zone, thus meeting and exceeding the 50% +1 requirement. Therefore, a staff report recommending an Intent to Ballot was placed on the City Council Meeting Agenda Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The Intent to Ballot was approved by City Council. This zone is currently voting, with the ballots due to the City Clerk prior to the 7:00 p.m. Public Hearing on May 19, 2020.
- View the March 17, 2020 Staff Report
- Ballots were mailed to residents within Local Landscaping Zone L-2E on March 25, 2020. View the Notice of Public Hearing and Assessment Ballot Procedures for Local Landscaping Zone-L-2E (PDF)
Modifications to LMAD Zones
Property owners that receive a Special Benefit (reside within a Local Landscape Zone), as determined by the current Engineer’s Annual Report, may petition the City Council for modifications to the LMAD. In general, this includes, but is not limited to, requests to add additional services, conduct one-time capital improvements, and add additional area to receive service. For example, should residents wish to explore avenues to increase their Local Landscape Zone assessment so that the LMAD provides a higher maintenance level, residents in the specific Local Landscape Zone can then petition the City Council to allow for a Proposition 218 vote to increase the maximum amount of the assessment for the zone. This falls under the request for a modification process.
Any resident requesting such modifications to their Local Landscape Zone will need to refer to the Guidelines for Property Owner Requested Modification (PDF) in the LMAD. At least 50% of property owners in the zone must petition the City, along with other criteria as may be required by the City Council. A resident interested in a potential Proposition 218 vote for their Local Landscape Zone will need to discuss with City staff before proceeding. Please contact the Public Works Department at (714) 961-7170.