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Special tax district formed for I-15 housing project
Supervisors finalize arrangement for Horse Creek Ridge
Thursday, March 13th, 2014
Issue 11, Volume 18.
A 5-0 San Diego County Board of Supervisors vote Feb. 26 declared the results of the mail ballot election to form the CFD. D.R. Horton is the sole property owner of the currently-uninhabited land and cast the supporting ballot. The supervisors’ vote also included officially adopting the ordinance to create the special district and levy the appropriate taxes.
"The CFD is formed," said Michele Stress, the special districts program coordinator for the county’s Department of Public Works.
The election and its results declaration date were approved by a 5-0 Board of Supervisors vote Jan. 29 which also approved the introduction and first reading of the ordinance to create the district and levy the tax and approved the execution and delivery of Joint Community Facilities Agreements with the North County Fire Protection District and the San Diego County Flood Control District.
The supervisors also found that the actions are within the scope of the project’s Environmental Impact Report adopted in May 2011. The Jan. 29 action also included a public hearing on the creation of the district and the assessment of the tax, although no members of the public spoke.
"This was just the follow-up action," Stress said of the Feb. 26 final approval.
The Horse Creek Ridge development is the residential segment of the Campus Park project approved by the Board of Supervisors in May 2011. The approved map calls for 521 single-family residences and 230 condominium dwelling units.
The one percent base 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 the district. The County of San Diego and D.R. Horton (who purchased the residential component of Campus Park from Passarelle, LLC) worked to create a Community Facilities District which includes a special tax to pay for services not funded by the regular property tax.
The revenue will be distributed through a Joint Community Facilities Agreement which stipulates the collection process as well as the distribution process.
The CFD allows for the collection of three special taxes: one for county services, one forflood control services (although the county supervisors also serve as the board of the San Diego County Flood Control District and the flood control district is administered by the Department of Public Works, it is a separate legal district), and one for fire and emergency medical services.
The initial tax for county services is $655 per single-family residential unit, $496 per multi-family residential unit, and $5,256 per acre of undeveloped property. The base tax to fund flood control needs is $267 per single-family unit, $203 per multi-family unit, and $2,144 per undeveloped acre.
There is no levy for fire protection and emergency medical services on the undeveloped property. Each single-family unit will initially be assessed $201 for the fire and emergency medical services tax while each multi-family dwelling unit is $153.
The initial tax amount is for fiscal year 2014-15. The taxes will increase by two percent annually to cover the increased cost of services.
The property will also be part of Zone A of the San Diego County Street Lighting District and property owners will pay that annual assessment, which is currently $6.48 per benefit unit.
In 2007, the county supervisors adopted Board Policy I-136 which outlines how potential Community Facilities District projects will be evaluated, ensures that 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, although Horse Creek Ridge will fund services only and will not use long-term bonds. Horse Creek Ridge is the second CFD in unincorporated San Diego County; the first is in Harmony Grove.
The first step required to form a CFD is a petition from the developer, which was received along with the proposed boundary map. The supervisors’ 5-0 vote Dec. 4 to adopt an intent to form a CFD was the next step, followed by the noticed public hearing and adoption of a resolution forming the CFD.
On Oct. 22, the North County Fire Protection District board voted 5-0 to approve the Joint Community Facilities Agreement for Horse Creek Ridge. Seven percent of the one percent base property tax assessed on the land will be provided to the fire district along with the CFD assessment.
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