Immediately following the regular monthly meeting of the Bird Rock Community Council (BRCC) Nov. 3 at La Jolla Masonic Lodge, the community advisory group had its annual Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) meeting. The budget for fiscal year 2017 (July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017) was also discussed.
BRCC supervises its MAD, which assesses a fee to cover repairs or improvements to environmental elements, safety measures, aesthetics, irrigation, landscaping and more. Chiefly, MAD fees maintain the five landscaped roundabouts on and around La Jolla Boulevard, and the medians that connect them, as well as implement capital improvement projects.
BRCC treasurer Barbara Dunbar said the projects are chosen by the council after members of the community present ideas they would like to see funded by the MAD during meetings throughout the year, and many focus on safety. Select landscaping efforts are used to improve vehicular and pedestrian safety, particularly the trimming of overgrown trees and the replacement of diseased or dying trees to preserve a clear line-of-sight.
“In some areas, we’ve also noticed the color of plants we use makes a huge difference in drawing attention to the roundabout, reducing excessive traffic and cutting down on the number of drive-overs,” Dunbar said. “For instance, at the Colima Street roundabout, there are noticeable bright yellow plants. That seems to have cut down on the number of accidents in that area. … And that’s important because a lot of kids use that way to get to Bird Rock Elementary, so we like to keep those plants maintained and at the right height so those children can be seen.”
To deter the problematic drive-overs on the roundabouts that damage the irrigation system, BRCC plans to line the perimeter of the roundabouts with river rock. “That is partly for aesthetics but also it helps protect the irrigation system. The river rocks will provide a little more security.” These rocks have already been placed at the Sea Ridge and Chelsea Avenue roundabout, with other installations planned.
In addition to roundabout and median maintenance, the MAD has capital improvement projects to replace three guardrails. Two of which have already been replaced. The guardrail replacement at Bird Rock Avenue was finished Aug. 22 and the guardrail replacement at Forward Street was completed Oct. 22. “Unfortunately the necessity (at Forward Street) is that there were a number of traffic accidents that damaged the railings at there,” she said. The last guardrail to be replaced is at Midway Street in front of the CVS drugstore. “It’s pretty badly damaged, it’s been hit three times in three months by hit-and-run (accidents). The replacement date has not yet been set, but we have a bid out for it.”
Other miscellaneous projects to be funded include Halloween security; cleanups of gutters, drainage ditches and crossing ramps; debris removal from planters; and removal of illegal signs. Additionally, 10 BRCC-provided trashcans are emptied once a week, and there are also three city-provided cans on the ocean overlooks that are emptied weekly. MAD funding also pays for dog waste bags stations along La Jolla Boulevard and the walking path between Mira Monte and Camino de la Costa.
MAD finances are independently audited at the end of each fiscal year, as required by the city, Dunbar said. Based on the last audit, she said, the MAD is in “very good shape.”
The rate assessed to resident fluctuates, but next year’s rate will be close to this years, at $90 for single-family residences, $63 for condominiums, $450 for commercial property.
Based on the successful operations this year, the 2017 MAD budget and plan will be similar to its previous year. A complete budget is in the Bird Rock newsletter: birdrockcc.org
In other BRCC news