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Bird Rock sees ‘vast improvement’ to landscaping, according to Maintenance Assessment District report

A median and roundabout at La Jolla Boulevard and Midway Street in Bird Rock.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

“I hope everyone has noticed a vast improvement [in landscaping] over the past six months,” Bird Rock Community Council secretary and Maintenance Assessment District representative Barbara Dunbar told the Community Council during its Nov. 3 meeting.

The meeting provided a platform for an annual report of MAD activities from the previous year. This year, there were changes in how landscaping was carried out — seemingly for the better.

The MAD was set up in 2005 to maintain the landscaping associated with the roundabouts along La Jolla Boulevard. The BRCC assumed responsibility for some maintenance services in 2006 and for all landscaping in 2009. Since then, the assessment district has consistently received positive inspections by the city of San Diego.

BRCC manages the MAD and determines what could be funded through MAD assessments paid by residential and commercial property owners in Bird Rock.

The MAD includes several landscaped areas along and surrounding La Jolla Boulevard, including roundabouts at Colima Street, Midway Street, Forward Street, Bird Rock Avenue, Camino de la Costa, La Jolla Hermosa Avenue and Chelsea Street; the La Jolla Boulevard medians between Colima Street and Camino de la Costa; the La Jolla Mesa Drive medians; the landscaped areas just west of La Jolla Mesa Drive between Colima and Linda Rosa Avenue; several dedication plots and street trees between Colima and Camino de la Costa; and more.

To cover all that ground, BRCC in early 2020 chose landscape services contractor Urban Landcare, which started May 1.

“We are extremely pleased with the performance and the vast improvements to the overall look of these landscape areas,” Dunbar said. “When they started, one of their first properties was to thoroughly test the irrigation to determine problems and assess function. Recently, landscape improvement projects at the Colima, Midway and Forward streets’ roundabouts were completed, and scheduled plant replacement will continue and will improve aesthetics. Plants are monitored and pruned on a regular basis to maintain required height limits, visibility and line-of-sight requirements.”

A roundabout at Chelsea Street and Sea Ridge Drive in Bird Rock.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

However, the MAD report discussed concerns continuing from previous years: drainage onto city streets that causes flooding, off-leash dogs in public spaces and people illegally posting signs on street trees and signs, which damages the surfaces and increases the frequency with which they need to be replaced.

Dunbar said the board is considering removing the dog-waste bag dispensers stationed near area parks because users either “take the whole roll” or use the bags and leave them in bushes.

There also are concerns about drivers speeding late at night on La Jolla Boulevard, Dunbar said. “These are people that are drag racing … it’s definitely a problem.”

But she said there might not be a solution within the MAD’s purview.

The proposed MAD assessment rate for the 2021-22 fiscal year is $95 per single-family property per year, up from $90. The proposed yearly rate for a condominium unit is $66, up from $63, and for a “typical” commercial property, $427, up from $405.

The full report is in the BRCC newsletter at birdrockcc.org.

Other BRCC news

Merchant spotlight: BRCC Vice President Joe Parker said he will continue to highlight local merchants in the board’s newsletter “in this trying time and moving forward.”

“I am interviewing merchants on a monthly basis and publishing articles about them … and provide background and history of our merchants and more information about what they offer the community,” he said.

BRCC’s next meeting likely will be in February. The board typically holds a holiday party in December (whether that will be held virtually remains to be seen) and does not meet in January. ◆