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Bird Rock maintenance fee dropping

Bird Rock homeowners got some good news last week: The cost to support the community’s maintenance assessment district is about $12 lower than a year ago.

Now in its fifth year, the district charges an annual fee for residents and businesses to pay to maintain the community’s roundabouts, landscaping and other traffic-calming improvements.

“The most important thing now is that we’re in full control of all of the public landscaping,” said Joe LaCava, who handed over leadership of the Bird Rock Community Council to Joe Parker on Feb. 2. “It’s approximately $90 per year, but this year it’s $78 (for homeowners).” Condo residents pay $55 and commercial property owners $400.

During the meeting, Barbara Dunbar of the council’s Beautification Committee said that landscaping in and around the roundabouts is being changed with an eye toward enhancing safety.

“For line of sight, (median) plants should be no taller than 26 inches,” she said, adding those that were taller have been replaced. “The plants were too tall, and you could not see people or other vehicles. We also had some issues with plant roots in the walkways and bicyclists being hit by plant leaves.”

She also warned that pine trees in medians could be a future problem, noting the committee had “agreed that trees should be no more than 20 to 26 feet tall, and those can grow 60 to 80 feet.”

In other action, George Sutton reported that new street lights along La Jolla Boulevard are in the maintenance district’s budget and also in the mayor’s proposed 2011 capital improvement program.

The lights will be 24 feet high, equally spaced, with four per block from Midway to Camino de la Costa.

“They’re going to be double lights looking down with no light pollution with fixtures for (street) banners,” Sutton added. “The project will be active hopefully by July.”