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Residents accuse North Park Main Street and Councilmember Todd Gloria of promoting the “Clean & Safe” district in order to pay for their own projects, such as the Ray Street Art and Cultural District and the Boundary Street Gateway.

Steppke objects to the district’s boundaries, which include residential areas within one or two blocks of the main corridors — University Avenue, between Interstate 805 and Florida Street, and 30th Street, between Howard and Thorn. He says the western section of University, near Mississippi and Florida, a dozen blocks from the center of North Park, should not be included in the district.

“The businesses along [the western end of] University are small mom-and-pop operations,” he says. “I have issues with the large number of residential properties” that are captured when western University is included in the district.

“I live along this area,” Steppke says, “and the most impact I see from the small businesses around my house is when someone drops a sock on the sidewalk walking from the Laundromat.”

Don and Debbie Leichtling live one block from the heart of North Park’s business area, at University and 30th. If the new assessment district is formed, Leichtling will be responsible for an extra $108.90 every year, in addition to the $18.70 he already pays for the existing maintenance assessment district.

Leichtling attended the scoping meeting that was held after the clean and safe district was proposed. At the outset, he suggested raising fees on the existing maintenance assessment district so that all of North Park could see improvements.

“They didn’t want to listen,” says Leichtling. “This whole thing is to make things better for the business district, North Park Main Street.”

Councilmember Gloria says that enhanced services will “strengthen the quality of life for current and future residents and visitors throughout the area.”

He writes in a June 27 email, “Residential property owners, like commercial property owners, will benefit from the services provided through the program, so an assessment is appropriate.”

Adds Gloria, “Because commercial businesses have a greater impact on the community, their assessments are proportionately higher than those for residential neighbors.”

But residential property owners point out that those higher assessments also mean that the commercial votes count more.

According to the engineer’s report, votes are weighted in proportion to a parcel’s assessment, which leads Steppke to believe that even if all residential property owners voted against the proposed district, the votes from commercial property owners would still be enough for the proposal to pass.

“We are essentially having it forced on us,” he says.

North Park resident Steve Tweedale concurs. If the district is approved, Tweedale will pay an extra $128.60 per year for his two North Park properties.

“North Park Main Street colluded with Gloria to gerrymander a new assessment district and to pick the pockets of some North Park residents [in order] to shoulder the burden of the successful business district and to fund projects that [Gloria] will be first to claim as feathers in his cap.”

He continues, “The process was manipulated. Sadly, they have more staff, time, and money than I, and at this point I’ve voted my disapproval but will be subject to the vote of the business property owners.

“If it passes, I’ll simply deal with my pocket being picked twice a year when I pay property taxes. You can bet that I have no respect for the organizations, nor the individuals involved in this thievery.” 

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Comments

InOmbra July 9, 2011 @ 5:47 p.m.

I find it amazing that no one has commented on this. That tells me a lot about the hopelessness of the citizens and property owners of San Diego, up against a relentlessly unscrupulous local government. Sanders and Goldstone are more than any of us can fend off with lawsuits and the truth.

North Park property owners: get used to funding the local business owners' needs. You'll pick up the tab for their promotion and security. You'll pay for cleaning and sweeping the sidewalks in front of their stores. You'll pay for plants in planters in front of their stores and for workers to water and maintain those, and for banners and ads promoting the influx of outsiders and for curbside benches and ash trays for business customers. You'll pay for administrative costs such as cell phones and insurance and computers and paper and toner and ink. And much, much more.

What you'll get in return is tons of propaganda, all of which you will pay for. Enjoy!

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Founder July 9, 2011 @ 6:03 p.m.

The tale continues as the Mad 2 is decided by ballots received not ballots mailed, so if only a few folks return their ballots and the majority of those ballots support the Mad2 then it become Law if the City Council agrees!

This Tuesday at 9:30, the matter is on the docket!

http://dockets.sandiego.gov/sirepub/pubmtgframe.aspx?meetid=1039&doctype=Agenda

The following item will be considered in the morning session which is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m.

ITEM-332: North Park Clean and Safe Overlay Maintenance Assessment District. (North Park Community Planning Area. District 3.)

ITEM DESCRIPTION:

Upon affirmative findings at the public hearing, authorize the consideration of protests, order the formation of the North Park Clean and Safe Overlay MAD, approve the Assessment Engineer’s Report, confirm assessments, and order the improvements, maintenance, and/or services; adopt the annual budget for the North Park Clean and Safe Overlay MAD in Fiscal Year 2012; authorize the City Comptroller to establish an interest-bearing fund for the North Park Clean and Safe Overlay MAD; authorize the City Comptroller to appropriate and expend the North Park Clean and Safe Overlay MAD fund once established; authorize the City Comptroller to transfer $10,000 from the North Park Clean and Safe Overlay MAD fund to Fund 200063, North Park MAD in Fiscal Year 2012 for the purpose of repaying a portion of formation costs contingent upon successful formation of the North Park and Safe Overlay MAD; and authorize the City Comptroller to expend $12,906 from the General Fund in Fiscal Year 2012 for assessments levied to City-owned parcels.

NOTE: Ballot tabulation will be held on the 12th floor of the City Administration Building, Room B. First meeting was held on May 24, 2011, Item 332.

STAFF’S RECOMMENDATION:

Adopt the following resolution:

(R-2011-879)

Considering the protests, confirming the assessments, and ordering the improvements with respect to the North Park Clean and Safe Overlay Maintenance Assessment District.

STAFF SUPPORTING INFORMATION:

FISCAL CONSIDERATIONS: If approved by property owners, approximately $470,193 will be assessed to the 2,480 property owners within the proposed North Park Clean and Safe Overlay MAD in Fiscal Year 2012. The City owns 14 assessable parcels, resulting in an annual General Fund impact of $12,906 if the district is approved. The proposed capital and maintenance budget for the proposed North Park Clean and Safe Overlay MAD is provided in the Assessment Engineer’s Report.

Goldstone/LoMedico

Primary ContactPhone: Andrew Field619-533-6724, MS804A Secondary ContactPhone: Rosa Lopez619-533-6778, MS804A City Attorney Contact: Adam R. Wander

Thanks,

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InOmbra July 10, 2011 @ 6:17 p.m.

Consider this: most local businesses do not own the property in which they do business; they lease. Their landlord may be a local investment company or may be a bank or entity paid by a family trust in Arkansas or Utah or who-knows-where. Most out-of-area property owner entities will never vote on this issue. Along with the mandatory City vote of "Yes" (it's a local Code) for all City-owned properties, and the rigged, anti-democratic structure of the "weighted" vote, the passage of the assessment on property owners is a given.

If a local business does own the property it exists in, as does True North (I think), they will vote "yes." It makes perfect sense for that type of property owner+business owner to do what is necessary to obtain a larger pool of funds than they alone prefer to ante up, to secure, promote, and maintain their business. After all, the old days, when a business/property owner took responsibility for sweeping their own sidewalk and promoting their own business, to LOCALS ONLY, is over! Businesses such as True North need outsiders, and that means promotion. For the rest of the small, local-oriented business, the payment of the assessment, by them or their landlord, means cutting into the bottom line or raising of the rent. For the rest of us, it's the shaft.

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Founder July 11, 2011 @ 10:08 a.m.

Great Comment!

NP is now the PB of San Diego (without the Beach)...

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Founder July 13, 2011 @ 1:27 p.m.

Update City Council voted to allow the counting of the ballots, Without hardly any discussion BUT The measure FAILED, Because more voted against than for this overlay MAD!

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