In preparing for a potential general obligation bond on the November ballot, the Solana Beach School Board on July 14 declared its intention to form a school facilities improvement district.
There is a standing agreement between the school district and land developer Pardee Homes that precludes the district from including two neighborhoods in a bond initiative. The development agreements, which date back to 1998 and 2004, contain language that limits certain elections and tax measures until 10 years after the last building permit has been issued.
“These types of clauses and mitigation agreements are very uncommon,” noted attorney Robert Anslow of Bowie, Arneson, Wiles & Giannone.
“Pardee’s not done yet,” he said. “The 10-year clock won’t even run until they pull the permit and sell the last unit. Then you count 10 years down the road. That could easily be well into the 2020s or even into 2030.”
Therefore, in order to move forward with a bond measure, the district needs to form a school facilities improvement district, or SFID, over all of the district’s territory other than the Pardee properties in Carmel Valley.
“We are essentially creating a map of our school district boundaries without those two areas,” Superintendent Terry Decker said.
Both communities are already included in community facilities districts, also known as CFDs, in which special taxes are placed on homeowners’ property tax bills to fund schools and improvements. Thus, residents in those areas will not be allowed to vote on the initiative, if the school board moves forward with a bond measure.
Excluding the communities takes away about 10 percent of the assessed value in the district, according to financial advisor Cathy Dominico of Capitol Public Finance Group.
Decker, however, cautioned board members against viewing those homeowners as lost voters.
“They won’t be voting one way or the other. They also won’t be taxed,” he said. “They are not a part of the election. Some of them, based on polling, would have been pro, and some of them would have been con. It simply means that that’s a group of voters, a group of homeowners, who are not part of this process.”
The district will hold a public hearing on the formation of a school facilities improvement district during the Aug. 4 school board meeting. Following the public hearing, the school board will decide whether to establish the SFID. If the SFID is formed, the board will also be able to call a general obligation bond election at the meeting.
The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the district office located at 309 North Rios Ave. in Solana Beach.