PHR residents seek trail system control

Residents of Pacific Highlands Ranch are looking to redraw their maintenance assessment district boundaries to include a system of trails that was promised them when they bought into the community.

As it stands now, Pardee Homes intends to include the parks in a unique “maintenance association” paid into by future homeowners, not the current ones.

Kimberley Wright, of Pardee’s community relations department, said the new maintenance association meetings would not be open to the public. Only members of the association would be able attend.

Excluding current PHR homeowners doesn’t sound right to Dean Dubey, the PHR representative on the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board.

“I’m concerned the public is not going to have a recourse if something is not right with the trails,” Dubey said. “I’m concerned the approach Pardee is taking is not good for the community.”

The purpose of a maintenance assessment district, or MAD, is to allow property owners to assess themselves and pay for and receive services above what the city provides. Called “special benefits,” they include things such as lighting and landscaping of common areas and neighborhood medians.

Dubey, the PHR representative on the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board, said he was told the trails were not included in the district because Pardee Homes didn’t file the appropriate paperwork.

Dubey said without being included in the maintenance district, homeowners also wouldn’t be able to ensure the future trails are built, how they are taken care of or ensure their access to them.

A new ballot would allow the trails to be included in the district, paid for by current homeowners.

To redraw the district, ballots would be mailed to the homeowners within the boundary of the district who would benefit from the improvements, according to Andy Field, assistant deputy director of MADs in the city’s parks and recreation department.

“Sounds like a no brainer to go ahead and re-ballot it,” said Scott Tillson of the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board.

The board plans to put the issue on their next meeting’s agenda, scheduled for July 14.