Two months after a vote to increase maintenance fees, the residents of the Hillcrest district in Castaic can anticipate seeing changes to their overgrown hillsides soon, Los Angeles County officials said Wednesday.
After almost 20 years of the same maintenance fees, the Hillcrest community begins paying $655 a year for county landscaping effective Sept. 1.
“The neighborhood should notice some things changing in pretty short order,” said Steve Frasher, Department of Public Works spokesman. “The maintenance contract was just finalized earlier this month, but things should be starting up now.”
Renovation of the median on Hillcrest, as well as some tree trimming, should be the first noticeable signs of the new maintenance regimen, he said.
There were also deferred maintenance issues from the community’s previous contract, when there weren’t sufficient funds to continue maintenance. But now “things should be maintained in a more robust way,” Frasher said.
Ballots went out in early June to determine whether the residents would allow the county to continue maintaining their landscape maintenance district, with the accompanying fees rising to account for deferred maintenance, renovation of the center median at The Old Road and Hillcrest Parkway, and rehabilitation of planted material and irrigation systems.
On July 24, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors tabulated the ballots and found that “no majority protest exists against the increase of existing landscape maintenance assessment” for the area. They then unanimously approved the increase.
The county didn’t have an exact timeline for when maintenance would begin, Frasher said, but added things were going according to plan.
“Things are all on schedule, and it’s just a matter of getting mobilized and familiarized with what the landscape components are that the residents will see,” Frasher said.
Annual assessment rates were previously set at $240, a fee set in 1990.