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Storm water cleanup fee hearing set for Tuesday

Posted: January 12, 2013 5:05 p.m.
Updated: January 12, 2013 5:05 p.m.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing Tuesday to discuss a controversial measure that would assess a fee on all properties in the county to fund storm water cleanup efforts.

The fee, known as the Clean Water, Clean Beaches measure, would impose an annual levy on all county property owners based on the size and pollutant potential of their properties.

Those fees would average $54 a year for most county residential properties, $250 a year for a typical convenience store or fast food restaurant and $11,000 a year for a typical home improvement or “big box” retailer.

Local school districts would also face large annual fees from the measure. Many districts have sent protests to the county and plan to send representatives to Tuesday’s meeting to ask that schools be exempted from the fee.

The city of Santa Clarita would face $461,490 per year in fees on city-owned properties, but it would pull in about $2.66 million in annual net income due to fee returns from the county Flood Control District.

Some of the projects in Santa Clarita that could be funded with that money include installing filters and screens for storm drains, providing street-sweeping services to reduce debris that could be swept away in a storm, and developing “green” streets and structures to cleanse and retain water runoff, according to the county.

Notices about the proposed fee were sent out by mail to Los Angeles County residents during the first week of December. The mailers double as protest ballots.

Some local property owners have said their estimated fees outlined in the mailer are much higher than what the county says they would be.

Property owners had the ability to send the mailers back to the county as a vote of opposition to the fee ahead of Tuesday’s board meeting.

If a majority of county property owners do not protest the fee, county supervisors will vote on whether to proceed with a vote-by-mail election on the measure that would likely be conducted in March.

Santa Clarita City Council members voted Jan. 8 to send a letter to the county raising concerns about potential overlap between the proposed fee and the one the city already imposes for similar storm water cleanup efforts.

Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who with colleague Don Knabe opposes the fee, has called it a “sneak attack” on property owners and is paying for buses to take protesting residents to downtown Los Angeles for Tuesday’s meeting.

The public hearing will take place during the Board of Supervisors’ meeting Tuesday in the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 W. Temple St. in Los Angeles. The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney




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