Rose Creek is a natural gateway connecting Mission Bay and Pacific Beach to University City and Clairemont. The northeastern portions of the creek system that run through University City and Clairemont are managed as part of the City’s park system and offer natural beauty and recreational opportunities. However, the portion of the creek that runs along the I-5 from SR-52 to where Rose Creek meets Mission Bay at De Anza Cove has been neglected and become better known for trash, crime and graffiti than an inviting place to visit.
Rose Creek is a unique natural feature with potential to enhance the value of nearby properties, but decades of neglect have caused it to become more of an economic disadvantage. Rose Creek has the potential to become an asset instead of a liability to the nearby property owners. A study by the Trust for Public Land showed that parks and open space attract businesses and trained employees searching for a high quality of life and often increase the value of nearby properties.
What is the Rose Creek Safe, Clean & Green Program?
We want to enhance Rose Creek and the surrounding properties by implementing additional services such as trash removal, graffiti control and landscape improvements in the area. These services would improve the area’s economic vitality and recreational and environmental assets. San Diego Earthworks and others have proposed the Rose Creek Safe, Clean & Green Program to enhance the creek and improve the economic climate of the area.
How would the Program be funded?
One possibility is the formation of a Community Facilities District,.These districts can be established by local government agencies as a means of obtaining community funding to pay for public works and some public services in newly developing communities. Property owners vote to impose an additional property tax on themselves to pay for services such as streets, water, infrastructure and schools for newly developing areas. These services may be “general benefit”, meaning services that the City already provides to benefit the public at large. This type of funding mechanism is designed to fund public works and services and is not typically used to fund the ongoing maintenance that is needed in Rose Creek.
Another option would be through the establishment of a Maintenance Assessment District. A Maintenance Assessment District is a legal mechanism by which property owners can vote to assess themselves to pay and receive services above and beyond what the City of San Diego normally provides. This above and beyond service level is called a “special benefit” because the services provide direct benefit to the individual properties. These services can include sidewalk cleaning, signage, access improvements and landscaping which can make a neighborhood more safe and attractive, decrease environmental impacts and build community vitality.
Many communities within the City of San Diego have formed maintenance assessment districts to take more direct control over improvements to the public lands near their properties. These districts are special zones created and governed by the property owners in which they pay annual fees for specific services within that zone. An advisory committee comprised of property owners defines and approves the services. You may have already seen the benefits of Maintenance Assessment Districts to thriving San Diego communities such as Bird Rock , Little Italy , and Talmadge in landscape and lighting improvements, trash removal and graffiti control.
Visit these links for more information:
- An Introduction to California Mello-Roos Community Facilities Districts
- Overview of Community Facilities Districts and Assessment Districts
- City of San Diego’s Maintenance Assessment District website
- City of San Diego’s Fact Sheet: What is a MAD?
Who supports this idea?
Property owners in the Rose Creek Corridor were surveyed in 2007 to assess the level of support for formation of a similar program. Of the surveys that were returned, an overwhelming 80% of property owners indicated that they were in favor of such a program.
How could this Program benefit property within the District?
The program’s boundaries would be defined by the property owners. Only properties included in the district would receive benefits from the district. The potential district zone we are exploring begins at Rose Creek under SR-52 and includes Rose Creek and Santa Fe Street, Damon Avenue, and Morena Boulevard. An Advisory Committee comprised of property owners will be formed to further explore funding options and compile the final list of services that could be offered.
Potential services could include:
- Remove graffiti and trash dumps.
- Provide landscape installation and maintenance services to enhance the streets, sidewalks and the creek.
- Remove and maintain invasive plant overgrowth in the creek to improve water flow and reduce hiding areas for people engaged in illegal activities.
- Increase street sweeping services.
- Enhance and or/construct and maintain sidewalks.
- Install trash cans and initiate trash pickup services.
Other potential projects include:
- Provide security patrols.
- Improve the visual elements of the road along Santa Fe Street such as signage and streetscape, similar to recent enhancements along Balboa Ave.
- Improve the trail along the Rose Canyon Bicycle Path.
We want to make the Rose Creek a safe and clean place to work and visit, and we need help! Please email the Rose Creek Watershed Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be added to our email list if you would like to help with our effort.
The Rails to Trails Conservancy produced a short film that visits trails in three cities that address safey head-on, and have succeeding in creating well-used community assets similar to what we envision in Rose Creek. View their video Is it Safe? Crime and Perceptions of Safety on Urban Pathways.
BeautifulPB is a community group dedicated to creating a sustainably beautiful Pacific Beach to improve the atmosphere for our local economy, community, guests and visitors. They are working on the formation of a similar district in Pacific Beach known as the Pacific Beach Community Benefit District .