Deer Ridge Golf Course

Press file photo 

City leaders intend to ask area homeowners in the next three to five months if they are willing to accept an annual $50 per dwelling unit increase in Landscape and Lighting Assessment District (LLAD) fees to fund and maintain landscaping improvements to 14 golf course frontage areas.

Select Deer Ridge Golf Club frontage areas that fell into disrepair after the course closed could soon be brought back up to par.

But neighborhood residents must first agree to swing open their wallets.

City leaders intend to ask area homeowners in the next three to five months if they are willing to accept an annual $50 per dwelling unit increase in Landscape and Lighting Assessment District (LLAD) fees to fund and maintain landscaping improvements to 14 golf course frontage areas.

The possible changes would require majority approval of the property owners in the city’s Landscape and Lighting District 99-5.

Landscape and Lighting Assessment District fees are collected to fund the improvements, construction, operation, maintenance and service of area landscaping, streetlights, parks, open space facilities and other amenities.

“In bringing this to the council, I have been posting to social media, and there has been overwhelming support from Deer Ridge residents,” Councilmember Karen Rarey said.

Maintenance to the select golf course frontage areas stopped after the course closed in September 2019, drawing the ire of Deer Ridge residents and eventually garnering the council’s attention.

If a majority of area property owners approve the fee increase, then it's likely that SunCoast Properties Inc. — currently responsible for the maintenance— would deed any needed sections to the city. The bulk of the frontage areas would then be converted to city irrigation, with a few small areas improved with hardscaping, like pavers.

The proposal is estimated to cost $508,960, with $385,000 coming from the neighborhood’s Landscape and Lighting Assessment District capital reserve and $123,960 being borrowed from the Parks and Landscape and Lighting Assessment District Capital Replacement Fund.

In turn, about $30 of the proposed $50 annual fee increase would go toward replenishing the replacement reserves, with the remaining $20 funding the ongoing maintenance costs. It’s expected that the $30 dollar charge would cease after an estimated 15 years when the capital reserve is replenished.

Without factoring in the possible $50 increase, Landscape and Lighting Assessment District 99-5 property owners are already slated to pay $515 in fiscal year 2020-2021, with those annual fees jumping to $669 in 2021-2022 and then $773 in 2022-2023.

It’s expected that the district’s fees will be capped when they reach $827 annually, meaning the peak will essentially be reached by fiscal year 2022-2023 if residents approve the $50 annual increase.

The fee hikes unrelated to the potential frontage improvements are attributed to several factors, including the costs to provide services; utility cost increases; planned future improvements; and the district’s contribution toward its equitable share of citywide improvements and capital replacement reserves, said Brentwood Parks and Recreation Director Bruce Mulder.

At least two Deer Ridge residents said they’d approve the additional $50 annual increase.

“I think it’s a really good idea,” said Rod Flohr. “It permanently protects our neighborhood from this type of blight where the landscaping is not taken care of. I feel that many of the areas that would be covered could have reasonably been considered part of the LLAD at the beginning. They are kind of on the border between the neighborhood and the golf course.”

Fellow resident Clifton Fagerquist expressed similar sentiments.

“I think it’s the best solution for a difficult situation with the golf course owner,” he said.

The resident voting process is expected to occur in the next three to five months. If the fee increase is approved, the frontage improvements would take an additional 6 to 12 months.

When Deer Ridge property owners receive their fee increase ballots, accompanying information will be provided, clearly explaining the reason for the proposed fee hike; the precise proposed increase amount; and a time and place for a public hearing on the matter.

“If it passes, then everybody (in Landscape and Lighting Assessment District 99-5) will be assessed, even if you don’t wish to receive the service,” said Mayor Bob Taylor.

For more information on the proposal or to view a complete list and map of proposed frontage improvements, visit page 194 at https://bit.ly/2D7AzKk.

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