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Questions and Answers About Tree Trimming and Landscape Maintenance Services in South Melrose and the Ballot Mailed to Property Owners

Landscaping Services Funded by Assessment

Tree trimming and landscape maintenance services in South Melrose are funded by an annual special financing district assessment.

Maintaining these services adds value to the community by enhancing landscape maintenance, controlling pests, keeping public areas clean, removing debris to lower fire risks, conserving water, and helping moderate temperatures.

Landscape maintenance costs have risen over the years, but revenues have not increased. The annual property assessment amount in the South Melrose Landscape Maintenance District has remained unchanged for more than 25 years.

Yes. In fact, there has been an increase of 130% in the number of trees on City-owned land in South Melrose since 1989 – from 500 to more than 1,110 trees that are maintained by the City.

Proposed New Assessment District

The City is proposing a new assessment district called the City of Vista South Melrose Landscape Maintenance District No. 2024-1 to replace the existing one. This new district would provide the necessary funding to maintain current service levels, and also to replace existing landscaping with drought-tolerant plants where feasible. If approved, this new assessment district would replace the existing assessment district beginning in Fiscal Year 2024-2025 (7/1/2024-6/30/2025).

South Melrose Property owners will decide on whether to authorize the new district assessments. All South Melrose property owners will receive a ballot in the mail with their proposed new assessment amount for the replacement district.

Yes. Beginning July 1, 2025, and each July 1 thereafter, the maximum assessment rate per Special Benefit Point will be increased annually by the lesser of three percent (3%) or the annual percentage change in the February to February Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, for the San Diego-Carlsbad CA region.

Not necessarily. The maximum assessment rate will go up each Fiscal Year as stated above, but there is an annual approval process and as part of that process, the budget is set and the new rates will be based upon the new year’s project cost estimate, up to the maximum allowable assessment rate.

Ballot Process for the New Assessment District

Ballots must be received by the City no later than May 14, 2024, regardless of the postmark date. Ballots may be mailed to arrive by or submitted in person to the City Clerk at the May 14 Council meeting prior to the conclusion of the Public Hearing for the proposed assessment.

The City Council meeting will be held on May 14, 2024, at 5:30 p.m. at 200 Civic Center Drive in Vista.

Individuals can learn more about the proposed assessment by visiting

The City of Vista is working with CivicMic to engage Vista residents on the issue of funding the maintenance of local streets, street lighting, and landscaping. Please help us spread the word to your neighbors by sharing this information and this link to sign up for updates:

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3 thoughts on “Questions and Answers About Tree Trimming and Landscape Maintenance Services in South Melrose and the Ballot Mailed to Property Owners”

    1. Hello Norma,

      Thank you for the question. We have reached out to the City to get clarification and will provide a better answer soon.

    2. Hello Norma,

      Thank you for your question. Property tax is the second largest revenue source for the City, however, for every $1,000 in property taxes paid by residents, the City only receives $148. The majority of property taxes support schools in the Vista Unified School District. The largest allocation of City revenues — 65% — goes to public safety. Existing revenues do not cover the current cost of tree trimming and other landscape maintenance services. That’s why the City is proposing a new assessment for the first time in more than 25 years. For more detailed budget information, please visit: The City of Vista’s “City Budget in Brief” webpage.

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