Since 2006, members of the Windsor Square Association have been working with neighbors, Councilman Tom LaBonge and the LA City Bureau of Street Lighting to develop a plan to fund and install street lights in areas of the neighborhood where street lighting is currently insufficient.
After six years of work, these next few days are critical in showing the City that the property owners in the project area do support the proposed street lighting project.
Windsor Square Lighting District – Project Area
The area included in this project can be seen on this map. The project area includes about 185 homes on these streets:
- 1st Street and 2nd Streets from from Larchmont Boulevard to Norton Avenue
- Irving Boulevard to Plymouth Boulevard and to Beachwood Drive, between 1st and 3rd Streets
If you do not live in this area, then you do not have to take action on this issue.
This project area was chosen because it was determined to be the neediest area of the broader areas of the neighborhood that require improved lighting. The City says this is a first step. If the neighbors are supportive here, other areas with insufficient lighting can be addressed next. The street lighting in this area is unreliable, and the fixtures (lampposts) are too few and poorly spaced. The system is nearly 100 years old. The east-west streets, First and Second Streets, have almost no lighting and have become areas prone to undesirable activity.
Straw Poll Ballot
The Bureau of Street Lighting (BSL) has mailed a Straw Poll Ballot to property owners who live within the targeted area – the area that will benefit from the new street lights. The Straw Poll Ballot is a simple yes/no ballot from the BSL to determine if there is support in the community to install the new street lighting system. If enough property owners vote YES on this informal poll, the BSL will commit resources to do the detailed engineering required to get construction bids so that the City can come back to the property owners with more precise costs (likely slightly lower) and then take a formal vote on whether to move forward.
The Straw Poll Ballot must be returned in the pre-stamped return address envelope and postmarked on or before June 28, 2012.
If you can’t find your Straw Poll Ballot from the City, or if you would like to change your vote for any reason, please contact Rolando Gacias of the BSL at (213) 847-0106. Explain the situation and request that a new Straw Poll Ballot be sent to you right away.
Proposed Street Lighting System
The existing street lighting system on the north/south streets in this area was installed in the early 1900s with very long spacing that provides limited lighting. It is proposed to install a new lighting system that will provide more adequate lighting as well as install new street lights on First and Second Streets – where there is currently very limited street lighting.
The project is estimated to cost approximately $885,848 for the installation of about 99 street lights.
How Will it Be Paid For?
Construction costs for the new street lighting system will be paid for by assessments to be collected from property owners in the proposed district. Under state and local law, the costs of capital improvements always are assessed to benefitting property owners. Payment can be made all at once or over a ten-year period, at the option of the property owner. Maintenance and operation costs of the street lighting system will be collected from the property owners annually – just as they currently are and always have been.
Because of the long history of Windsor Square property owners paying for maintenance assessments, the BSL also has found a funding source that allows it to commit $100,000 to the capital cost of these improvements, thereby reducing individual assessments. It is anticipated that the project also could be credited another $45,000 when the copper wire from the old street lighting system is recycled.
Proposed Annual Assessment?
The Straw Poll Ballot that was mailed to each property owner who is within the project area includes an estimate of the capital assessment for the recipient’s property on the 1st and 2nd pages of the polling material. The estimate is based on the extent of the individual property owner’s front footage … with the average estimated one-time assessment being in the $5,000 or less range. The assessment can be paid in one lump sum – or in annual payments spread out over 10-years (and transferable with the property in the case of a sale).
- Attractive, permanent capital improvement to your neighborhood
- Improved lighting increases security for the neighborhood and your property
- New street lighting system will be more dependable than the approximately 100 year old system that currently exists
- Good time to do it –
- good time to get very competitive bids from the electrical contractors
- the City has agreed to pay approximately 11%-16% of the total cost of the project
A YES on the Straw Poll Ballot will allow the City to get contractor bids to determine what this project will really cost. A YES on the Straw Poll Ballot shows that the affected property owners are serious about finally achieving a solution to the problem of these particular dark streets.
Be sure to return your post marked Straw Poll Ballot on or before June 28, 2012.
Documents related to this issue:
Original Larchmont Chronicle Advertisement Inviting Neighbors to the 2006 Meeting Initiating this Project
Original Flyer Distributing the Neighbors’ Petition to Explore These Improvements – we are on step #2