Engineering Services • (559) 324-2340
8 AM – 5 PM • Mon – Fri
Letter to the Residents
March 4, 2019
SUBJECT: Assessment District 95-1 (Blackhorse Estates)
The City is preparing to update the annual assessments associated with the maintenance of the various features in your gated development. The first phase of the subdivision in which you reside is now almost 25 years old and various elements of your community have been maintained using proceeds from annual assessments to each property owner. Though costs continue to rise, increases to your annual assessments have remained flat for the last 10 years.
With the likelihood that there are many new residents within the subdivision, or residents that simply have not been given information about maintenance of your facilities, I wanted to provide a brief summary of the assessment district, why it exists, what it is intended to fund, and the limitations on assessment increases. Basically, the assessments are collected to provide for the general maintenance of your neighborhood streets, gates, and landscaping. Following is the summary:
- The subdivision is a privately owned community. The streets, sidewalks, and street facilities within the subdivision are not City streets, but are owned by each property owner. Actual ownership of the street is held by the property owners with each individual parcel owning the fee title to the center of the street.
- The subdivision has a unique arrangement pertaining to maintenance of the “common areas” in that there is no homeowners association to perform that function as there would normally be in a private gated subdivision. In 1995 when the area was being developed, the developer originally intended to build a standard subdivision, non-gated, with public streets and did not create a homeowners association. The developer later decided to convert the project to a gated subdivision. Without a homeowners association in place to govern the maintenance, the developer requested that the City form an assessment district to serve the function of an association as it would pertain only to the maintenance elements within the subdivision. The City Council agreed and formed the assessment district.
- The subdivision known as Blackhorse Estates is divided into two areas, Area 1 has 45 homes and Area 2 has 81 homes, for a total of 126 homes. Each area is a separately gated community where each home is assessed an annual amount to pay for maintenance of the common areas and the gates. The Benefit Areas for Assessment District 95-1 are shown on the attached map.
- Items that are to be maintained or funded by the assessments are:
- Gates, including repairs, power, phone service
- Streets, including repairs, crack filling, signs, periodic resurfacing, etc.
- Street Lights
- Concrete and drainage improvements, including curbs, gutters, sidewalks, and drain inlets.
- Street sweeping (once per month)
- Small landscaped areas proximate to the gates and the cul-de-sac in zone 1
- District administration costs, including costs for property management and annual evaluation and accounting and filing of an engineer’s assessment report as required by law.
- For Benefit Area I, the existing annual assessment is $557.00 per parcel, or $46.42 per month
- For Benefit Area II, the existing annual assessment is $461.00 per parcel, or $38.42 per month
- The annual assessment is collected through your property taxes.
- In November of 1996, the voters of California approved Proposition 218 which requires that all proposed new and/or increased assessments be submitted to the property owners within the Assessment District for a vote.
District administration is currently provided by:
PO Box 25035
Fresno, CA 93729-5035
This should be your point of contact for questions, observations, or complaints related to maintenance issues. As the District Administrator for this assessment district, Pacific Central is mainly responsible for the following:
- Maintenance of items listed above in accordance with acceptable standards
- Providing periodic inspections, upon request by residents and at a minimum of at least quarterly, of all improvements to be maintained.
- Respond to resident requests in a timely manner.
ASSESSMENT UPDATE PROCESS
In the coming weeks and months, City staff will be reevaluating maintenance needs and associated costs in preparation for the required annual engineers report. In preparation for that, the City would like to receive any feedback from you positive or negative regarding the adequacy of the maintenance being provided. Particularly, we would like to understand the following:
- Is the service being provided satisfactory?
- Is there a desire to increase the level of service provided?
- Have you experienced any recurring issues with the gates?
- Would you be willing to pay more for a higher level of service?
- Have you reached out to let the management company or the City know of your concerns?
The City will be starting the process of evaluating maintenance cost, including the cost and timing of crack sealing and resurfacing the streets, so that we can determine if the current assessments are adequate. In the event the assessments need to be increased, it will require a vote in accordance California Proposition 218.
It is the City’s intent to keep you posted on the progress and we will hold meetings as necessary to discuss with the neighborhood.