Does the City use recycled or reclaimed water for irrigation?
The landscape areas that are part of the districts currently do not use recycled or reclaimed water for irrigation. While the City would like to use reclaimed water from it’s Wastewater Reclamation Plant, at this time, there are no reclaimed water lines in the district areas.
How are assessments established?
Every district has a maximum allowable assessment which is established at the time of district formation. The maximum assessment is based on maintenance cost projections to cover the cost of maintaining the landscaping and related landscape amenities within each district. Annual adjustments to each district’s assessment are made (up or down) in an effort to balance district maintenance costs with district revenue. The level of assessment cannot exceed the district approved maximum allowable assessment.
How much do I pay for the LMD?
Since each district’s costs are based on the area and number of lots within the district, you will need to review the Engineer's Report for your district to determine your assessment.
If I vote “NO” what will that mean?
A “NO” vote means:
- The City would charge the allowable assessment, which may be less than the amount required to maintain your neighborhood’s public landscaping to the high quality levels.
- Your district may not have reserve funds to make up this shortfall.
- The City will have to reduce maintenance on your neighborhood’s landscaping once the reserves are depleted.
- Reduced maintenance will result in less frequent maintenance (i.e. less frequently mowing or trimming) and reductions in irrigation.
- Your district will be asked to vote for the enduring cap again next year resulting in additional expenses to the district.
If I vote “YES” what will that mean?
A “YES” vote means:
- Landscaping areas included within your neighborhood’s district will be maintained at the highest service levels.
- The City will use reserves to balance the required assessment over time to limit any large fluctuations in assessments.
- The maximum assessment (enduring cap) would be established for your district. Most years, the actual assessment would be less than the maximum assessment.
- Future votes on increased assessments under the enduring cap would not be required, resulting in cost savings to the district and therefore lower assessments.
Information about Proposition 218
Passed by voters in November 1996, Proposition 218 requires voter approval for assessment increases that exceed the district's approved maximum assessment. In the event that maintenance costs exceed the maximum allowable assessment revenue, special balloting procedures may be implemented to give district participants the opportunity to raise the maximum allowable assessment to cover the district's maintenance needs.
Additionally, in March 2004, the City Council approved a new enduring cap policy. The new enduring cap will be applied through a special assessment ballot proceeding in voter-approved districts.
What are the direct costs that are used in calculating the cap?
- Personnel Costs – Wages and benefits for the people who perform the work or contractors cost.
- Materials – Or supplies, including soil, rocks, plants, fertilizer, pre-emergents, pesticides.
- Water – For irrigation.
- Utilities – Including electricity and phone for running automatic or centralized irrigation systems.
- Equipment – For on-going maintenance and future purchases of items such as mowers, trimmers, etc.
What happens if my district gets “reduced maintenance”?
The Public Works Department will determine an appropriate maintenance level per district on a case-by-case basis. It is the intent of this policy to keep the vegetation alive with minimal water use and infrequent maintenance. Naturally, these measures would cause the aesthetic appearance of the landscaping to deteriorate significantly. As a general guideline, the order in which the Public Works Department would reduce maintenance tasks is as follows:
- Stop replacing dead material
- Reduce irrigation
- Reduce mowing to once every two weeks
- Reduce trimming and pruning of trees and shrubs
- Stop applying pre-emergent
- Stop applying fertilization
- Reduce mowing to once every four weeks
- Stop trimming and pruning of trees and shrubs
- Stop pulling weeds
- Stop removing trash
What if I don’t return the ballot?
An unreturned ballot DOES NOT mean a NO vote. The decision to create an enduring cap will be decided by a majority of the ballots received.
What is a Landscape Maintenance District or LMD and why do we have them?
A Landscape Maintenance District (LMD) is created to pay for the costs of on-going maintenance of public landscaping that provides special benefits to parcels in given areas of the City. The district provides services solely for the benefit of those parcels located within each district. These 90 districts benefit about 25% of the City. Formation of LMD is governed by the Landscape and Lighting Act of 1972, Part 2 of Division 15 of the California Streets and Highways Code.
There are many benefits associated with the landscaping (parkway, perimeter, entryway, and local median) within the LMD:
These improvements may include parkway or perimeter landscaping adjacent to the developments as well as specific in-tract landscaping improvements such as entryway or median landscaping, and monuments associated with the development. To this extent, local landscaping improvements are associated with the individual developments and provide special benefits to the properties within those developments and provide only nominal general benefit.
- Improved visual aesthetic appeal of nearby parcels.
- Improved dust control.
- Enhanced adaptation of the urban environment within the natural environment.
- Improved erosion resistance.
- Improved drainage and flood control.
- The special enhancement to the value of property, which results from the above benefits.
What is an “enduring cap”?
An "enduring cap" is a maximum assessment that will remain effective from year to year. The enduring cap is a calculation of all direct and administrative costs, plus a 10% contingency, spread evenly across all parcels or acres within each of the districts, with an inflation adjustment of the Consumer Price Index plus 1%. Without an enduring cap, the previous year's assessment as modified for inflation by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) serves as the assessment cap for the new year, which may be significantly less than what is required to fully maintain the district’s landscaping.
Most quality concerns have come from districts that have voted “no” on proposed assessment increases over the years and have then seen their district’s landscaping suffer because there has not been sufficient funding to pay for the labor and water needed to keep the district’s landscaping looking its best.
The new enduring cap will be applied through a special assessment ballot proceeding in voter-approved districts.
What is an Engineer’s Report?
An Engineer’s Report is a document prepared annually by the City under the requirements of the Landscape and Lighting Act of 1972, Part 2 of Division 15 of the California Streets and Highways Code. In order to levy and collect special assessments within the districts, the City must prepare an Engineer’s Report which provides details on the improvements that are maintained and the estimated budgets for each district.
What kind of maintenance do the City crews do?
For turf areas: mow, edge, aerate, fertilize, adjust/check/repair irrigation system, weed control, litter pickup, clean hardscape (meandering paths, concrete pathways) areas, and rodent control.
For groundcover areas: prune, edge, apply post/pre-emergents & plant growth regulators, fertilize, litter pickup, adjust/check/repair irrigation system, weed control, rodent control and dead-heading (removal of dead blooms).
For shrub & tree areas: structural pruning, sucker removal, pest/disease control, sight/sign clearing (removal of branches or trimming shrubs that might impair line of sight when driving or blocks signage), fertilize, clean hardscape areas, adjust/check/repair irrigation system, apply post/pre-emergents, litter pickup, staking/bracing/removal, weed control and rodent control.
For non-vegetated areas (open space): litter pickup, apply post/pre-emergent (selected areas), fire abatement.
Additional work as needed: playground inspection/repair, decorative light inspection/repair, inspection for acceptance of new sites, vandalism and graffiti cleanup.
Where can I find my district’s Engineer’s Report?
Currently there 90 Landscape Maintenance Districts in the City of Livermore. All 90 districts are updated every fiscal year. A single report contains information regarding district boundaries and assessments for each of the City's 90 districts. The report is available for review at City Hall (Engineering Division) or by clicking the link below.
Which district am I in? Is there a map that shows me which LMD my property is located within? Can you tell me more about my LMD?
Below are links to maps showing portions of the city. District areas are outlined, named and/or numbered.
Who do I contact if I have a question about the Engineer’s Report?
If you have any questions, please call Kevin Duffus, Associate Civil Engineer, with the Engineering Division at (925) 960-4500.
Who do I contact if I have a question about the maintenance?
Please contact Public Works Department, Maintenance Division at (925) 960-8020 or fill out the on-line request form.
Who do I contact if I have more questions about the Landscape Maintenance Districts?
If you have any questions regarding your assessment or Engineers Report, please call City of Livermore, Engineering Division at (925) 960-4500.
Who maintains the landscaping within the LMD?
City Maintenance crews (Public Works Department, supplemented by Contract Services) perform the majority of the maintenance. All areas are inspected by City Staff. Prior to 2003, the City put out to bid and contracted out all the work to private landscape contractors.