HUNTINGTON BEACH : Ocean View District Wants to Charge Fee

The Ocean View School District board this week unanimously agreed to join at least two other school districts in charging property owners a new fee to offset some maintenance and capital costs.

The proposed maintenance assessment district would add a charge to residential and commercial property tax bills to pay for school facilities that are used for community recreation activities.

The additional cost to property owners would probably range from $35 to $55 per year, according to a consultant preparing a report on the proposal.

The school boards of the Huntington Beach City and Westminster school districts have already agreed to join the maintenance district. Trustees from the Huntington Beach Union High School District, which is overseeing the proposal, will consider joining the districts at their meeting next Tuesday.

If the high school district approves the plan, a joint public hearing of the school boards involved will be held July 25 for final consideration of the maintenance district.

Under the state Landscaping and Lighting Act of 1972, public agencies may form an assessment district to finance the maintenance, service and improvement of facilities and grounds used by the public.

Some of the school districts' properties, such as tennis courts and baseball diamonds, are used for activities not related to education. The state law allows an agency to recoup the non-school portion of those costs of those facilities.

Unlike some assessment districts, a maintenance district does not require approval by a district's voters. The Fountain Valley School District board decided not to join the pact because of concerns that voters should have a say in the matter.

At least six other school districts in the county are considering similar assessment districts.

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