Lighting, Landscaping Fees Extended a Year


Thousand Oaks residents paying annual fees as part of the city’s lighting and landscaping districts will continue to do so for another year, but then the practice will end, unless it is approved by voters.

The Thousand Oaks City Council voted 3 to 1 Tuesday to continue the districts at the same level of assessments for another year while a reformulated system, which would have to go before voters, is devised.

Councilwoman Linda Parks voted against continuing the districts, saying they were rife with inequities since some residents were paying for landscaping and street lights while others were not. Councilwoman Elois Zeanah was absent.


The landscaping district includes about 30% of the city’s households and businesses; 77% are in the lighting district.

Recently approved Proposition 218 requires that assessment districts go to a vote of the people, and also that there be a fair relationship between the fee paid and the service received. For that reason, the current assessment district scheme would not work, according to city officials, who plan on working out a new formula once the impacts of Proposition 218 are better known.

Councilman Andy Fox took exception to Parks’ remarks about the inequity of the system. He said all council members were aware of disparities, but the rest had decided continuing the districts--which brings in more than $1.8 million a year--was the only way to maintain lights and landscaping for the time being.

He accused Parks of dodging the issue.

“I’m upset about this,” Fox said. “I think the public needs to understand what’s going on here week in and week out, and that’s a free ride.”

Parks reacted angrily to Fox’s remarks, saying her stance was simply to let voters decide.

“I think it’s really unfair to have one council member make remarks like that,” Parks said.