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How to Establish a Maintenance Assessment District

How long it takes to set up a MAD

Normally the process to establish a new Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) takes between one and two years. The City has an annual August 10th deadline with the County to include MAD assessments on the property tax rolls.

The steps to establish a MAD

  1. The developer or interested community representatives/ property owners ("community contacts") initiate contact with the City of San Diego / Park and Recreation Department / Maintenance Assessment District Section ("City staff") at (619) 685-1326 to express interest in learning how to form a MAD. Developer or community contacts meet with City staff to discuss the petition requirements, potential district boundaries, maintenance areas, services that can and cannot be included, engineering information, costs of forming a district and assessment amount.
  2. Developer or community contacts may petition City staff a desire to pay an estimated assessment amount for specified benefits.
  3. City staff coordinate a meeting with the developer or community contacts, City staff and an Assessment Engineering Consultant to discuss details of the proposed district.
  4. Assessment Engineer provides a cost estimate for district engineering and balloting for approval by the developer or community contacts. Upon approval, City staff request a deposit from developer or community contacts to cover formation costs so that the Assessment Engineer can begin work.
  5. Developer or community contacts inform City staff when they secure funds to pay for required report by Assessment Engineer and balloting (usually $10,000 to $65,000), possibly by use of funds available under Council Policy 100-21.
  6. Developer or community contacts provide detailed information about the location and scope of services being requested. Developers consultant or City staff calculates annual cost estimates and the Assessment Engineer allocates cost to parcels based on benefits received.
  7. City staff coordinates a meeting with the developer or community contacts and the Assessment Engineer to review preliminary Assessment Engineer's Report.
  8. Assessment Engineer delivers final Assessment Engineer's Report to City staff for distribution to developer or community contacts and for inclusion with the Request for City Council Action to set a hearing date to hold a public hearing, authorize mailing the ballots, and set a final hearing date.
  9. City staff mails a ballot to each assessable property owner, as listed in the most recent certified County Property Tax Roll, a minimum of 45 calendar days prior to the final hearing date.
  10. City Clerk's Office receives ballots, which are kept sealed until after the close of the final public hearing. Then City Clerk presents district balloting result to the City Council, which may be at the next scheduled City Council meeting. City Council receives the ballot results and takes action to either approve the district, Assessment Engineer's Report and the assessment levy or abandon the district based on the ballot results. The earliest a failed ballot can be reballoted is one year.
  11. City staff prepares annual enrollment and delivers it the Count Assessor to be included on Property Tax statements to property owners beginning with the December property tax bill after the August 10th enrollment.

Additional Information