presents
Voter’s Edge California
Get the facts before you vote.
Brought to you by
MapLight
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
KPBS Voters Guide@KPBSNews
November 8, 2016 — California General Election
Special District

Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority Area 2
Measure FF - 2/3 Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Passed

15,107 votes yes (76.99%)

4,516 votes no (23.01%)

100% of precincts reporting (28/28).

Open Space, Wildlife Corridors, and Parklands
— undefined

To maintain and conserve local open space, wildlife corridors, and parklands; acquire and protect additional lands from development; improve fire prevention including high fire alert patrols and brush clearing; protect water quality in local creeks; and increase park ranger safety patrols; shall Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority implement a $15 special tax for ten years only, providing $241,000 annually with all funds spent locally in the hillside communities of Woodland Hills, Encino, and Tarzana, and requiring independent citizen oversight audits?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS OF MEASURE FF 

By Mary C. Wickham, County Counsel 

Approval of Measure FF (“Measure”) would authorize the Governing Board (“Board”) of the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (“MRCA”), which placed the Measure on the ballot by Resolution No. 16-120, to impose a special parcel tax (“Tax”) of $15 per year, for ten years, on all developed parcels within the community facilities district (“CFD”) located in a designated portion of the Santa Monica Mountains known as the Woodland Hills, Encino, and Tarzana Hillside Areas (“Areas”), collectively referred to as (“CFD Areas”), as identified in the Measure. 

Tax proceeds shall be used for the purposes of maintaining, improving, servicing, protecting, and preserving open space, parkland, wildlife corridors, natural habitats, lands, waters, and facilities owned or managed by the MRCA within the CFD Areas; financing the acquisition of additional lands and protection of such lands from development; providing park ranger safety and security patrols and services, and fire prevention and fire protection services (“Services and Facilities”); and paying for administrative or incidental costs. The Services and Facilities include, but are not limited to, the protection of water quality, the reduction of the risk of wildfires, the improvement of park ranger safety and security services, and the collection and accumulation of reserves. 

Developed parcels subject to the Tax are parcels that appear on the annual secured Los Angeles County property tax rolls, and that have been improved for residential, commercial, or other purposes. Unimproved parcels within the CFD Areas shall be exempt from the Tax. 

The Tax shall be collected annually through the Los Angeles County property tax bill, in the same manner as property taxes are collected, and subject to the same penalties. Tax proceeds shall be deposited into a separate account for the exclusive use by the MRCA, in accordance with Government Code section 50075.1, and shall be expended according to a plan developed annually by the MRCA’s staff and adopted by the Board. The MRCA shall submit an annual report to the Board showing the amount of funds collected and expended, and shall fully comply with accountability measures in Government Code section 50075 et seq. The Board shall appoint an independent citizen’s oversight committee to review and report annually on the expenditure of the Tax proceeds. 

 

This Measure requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote for passage. 

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE FF 

Argument for Measure FF 

Our Woodland Hills, Encino, and Tarzana hillside communities are fortunate to have extensive open space, wildlife corridors, parklands, scenic vistas and trails near our homes. Most of this valuable open space and wildlife habitat has been acquired and is maintained by Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, which operates on a very limited budget. 

Please vote Yes on Measure FF to: 

- Ensure that our open spaces and wildlife corridors are preserved and maintained and additional open space is protected from development 

- Keep our communities safe with year-round park ranger safety and security patrols and 

- Better protect our homes from devastating wildfires. 

Measure FF will cost homeowners only about $1 per month and will be used to: 

Provide improved fire prevention services, including crews to clear dry brush and other fire hazards and new high fire alert patrols to better prevent devastating wildfires. 

Protect and maintain local neighborhood open space, parklands and wildlife corridors, which reduces traffic and improves our property values. 

Acquire additional open space, and prevent development on the most valuable remaining open lands. 

Provide year-round park ranger safety and security patrols to prevent crimes and vandalism. 

Keep pollution and trash out of local creeks and reservoirs and improve water quality. 

Protect and expand wildlife corridors that are necessary to ensure animals and wildlife can survive. 

The threat of fires is real, particularly with the severe drought. Measure FF will reduce the risk of local wildfires. 

Every penny raised by Measure FF will stay in our communities and cannot be taken away by the State or used for other purposes. 

A Citizens’ Oversight Committee will conduct annual audits to ensure funds are spent properly and only for the above-listed purposes in the hillside areas of Woodland Hills, Encino, and Tarzana. 

 

Please vote Yes on Measure FF 

ALEX TREBEK 

Host of Jeopardy! 

ED BEGLEY, JR. 

Environmentalist 

MARIAN DODGE 

Chairman, Hillside Federation 

BOB BLUMENFIELD 

Councilmember, City of Los Angeles 

DAVID GARFINKLE 

President, Tarzana Property Owners Association 

 

NO ARGUMENT AGAINST THIS MEASURE WAS SUBMITTED 

Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation

FULL TEXT OF BALLOT MEASURE FF 

MOUNTAINS RECREATION AND CONSERVATION AUTHORITY SPECIAL TAX FOR FIRE PREVENTION, WILDLIFE CORRIDOR AND OPEN SPACE PROTECTION 

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (“MRCA”) is a local park agency whose members include the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the Conejo Recreation and Park District, and the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District, that is responsible for maintaining and improving open space, parkland and wildlife corridors and for providing fire protection and safety and security patrols within the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Zone. The MRCA currently maintains over 2,793 acres of local open space, parkland and wildlife corridors in the Woodland Hills, Encino and Tarzana Hillside Areas (the “Woodland Hills, Encino and Tarzana Hillside Areas” or the “Areas”). 

Unlike most public agencies, the MRCA and Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy do not receive permanent ongoing funding from local or state taxes. A major challenge the MRCA currently faces is that its revenues have decreased while costs to protect and maintain parks and open space have increased due to population growth and the increased use of public open space and parklands. Additional park maintenance and expanded park ranger safety and security patrols are needed to handle the increased use of MRCA lands. Moreover, due to the severe five-year drought, the fire risk and fire danger in the Woodland Hills, Encino and Tarzana Hillside Areas is significantly higher. The MRCA desires to expand and improve fire safety patrols, including high fire alert patrols, and fire prevention services such as extensive brush clearing on MRCA lands to reduce and eliminate fire hazards. 

The Santa Monica Mountains are home to many different plant and animal species. As human populations grow, it is critical that the wildlife corridors between Topanga Canyon Boulevard and the 405 Freeway are permanently protected. These wildlife corridors are necessary to ensure mountain lions, deer and other remaining large animals can survive in the Areas. The MRCA is the only public agency that actively acquires and maintains open space and conservation easements for wildlife corridors in these Areas. The MRCA also acquires and protects remaining open space lands from development in these Areas. 

Therefore, in order to continue to preserve and maintain extensive open space, parkland, wildlife corridors, natural habitats, lands, waters, and related facilities; and to protect water quality and provide park ranger safety and security patrols and improve fire protection and prevention services including brush clearing, the MRCA is proposing a local special tax within a community facilities district located in a designated portion of the Woodland Hills, Encino and Tarzana Hillside Areas located west of Interstate 405, as shown on the map accompanying this proposition (the “Woodland Hills, Encino and Tarzana Hillside Areas”). 

The summary of the proposed ballot proposition is: 

To maintain and conserve local open space, wildlife corridors, and parklands; acquire and protect additional lands from development; improve fire prevention including high fire alert patrols and brush clearing; protect water quality in local creeks; and increase park ranger safety patrols; shall Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority implement a $15 special tax for ten years only, providing $241,000 annually with all funds spent locally in the hillside communities of Woodland Hills, Encino, and Tarzana, and requiring independent citizen oversight audits? 

Developed parcels subject to the special tax are those parcels that appear on the annual secured Los Angeles County property tax rolls, and that have been improved for residential, commercial or other purposes. Unimproved parcels within the Woodland Hills, Encino and Tarzana Hillside Areas shall be exempt from the special tax. 

If approved by the voters, the special tax will be used for the purposes of maintaining, improving, servicing, protecting, and preserving open space, parkland, wildlife corridors, natural habitats, lands, waters, and facilities owned or managed by the MRCA within the Woodland Hills, Encino and Tarzana Hillside Areas; for financing the acquisition of additional lands and protection of such lands from development in the Woodland Hills, Encino and Tarzana Hillside Areas; park ranger safety and security patrols and services; and fire prevention and fire protection services (“Services and Facilities”); and paying any administrative or incidental expenses thereto, including any costs related to the collection or use of the special tax. The Services and Facilities include, but are not limited to, the protection of water quality, the reduction of the risk of wildfires, park ranger safety and security services, and the collection and accumulation of reserves for the aforementioned purposes. 

The special tax revenues shall be deposited into a separate account for exclusive use by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, in accordance with Government Code Section 50075.1, and shall be expended by the MRCA according to a plan developed annually by the MRCA’s staff and approved and adopted by the MRCA’s Board of Directors. A citizens’ oversight committee appointed by the Board will review and report annually on the expenditure of the special tax revenues. 

 

The MRCA will submit an annual report to its Board of Directors, which includes the amount of special tax revenues collected and expended, and fully complies with the accountability measures established in Government Code Sections 50075 et seq. 

 

MAP OF THE WOODLAND HILLS, ENCINO AND TARZANA HILLSIDE AREAS PROPOSED FOR THE SPECIAL TAX 

Use tabs to select your choice. Use return to create a choice. You can access your choices by navigating to 'My Choices'.

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.

PUBLISHING:PRODUCTION SERVER:PRODUCTION