City: Residents don’t want to pay for road

City: Residents don’t want to pay for road

23 August 2008

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USA — Residents of the Coronado Hills neighborhood don’t want to spend $5 million for a secondary evacuation road that would be useful during wildfires, city officials say.

In January, the city held a workshop and urged residents to consider paying for a secondary access road, expected to cost about $5 million, through a special tax assessment. Some residents weren’t keen about having to pay the cost.

City officials pointed out that a wildfire driven by Santa Ana winds could quickly overtake the neighborhood, which has only one road to get out. In October, a wildfire burned about 100 acres in the area, but firefighters were soon able to put it out, in part because of luck, fire officials said.

In June, the city mailed surveys to 188 homeowners in the rural area in southeast San Marcos, which has custom homes on large lots and vacant parcels. About 100 people responded, a city spokeswoman said.

Residents suggested the survey, which offered three options. The first was to move forward with a $5 million public road; the second was to build a private road; and the third was to take no action.

In a letter sent this week to Coronado Hills residents, City Manager Paul Malone reported that about 70 percent of the homeowners who responded said to take no action. If residents had selected the first option, property owners would have paid $125 to $145 a month over a 30-year assessment period.

The letter, dated Aug. 20, advised Coronado Hills residents to maintain defensible space around their properties to reduce the fire risk.

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