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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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County

Los Angeles County
Measure A - 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

2,363,405 votes yes (74.9%)

791,939 votes no (25.1%)

100% of precincts reporting (4,988/4,988).

To replace expiring local funding for safe, clean neighborhood/ city/ county parks; increase safe playgrounds, reduce gang activity; keep neighborhood recreation/ senior centers, drinking water safe; protect beaches, rivers, water resources, remaining natural areas/ open space; shall 1.5 cents be levied annually per square foot of improved property in Los Angeles County, with bond authority, requiring citizen oversight, independent audits, and funds used locally?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS OF MEASURE A 

By Mary C. Wickham, County Counsel 

Approval of Measure A (“Measure”) would authorize the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District (“District”) to levy a special tax (“Tax”) annually on improved parcels within the District which encompasses the entire County, including all cities and the unincorporated areas of the County, commencing with fiscal year 2017-18. The Tax shall be levied at a rate of 1.5 cents per square foot of structural improvements to property, excluding the square footage of improvements used for parking. The rate may be adjusted by cumulative increases, if any, to the Western Urban Consumer Price Index. The Tax has no expiration date. This Measure was placed on the ballot by resolution (“Resolution”) of the County Board of Supervisors (“Board”). 

Proceeds from the Tax will be used to replace an expired 1992 assessment, and a 1996 assessment expiring in 2019. Tax proceeds shall be allocated, as designated by the Resolution and Expenditure Plan (“Expenditure Plan”), to develop or implement programs with projects consistent with the 2016 Countywide Park Needs Assessment (“Needs Assessment”) including, but not limited to, projects protecting, developing, enhancing, and preserving parks, play areas, beaches, open space lands, natural areas, waterways, water resources, and equestrian facilities, promoting health and encouraging community use including for seniors and youth, investing in areas with high-needs for parks, developing and improving local and regional recreational facilities, maintaining and improving park safety, healthiness, and accessibility, and providing and facilitating safe places to play, afterschool programs, career development, job training, educational and cultural resources. 

The annual allocation of the Tax, and any allocation adjustments, as provided by the Resolution are: up to 77.8 percent (77.8%) for grant programs throughout the entire County; up to 15 percent (15%) for maintenance and servicing to eligible entities; and up to 7.2 percent (7.2%) for strategic planning, updates to the Needs Assessment, and for District operations, management, and administration of programs. 

All laws and procedures regarding exemptions, dues dates, installment payments, corrections, cancellations, refunds, late payments, liens, penalties and collection of ad valorem property taxes on the secured roll shall apply to the Tax, which shall be placed on the secured roll by the Auditor-Controller and collected by the Treasurer and Tax Collector. The District shall establish and administer an appeals process for the Tax. 

 

All Tax funds shall be deposited into the Regional Parks and Open Space District Park Fund. If approved, the Measure creates a Citizens Oversight Advisory Board composed of five members appointed by the Board which shall review quarterly expenditures from the Tax, ensure that the program is integrated in the annual independent audit of the District, publish a complete accounting of all allocations each year, and submit to the County periodic evaluations of the program. 

The Measure authorizes the District to issue bonds payable from and secured by the Tax to fund all or a portion of the authorized programs. 

 

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 A 

Here are the facts about Measure A the Safe, Clean Neighborhood Parks, Open Space, Local Beaches, Rivers, and Water Conservation Protection Measure: 

– Measure A provides necessary safety repairs and upgrades for parks, beaches and recreational areas in every section of Los Angeles County to keep our kids, seniors and all residents safe. The ongoing lack of funding for parks has meant staff are unable to upgrade outdated and unsafe playground equipment, recreation centers, senior centers, drinking fountains and restrooms, which are suffering from termite damage, mold, leaky roofs, decaying walls, poor drainage, unsafe lighting, and often lack accessibility for the disabled. Measure A will replace expiring local funding for safe, clean neighborhood parks. 

– Measure A provides safe places to play and participate in after-school programs in neighborhood parks — which receive over 41 million visits by kids each year. 

– Measure A helps protect undeveloped natural areas so future generations can enjoy them. Most remaining local undeveloped natural areas are near creeks and lakes. 

– Measure A funds water conservation efforts including drought-tolerant plants, recycled water for ball fields, landscapes and green spaces, and capturing and cleaning more rainwater. These efforts to reduce waste will save money AND help protect our drinking water supplies. 

Your “YES” Vote on Measure A will help provide safe, clean neighborhood parks, beaches and open spaces, and help protect these places that make our communities special. We need Measure A to provide safe places for kids to play, keeping them out of trouble and away from gangs. Permanent protection of our remaining natural areas near creeks and lakes will preserve them for future generations and conserve local water resources. 

That is why a coalition of more than 100 local community organizations, children’s advocates, educators, advocates for seniors, business and environmental leaders say “Vote YES on Measure A.” 

JACKIE LACEY 

L.A. County District Attorney 

TOM EISENHAUER 

President, Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters 

STEVE SOBOROFF 

Business Leader/Member, L.A. Police Commission 

CINDY MONTANEZ 

Executive Director, Tree People 

ALEX JOHNSON 

 

Executive Director, Children’s Defense Fund 

Arguments AGAINST

ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE A 

This is a flawed tax that will make all of our housing more expensive. 

The politicians chose a tax that WORSENS INCOME INEQUALITY – ocean -side estates and your home would be taxed at the same rate. Whether you are rich or poor, this tax does not take into account your family’s budget and how much you can afford to pay. 

And, this tax offers NO GUARANTEE that your local area will receive additional park funds. 

THIS IS NOT THE RIGHT TAX, NOR THE TIME 

We have many pressing issues in our community – like fully funding schools, housing and helping the homeless, solving the drought, reducing violent crime, and fixing our roads. If we are going to raise taxes, we should spend money on these problems. This tax fails to address our most critical problems. 

Politicians have money in their budget to fund parks, but instead are asking you to pay even higher taxes, while ignoring our communities’ real needs. 

TAXES SENIORS AND VETERANS 

Los Angeles County is an expensive place to live! Already, renters and homeowners pay a higher percentage of their income on housing than elsewhere in the nation. To make matters worse, this tax has no exemptions and provides no relief for seniors or disabled veterans. 

KILLS JOBS 

This is a tax on jobs, too. The politicians chose an unfair tax that will hit many of our communities’ struggling small businesses, as they will pay a per square-footage tax as well. We are competing in a global economy for quality, high-wage jobs – this tax makes it more difficult for our communities to compete for good jobs. 

We support our parks, but this FUNDING SCHEME comes at the WRONG TIME using the WRONG FORMULA

VOTE NO on Measure A! 

TERESA CASAZZA 

California Taxpayers Association – President 

TRACY HERNANDEZ 

LA County Business Federation – Founding CEO 

BILL LAMARR 

California Small Business Alliance – Executive Director 

STUART WALDMAN 

Valley Industry and Commerce Association – President 

HERBERT MOLANO 

 

Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles – Executive Director 

Replies to Arguments FOR

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE A 

The proponents of Measure A call it everything but what it really is – ANOTHER TAX

We all know our county has some of the highest housing costs – especially rental costs – escalating homelessness, endless gridlock on our roads, and struggling small businesses. 

This is the WRONG TAX AT THE WRONG TIME

We all want to keep kids and seniors safe, but this measure will not do that. This tax FAILS to solve the REAL PROBLEMS facing our communities. Instead of addressing the REAL PRIORITIES, this tax will allow one bureaucrat to give away millions of tax dollars to private organizations. 

The politicians say they don’t have money to fund parks, but the REAL STORY is that the money they have has not been spent wisely. Politicians have received millions of dollars in new state money for parks, but due to MISMANAGEMENT and red tape much of this was never spent (according to the Associated Press). 

Politicians don’t want you to know that this money may never pay for your local park. The measure’s funding formula shows that many cities will become “donor” cities, funding parks in more affluent areas across the county. 

A new property tax is NOT NEEDED. This year alone, existing county property taxes are expected to rise by more than $700 million. Some of this money can be used for parks. 

For all these reasons and more – community leaders, taxpayers, and small business owners say Vote NO on Measure A. 

TERESA CASAZZA 

California Taxpayers Association – President 

TRACY HERNANDEZ 

Los Angeles County Business Federation – Founding CEO 

BILL LAMARR 

California Small Business Alliance – Executive Director 

STUART WALDMAN 

Valley Industry and Commerce Association – President 

HERBERT MOLANO 

 

Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles – Executive Director 

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

 

 REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE A 

It is indeed the right time to pass Measure A – the Safe, Clean Neighborhood Parks, Open Space, Local Beaches, Rivers, and Water Conservation Protection Measure. 

Here are THE FACTS – the reasons why a broad coalition of our public safety leaders, seniors, business leaders, children’s advocates, educators, and environmental and health leaders are voting YES on Measure A: 

– Measure A benefits every Los Angeles County community and resident. 

– It will replace an expiring voter-approved local tax for safe, clean neighborhood parks and beaches. 

– Measure A provides necessary safety repairs and upgrades for parks, beaches and recreational areas in every Los Angeles County community to keep our kids, seniors and all residents safe. 

– It will help ensure drinking water is safe at parks and recreation centers, benefitting every community and resident. 

– It will prevent gang activity by increasing the safety of neighborhood parks. 

– Measure A protects beaches, rivers and water resources in parks and around open space. 

– Measure A will help increase water conservation efforts to save taxpayers’ money and protect local drinking water supplies. 

Measure A was only placed on the ballot after an extensive assessment of the actual conditions and needs of our parks was conducted in every Los Angeles County community. 

Finally, Measure A contains tough accountability by continuing to require annual independent financial audits, a citizen’s oversight committee, and public review of expenditures. These fiscal safeguards will ensure that funds continue to be used efficiently, effectively and as promised, only for these specific purposes. 

 

Vote Yes on Measure A – and visit www.YesonAforLAParks.com. 

JACKIE LACEY 

L.A. County District Attorney 

LUCINDA (CINDY) STARRETT 

Chair, L.A. Parks Foundation Board 

STEVE SOBOROFF 

Business Leader/Member, L.A. Police Commission 

HANK LACAYO 

State President, Congress of California Seniors 

STEPHANIE MEDINA 

 

President & CEO 

Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation

 FULL TEXT OF BALLOT MEASURE A 

A special tax election shall be held and the same is hereby called and ordered to be held in the County on the 8th day of November, 2016, for the purpose of submitting to the voters of the County the question of a special tax to be levied by the District in the amounts and for the purposes hereinafter set forth and to be administered by the District and the issuance of bonds and other indebtedness in accordance with Public Resources Code Sections 5500 et seq. The special election called by this resolution shall be consolidated with the Statewide General Elections conducted by and in the County of Los Angeles on November 8, 2016, and the Proposition shall be placed on the same ballot and the same precincts, polling places, election officers, and facilities shall be used for this special election. 

Commencing with Fiscal Year 2017-2018, an annual special tax to raise revenue to continue funding for programs pursuant to the plan of expenditure contained herein is hereby imposed upon all improved parcels located within the District, whose boundaries are coterminous with the County of Los Angeles, including all incorporated cities. The Special Tax shall be levied on all improved parcels in the District at a rate of 1.5 cents per square foot of structural improvements, excluding the square footage of improvements used for parking. For each fiscal year after 2017-2018, the Board shall by a majority vote set the rate of the tax; however, in any fiscal year the rate may be set no higher than the amount of 1.5 cents per square foot, as adjusted by the cumulative increases, if any, to the Western Urban Consumer Price Index from July 1, 2017, as established by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. If for any fiscal year the Board fails to set the rate, the tax shall continue at the same rate as the preceding year. 

(a) All laws and procedures regarding exemptions, due dates, installment payments, corrections, cancellations, refunds, late payments, liens and collections for the secured roll ad valorem property taxes shall be applicable to the collection of the Special Tax. The secured roll tax bills shall be the only notices required for the levying of the Special Tax. The Auditor-Controller of the County shall place the Special Tax on the secured tax roll for the initial Fiscal Year 2017-2018, and for subsequent fiscal years. The Treasurer and Tax Collector of the County shall collect the Special Tax for the initial Fiscal Year 2017-2018, and for subsequent fiscal years, on the tax roll at the same time and in the same manner, and subject to the same penalties as the ad valorem property taxes fixed and collected by or on behalf of the County. The Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District shall establish and administer an appeals process to address and correct potential errors in the levy of the Special Tax. 

(b) Properties owned by public agencies devoted to a public use or to protect public health or safety will not be assessed, consistent with the statutes applying to possessory interests. The Special Tax shall be levied on possessory interests based on the amount of privately-held structural improvements. 

 

(c) Based upon all of the facts before it on this matter, the Board finds that the submission of this question of a Special Tax to the voters is not subject to, or is exempt from, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) because it is not a project as defined by California Code of Regulations Section 15378(b)(4) because it relates to the creation of government funding mechanisms, which do not involve commitment to any specific project which may result in a potentially significant physical impact on the environment. 

The Proposition for levying said special tax and issuing bonds shall appear upon the ballot substantially as follows: 

Safe, Clean Neighborhood Parks, Open Space, Beaches, Rivers Protection, and Water Conservation Measure 

To replace expiring local funding for safe, clean neighborhood/city/county parks; increase safe playgrounds, reduce gang activity; keep neighborhood recreation/senior centers, drinking water safe; protect beaches, rivers, water resources, remaining natural areas/open space; shall 1.5 cents be levied annually per square foot of improved property in Los Angeles County, with bond authority, requiring citizen oversight, independent audits, and funds used locally? 

The Board does hereby submit to the qualified voters of the County, at said special District election, this proposition. The Chair and Clerk of the Board of Supervisors are hereby authorized and directed to publish notice of said special election in accordance with the California Elections Code. Analysis and review of this resolution shall be carried out pursuant to Section 9160 of the California Elections Code. 

As used in this resolution, the following terms have the indicated meanings: 

“1992 and 1996 Propositions” means the Safe Neighborhood Parks Propositions approved by voters on November 3, 1992 and November 5, 1996, respectively. 

“2016 Countywide Parks Needs Assessment” means the 2016 Los Angeles Countywide Comprehensive Park and Recreation Needs Assessment Final Report and any supplementary material adopted, and as subsequently updated, by the District. 

“Advisory Board” means the Citizens Oversight Advisory Board established in Section 7. 

“Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990” means the federal law as codified in Chapter 126, Title 42, of the U.S. Codes. 

“Assessor” means the County of Los Angeles Office of the Assessor. 

 

“Beaches” means a public beach or shoreline area bordering the Pacific Ocean owned, controlled, or managed by a public agency, within the County of Los Angeles. 

“Board” means the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, also acting as the governing body of the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District. 

“Bonds” means borrow any form of indebtedness, including notes and bonds, issued to finance Eligible projects and related bond costs. 

“Community Development” means the feasibility, planning, design, permitting and construction of recreational infrastructure and amenities. 

“County” is used as defined in the recitals to this resolution. 

“County Cultural Facility” means a building owned &/or operated by the County of Los Angeles which shall be used for the programming, production, presentation, and/or exhibition of natural history and any of the arts and/or cultural disciplines. These disciplines include music, dance, theatre, creative writing, literature, architecture, painting, sculpture, folk arts, photography, crafts, media arts, and visual arts. 

“Director” means the Director of the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District. 

“District” means the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District. 

“Eligible project” means pre-project assistance and feasibility, planning, acquisition, construction, development, improvement, restoration, rehabilitation, or any combination thereof, for any park or recreation project or improvement. 

“Greenway” means a project that incorporates elements of water conservation and reclamation, urban greening, or public safety in a linear park, urban trail and/or active transportation corridor. 

“High-Need and Very-High Need” means areas designated as such in the Parks Needs Framework as identified the 2016 Countywide Park Needs Assessment. 

“Interpretation & Education” means, a visitor serving amenity that enhances the ability to understand and appreciate the significance and value of natural, historical, cultural and recreational resources that may utilize educational materials in multiple languages, digital information, and the expertise of a naturalist or other skilled specialist. 

“Joint-use” means shared management of facilities, land, utilities, programs, or other common elements between two or more parties. 

 

“Local jurisdiction” means a city, county, special district or local agency. 

“Multi-benefit project” means a project that maximizes or enhances recreation opportunities and one or more of the following: protection or enhancement of the natural environment, stormwater capture, water and air quality improvements, greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, carbon sequestration, heat-island reductions; habitat protection and biodiversity, community health improvements, or any combination thereof. 

“Natural Lands” means an area of relatively undeveloped land which has substantially retained its characteristics as provided by nature or has been substantially restored, or which can be feasibly restored to a near-natural condition and which derives outstanding value from its wildlife, scenic, open space, parkland or recreational characteristics, or any combination thereof. 

“Nonprofit Organization” means any charitable organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, which has among its purposes the provision of park, recreation or community services or facilities, gang prevention and intervention, conservation corps, environmental education and interpretation, tree-planting, or the conservation and preservation of wetlands or of lands predominantly in their natural, scenic, historical, forested or open-space condition, or restoration of lands to a natural, scenic, historical, forested or open-space condition. 

“Open space, foothill, mountain, trail, river, wetlands and stream projects” include any of the following: preservation of natural lands, scenic vistas and wildlife habitat, wildlife corridors, development and restoration of mountain and other open space hiking, biking, walking and equestrian trails, especially those maintained by the County Public Works and Parks and Recreation Departments, restoration of natural vegetation and habitat, habitat and recreation facilities in and adjacent to riparian and flood control channels, and the provision of recreational opportunities and public access in mountain, foothill, river, stream and wetland areas. 

“Parcel” means any unit of real property that receives an annual secured property tax bill from the Los Angeles County Treasurer and Tax Collector. 

“Park” means a tract of land with scenic, natural, open-space or recreational values, set apart to conserve natural, scenic, wildlife, cultural, historical or ecological resources for present and future generations, and to be used by the public as a place for respite, rest, recreation, education, exercise, inspiration or enjoyment. 

“Parks Fund” means the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District Park Fund. 

 

“Per Capita and Structural Improvements” refers to each Study Area’s respective percentage of total Countywide 1) population as of the 2010 Census, and subsequent updates; and 2) structural improvements on parcels on the secured property tax rolls according to the Assessor’s records as of January 1, 2017, and subsequent updates. 

“Per Capita and Structural Improvements Formula” means the formula established by the District to determine how allocations of certain funding programs under this proposition shall be distributed. Each Study Area’s allocation percentage of the applicable funding programs shall be the arithmetic mean of Per Capita and Structural Improvements, where Per Capita is weighted two-thirds and Structural Improvements are weighted one-third, and shall be calculated as follows: Allocation Percentage = [(Per Capita + Per Capita + Structural Improvements)/3]. 

“Pre-Project Assistance” means the planning, design, feasibility and studies necessary to define and articulate 1) a park project on land that was developed for uses other than parkland, or 2) a project to acquire and/or restore parks and natural lands. 

“Public Agency” means any governmental agency, special district, or joint power authority, established pursuant to the laws of the State that is authorized to acquire, develop, improve and restore real property for beach, wildlife, park, recreation, community, cultural, open space, water quality, flood control, or gang prevention and intervention purposes. 

“Recreation Access” means those programs that increase the ability for county citizens to access public lands, park facilities, and park amenities, including education, interpretive services, safety information, transportation, and other activities that increase the accessibility for county residents, especially for those in high-need and very-high need study areas. 

“Regional Recreational Parks” means facilities with unique, countywide significance that are publicly owned, consist of at least 100 contiguous acres and have three or more active recreational amenities. 

“Special Tax” is the Tax levied on all improved parcels at a rate of 1.5 cents per square foot of structural improvements, within the County pursuant to this resolution. 

“State” means the State of California. 

“State Lands Commission” means the Lands Commission of the State of California. 

“Structural Improvements” means the square footage of building floor area on a parcel. 

 

“Study Areas” means the 188 regions studied for need in the 2016 Countywide Parks Needs Assessment. 

“Urban area” means an urban place, as that term is defined by the United States Department of Commerce, of 2,500 or more persons. 

“Urban Forest” means those native or introduced trees and related vegetation in an urban area, including, but not limited to, urban watersheds, soils and related habitats, street trees, park trees, natural riparian habitats, and trees on other private and public properties. Where feasible, introduced trees and plants shall be native species selected and planted in accordance with best management practices. No plants or trees identified on the California Invasive Species list maintained by the California Invasive Plant Council, or other appropriate sources, shall be planted. 

“Urban Forestry” means the cultivation and management of trees in an urban area for their present and potential contribution to the economic, physiological, sociological, and ecological well-being of urban society. 

“Urban Park” means a park in an urban area that offers respite, rest, recreation, education, exercise, inspiration or enjoyment to residents of, and visitors to, that urban area. 

“Veterans” means any person who served in the United States armed forces as defined by Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations. 

“Youth and Veterans Career Development and Job Training” means a program that provides job training, career development, or both, to young adults aged 18-24 and veterans, including education and/or certification for jobs within the conservation and parks and recreation fields. 

It is the intent of this proposition to provide funds to benefit property and improve the quality of life throughout the District by preserving and protecting parks, safe places to play, community recreation facilities, beaches, rivers, open spaces, water conservation, youth and veteran career development, and the urban tree canopy. Funds will be disbursed by the District consistent with the 2016 Countywide Park Needs Assessment to ensure all communities within the County can fund local priorities. 

Expenditure Plan 

(a) Proceeds of the Special Tax shall be allocated by the District to develop and implement grant programs that invest in eligible projects consistent with or similar to those identified in the 2016 Park Needs Assessment, including, but not limited to, the following: 

1. Protecting and developing parks, safe places to play, beaches, open space lands, and natural areas, 

 

2. Protecting, enhancing, and preserving open space, natural areas, and waterways, 

3. Promoting Healthy Communities, 

4. Increasing investments in high-need and very high-need regions identified in the Countywide Park Needs Assessment, 

5. Protecting water resources, including lakes, rivers and creeks, 

6. Developing and improving local and regional recreational facilities, including general infrastructure improvements, sustainability improvements, and removal of asbestos, mold, and lead paint from existing facilities, 

7. Helping reduce gang activity by maintaining safe and healthy parks to encourage use by the community 

8. Ensuring local drinking water continues to be safe and accessible at park and recreation centers, 

9. Providing safe places to play for afterschool programs for children and youth, 

10. Providing youth and veteran career development and job training, 

11. Improving park safety and universal accessibility, including for seniors and those with disabilities, 

12. Protecting and enhancing clean and safe beaches, 

13. Improving water quality and implementing stormwater capture on park and open space lands, 

14. Developing and enhancing urban gardens, pocket parks, and other small-scale greening projects, including education and food health programs, 

15. Facilitating community education, engagement, natural, historical and cultural resource interpretation, and other innovative projects that engage the community regarding park facilities funded by the District. 

16. Developing and enhancing senior citizen, youth, multi-generational, and other neighborhood and community recreation facilities, 

17. Developing and enhancing public equestrian facilities, especially to promote sustainable practices, 

18. Developing, restoring and maintaining museums and cultural facilities, 

19. Protecting and preserving the urban canopy and promoting tree health. 

 

(b) The funds allocated pursuant to subsection (a) shall be expended according to the following schedule: 

(1) Community-Based Park Investment Program. 

(A) Thirty-five percent (35%), on an annual basis, for eligible projects located in each study area, to all incorporated cities and unincorporated areas of the County located within the District. To ensure that each community throughout the County will benefit from improvements such as those identified in or consistent with those identified in the 2016 Countywide Park Needs Assessment Report, funds will be allocated to each study area based on the Per Capita and Structural Improvements Formula. The District shall prioritize projects located in each study area as identified in or consistent with the 2016 Countywide Park Needs Assessment. 

(2) Safe, Clean Neighborhood Parks, Healthy Communities and Urban Greening Program. 

(A) Thirteen percent (13%), on an annual basis, for the acquisition of real property, and the construction and rehabilitation of parks and recreation facilities that provide safe places and facilities for after-school, weekend and holiday programs for local children, youth and families, provide opportunities for healthy living in all neighborhoods, and improve the quantity and quality of green spaces in the county. The District shall fund projects in high-need, and very high-need, study areas, as identified in the 2016 Countywide Park Needs Assessment, based on the Per Capita and Structural Improvements Formula, including, but not limited to, the following: 

(i) community and local parks, including pocket parks, playgrounds, playground equipment, dog parks, and picnic areas, especially those that connect and restore underutilized spaces; 

(ii) community and senior recreational centers; 

(iii) park safety, graffiti removal, facility safety lighting, safe routes to schools, and other safety improvements; 

(iv) greenspace and greenway development; gardens; 

(v) urban canopy development to reduce the heat island effect, especially in heavily urbanized, tree-poor areas of the County; 

(vi) active transportation and physical activity programming that promotes recreation and accessibility to recreational facilities; 

(vii) interpretation, education and communication about parks, local environmental issues and recreational activities; 

 

(B) Of the funds allocated to this paragraph, multi-benefit projects should seek to leverage public and private funding from water conservation and supply; water and air quality improvements; flood risk management; climate pollution reduction or adaptation; carbon sequestration; heat-island reduction; habitat protection and biodiversity; public health; and environmental justice benefit programs. 

(3) Natural Lands, Open Spaces and Local Beaches, Water Conservation, and Watershed Protection Program. 

(A) Thirteen percent (13%), on an annual basis, for planning, acquisition, development, improvement, and restoration, of multi-benefit park projects that promote, improve, or protect clean local water supplies, habitat improvements, park space, recreation, public access, watershed health, and open space, including improvements or restoration of areas that buffer our rivers, streams, and their tributaries along with the lakes and beaches throughout the County, including but not limited to, the following: 

(i) riparian corridor improvements; 

(ii) river and stream parkway development; 

(iii) river and stream clean up, access and community development; 

(iv) lake clean up, access and community development; 

(v) beach and coastal watersheds clean-up, access and community development; 

(vi) fishing and boating facilities; 

(vii) natural lands, wildlife corridors, and watershed protection; 

(viii) recreational facilities, public property and rights of way, flood control infrastructure, and other easements; 

(ix) natural and cultural resource interpretive programs and nature education activities. 

(B) Of the funds allocated to this paragraph, multi-benefit projects should seek to leverage public and private funding from water conservation and supply; water and air quality improvements; flood risk management; climate pollution reduction or adaptation; carbon sequestration; heat-island reduction; habitat protection and biodiversity; public health; and environmental justice benefit programs. 

(C) The District shall prioritize projects that offer the greatest regional benefits, or serve the greatest regional need. 

(4) Regional Recreational Facilities, Multi-use Trails and Accessibility Program. 

(A) Thirteen percent (13%), on an annual basis, for acquisition, development, improvement, restoration, or rehabilitation projects, including but not limited to, the following: 

 

(i) regional parks, regional facilities, museum, environmental education and other cultural facilities; 

(ii) multi-use sports facilities, including golf facilities and other community recreational facilities; 

(iii) multi-use trail connectivity for existing and future park facilities, including connection to Public Works-maintained Class I bike path facilities; 

(iv) multi-use trail and path projects, with special emphasis being placed on those multi-use trails that provide hiking, equestrian, bicycle and other opportunities, including universal access and access consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, especially in urban communities; 

(v) regional, ecological, zoological, geological, archeological, anthropological, paleontological, and cultural sites of countywide significance. 

(B) Trail and accessibility projects funded under this paragraph that connect river, mountain, and urban areas, especially to County Parks, State Parks, the National Forest, the National Recreation Area(s), and the National Monument(s), and that link other canyons and regional and local parks throughout the County will be given higher priority. 

(5) Youth and Veteran Job Training and Placement Opportunities Program. 

(A) Three point eight percent (3.8%), on an annual basis for: 

(i) Organizations within the county, including certified conservation corps, that provide education, skills training, and career pathway development to young adults, aged 18 to 25, or veterans, to implement park projects. 

(ii) Organizations within the county that provide certifications and placement services, or apprenticeship opportunities, for young adults, aged 18-25, or veterans, for jobs and careers in the Parks and Recreation field. 

(B) The District shall prioritize grants to organizations that provide services to, or recruit a majority of their participants from, the areas of high-need, and very high-need, as identified in the 2016 Countywide Park Needs Assessment Report. The District shall grant no less than eighty percent (80%) of funds from this paragraph pursuant to sub-paragraph (A)(i). 

Implementation 

(a) Authority to award and administer grants pursuant to Section 5 shall be delegated by the Board to the Director for projects consistent with this resolution, and subject to the Board adopted policies and procedures and annual work plan to be approved by the Board. 

(b) Of the funds allocated pursuant to Section 5, eligible project applicants include Public Agencies and Nonprofit Organizations. 

(c) To the extent feasible, priority may be given to multi-benefit recreational projects that maximize climate pollution reduction and adaption, carbon sequestration, heat-island reduction, stormwater capture that increase infiltration, habitat protection and biodiversity, community health improvements, promote innovative public-private partnerships, or a combination thereof. 

(d) Of the funds allocated pursuant to Section 5(b)(3) through Section 5(b)(5), the District may periodically dedicate a portion of funds to: 

(1) Competitive grant solicitations accessible to eligible Public Agencies and Nonprofit Organizations for projects consistent with the goals of this paragraph. 

(2) Grant solicitations designed to leverage federal, or state, park, conservation, water, or climate funding programs. 

(e) In each of the years after the date the special tax is levied and collected, the schedule of expenditure of all proceeds of the special tax shall conform to the following: 

(1) Consistent with Section 5, up to seventy-seven point eight percent (77.8%) shall be used for grant projects, including but not limited to, pre-project assistance, planning, acquisition, development, improvement, restoration, rehabilitation, technical assistance, and program oversight. For purposes of this resolution, grant projects include the servicing of bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness issued by the District/County. 

(2) Up to fifteen percent (15%) shall be set aside and designated as the maintenance and servicing amount, and shall be used only to maintain and service, including resource protection activities for the capital outlay projects funded by the District, inclusive of projects funded by 1992 and 1996 Propositions. These funds shall be administered separately from the District’s grant program and shall be held in trust by the District until a request from an eligible entity is made pursuant to rules established by the District. To ensure that every community maintains park and recreation facilities and park safety improvements as identified in, consistent with or similar to the 2016 Countywide Park Needs Assessment, funds granted pursuant this paragraph will be allocated based on the Per Capita and Structural Improvements Formula. The District shall grant funds, pursuant to this paragraph, for projects identified in the 188 study areas, as well as the associated addenda, as contained in the report. For projects identified in the 188 study areas, the District shall prioritize funds for high-need, and very high-need, areas as identified in the report, as well as projects that provide public access. The maintenance and servicing amount shall be allocated each year as follows: 

(A) Fifty point eighty-five percent (50.85%) to cities; ten point fifty percent (10.50%) to the Department of Beaches and Harbors; thirteen point five percent (13.50%) to the Department of Parks and Recreation; three percent (3.00%) to the Department of Public Works; one percent (1.0%) to the Baldwin Hills Regional Conservation Authority; point five percent (0.5%) to the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority; eight percent (8.0%) to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority; two percent (2.0%) to the Puente Hills Habitat Preservation Authority; one percent (1.0%) to the Santa Clarita Watershed Recreation and Conservation Authority; five point fifteen percent (5.15%) to the Watershed Conservation Authority; and, four point five percent (4.5%) unallocated for eligible nonprofit organizations that own, operate, or both, parklands consistent with this resolution. 

(i) Any additional local agencies created for park purposes after January 1, 2017, may receive funding made available pursuant to (e)(2)(A) according to a determination made by the District. 

(3) Up to seven point two percent (7.2%) shall be set aside and designated for strategic planning, updates to the 2016 Countywide Park Needs Assessment, and the District for operations, management, technical assistance, outreach, and oversight, including personnel, to administer programs pursuant to this resolution. 

(f) Notwithstanding Section 6(e), starting in 2026, and each year thereafter, the District may increase funds made available pursuant to provision (e)(2) up to 2%, annually, and correspondingly decrease funds made available pursuant to (e)(1), until funding made available pursuant to provision (e)(1) and (e)(2) both equal 46.4%. 

(g) (1) Funds for maintenance and servicing as described in this section shall be allocated annually to each recipient within the District. Allocations shall be made only to those entities which certify that: (A) such funds shall be used only to maintain and service projects funded by the District, inclusive of grants issued pursuant to the 1992 and 1996 Propositions and this resolution, and (B) such funds shall not be used to fund existing levels of service, but rather only to supplement or enhance existing service levels. 

(2) Funds allocated to the Department of Beaches and Harbors consistent with (e)(2)(A) shall be used for projects that repair and replace facilities impacted from high user activity and weatherization from being located near the ocean, such funds shall be used to supplement existing levels of service. 

(h) Except for those funds allocated to cities, the Director may, on an annual basis with Board approval, adjust the allocations pursuant to Section 6 (e)(A). 

(i) (1) Of the funds provided in Section 5 (b)(3), up to twenty-five percent (25%), on an annual basis, shall be allocated to the Department of Beaches and Harbors. 

(2) Of the funds provided in Section 5 (b)(3), up to fifteen percent (15%), on an annual basis, shall be allocated to develop and implement Recreation Access programs that increase the ability for county citizens to access public lands, park facilities, and park amenities, including education, interpretive services, safety information, transportation, and other activities that increase the accessibility for county residents, especially for those in high-need and very-high need areas. Programs funded pursuant to this paragraph shall meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. 

(3) Of the funds provided in Section 5 (b)(4), up to twenty five percent (25%), on an annual basis, shall be allocated to the Department of Parks and Recreation. 

(4) Of the funds provided in Section 5 (b)(4), up to fifteen percent (15%), on an annual basis, shall be allocated to develop and implement Recreation Access programs that increase the ability for county citizens to access public lands and park facilities, including education, interpretive services, safety information, transportation, and other activities that increase the accessibility for county residents, especially for those in high-need and very-high need areas. Programs funded pursuant to this paragraph shall meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. 

(5) Of the funds provided in Section 5(b)(4), up to ten percent (10%), on an annual basis, shall be allocated to County cultural facilities. 

(j) The District shall promote sustainability, energy and water efficiency, stormwater capture, and technology innovation through the implementation of this program, including but not limited to the following: 

(1) Development of projects that include as many of the following elements as possible: 

(A) Sustainability, 

(B) Cost-saving energy efficiency, 

(C) Weatherization, 

(D) Stormwater capture 

(E) Water efficiency, including irrigation efficiency, 

(F) Use of reclaimed water or stormwater, and 

(G) Use of climate and site appropriate native California tree and plant materials. 

(2) Investment in enhanced electronic communications and other forms of technology innovation that benefits the public’s interactions with individual parks or the park system, including internet connectivity; electronic or mobile reservation, scheduling, and fee systems; regional websites; or other systems deemed necessary by the District. 

(k) (1) The Director may provide advanced payment for up to 50 percent (50%) of the grant award for those projects that satisfy one or both of the following criteria: 

 

(A) The project proponent is an eligible grantee and would require advanced payment to implement the project. 

(B) The grant award for the project is less than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000). 

(2) The Director shall establish rules to determine how advanced funds will be managed and administered. 

(3) If funds are not expended, the unused portion of the grant shall be returned to the District within 60 days after project completion or the end of the grant performance period, whichever is earlier. 

(4) All funds granted pursuant to this paragraph are subject to an independent audit. 

(l) Notwithstanding Sections 4, 5 and 6 of this resolution, of the funds available from the special tax, the District’s Board may, on an annual basis, allocate up to 2% of the funds for eligible projects. 

(m) As a California Special District established pursuant to Section 5500 of the Public Resource Code, officers and employees of the County may act ex officio as the officers and employees of the District. However, in order to maintain transparency and accountability to the public and fairness to its various grant recipients, the District shall hereby operate as an independent agency of the County, with the District Administrator reporting directly to the Director of Parks and Recreation with clear separation from its grant recipients in all aspects of District administration including, but not limited to, personnel, fiscal, budget, and audit functions. 

(n) The District shall have the authority to grant funds from any study area with a population of 2,500, or less, to an adjacent high-need, or very high-need study area. 

Community Oversight and Accountability 

(a) The Citizens Oversight Advisory Board (“Advisory Board”) is hereby created. 

(1) The Advisory Board shall be composed of five members appointed by the Board. Each appointing office shall appoint one member who meets each of the following criteria: 

(A) An accountant, economist, or other professional with knowledge and expertise in parks, park development, evaluating financial transactions and program cost-effectiveness, or an appointed member of the Park Needs Assessment Steering Committee; 

 

(B) A community member from one of the five Supervisorial Districts. 

(2) The Advisory Board shall do all of the following: 

(A) Quarterly (4 times per year) review of all expenditures from the special tax; 

(B) Ensure that this program is integrated in the annual independent audit of the District; 

(C) Publish a complete accounting of all allocations each year, posting the information on the District’s publicly accessible Internet Web site; in a downloadable spreadsheet format, including information about the location and footprint of each funded project, its objectives, status, and outcomes, any matching funds used, and the applicable program from the expenditure plan schedule in Section 5(b); 

(D) Submit to the County periodic evaluations of the program, which may at the Board’s direction be undertaken by independent researchers, identifying any changes needed to meet the objectives of this resolution. 

(3) (A) Members of the Advisory Board shall serve a term of four years at the pleasure of the Board, and no member may serve more than two consecutive four-year terms. The Board may, by order, extend this length of service or waive this limit for individuals or the Advisory Board as a whole. A member’s position shall become vacant upon his or her death, resignation, or removal by the Advisory Board. In the case of such a vacancy, the Board shall appoint a successor to fill the unexpired term. 

(B) Members of the Advisory Board shall not be compensated for their service, but may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. 

Eligibility 

(a) No funds authorized pursuant to Section 5 may be disbursed to any recipient unless the recipient agrees: 

(1) To maintain and operate in perpetuity the property acquired, developed, improved, rehabilitated or restored with the funds. With the approval of the granting agency, the recipient or its successors in interest in the property may transfer the responsibility to maintain and operate the property in accordance with this Section. 

(2) (A) To use the property only for the purposes of this resolution and to make no other use, sale, or disposition of the property, except as described in paragraph (B). 

 

(B) If the use of the property acquired through grants pursuant to this resolution is changed to one other than a use permitted under the category from which the funds were provided, or the property is sold or otherwise disposed of, an amount equal to the (1) amount of the grant, (2) the fair market value of the real property, or (3) the proceeds from the portion of such property acquired, developed, improved, rehabilitated or restored with the grant, whichever is greater, shall be used by the recipient for a purpose authorized in that category or shall be reimbursed to the Parks Fund and shall be available for a use authorized in that category. 

If the property sold or otherwise disposed of is less than the entire interest in the property originally acquired, developed, improved, rehabilitated or restored with the grant, an amount equal to the proceeds or the fair market value of the property interest sold or otherwise disposed of, whichever is greater, shall be used by the grantee for a purpose authorized in that category or shall be reimbursed to the Parks Fund and be available for a use authorized in that category. Nothing in this Section shall limit a Public Agency from transferring property acquired pursuant to this order to the National Park Service or the State Park System, with or without consideration. 

(3) Any beach, park or other public facility acquired, developed, rehabilitated or restored with funds from this act shall be open and accessible to the public without discrimination as to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, religious belief, national origin, marital status, physical or medical handicap, medical condition or place of residence, to the extent consistent with the provisions of subdivision (b) of Section 9. 

(4) In order to maintain the exclusion from gross income for federal income tax purposes of the interest on any bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness issued for purposes of this resolution, each recipient of funds pursuant to this resolution covenants to comply with each applicable requirement of Section 103 and Sections 141 through 150 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. Each recipient of funds disbursed pursuant to this resolution shall agree in writing to the conditions specified in this paragraph. 

(5) An entity receiving funds pursuant to this resolution shall agree to audits of expenditures on a regular basis, as directed by the District. 

(6) To the extent practicable, a project that receives funds from this measure will include signage informing the public that the project received funds from the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District. 

Property 

(a) All real property acquired pursuant to this resolution shall be acquired in compliance with Chapter 16 (commencing with Section 7260) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the California Government Code. Public Agencies and Nonprofit Organizations receiving funds pursuant to this resolution shall certify compliance to the Department of Parks and Recreation. Funds disbursed to a Public Agency in accordance with this resolution may be expended by that agency pursuant to an agreement, or by an entity, authorized or established pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 6500) of Chapter 5 of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code. 

(b) Reasonable public access to lands acquired in fee with funds made available pursuant to this resolution shall be provided except where that access may interfere with resource protection. For purposes of this resolution, reasonable public access shall include parking and public restrooms. 

(c) Prior to recommending the acquisition of lands that are located on or near tidelands, submerged lands, swamp or overflowed lands, or other wetlands, whether or not those lands have been granted in trust to a local public agency, any agency receiving funds pursuant to this resolution shall submit to the State Lands Commission any proposal for the acquisition of those lands pursuant to this measure. The State Lands Commission may, at its discretion, within ninety (90) days of such a submission, review the proposed acquisition, make a determination as to the State’s existing or potential interest in the lands, and report its findings to the entity making the submittal and to the Department of Parks and Recreation. 

(d) No wetlands or riparian habitat acquired pursuant to this resolution shall be used as a dredge spoil area or shall be subject to revetment which damages the quality of the habitat for which the property was acquired. 

(e) No provision of this resolution shall be construed as authorizing the condemnation of publicly-owned lands. 

(f) Funds that are granted pursuant to this resolution for the purposes of development, improvement, rehabilitation or restoration shall be expended for these purposes only on lands owned by the applicant Public Agency or Nonprofit Organization or subject to a lease or other interest held by such Public Agency or Nonprofit Organization. If such lands are not owned by the applicant or subject to such other interest held by the applicant, the applicant shall first demonstrate to the satisfaction of the administering agency that the project will provide public benefits commensurate with the type and duration of the interest in land held by the applicant. 

(g) The use of property acquired using funds pursuant to this resolution shall be consist with purposes identified in this resolution and shall be set forth in the grant contract executed by the District. Unless otherwise approved by the Board, in no circumstances may oil, gas, or other mineral extraction occur on or under any property acquired with funds pursuant to this resolution. 

 

(h) The District shall ensure the following: 

(1) To the maximum extent possible an irrevocable deed restriction setting forth the requirements of this resolution shall be recorded on all properties for which funds are awarded pursuant to this resolution. This deed restriction shall provide that the County may enforce the requirements of this resolution, and the contract entered into with the recipient of grant funds, at any time without restriction of any statute of limitations, and that the County shall be awarded its reasonable attorney fees and costs for such enforcement. 

(2) A grant applicant must maintain and operate in perpetuity the property that was acquired, developed, improved, rehabilitated or restored with the funds from this resolution, and the purpose and/or use of the property for such acquisition, development, improvement, rehabilitation, or restoration. The recipient must also enter into a contract with the County whereby the recipient shall agree to comply with all terms of this resolution and any other terms deemed necessary by the District for the effective administration and implementation of this resolution. Said contract shall have no termination date and its provisions shall last in perpetuity. With the prior approval of the District, the recipient or its successors in interest in the property may transfer the responsibility to maintain and operate the property in accordance with this resolution. 

(3) That any beach, park, or other public facility acquired, developed, rehabilitated, or restored with funds derived under this resolution shall be open and accessible to the public without discrimination as to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, religious belief, national origin, marital status, physical or medical handicap, medical condition, or place of residence. The recipient shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any person or organization seeking to use such facility based upon the place of residence of such person or the members of such organization. 

(4) That the conditions specified in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this Section shall not prevent the transfer of property acquired, developed, improved, rehabilitated or restored with funds authorized pursuant to Section 5 of this resolution from the recipient to another Public Agency or to a Nonprofit Organization authorized to acquire, develop, improve, restore and/or operate real property for park, wildlife, recreation, community, open space or gang prevention and intervention purposes, or to the California Department of Parks and Recreation, National Park Service, or the US Forest Service, provided that approval by the District is obtained prior to the change and any such successor to the recipient assumes the obligations imposed by this resolution. 

(5) Revenue generated on projects funded by this measure shall be utilized for the purposes of the measure.

Financing 

(a) It is the intention of the Board to authorize the District to issue Bonds payable from and secured by the Special Taxes to fund all or a portion of the costs of the projects authorized by this resolution pursuant to Article 3 of Division 5 of the Public Resources Code. In addition, the District may also issue Bonds as may be authorized by applicable law in the future. Such Bonds may be issued in one or more series at such times, in such principal amounts, with such terms and subject to sale, all as the Board may determine in its sole discretion. 

(b) All funds generated by the Special Tax shall be deposited into the Regional Parks and Open Space District Park Fund (Parks Fund). The Auditor-Controller of the County, on behalf of the District, may create any other funds, accounts or subaccounts necessary or desirable, including for the proceeds of Bonds issued by the District. 

(c) All revenue generated by the District, including the proceeds from the issuance of any Bonds, shall be deposited in the Parks Fund and shall be allocated among all affected Public Agencies within the District as defined in Section 5506.9 of the California Public Resources Code, for expenditure consistent with the purposes of Division 5, Chapter 3, Article 3 of the Public Resources Code and of this resolution. The District shall reimburse the County from the Parks Fund for all costs of administration of the District, and the costs of issuance of bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness. 

(d) Pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 5506.9 of the Public Resources Code, no proceeds from any Bonds issued by the District shall be used for any operations, maintenance or servicing purposes, except that such proceeds may be used to pay all costs incidental to the preparation and issuance of the bonds. 

The Special Tax levied pursuant to this resolution shall be levied beginning with the fiscal year in which the tax is first levied by the District and collected by the County. 

In case any provision of this resolution shall be invalid, illegal or unenforceable, the validity, legality and enforceability of the remaining provisions shall not in any way be affected or impaired thereby. 

 

This resolution shall take effect immediately, and upon declaration by the Board that the Special Tax herein has been approved by the voters, all officers and employees of the County and the District shall take all actions necessary and desirable to carry out the purposes of this resolution. The officers and employees of the County and the ex officio officers and employees of the District, are and each of them acting alone is, hereby authorized and directed to take any and all actions which are necessary or desirable to carry out the purposes of this resolution. 

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