P.B. Isn't Getting M.A.D.

Some residents of Pacific Beach don't want to pay to get a MAD — Maintenance Assessment District — because they feel the property owners shouldn't have to pay to clean up after the bars and their pickled patrons.

On June 10th, at San Diego's City Council meeting, Councilmember Kevin Faulconer pulled the West Pacific Beach MAD proposal from the agenda, at the request of the business improvement association and due to a flood of complaints from coastal constituents about having to pay extra for the formation of a MAD.

The proposal would have asked property and business owners of Pacific Beach to shell out extra money when they pay property taxes. The money would have been collected by the city and later allocated to the newly formed MAD, which would have been responsible for doling out the money for community services.

Nearly $475,000 dollars would have been generated by the assessment levied on Pacific Beach residents. That money would have gone to hiring four more police officers during busy bar hours, graffiti and litter removal, landscape maintenance and upkeep of trees and public trash areas.

Over the past 18 months, Discover Pacific Beach, the local business improvement association, has lobbied to get a MAD in their community.

The executive director for Discover Pacific Beach is Benjamin Nicholls. He is well aware of the rigors that go along with a MAD. He sits on the MAD for Greater Golden Hill and serves as a board member for the Greater Golden Hill Community Development Committee (CDC). Nicholls has witnessed the back and forth, incestuous tug-of-war-struggle between Greater Golden Hill's CDC and their MAD oversight committee. So, is Nicholls a glutton for punishment or just really into getting MAD? He says the two cases aren't exactly comparable.

"There is a lot of activity in the residential areas of Pacific Beach like from house parties, though I do agree that the bars do generate a lot of activity and a lot of trash, but state law says that you can only apply services in the area where the taxes are being levied. Even if the bars created all the trash and those bars were taxed, you couldn't spend any of the money outside of that area."

It was for that reason that Nicholls and Discover PB decided to exclude some residential areas of Pacific Beach from the MAD assessment. But still he says that many in the community weren't in favor of the proposal. "We received the message from a lot of residential folks that they weren't happy with that model, and that's fine. If they don't want to be included than they won't be included."

So now Nicholls and the businesses he represents will keep trying to get the residents of Pacific Beach on board, but he says there is no timeline and does not want to appear as if the MAD was forced on anyone. "We will just have to find another way to do it, with the community."

Visit the Pacific Beach Business Improvement Association at pacificbeach.org. More information is available at community blog, enjoypb.com.

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