Streetlight Districts

FACT SHEET

Requests for installation of new street lights in your area.

You may pursue a street light installation in either of the following ways:

By making such a request through the County and following the process outlined below (typically 6 to 12 months processing time). Operation and maintenance will be funded by an annual charge on your property tax bill.

 

OR

 

By contacting SDG&E directly and requesting the installation of a "dusk to dawn" street light for a monthly fee to you. In this case, the County has no involvement in the acquisition, operation, or maintenance of your street light. Such requests can be directed to SDG&E at (858) 654-1216.

How to contact the San Diego County Street Light District:

County of San Diego, Department of Public Works
Special Districts Administration
5510 Overland Ave., Suite 210
MS O 383
San Diego, CA 92123
Phone: (858) 694-2198

Is your property in Zone A or Zone B of the County Street Light District?

Zone A includes parcels currently paying an annual lighting assessment on their tax bill. Zone B parcels are not paying an annual lighting assessment. One quick way to check is to look at your most recent property tax bill and review the line items in the “tax distribution” box. Parcels in Zone A will include a line item assessment called “SD CO ST LTG ZONE A“. If still unsure whether you are in Zone A or B, you may contact the Special Districts Administration office and ask for a determination. Please be prepared to provide the Assessor Parcel Number and/or property address.

Process Overview for Zone A Parcels

To request a new street light:

Submit a written request/proposal

Request/proposal must be deemed feasible and consistent with County street lighting criteria.

Please Note: If upon review of your request, it is determined that the existing numbers and placement of street lights conforms to County Public Road Standards, your request for an additional light will not be granted.

Steps to Follow

First, confirm the Parcel is in Zone A.  

If not in Zone A, refer to “Process Overview for Parcels in Zone B” below.

Send a letter to the Special Districts Administration office detailing your request.

Once we receive your letter we will send you a map requesting that you indicate the approximate number and location of proposed street lights. Whenever possible, you are encouraged to utilize existing wooden utility poles because these kinds of requests are often more successfully implemented.

Proposals requiring the installation of new concrete light poles are much more expensive and often more difficult to accommodate.

Return the marked-up map to our office.

We will review your request and map, and determine whether it is feasible, of public benefit, and consistent with County street lighting criteria.

Initial Costs

Existing Wooden Poles

Proposals to utilize existing poles can usually be implemented without requiring monetary deposits.

The administrative costs of evaluating the request and coordinating with SDG&E is born by the District.

New Concrete Poles

Proposals requiring the installation of new concrete light poles will require a monetary deposit from the project proponent sufficient to fund all costs for labor and materials. The required deposit is usually around $6,000 per light. Money expended from the deposit is not recoverable – but rather considered a one-time, up front cost to be born by the project proponent(s). Administrative costs for these kinds of installations are not absorbed by the District, but rather must be included in the initial deposit.

Project proponents can have light(s) installed by County (via bid process), or by private contractor of their choice.

In either case, County provides specifications, does inspection of new light, and arranges for energizing.

On-going Costs

Just as before, an annual assessment will continue to be placed on the property tax bills to pay for on-going operation and maintenance of the lights. Assessments vary by land use types. Future annual assessments cannot exceed $25 unless approved by properties within the District via a future ballot process.

Process Overview for Zone B Parcels

If in Zone B, you are not currently paying an annual lighting assessment. In order to request a new street light(s), three major steps need to occur:

Submission of written request/proposal.

Annexation into Zone A of the San Diego County Street Light District based on approved petitions (simple majority) from benefiting parcel owners.

Approval of annexation by Board of Supervisors.

Steps to Follow

1.         Think about where you would like street lights placed.  Use of existing wooden power poles would be most cost effective versus the installation of new poles.

2.         Talk with your neighbors to see if benefiting property owners would support a petition to be annexed into the Street Light District and pay the associated costs.

3.         Once you have obtained preliminary support from greater than 50% of the benefiting property owners, send a letter to the Special Districts Administration office requesting the County initiate the petition gathering process.

Once we receive your letter we will send you a map asking you to indicate the approximate number and location of requested street lights. Whenever possible, you are encouraged to utilize existing wooden utility poles because these kinds of requests are often more successfully implemented.

Proposals requiring the installation of new concrete light poles are much more expensive and often more difficult to accommodate.

Return the marked-up map to our office.

Once we receive the map back from you, a boundary of benefit will be determined and the property owners within the boundary will receive a copy of the map, and a petition asking them to indicate their support or opposition to annexation. An estimate of the one-time installation and start-up costs will be included in the petition.

Proposals must be feasible, of public benefit and consistent with County street lighting criteria.

When the petitions are received, the results will be tallied. The petition requires a simple majority to pass. 

If the petition passes, the petitions and proposed annexation will be presented to the Board of Supervisors for approval.

If approved by the Board of Supervisors, street lights will soon be installed and energized.

Initial Costs 
(Assuming successful petition results and approval by Board of Supervisors)

Existing Wooden Poles

The administrative costs of evaluating the request, working on the petition and energizing the light, will be divided equitably among all properties in the petition boundary and added to the first year’s tax bill as a one-time charge.  An estimate of these costs will be provided to property owners along with each petition/ballot.

New Concrete Poles

Proposals requiring the installation of new concrete light poles, will require a monetary deposit from the project proponent sufficient to fund all costs for labor and materials. The required deposit is usually around $6,000 per light. Administrative costs for these kinds of installations are not absorbed by the District, but rather must be included in the initial deposit.

Project proponents can have light(s) installed by County (via bid process), or by private contractor of their choice.

In either case, County provides specifications, does inspection of new light, and arranges for energizing.

Recovery of deposit:  The construction costs associated with design, installation, and inspection; as well as the administrative costs of evaluating the request, working on the petition and energizing the light will be divided equitably among all properties in the petition boundary and added to the first year’s tax bill as a one-time charge.  An estimate of these costs will be provided to property owners along with each petition/ballot.

On-going Costs

An annual assessment will be placed on all future property tax bills to pay for on-going operation and maintenance of the lights. Assessments vary by land use type. Future annual assessments cannot exceed $25 unless approved by properties within the District via a future ballot process.

For additional information on street light district, contact:

County of San Diego, Department of Public Works
Special Districts Administration
5510 Overland Ave., Suite 210
MS O 383
San Diego, CA 92123
Phone: (858) 694-2198

 


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