Recognizing the cultural and economic importance of a thriving downtown, the City of La Mesa began exploring the creation of a downtown Property-Based Improvement District (PBID) in 2007. This led to the Feb. 2011 creation of a PBID Formation Committee made up of business owners, property owners and concerned citizens who worked with experts to define the geographical boundaries, governance, and administrative essentials of a Downtown La Mesa Village PBID. Their findings and recommendations are posted in detail on the City of La Mesa’s Website.
A PBID is a geographically-defined private/public partnership where property owners in the defined area (called a “zone”) agree to invest a designated amount each year into a fund used to specifically for the improvement and maintenance of streets, sidewalks, landscaping, and other public features within the zone. The annual investment is based on the value of the property being assessed.
To facilitate administration of annual PBID investments, they are typically invoiced by the area’s governing city as a separate line item on annual property tax assessments. However, the PBID assessments are distinct from a tax, as funds raised are restricted for use only according to the PBID’s clearly-defined purposes and annual budget. The City only serves as an administrator, not a governor, of the funds. The PBID’s own governing board determines how the funds are used with the guidance of a salaried director.
The proposed La Mesa Downtown Village PBID budget includes enhanced landscape maintenance, additional security and janitorial services, advertising and marketing campaigns, seasonal décor along with many other amenities and services as outlined in the Management Plan. The PBID’s services would be in addition to and substantially above what the City of La Mesa provides as “baseline services” throughout the city.
Examples of successful San Diego-area PBID’s include downtown San Diego, and downtown La Jolla. Examples of a similar form of private/public partnership known as a Business – Based Improvement District (BBID) are found in Adams Avenue, Chula Vista, and Hillcrest. Little Italy’s district was featured in CNN Money Magazine earlier this year. The difference between a PBID and a BBID is that in a PBID the property owners pay the assessment, while in BID the business owners (typically the tenants of the properties within the zone) pay the assessment. The Formation Committee recommended a PBID for the La Mesa Downtown village because they felt this effort should be spearheaded by property owners who have already made significant investment in the city via the purchase and ownership of land, buildings, and related improvements.
In addition to extensive research and input from experts in PBID creation and administration, the Formation Committee held regular public meetings and sough as much input and commentary as possible from interested and concerned parties. Meeting minutes and agendas can be found on The City of La Mesa’s website.
About this Web Site
A group of business owners, property owners and concerned citizens – some of whom were part of the PBID Formation Committee - who support the revitalization of Downtown La Mesa Village developed www.downtownlamesa.org to present a fact-based explanation of the reasoning behind the need for a PBID. Most of the site takes a Question & Answer format to address the many questions posed about the La Mesa Downtown Village PBID.
The site will be updated regularly as new questions need answering, information needs clarifying, or myths need dispelling.
We invite your questions. If we have the answer already, we’ll send you the link. If your question is a new one, we’ll develop an answer, post it, then send you the link. We have also included links to media articles that help explain the formation process, as well as PBIDs in general.
Please feel free to email any questions to email@example.com or leave a comment on the site. We look forward to hearing from you!