La Mesa Downtown Village is the historic commercial and government center of the City offering a widearray of services, goods and dining spots all within an architecturally pleasant pedestrian oriented compact easily accessible hub. It has been nearly 30 years since the Village was last revitalized with a comprehensive streetscape beautification project. While this last effort served the area well during the better part of the last three decades, it is now showing overt signs of deterioration and outdated design amenities in need of a freshened image.
In order to provide an invigoration of new appeal, energy and competitiveness to the Village, the City of La Mesa City Council has committed substantial resources towards the design and construction of a comprehensive multi-phased streetscape improvement project within the greater Village area. In order to facilitate this major beautification effort, the City Council has asked Village stakeholders to consider the direct financing of supplemental maintenance services for the new streetscape improvements.
An exploratory Committee was selected in mid 2010 to review and analyze public/private funding options to pay for the requested supplemental maintenance services. The Committee was also asked to consider whether there was a need to fund other activities in the Village area that would be typical of other California downtowns. The Committee determined that, yes, there were several unfunded or underfunded programs that were needed in the Village in order to be competitive in the regional marketplace. These other activities included supplemental security, marketing and promotions, decorative amenities such as tree lighting, holiday decorations and landscaped planters as well as paid management staff to oversee these activities and programs. It was determined that the best tool available to fund and manage these supplemental activities and improvements was a Property and Business Improvement District or “PBID”.
PBIDs have been used successfully in over 200 business districts throughout California over the past 15 years. As a result of this exploratory effort, the City Council agreed to fund the formation of a PBID in the Downtown Village area.
A PBID formation Committee was assembled in early 2011 to work with a PBID Consultant to review, analyze and draft all the necessary components of a PBID formation proposal. Included in the Committee’s review were District boundaries, benefit zones, a work plan, a budget and an assessment formula. This group met approximately twice a month from January through October to analyze each and every aspect of a PBID and to assist in the development and preparation of a Management District Plan, a guiding document that will be used by stakeholders initially to consider when signing petitions and casting ballots and then eventually as the master plan to guide the ongoing management and implementation of PBID activities and improvements.