The Galt City Council voted unanimously on its intent to create Community Facility Districts (CFD) for all new housing developments at their May 5 videoconference meeting. Last month, staff presented the parameters for the districts, stating they would enable the city to better maintain public areas, provide for public safety, fire protection and public facilities such as parks and common areas.

Community Development Director Chris Erias said that CFDs wouldn’t have the same problems as the Lighting and Landscaping Districts (LLDs), which have left the city dipping into the general fund for years.

Erias said the CFDs allow for small increases to keep up with costs, unlike the LLDs.

“This is very important for the city,” Erias said. “New development will pay their own way. It’s good for existing taxpayers to know they won’t be the ones paying for other developments.”

The city plans a public hearing on June 16 at 6 p.m. at City Hall. The next step is to call for an election. The only votes will come from those who own the property. The first property to be voted on will be the owners of the Dry Creek Oaks Senior development, located south of Boessow and east of Crystal Way. Currently, the owner of that property is Ryan Voorhees, but plans are in the works for River Land Homes to be the builder.

The estimated fees for single-family homes at Dry Creek Oaks are around $1,100 annually. Multi-family units will pay around $840 per year for the CFD services.

Erias explained that each subdivision would be mandated to join a CFD to ensure that the city can maintain those communities.

Parlin Oaks, Veranda Oaks, Cedar Flats and East View will all have a CFD. East View’s CFD will be unique to that community.

The Community Facilities Act was enacted by the California State Legislature in 1982. The act allows the local government agency to create a special tax on a specified area within its jurisdiction. Unlike property taxes, CFDs do not fall under the restrictions of Proposition 13, passed in 1978, which limits the property tax rate increase annually.

Former sitting State Senator Henry J. Mello (D-Watsonville) and Assemblyman Mike Roos (D-Los Angeles) authored the bill. CFDs are commonly called Mello-Roos after their authors.

CFDs can be used for streets, sewer systems and other basic infrastructure, as well as police protection, fire protection, ambulance services, schools, parks, libraries, museums and other cultural facilities, according to the California Statewide Communities Development Authority.