Southern California environment news and trends

LA County public works will accept protests to stormwater parcel fee via e-mail

LA County/DPW

LA County sent out more than 2 million notices of a stormwater parcel fee. Now public works officials are making it easier for people to protest the fee, by letting them email their feedback.

When county supervisors recently delayed a decision on holding a vote on a stormwater parcel tax, a big complaint among opponents was how hard it was to understand the proposal. Property owners got a mailing with small type, and the mail-in protest form was small, too.

Now the county’s public works department is making it possible for people to protest the property fee stormwater plan via email. An email to WQFI.Info@dpw.lacounty.gov should include the parcel's address, Assessor's Parcel Number, and the name of the parcel owner.  

Supervisor Don Knabe likes it. “It’s unbelievable that, in 2013, we did not provide property owners with an opportunity to protest this measure online,” said Knabe in a release. “Throughout this public hearing process, we have continued to receive many complaints from stakeholders about the lack of transparency and openness.  We must ensure that all those who would be impacted by this fee can easily and conveniently protest and have their voices heard.”

It seems like an improvement…sort of.  According to the county, e-mailed protests must also include the signature of the parcel owner or an authorized representative -- so people will have to scan their signature or photograph it and attach it to the e-mail. County property owners have until March 12 to weigh in. 

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