City of Hidden Hills Utility Underground Assessment Districts
In 2023, the Hidden Hills City Council approved a plan to allow residents to form Utility Underground Assessment Districts. Undergrounding Overhead Utility Assessment Districts provide another pathway and funding for residents interested in undergrounding the utility lines near their property. Districts may also provide a quicker timeframe to move forward on these projects.
Typically, the creation of an Assessment District is initiated by homeowners. A simplified version of the process is outlined below:
- Homeowners express interest in forming an Assessment District
- Homeowner garners support of at least 50% of homes in proposed district
- The City typically collects a deposit from property owners initiating the project to cover costs.
- Assessment Engineer is contracted to determine proposed District boundary and estimate project costs
- Petition circulated to all homeowners in proposed District. Some jurisdictions require 60% of those affected to be in favor.
- The petition is brought to the City Council for approval and request for an engineer report
- Upon completion of the engineer report, the report is brought to the City Council for approval and issuing of mailed ballots
- City Council holds a Public Hearing to hear protest and count ballots
- If greater than 50% of property owners (by assessment amount) approve the Assessment District via ballot, the City Council may form District and begin process to issue bonds. All homeowners within District would then be financially responsible for paying off the bonds over a period of years.
Current District Formation Guidelines
Steps for Forming a District (PDF) provides detailed information on the procedures that must be undertaken to form a district and identifies the required thresholds for various phases within that process. In summary, the steps address the following phases:
- The district boundary formation process
- The petition drive process, signature threshold requirement and the City’s verification process
- Design and bidding phases
- Assessment and voting phases
- Construction and cabling phases
- Pole removal and project completion phases