If you drove in and out of the Stevenson Ranch neighborhood this past week then you most likely took notice of the large evergreen tree being cut down by the entry fountain. The tree had served as the Holiday tree for the community for decades. It died because of the abysmal job that the Landscape Maintenance District (LMD) is doing in our community.

The tree died due to a lack of proper watering, which was a result of the drought. It could have easily been taken care of with a weekly water truck or some other alternative but it was not because of the poor management of the common areas within the entire community. This has been going on ever since the LMDs were moved from the County Parks department to the County Department of Public Works.

Yes, the people that fill potholes are now responsible for landscape maintenance of our community and they are doing a pitiful job. Just drive around and you will see shoddy looking hillside, stumps where trees were removed, bare patches on slopes, and unpruned trees. Those are the endemic symptoms of the Stevenson Ranch Community Association not doing its job in managing the LMD properly.

Stevenson Ranch Community Association is responsible for managing the LMD and making sure that they are doing their job maintaining the common areas of the community. As homeowners, we are paying LMD fees for proper landscape maintenance of the community and we’re being ripped off blindly. Just look at the center mediums along Stevenson Ranch Parkway and on Valencia Blvd. Awful. Barren areas of dirt, high maintenance plants that are not being maintained and trees crowding one another. Different species of trees were added in between and too close to existing trees. It’s a shambles and residents are not getting their monies worth.

Where are the LMD fees being spent? On administrative costs and not on the landscaping, which is evident on every street in the community. The County needs to step up and start doing the job they are taking fees from residents for or stop collecting those LMD fees. The community Holiday tree was destroyed because of poor maintenance on the part of the County LMD. How many more trees will die unnecessarily?

Dave Bossert—commentary

Dave Bossert is a community volunteer who serves on several boards and councils. His commentaries represent his own opinions and not necessarily the views of any organization he may be affiliated with or those of The SCV Beacon.