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Should the City of Hollywood create a new taxing district for Emerald Hills to pay for more police protection?
This is the question now before the Hollywood Commission. Some residents are in favor of creating the Emerald Hills Safety Enhancement District because they believe their neighborhood is particularly a good target for burglars. Others believe it would only be an added and unnecessary cost.
At the first reading in January, residents of western Emerald Hills spoke in favor of creating the district.
For about seven years, a group of about 200 residents have been paying an off-duty Hollywood police officer to patrol their neighborhood during daytime hours. Emerald Hills is considered a pleasant neighborhood and therefore a good target for burglars, according to people who spoke during the meeting. The households who participate in this effort pay $700 per residence per year for the protection. Under the taxing district, all households in the western portion of Emerald Hills would be charged $250 per residence per year for the enhanced protection.
“This is something we need for western Emerald Hills,” said Andrew Sossin, who is leading the effort for the taxing district. “Since we started this policing program, crime in our community has gone down by 90 percent. This is not only good for our community but for the entire area, because by us paying extra we are adding more police on the street. We polled the people who would be part of this taxing district and 93 percent of the responses we got were in favor of creating the taxing district.”
During the April Commission meeting, residents complained they had not been given enough notice about the possibility of the new district. They said that while a notice had been sent, it appeared more like commercial mail or junk mail rather than an official city document. Some residents said they did not believe their neighbors wanted a new taxing district. They said there was no real need to have more law enforcement in the neighborhood because there was no major problem with crime.
The Commission decided to continue the ordinance until the May 3 meeting. The Commission wants to hear more from residents in the community. There is a possibility that this question will be put on a ballot in 2018.
If passed, the district will include the section west of 46th Avenue and includes 512 single-family homes.