Neighborhood beauty fees can pop up with thousands unaware - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Neighborhood beauty fees can pop up with thousands unaware

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Neighborhood houses in Henderson. Neighborhood houses in Henderson.

It can be good to get to know the neighbors, especially if they could be the reason for another bill in the mail.

Marie Wong said she recently found out a simple majority petition could allow the City of Henderson to charge residents a "beautification fee" for landscape maintenance.

It only takes 51 percent of signatures to get the ball rolling, but it’s a big problem for the other 49 percent which would include Wong.

Three years ago, Wong said she came to Henderson with her husband, choosing to live out their retirement in the valley.

“I saw this house,” Wong said. “I envisioned what I can do with it and I made it my own.”

She was able to do that because there is no homeowners' association (HOA) in her neighborhood regulating what she does, but now something similar could be coming from the City of Henderson.

“They can go into any community with the request of a few zealous neighbors and change everything that you expect on your taxes,” Wong said. “That’s ridiculous.”

The problem started on the corner of Pecos and Robindale Road, just outside of Henderson’s Meridian neighborhood.

City officials said several residents contacted them for help improving the landscaped areas and they gave them an option, but the estimate will cost $125,000 and assumes a future maintenance at a cost of $12 per resident.

The money will do things like replace missing or dead trees, get irrigation timers and accent rocks. It only takes a simple majority to impose.

Every Henderson neighborhood has the option. If 51 percent of residents sign the petition, it’ll go in front of the city and eventually, a bill could be sent to residents.

City officials said it’s not on HOA, it’s called a Neighborhood Improvement District. It’s made possible through Senate Bill 47.

“I think that was intended to take care of blight ... Homes in total disrepair,” Wong said.

She said that is not the case at Meridian. She said she understands why some of her neighbors want changes on the perimeter of their neighborhood, but not at the expense of some who can’t even afford it.

"I have neighbors, close neighbors that are on fixed incomes, widows, widowers and I’m retired." “How high is this going to go? There is no cap.”

The city said the decision on whether or not to start the Neighborhood Improvement District is all up to the neighbors, but the landscaping must be maintained in order to meet city regulations.

“Don’t sell our souls to the city,” Wong said. “I didn’t see this coming, and the next neighborhood is not going to see it coming either.”

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