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ROSSMOOR : Damaged Wall's Fate May Rest With Citizens

November 10, 1994|BERT ELJERA

Officials of the Rossmoor Community Services District said Wednesday that efforts to preserve the Rossmoor perimeter wall now depend on private citizens, since voters rejected a proposed special tax to pay for the wall's upkeep.

"As far as we're concerned, it's a dead issue," said Bill Sheldon, the district's general manager.

Final unofficial returns from Tuesday's election indicated that the tax initiative, Measure L, failed to muster the required two-thirds majority, garnering 64.3% of the vote.

The measure sought to impose a $15 annual tax on property owners here for 16 years to pay for repair and maintenance of the 37-year-old red brick wall, which was damaged by an earthquake two years ago.

A companion initiative, Measure K, which would have authorized the district to expand its duties to include repair and maintenance of the wall, received 66.4% of the vote.

A two-thirds vote was not necessary for Measure K to pass, but since it can't take effect without Measure L, both measures are considered to have failed, officials said.

"We're not sure what will happen now," said John Hunt, president of the five-member board that oversees this unincorporated area near Seal Beach. "Maybe there will be some lawsuits (to determine who will be responsible for the wall.)

The 1 1/2-mile wall, built in 1957, is considered a community treasure that the Rossmoor Homeowners Assn. wants to preserve.

But since a 100-foot section toppled during the 1992 Landers earthquake, the wall has become a hazard. Another 20-foot section crumbled about two months ago. Neither of the damaged portions has been repaired.

Several public agencies, including the county, have declined to repair the wall, which prompted the district to let voters decide through the ballot.

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