San Diego Historic Street Lamps

Aside from its flourishing real estate market, San Diego is a wonderful community for home buyers because of the multitude of residents who are willing to put a little extra effort forward to make their living environments more beautiful. In luxury neighborhoods like Kensington, Talmadge, Rolando, Mission Hills and parts of Point Loma, home owners are lobbying to foot the bill for the installation and restoration of decorative, old-fashioned street lights in effort to maintain the historic aspects of the areas.

Community residents around more affluent parts of San Diego have opted to voluntarily tax themselves in order to preserve the ornamental street lights that line the avenues of these exquisite neighborhoods. They’re doing so in order to maintain the charming ambiance and long-revered history of their homes.

“They define the community and they’re what makes these older neighborhoods special,” said David Moty, chairman of the Kensington-Talmadge Planning Group, to UT San Diego. “It’s what people notice about Kensington.”

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Many San Diego home owners were driven to action after the city enacted a policy that would pay only for the installation of “cobra” street lights, a taller, less-attractive looking lamp. When the antique lamps known to the area began burning out and needing maintenance, residents started noticing more and more cobra lights replacing the more beautiful ones.

“The city is dedicated to providing us lights, but not necessarily historic lights,” said Kensington resident Don Taylor, who helped create the neighborhood’s new tax surcharge program. “The cobra head lights are ugly and cheap.”

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Starting with Kensington, home owners all over the city began uniting in order to restore the historic relics of their neighborhoods. One by one, they formed maintenance assessment districts and have worked through these avenues to come to an agreement to pay tax surcharges in order to preserve the lamps and the charming antiquity of their homes. While most communities have funds already allotted for maintenance duties such as tree trimming, graffiti removal or sidewalk power washing, this initiative was the first of its kind and required a separate committee to be formed to raise the money for the project.

“All of us got into this because we see the streetlights as a great historic resource and something that makes Kensington the beautiful community that it is,” said Taylor, whose house was built in 1927. “These neighborhoods were built in the 1920s and the lights give them that flavor.”

In Kensington, the cost to maintain that flavor equals about $72 to $85 a year for home owners in specified areas. Next year, approximately 1,343 home owners will contribute $110,362 toward the street light project, which will repair existing historic lights and replace cobra lights.

Are you interested in living in a community that cares deeply about its historic significance? If so, please contact our team of real estate experts today. We’d love to show you some exquisite San Diego homes.

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