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Utility poles and wires on Duncan Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard in Manhattan Beach will come down by 2022. The city's District 4 is moving its power infrastructure underground starting this year. (Photo by Tyler Shaun Evains, The Beach Reporter/SCNG)

A third Manhattan Beach neighborhood voted Tuesday to put its utility infrastructure underground. 

Of the 131 residential ballots cast, 98 ballots were in favor, making a 75% majority. City Council then unanimously certified the results and approved the project. Asplundh construction company will handle undergrounding District 4's power, cable TV, phone and internet lines.

There are 167 total properties in this south Manhattan Beach community, a stone's throw from the beach.  

District 4, bound by First Street and Boundary Place; Ardmore Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard, is expected to start underground utility construction in April and the properties will be converted by fall 2022. 

Residents and commercial building owners in that area must pay assessments for the project by Feb. 14, even if they voted "no." The assessments are broken down to safety, reliability and streetscape aesthetics, which only applies to certain properties based on size. 

Of the nearly $7.3 million, resident-driven project, residential owners will pay an average of $42,423 while commercial property owners owe between $42,280 and $128,323. 

Households have the option to defer payments if income is less than $100,000 per year, the owner is 62 or older, blind or disabled. 

If property owners take no action, they will still be billed for the work in property taxes yearly—with bond and interest increases—for up to 20 years, said Stephanie Katsouleas, public works director for Manhattan Beach.  

Two neighborhoods in El Porto, from 41st Street to 45th Street and the Strand to Highland Avenue; from Rosecrans Avenue to 41st Street and the Strand to Highland Avenue, voted in October to bury their wires. 

El Porto area's undergrounding is set to begin in February and should conclude mid-2022.   

The three neighborhoods are the first in the city to get underground utilities since a moratorium ended in 2017, after a previous district had insufficient votes. Five Manhattan Beach districts before that already removed above-ground utility infrastructure. 

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