Category Archives: San Marcos News

Put on those hiking boots, air up your tires, saddle up your horses

Put on those hiking boots, air up your tires, saddle up your horses

City to celebrate 26th annual San Marcos Trails Day

Lace up your hiking boots, air up your bike tires, saddle up your horses and join the City of San Marcos in celebrating the 26th annual San Marcos Trails Day on Saturday, March 4 from 9 am to 1 pm.

Hike participation is free and will begin at 9 am; hikers can start signing in at 8 am. Hikers, mountain bikers and walkers will meet at Lakeview Park/Discovery Lake, 650 Foxhall Drive. The staging area will feature free live music, food and giveaways. Equestrian riders will meet at the Ridgeline Trailhead, 102 San Elijo Road.

“Trails day is a celebration of the outdoors and in San Marcos we have something for everyone,” said Community Services Director Buck Martin. “With more than 63 miles of trail connecting to the entire region, San Marcos offers an extensive trail network for the community to discover.”

An easy two-mile hike will visit Discovery Lake and the Discovery Creek trails. A more challenging seven-mile hike will explore the trails that lead to Double Peak Park. Mountain biking enthusiasts are encouraged to bring bikes and enjoy the ride.

“Adventures are meant to be shared and this event is a great opportunity to meet new people in your community and share a fun experience on a local trail,” said Martin.

An adult must accompany all minors. Sturdy walking shoes are recommended; bring water, sunscreen and trail snacks. Dogs must be on a maximum six-foot leash at all times. The hike is subject to cancellation in the event of rain.

Event participants are encouraged to share hiking adventures on Instagram by using the hashtag #DiscoverSanMarcos and #HikeHappySM. The winner for best picture will be announced on Wednesday, April 19.

For more information on outdoor adventures or the city’s trails, please visit www.san-marcos.net or call (760) 744-9000, ext. 3535.

Waiting Lists For Affordable Housing, But Retail Space Sits Empty | KPBS

Waiting Lists For Affordable Housing, But Retail Space Sits Empty

Mixed-use may not always work

Some North County mixed-use developments that have been in the planning stages for years are now running into problems.

In San Marcos, the Promenade at Creekside opened last year with shop fronts at street level and two stories of affordable housing above. While the housing now has a waiting list of 700, most of the storefronts at street level are vacant.

Mayor Jim Desmond said the city is rethinking the project.

“That was the intent, to make this a walkable community so you didn’t have to get into your car to get a gallon of milk or go to a dry cleaner or to a baker,” he said. “It was going to be retail on the first floor and maybe professional offices on the next floor, and then residential up above. We actually had plans up to seven stories. But that hasn’t really worked.”

Desmond said the city is now reviewing the whole project and considering reducing the retail to perhaps just a corner store, because the retail space is simply not finding tenants.

“The retail stores — the mom and pop shops — are struggling now,” Desmond said, “primarily because of the online sales. A lot of people — myself included — go to Amazon to buy things. It’s sometimes quicker and easier to buy things online than it is to go to the store.”

Source: Waiting Lists For Affordable Housing, But Retail Space Sits Empty | KPBS

Palomar Promise Program Guarantees Free Tuition to SMUSD Graduates

Starting in the Fall of 2017, eligible graduates of San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD) will be able to attend Palomar College full-time and tuition-free for up to two years while pursuing an associate’s degree, transfer requirements, and/or a certificate program.

The San Marcos Unified School District and The San Marcos Promise, along with the Palomar College Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Palomar College to create a unique opportunity called the Palomar Promise.

“San Marcos Unified, in partnership with The San Marcos Promise, is proud to announce its ‘promise’ with Palomar Community College.  This is a historic partnership, considering SMUSD will be the first district in North County to establish admission to Palomar College with a guaranteed scholarship provided by The San Marcos Promise and the Palomar College Foundation.  We are so grateful to Palomar College for providing this opportunity for SMUSD graduates,” said Dr. Kevin Holt, San Marcos Unified School District Superintendent.
The Palomar Promise will build on the Palomar Pathways Program implemented at San Marcos High School in 2015-16. In addition to receiving tuition assistance up to $600/semester or $1,200/year from The San Marcos Promise and Palomar College Foundations, students will be provided tools to set career goals and participate in transition activities to increase college persistence.
Adrian Gonzales, Palomar College Interim Superintendent/President, could not have been happier to provide support for this initiative,  “Palomar College has been serving this region for over 70 years and our partnering with San Marcos Unified to provide a free community college education to eligible students sends a strong message to local families that we are united in supporting our community.”
Eligibility for the Palomar Promise will require students to graduate from SMUSD with a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA and place into transferable Math, English and Reading, as indicated by Palomar placement test results.  In addition, students will be required to complete the Federal Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA), as well as the Palomar College Foundation Scholarship Application prior to the deadline each year.

The San Marcos Promise views the Palomar Promise Program as a natural extension of workforce development that will provide equitable opportunities for students seeking job training, certificate programs, associate or bachelor’s degrees.

“The Palomar Promise is the right thing to do.  It’s right for our kids, for business, and for our community.  Having affordable pathways to college and career in the comfort of your city makes San Marcos a special place to live,” said Herbie Smith, Executive Director of The San Marcos Promise Foundation.

The San Marcos Promise and Palomar College Foundation will continue to establishcommunity partnerships to ensure the Palomar Promise grows throughout the district. Both foundations are ideal organizations to provide financial support for SMUSD college-bound students.

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Median work and new traffic signal installation for S. Twin Oaks Valley Road to begin Jan. 17

Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 17 through early March, motorists can expect north and southbound single-lane closures along S. Twin Oaks Valley Road between State Route 78 and San Marcos Boulevard to accommodate median work and installation of a new traffic signal.

Daytime work will take place Monday through Friday from 9 am to 2 pm with overnight work scheduled Sunday through Thursday from 9 pm to 5 am. Delays in the schedule may occur due to inclement weather conditions.

Although two-way traffic will be maintained along S. Twin Oaks Valley Road, traffic delays are anticipated and motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes during the work period.  Standard traffic control measures with advanced warning signs and pedestrian detours will be in place.

For more information, contact the city’s contracted project’s superintendent Chuck McLaughlin with Watkins Landmark  at (858) 342-1851.

City kicks off third annual “Best of San Marcos” photo contest

San Marcos kicks off third annual “Best of San Marcos” photo contest

The City of San Marcos is kicking off its third annual “Best of San Marcos” photo contest now through Wednesday, Feb. 22.

Amateur and professional photographers are invited to submit striking images that capture the “Best of San Marcos”: natural beauty, recreational activities, architectural points of interest, as well as people enjoying San Marcos parks and trails, sporting and special events, and other community programs.

Limited to one entry per person, photographs must be taken in the City of San Marcos and accompanied by an entry form, liability waiver, and a parent/Guardian release for photographers under age 18. All entries must be submitted in a digital, TIFF or JPEG format by Wednesday, Feb. 22 to Community Services Program Manager Holly Malan, hmalan@san-marcos.net.

Winning entries will be published in the San Marcos 360 News and Recreation Guide or used in other city publications, promotional materials and/or city website. First place winners will also receive $50 San Marcos Bucks redeemable towards one session of any enrichment camp or specialty class, subject to availability. Second place winners will receive $25 San Marcos Bucks redeemable towards one session of any enrichment camp or specialty class, subject to availability.

By entering the contest, photographers grant the City of San Marcos a royalty-free license to reproduce, distribute and publicly display submitted photographs for advertising, promotional and other purposes. The photographer may or may not be credited when their photo is used.

Entry Form/Liability Waiver
Parent/Guardian Release Form (for photographers under 18)

For more information, please contact Community Services Program Manager Holly Malan at (760) 744-9000, ext. 3503 or hmalan@san-marcos.net.

San Marcos Christmas tree and holiday recycling


Each year, EDCO Disposal residential customers can place trees, wreaths, garlands, and other botanical decorations curbside in their green waste container on the regular collection day between Saturday, Dec. 26 and Friday, Jan. 6 2016 at no extra charge. If the tree

is more than four feet tall, it should be cut in half before placing it in the container.

A tree drop-off site will also be available between Saturday, Dec. 26 and Monday, Jan. 9 at the San Marcos Senior Activity Center, 111 Richmar Road. Trees do not have to be cut down if dropped off at this location.

As the holidays wrap-up remember to keep the green in San Marcos. With family get-togethers, parties, gift exchanges and holiday decorations, Americans produce approximately 25 percent more waste between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. Keep the season less wasteful by using fewer disposable items and be diligent about disposing recyclable cans, bottles, gift-wrap, greeting cards and gift boxes in your blue recycling cart.

For more information about tree and holiday recycling, call EDCO Disposal at (760) 744-2700.

Deputies, volunteers to ramp up retail patrols during holidays in San Marcos


In cooperation with the countywide “Holiday Watch” effort, the City of San Marcos and the San Marcos Sheriff’s Station announced that they will be continuing to ramp up patrols in three popular San Marcos shopping areas during the holiday season. The effort will be done to help curtail thefts during the busy shopping season.

“We believe high visibility patrols on-site combined with educational outreach efforts during peak shopping days will keep San Marcos residents safe and sound this holiday season,” explained San Marcos Sheriff’s Captain Mike McClain.

San Marcos’ program will be focused around the City’s two largest shopping centers: Creekside Marketplace, Grand Plaza and Nordahl Center. Stationed at all three located since Thursday, Nov. 23, Holiday Watch will remain in place through Saturday, Dec. 24. The vehicles will be staffed by sheriff’s deputies and crime prevention staff.

Senior volunteer patrol officers will also be there to hand out educational materials to shoppers during the operation. The handouts will focus on safe holiday shopping practices. The volunteers will also increase their patrols along with the sworn deputies.

For more information about the San Marcos Holiday Watch program, please contact City of San Marcos Communications Officer Sarah Macdonald at (760) 744-1050, ext. 3174.

Last Call: Residents encouraged to apply for various San Marcos City commissions and committees

City of San Marcos officials are encouraging residents to get involved and make a difference in their community by applying for open positions on the Community Services Commission, Planning Commission, San Marcos Community Foundation, Traffic Commission and San Marcos Creek Specific Plan Oversight Commission.

The deadline to apply for each of these openings is Friday, Dec. 16 at 5:30 pm. Appointments will be made after public interviews are conducted by the City Council during its regular meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 6 pm. Candidates should be prepared to provide a brief presentation discussing their background and qualifications for the desired position.

Detailed eligibility requirements, application instructions and interview requirements are available online at www.san-marcos.net/commissions or by visiting 1 Civic Center Drive.

Two positions are open on city’s Community Services Commission, which has the responsibility of advising the City Council in matters pertaining to the creation, operation, maintenance, management and control of the community recreation programs, of playgrounds and indoor and outdoor recreation, activities, and facilities.

The Planning Commission has four openings for individuals interested in evaluating and making decisions on a variety of land use matters for both long-range and short-range planning within the City of San Marcos. The commission conducts public hearings on significant planning, zoning and land subdivision matters such as specific plans, subdivision maps, conditional use permits and rezones; and handling any other matters as required by the municipal code.

Four positions are open on the San Marcos Community Foundation, which serves to enrich the quality of life for the community of San Marcos by serving as a nonprofit public benefit corporation providing grants to other nonprofit organizations that assist the city or its residents.

The Traffic Commission has three vacancies for residents looking to seek ways to improve traffic conditions, operations and safety, and the administration of enforcement of traffic regulations.

Finally, eight positions are open on the San Marcos Creek Specific Plan Oversight Committee. This body was created for the purpose of monitoring the implementation of the San Marcos Creek Specific Plan as well as conducting a formal progress report on the San Marcos Creek Specific Plan

For more information about applying for a vacancy, please contact the San Marcos City Clerk at (760) 744-1050, ext. 3145 or cityclerk@san-marcos.net.

For more information about the city’s commissions, please visit www.san-marcos.net.

Winter/spring edition of City of San Marcos 360

The winter/spring edition of the City of San Marcos 360 Magazine is now available. Residents and businesses will be receiving the publication in their mailboxes this week. Featuring articles on award winning schools, development updates, holiday safety tips, the city’s move to district elections and more, the free magazine serves to connect residents to their government.

San Marcos 360 is published three times per year by the city and includes timely news about the city along with a complete guide to the city’s parks and recreation offerings.

Residents and visitors can also discover exciting recreational activities, special events, day camps, enrichment programs and classes, sporting leagues, and senior programs.

For more information or to view the publication online, visit www.san-marcos.net/newsletter.

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