Category Archives: City of San Marcos

San Marcos helps businesses secure more than $500K in tax credits

The savings will help create dozens of jobs in the city

The City of San Marcos helped two San Marcos businesses secure more than $500,000 in state income tax credits, allowing them to collectively create nearly 30 local jobs.

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) awarded a $446,700 California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) to x-ray machine company Creative Electron and a $100,000 CCTC to Quick Charge Power, which makes charging equipment for electrical vehicles.

These companies are exempt from paying state income taxes in the amount awarded—an incentive to help them grow their operations with its savings, Creative Electron will hire 22 employees over the next four years and Quick Charge Power plans to hire another seven.

“The California Competes Tax Credit encourages companies from around the world to locate, expand and add good paying jobs in California,” said GO-Biz Director Panorea Avdis.

Last year, the City helped secure $850,000 in CCTC awards for two other San Marcos companies, which are in the process of adding another 50 jobs. This means that in the past two years, the City has helped secure nearly $1.4M for local businesses, which in turn is creating 79 local jobs.

“I think this underscores the fact that San Marcos is a community worth investing in—even when considered at a regional or state level,” said San Marcos Economic Development Manager Tess Sangster. “We contribute a $7.9 billion annual GDP to the regional economy, largely thanks to leading companies like Creative Electron and Quick Charge Power.”

And with these CCTC awards in place, San Marcos is poised to have an even greater impact on the regional economy, according to local experts at the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (San Diego Regional EDC).

“This is a win for all of North County,” said Jennifer Schoeneck, Economic Development Manager for San Diego Regional EDC. She tracks the economy along Interstate 78 that snakes through Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista, San Marcos and Escondido, commonly known as the ‘78 Corridor.’ “The two San Marcos companies that won tax credits will be hiring more employees, which creates a positive economic impact not only for the city, but also elevates the entire 78 Corridor.”

With only 63 companies making the list during this most recent round, earning a CCTC is highly competitive—and in fact, San Marcos was the only North County city on the list. Both companies largely credit their success to guidance from City staff and the San Diego Regional EDC.

“They helped guarantee a smooth application process and were always available for questions,” said Bill Cardoso, CEO of Creative Electron. “I am thankful for that assistance because this is an excellent opportunity to continue growing here in San Marcos.”

“In all my interactions, staff has been very efficient, professional and helpful,” said Quick Charge CEO and Founder Tony Williams. “They’ve made it clear they are here to engage and support businesses. They get an A plus in my book.”

“When we foster a thriving local economy, our entire community benefits,” Sangster added. “It drives the high quality of life we all enjoy here in San Marcos.”

And for any other business owners who may be eyeing a CCTC, Williams says go for it.

“Don’t let the size of your business keep you from applying. If you’re growing, then you should do it. Especially considering that city staff is there to help you through the process.”

Sangster encourages business owners to reach out for more information—especially because there will be more CCTC awards available later this year, pending an approved state budget.

“Economic development is a relatively new priority for us, so business owners may not realize this is a service we can provide—but we are trying to get the word out,” she explained. “There are many resources out there for business owners, and we are eager to help them discover those.”

If you would like more information about the CCTC program or the City’s economic development division, please contact Tess Sangster at TSangster@san-marcos.net or (760) 744-1050, ext. 3120.

New captain takes command of San Marcos Sheriff’s Station

Captain Dave Brown

Earlier this year, city officials announced that Dave Brown will take over as captain of the San Marcos Sheriff’s Station. Captain Brown has been with the sheriff’s department for 28 years He began his career as an intern with the probation department in his senior year at San Diego State University.

“Captain Brown is a well-respected member of the sheriff’s department and we are fortunate to have this capable lawman assigned to our City,” said City Manager Jack Griffin.

During his tenure with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Captain Brown has been assigned to various areas including homicide, special assistant to the Sheriff and special investigations-criminal Intelligence. He has experience working throughout San Diego County at the Vista, Imperial Beach and Ramona patrol stations as well as the jail in Vista and court assignments in downtown San Diego and Vista.

Awarded the Medal of Lifesaving as a patrol deputy, Captain Brown has received several awards and was featured in documentaries and books for his role in leading the investigation into the murders of Chelsea King and Amber Dubois.

He is also a recent graduate from the Senior Management Institute for Police at Boston University.

Captain Brown’s transfer to the San Marcos station comes after the former captain of the station, Mike McClain, was assigned to the department’s central investigations division (homicide.)

“We have welcomed Captain Brown to San Marcos and look forward to partnering with him and all the dedicated employees at the San Marcos Sheriff’s Station,” said Griffin.

Captain Brown lives with his wife and he has two adult children. His daughter is in her fourth year at Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM) in the School of Nursing and his son is a graduate of CSUSM and is now an English teacher in Vietnam.

City of San Marcos’s property investments generate $10M annually

City of San Marcos’s property investments generate $10M annually

It’s the third biggest revenue stream after property tax and sales tax

Post Date: 12/13/2017 10:30 AM
City of San Marcos property
Creekside Marketplace sign
Aerial view of Creekside Marketplace

If you’ve ever spent time at San Marcos City Hall, you may have noticed there are plenty of busy employees—but not everyone is working for the city.

A good chunk of office space is leased to private companies, which occupy about one third of the building. This is one of the many ways San Marcos has invested in property to generate revenue and pay for services without raising taxes.

The practice is certainly not common in government, but it has proven to be tremendously successful—generating more than $10 million of income annually, making it the city’s third largest revenue stream after property tax and sales tax. It accounts for nearly 13 percent of General Fund revenue, which helps pay for things like parks, fire stations and street maintenance.

“We do things a little differently in San Marcos, we think that’s a good thing. Our city has always prided itself on innovation,” said Mavis Anguiano, Manager of the Real Property Services (RPS) division.

The RPS division oversees the city’s extensive real estate portfolio, which includes offices, four residential properties, a standalone restaurant, the Creekside Marketplace retail center and more than a million square-feet of land holdings.  

“It’s always good strategy to diversify your investments, and the city has taken a page from that business playbook,” Anguiano explained.

And in fact, in 1994 the city deliberately started thinking more like a business. That year voters approved the city charter—a document that guides operations—which explicitly says staff should “engage in any enterprise deemed necessary to produce revenues for the general fund.”

Unlike other nearby cities, San Marcos does not have big sales-tax generators, like car dealerships, regional malls or amusement parks to rely on for revenue generation. The city’s share of property tax is the lowest in the County. Therefore, San Marcos has found a way to supplement by investing in property.

“Our outside-the-box approach, coupled with fiscally conservative leadership, also means we’re in a better position to weather whatever the economy throws at us,” said Economic DevelopmentManager Tess Radmill.

Of the $10 million revenue generated each year, about one-third comes from the Creekside Marketplace shopping center located off Grand Avenue, which is managed by an outside firm. The other two-thirds comes from the RPS division’s work, which includes monitoring laws, maintaining properties, negotiating and managing leases and collecting rent.

All of that boosts the city’s economic development services, Radmill says.

“Because we function like a business, to a degree, we’re able to better understand and serve our business community,” Radmill said. “And, like other business owners, we are invested in San Marcos. We share their vision for a thriving community, and this is one of the many innovative ways we’re committed to helping make that a reality.”

For more information about the city’s RPS division, visit www.san-marcos.net/rps. For more information about about the city’s economic development division, please visit www.san-marcos.net/openforbusiness.

Lane closures scheduled along Twin Oaks Valley Road beginning Dec. 11

Beginning Monday, Dec. 11, multiple lane closures have been scheduled along north and southbound lanes from N. Village Drive to Double Peak School as crews work to install underground utilities for the new Rancho Coronado housing development. Work will take place Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4 pm.

All lane closures are expected to be lifted by Friday, Dec. 22. Delays in the schedule may occur due to inclement weather conditions or other unforeseen conditions.

Although two-way traffic will be maintained along Twin Oaks Valley Road, traffic entering and exiting S. Village Drive may be detoured to N. Village Drive.  Traffic delays are anticipated and motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes or leave early to get to destinations on time. Flaggers may be posted to help direct traffic.

For more information, please contact Greg McDonnell with Brookfield Homes at (760) 744-0460.

Hitting A Home Run for William Bradley Park in San Marcos

Local San Marcos Businesses, Associations and Project EverGreen Join Forces to Deliver More Than $22,000 in Playing Surface Improvements and Create A Greener, Healthier, Cooler Earth

Saturday, December 2, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (rain or shine). Media can film b-roll of renovation work being performed and conduct interviews with participating donors and Project EverGreen staff. From Noon – 1:00 p.m. there will be a donor recognition ceremony, honoring Hunter Industries, participating landscape contractors and suppliers, and the City of San Marcos Parks & Recreation Department. Boxed lunches will be available for media and volunteers.
William Bradley Park, 1587 Linda Vista Dr, San Marcos, CA 92078

Project EverGreen, San Marcos-based Hunter Industries, Southern California Sports Turf Managers Association and local landscape and nursery businesses.

The playing surface of William Bradley Park’s Field # 3 has become uneven due to the settling of decomposing organic matter (the park was built on a former landfill in the 1960s). Field # 3 receives significant year around usage – an estimated 4,000 youth use the multi-sport field annually for baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse – and is in immediate need of attention.

Project EverGreen, with a Hunter Industries community service grant and Hunter Helping Others employees,  along with the Southern California Sports Turf Managers Association, and local landscape contractors and suppliers –  all volunteers, have come together to donate time, expertise and supplies – with an estimated value exceeding $22,000 – to make this improvement in the City of San Marcos a reality.

Renovation Project Facts & Community Benefits

The renovation of William Bradley Park Field # 3 encompasses a variety of elements and tasks that will not only revitalize the park’s green spaces but also provide a sustainable platform for future generations to enjoy and maintain the facility. Work scheduled to be completed includes:

  • Grass aeration
  • Weed control
  • Add nutrients to improve grass health
  • Cut field turfgrass edges, install new sod to improve player safety
  • Field laser level grading
  • Install Infield clay soil mix
  • Install outfield warning track mix
  • Outfield top dress sand to fill in uneven areas
  • Field and shrub beds Irrigation repair and re-alignment
  • New trees and shrubs bed planting
  • Mulching plant beds
  • Repair and paint ballfield dugouts, benches, fences, and backstop
  • Re-seeding

Paving the way: Several San Marcos streets to be resurfaced

The City of San Marcos has announced that several streets in the community will receive routine maintenance from Monday, Nov. 6 through mid-December as part of the City’s ongoing commitment to maintaining its roadways.

Every year in San Marcos, several streets receive a chip and slurry seal treatment to significantly extend the life of existing pavement by protecting the undersurface from the effects of aging and the environment. Residents directly affected will receive notices two weeks and 72 hours prior to scheduled work so that appropriate parking arrangements can be made.

“Over the past five years, the city has resurfaced more than 15 million square feet of pavement to provide motorists a safe and smooth ride while traveling through San Marcos,” said Public Works Director Matt Little.

During construction work, there will be flaggers and other workers directing traffic to ensure the safe passage of all individuals and for the safety of construction workers between the designated weekday construction hours Monday through Friday from 7 am and 5 pm; some Saturday work will be required.

Streets affected will receive two slurry seal coats. The first coat will be a larger rock followed by a second coat of smaller rock that will provide a smoother ride for motorists; coats will be applied on different days.

“We appreciate continued patience from residents and motorists during these important roadway repairs that will pave the way for lasting improvements,” said Little.

Paid for by the city’s capital improvement projects budget, the $465,000 project will be completed by American Asphalt South Inc.

Motorists are advised to expect delays and use caution when traveling through roadwork areas.

Road work schedules, maps and other traffic alerts will be posted to the city’s website at www.san-marcos.net/roadwork. Schedules are subject to change and residents are encouraged to regularly check the website for updates. Traffic alerts will also be shared through the city’s social media platforms @sanmarcoscity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more information or questions about work on your street, please call the City’s Public Works Department at (760) 752-7550 or the City’s contracted construction manager Jason Linsdau at (760) 759-2466.

San Marcos Fire Department to partner with Trauma Intervention Programs of San Diego

San Marcos Fire Department to partner with Trauma Intervention Programs of San Diego

The City of San Marcos and the Trauma Intervention Programs of San Diego (TIP) announced on Wednesday, Sept. 27 a new partnership between TIP and the San Marcos Fire Department (SMFD). SMFD joins the 30+ neighboring agencies affiliated with the TIP program allowing them to request trauma volunteers to help San Marcos residents when a tragedy occurs.

“We are excited about this new partnership with the Trauma Intervention Programs of San Diego County,” said Fire Captain Leighton Ewens. “The new partnership will enhance our existing capabilities to provide 24/7 response to residents in their time of greatest need.”

TIP is a nonprofit organization that has served San Diego County for 32 years; training citizen volunteers to respond and assist residents after tragedy strikes. Volunteers respond on a 24/7 basis to emergency scenes at the request of first responders. TIP volunteers provide immediate emotional and practical support which emergency responders may not have time to provide, adding another dimension to the emergency response system: compassionate support.

“The 24/7 coverage and impressive 23-minute average response time to emergency scenes will give our first responders a valuable tool in the toolbox when faced with challenging incidents,” said Ewens.

TIP Executive Director Sher DeWeese is delighted with the new partnership.

“TIP San Diego looks forward to working in conjunction with the San Marcos Fire Department to provide such assistance to its citizens in order to ease their immediate suffering and help facilitate their healing and long-term recovery.”

With the next TIP Training Academy beginning Wednesday, Oct. 4, the program is continuing to seek skilled compassionate individuals looking to give back to their community.

For more information on becoming a volunteer or supporter, visit www.TIPSanDiego.org or call 855.TIPSD.HELP. To learn more about the San Marcos Fire Department, visit www.san-marcos.net/smfd or call (760) 744-1050, ext. 3410.

Work to update the San Marcos Creek Specific Plan

Work to update the San Marcos Creek Specific Plan is well underway. Over the past month, the project team and San Marcos Creek Oversight Committee have been focused on developing land use alternatives for the Creek District with the goal of providing balanced and flexible land uses.

The San Marcos Creek Specific Plan Oversight Committee provided a progress report to the San Marcos City Council on Tuesday, June 27 and held its monthly meeting on Monday, July 24.

During the progress report, an overview of the planning effort and latest land use alternatives were presented.

Appointed by City Council, the Oversight Committee is a group of 15 individuals that represent the business community and residents of San Marcos responsible for monitoring the progress of the Specific Plan Update and making recommendations to City Council.

All Oversight Committee meetings are open to the public and community members are welcome to attend. A community workshop is slated for September 19 from 6 to 8 pm at City Hall (see below).

Upcoming key project dates and events include:

  • San Marcos Creek District Oversight Committee Meeting #6
    Monday, August 28 at 6 pm
    Valley of Discovery Conference Room, City Hall
    1 Civic Center Drive, San Marcos

  • Community Workshop #1
    Tuesday, Sept. 19 from 6 to 8 pm (corrected from previous email)
    Council Chambers, City Hall
    1 Civic Center Drive, San Marcos

Project information and materials from the Oversight Committee meetings are available on the city’s project website at www.san-marcos.net/creekdistrict.

San Marcos and CSUSM join forces to benefit the community

San Marcos and CSUSM join forces to benefit the community

As North County’s education hub, San Marcos is building tomorrow’s workforce—and thanks to a new initiative, some of that homegrown talent is being channeled to help city staff better serve the community.

The City and Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM) recently joined forces to launch Democracy in Action, a pilot program that lets students spend a semester working on city projects.

“Some of the region’s brightest minds are on that campus, right down the street from City Hall, so this partnership felt like a natural win win,” said Economic Development Manager Tess Radmill, who helped oversee the effort.

Over the past few months, about 100 students tackled projects that included: finding ways to curb unnecessary 911 calls; developing a marketing plan for the Double Peak Challenge race; analyzing data to help reduce stormwater pollution; and creating a promotional video about the city.

Already, the project has delivered tangible benefits. For example, students created a trash collection map that will help staff meet new environmental state guidelines. And the video produced by students is already being used to attract potential businesses and residents.

“We’re also graduating students who leave with a deeper understanding of a how a local community works—and with that, they can influence outcomes down the road,” explains Scott Gross, CSUSM Associate Vice President of Community Partnership Engagement.

Fostering civic minded graduates is especially important to the region because many stay local after graduation. In fact, about 80 percent of CSUSM alumni continue living in the region. By comparison, about 60 percent of San Diego State University (SDSU) alumni stay local—and the same is true for only about 25 percent of University of California San Diego (UCSD) alumni.

Democracy in Action was inspired by the University of Oregon’s Sustainable City Year Program— which works in largely the same way, but focuses on boosting sustainability. CSUSM liked the concept, but felt it was important to focus instead on civic engagement.

“We wanted students to realize they can inform and impact their local government,” Gross said. “They’re not just sitting in a classroom talking about theories—they’re actually putting their knowledge to work in a meaningful way, and their eyes light up.”

CSUSM student Kristina Kalchev is a testament to that.

“It was great working on a project that extends beyond an assignment and impacts people,” said Kalchev, who worked on the city’s promotional video. “I’m proud to include the video in my reel. I don’t feel so fresh out of the water now. I feel ready for the workforce.”

Kalchev plans to stay in San Marcos and earn her graduate degree while working locally. She says as a San Marcos resident, she now has a deeper appreciation for what the city does.

“We were able to see how much city staff does behind the scenes to keep our community safe. The project really opened my eyes to what local government does,” she said.

Storm Water Program Manager Reed Thornberry also saw a ha moments happening when he took students out into the field.

“I wanted to take them beyond the data. A lot them live in San Marcos—some have even grown up here—but they’ve never explored our creek system,” he said. “They spotted bullfrogs, turtles and crawfish—entire ecosystems thriving. And seeing the impacts of trash, they got a sense of why they’re worth protecting. I think that drove home the mission.”

These students will be among the approximately 3,000 graduates CSUSM produces every year— which is partly why San Marcos is North County’s education hub. In fact, San Marcos is responsible for about 10 percent of the region’s total academic program completions.

“San Marcos is fueling a workforce pipeline that will strengthen our region for generations to come,” said San Marcos City Manager Jack Griffin. “But beyond that, our partnership with Cal State San Marcos underscores how we can collaborate to benefit our community, and we are proud of that.”

To learn more about the Democracy in Action program,
visit https://www.csusm.edu/community/civiclearning/democracyinaction.html.

San Marcos Creek Specific Plan Update

San Marcos Creek District Specific Plan Update

In case you missed it, the San Marcos Creek Oversight Committee met this week on Monday, April 24  to continue reviewing possible updates to the San Marcos Creek Specific Plan. Meeting materials are now available online at www.san-marcos.net/creekdistrict.

COMMITTEE MEETING AND WORKSHOP MATERIALS
Agenda – April 24, 2017 Framework Principles Presentation
  Retail Market Study Presentation
  Preliminary Conceptual Land Use Alternatives
  Outreach and Engagement Update

About the Specific Plan Update

In 2007, the San Marcos Creek Specific Plan was adopted by City Council and accepted by the community to shape the future of the Creek District into a new downtown area.

Envisioned to pair with the North City (University District) Specific Plan to create a comprehensive downtown in the heart of San Marcos, the 2007 plan included 2,300 dwelling units; more than one million square feet of retail and/or commercial space; 589,000 square feet of office space; a 20-acre park and 74 acres of urban open space.

Beginning in 2015, City Council requested a review of the plan that recognizes a changing economy, new demand for housing options and changing community preferences.  Retail and market realities have changed the dynamic and demand of development in San Marcos since the original Specific Plan was adopted.

Given the loss of redevelopment funds, increase in online marketplaces, and the growth in the San Marcos community over the last ten years, the Creek Specific Plan is being updated to maximize the potential and opportunities of the Creek District while maintaining as much of the original community vision as possible.

Specific Plan Update Process

The Creek Specific Plan will be updated and amended in two phases. The first phase involves updating the vision and land use plan for the Creek District.  The second phase entails amending the technical documents, presentations to the Planning Commission and the City Council, and final adoption anticipated by Summer 2018.

Phase 1, Updating the Vision

Phase 2, Amending the Specific Plan

Stay Informed

Throughout the course of the update there will be multiple ways to get involved and share your feedback:

  • Monthly stakeholder meetings
  • 2 public workshops (dates coming soon)
  • An online survey (under development)
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