Category Archives: City of San Marcos

2014 Winter/Spring edition of The City of San Marcos 360 Magazine


With a fresh new look, the 2014 Winter/Spring edition of the San Marcos 360 Magazine is now available in your mailbox and online.

San Marcos residents will receive the publication in their mailboxes this week. Featuring articles on new retailers in San Marcos, fire recovery efforts, housing projects 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.

The City of San Marcos encourages residents to prepare for peak fire season by practicing San Diego County’s “Ready, Set, Go” approach

Ready, Set , Go

While San Marcos was hit hard by wildfire this May, the City of San Marcos has been actively reviewing emergency plans and resources to ensure the community is prepared for the peak fire season still ahead.

“It is no secret that San Marcos and all of southern California often sees a brutal fall fire season,” said San Marcos Fire Chief Brett Van Wey. “Considering extreme weather conditions and drought, risk is particular high this year and we must all step up our preparedness game.”

To prepare, regional fire agencies and the County of San Diego is recommending residents take a “Ready, Set, Go!” approach for peak fire season.

Residents are asked to get “ready” by creating or maintaining at least 150 feet of defensible space – but to do so only early in the morning when the grasses are still dewy to prevent sparking a fire in the dry heat of the day.

Residents can also get “ready” by making an emergency plan and gathering emergency supplies.

If a fire breaks out, San Marcos residents can get “set” to evacuate by: subscribing to the City’s e-alerts and facebook and twitter pages, setting radios to AM 1610 station and watching other news outlets; grabbing their emergency supply kit; leaving inside and outside lights on so firefighters can see their home through smoke; closing all windows and doors but leaving them unlocked for firefighters; turning off propane and gas tanks, pilot lights and air conditioning; moving furniture to the center of the room and bringing patio furniture inside. All these steps give your home a better chance if embers were to land on your property.

And finally, if told to do so, or if they feel unsafe, residents should “go.” Firefighters suggest residents pre-pack their vehicles and leave early to avoid congestion from others evacuating and emergency vehicles. Residents can “go” to a predetermined location outside of the area at risk or established temporary evacuation points or shelters.

The City also reminds residents to register their cell phones with the County’s free AlertSanDiego notification system to make sure they get any calls with evacuation instructions.

For more information, please visit

To learn more about the County of San Diego’s “Ready, Set, Go” call to action, register for AlertSanDiego and download free planning templates and the SD Emergency app, visit

Rita’s of San Marcos Grand Opening Celebration-Free Italian Ice

Rita's San Marcos

Rita’s of San Marcos, the newest Italian Ice treat to hit San Diego county will be celebrating their arrival in the San Marcos and San Elijo Hills communities with their Grand Opening on Thursday, October 2nd from 10am -10pm!  To celebrate Rita’s will be serving up FREE Rita’s Italian Ice all day, and the first 100 Guests in line before 10am will win FREE Rita’s Italian Ice for a year!  For almost thirty years, Rita’s has been an East Coast favorite with the motto “Ice, Custard, Happiness” and is now scooping up a big dose of happiness with freshly made, delicious Italian Ice in San Marcos.  Rita’s offers a variety of “Cool Treats” including its famous Italian Ice, their decadently rich flavored Frozen Custard, and their most popular treat, the Gelati – a layering of Italian Ice and Frozen Custard served with a spoon and a smile.  With over 68 different Italian Ice flavors as well as mouthwatering combinations such as Blendinis, Mistos, custard cookie sandwiches and cakes, there are endless treat options for you and your family to enjoy.  Rita’s also offers fundraisers, sponsorships and both full service and take away catering.  Rita’s is located at 710 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road across from San Marcos High School in the CVS shopping center.  Find out more about Rita’s and the Grand Opening celebration by visiting  Rita’s is proud to be a part of the San Marcos community and welcomes you to their Grand Opening Celebration on Thursday, October 2nd!


Fire started on North Poinsettia Lane and West of El Camino Real.

The fire is moving North/West towards Rancho Carrillo and Bressi Ranch.  San Marcos and San Elijo Hills has not been informed to evacuate.


The Evacuation Centers

Westfield Plaza El Camino Real

Calavera Hills Community Center

Pets Welcome


Areas Evacuated

City of Carlsbad

Rancho Carrillo Elementary

Aviara Oaks Elementary

and Middle Schools in the adjacent areas


Please post any information/ pictures / comments on this post or on our Facebook page you may have to help the residents of San Elijo Hills and San Marcos be informed.  This is a time to come together and work together.



As of 4:30pm Torrey Pines High School is no longer deemed an Evacuation Center.  The students that are still waiting for their parents to pick them up at that school, will continue to be there.  All residents are being redirected to Rancho Bernardo High School.

Currently 20,000 homes have been evacuated.  There is a section of the fire North of Fairbanks Ranch and South of Rancho Santa Fe.  Currently at 5:46pm the fire department stated the threat of the fire is extinguished in the area of the 16th hole at the Entrada Del Luz Golf Course in the Black Mountain Ranch Village – Santaluz area.


Fire burning in Fairbanks Ranch and moving towards Rancho Santa Fe area.  It started around 11am today. The winds are currently moving East/North.  Animals from Helen Woodward are being relocated to Sea World.

Reverse 911 calls to 4S Ranch, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos as a warning call, not to evacuate.

Areas to Evacuate:

Fairbanks Country Club

Circa Del Norte

Northern Lights Road

Black Mountain Park

Fairbanks Ranch

Artesian Road

Avenida del Terrance

San Dieguito/Montien Road area

Entrada del luz East

Run of the Knolls

Black Mountain Ranch


Camino Del Sur

This includes more than 1000 homes.


Evacuation Centers

Torry Pines High School, Poway High School, Rancho Bernardo High School


Please lets work together by continuing to post any information you may have either by commenting on this post and/or on our Facebook page.  Thank you and lets help by keeping each other informed. Stay safe and our thoughts go to the residents, friends, family and firefighters affected by this fire.




San Marcos residents invited to take regional disaster preparedness survey

This year, the San Diego region’s 18 city governments, the county and several fire protection and water districts and are working together to update the region’s plan for mitigating the impact of potential disasters. Residents are invited to submit input through an online survey by June 30 by visiting

With only 18 questions, the survey will help gauge residents’ level of disaster preparedness and awareness and help local governments set priorities for addressing potential disasters before they happen. 

“We want to know what natural and manmade hazards you think are the biggest threats where you live, and how prepared you are to deal with them,” said Holly Crawford, San Diego County Office of Emergency Services Director. “We also want your ideas about the most important things government should do to help protect the region.” 

The input will inform the region’s Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan, which is updated every five years and was last published in 2010. The 533-page plan describes the specific vulnerabilities and likely damage in each city and unincorporated communities in the event of various hazards, from earthquakes, to wildfires, to floods. The plan also outlines what each jurisdiction can do to mitigate the harm.

For the first time in this year’s plan update, local governments will address potential harm caused by severe weather and drought due to climate change. 

The region’s updated plan will be reviewed by the state Office of Emergency Services and FEMA in early 2015. Besides the public survey, individual cities and districts may conduct public meetings and other outreach to get your input this year. 

San Diego County’s Hazard Mitigation Plan was one of the first of its kind approved by FEMA in 2004. Local governments must adopt such a plan to qualify for federal hazard mitigation grants.

To read San Diego County’s Multijurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan, please visit:

Jewish Community Lecture at Chabad of San Marcos

Jewish Community Lecture

If “happiness” is at the top of our priorities list, why is unhappiness so common? 

The Kabbalah of Happiness.

After all the self-help books and, therapy, it’s time to find the secret to true happiness in our heritage. Learn how to achieve lasting happiness in spite of life’s challenges.

Chabad of San Marcos, will be hosting Rabbi Manis Friedman of S. Paul Minnesota as a guest lecturer to tackle this age-old and very timely topic. The lecture will be held on Sunday, February 16, at 6:30 PM at The Pavilion at Lake San Marcos, 1105 La Bonita Dr., San Marcos, 92078. The lecture is part of Chabad’s ongoing Jewish community education efforts.

A world-renowned author, counselor, lecturer and philosopher, Manis Friedman is a noted Biblical scholar, recognized for his sagacious grasp of Jewish mysticism, and its application to contemporary issues. With deep understanding of the human psyche, great sense of humor and unique speaking style, Friedman uses ancient wisdom and modern wit as he captivates audiences around the country and around the world.

Rabbi Friedman’s first book, “DOESN’T ANYONE BLUSH ANYMORE?” published by Harper San Francisco in 1990, was widely praised by the media. Following the publication of the book, he was featured internationally in over 200 print articles, and interviewed on more than 50 television and radio talk shows. He has appeared on CNN, A&E Reviews, PBS, and BBC Worldwide, and has been the subject of articles in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Seventeen, Guideposts, Insight, Publisher’s Weekly and others. “Doesn’t Anyone Blush Anymore?” is currently in its fifth printing through Bais Chana Press.

Rabbi Friedman is a professionally ranked member of the National Speakers Association. His speaking tours take him to every part of this country as well as Israel, England, The Netherlands, South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Venezuela, Canada, and Hong Kong. Over 150,000 copies of his provocative yet entertaining recorded talks – both audio and video have been sold.

Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1946, Manis Friedman immigrated with his family to the United States in 1950. He received his rabbinic ordination from the Rabbinical College of Canada in 1969. In 1970 he moved to St. Paul, MN where he founded Bais Chana Institute of Jewish Studies, the world’s first yeshiva exclusively for women, where he continues to serve as dean. Since its opening in 1971, 22,000 students of all ages, backgrounds, and from all over the world attended the institute. Married for 36 years to his wife, Chana, Rabbi Friedman is a father of 14 children ages 12 – 35.

On February 16, join Rabbi Manis Friedman in delving into the ancient wisdom of the Torah and Jewish Mysticism and discover the mystery of “Happiness”.

For more information or for reservations, call Chabad at (760) 481-7503, or visit

San Marcos Cell Tower Ordinance Opinion


We received this Press Release from a group of San Elijo Hills & Questhaven Hills Resident, working on a potential new City of San Marcos Ordinance for Cell Towers. We share it to keep San Elijo Hills & San Marcos informed on the process.

Press Release

The San Marcos City Council reverses their position on a Cell Tower Farms in San Elijo and Questhaven Hills

Over community objections, Mayor Jim Desmond led the vote to approve a 35 foot, 12 panel AT&T cell tower at their Council Meeting on October 22.  This cell tower is just 350 feet from homes in San Elijo Hills.

Since a T-Mobile cell tower already exists at this site, this established a “Cell Farm” with 24 micro wave antennas in the middle of San Elijo and Questhaven Hills.  Vice Mayor Rebecca Jones, responding to residents objections and directed City Staff to develop a better cell ordinance.

When the new cell tower ordinance went before the City Council for approval on January 14, 2014 Mayor Desmond announced that he was not going to allow a vote.  The Mayor then went on to back pedal on what he and City Staff communicated to the Union Tribune and residence of San Marcos and San Elijo Hills.  He told staff he could not support “1,000 ft. of separation between cell towers”, an ordinance that “does not allow clustering” (aka Cell Farms), and an ordinance that does not allow more than one cell site per property.

Mayor Desmond is quoted in the Dec. 11, 2013 Union Tribune saying, “We’ve got nothing right now.  We want to have rules about how they should be shielded and the maximum number of antennas on a property.”  Jerry Backoff, Planning Director, said “San Marcos would limit cell towers to one per property, regardless of acreage.”  At the Council Meeting Mayor Desmond changed his position 180 degrees.

The Mayor’s changes will make “Cell Farms” which he said he opposed possible.  The Mayor stepped in and in effect rewrote the ordinance, this is inappropriate.  He then directed the Planning Department to draft an ordinance he would support.

The Planning Department researched ordinances of other cities and hosted a workshop with residents and the cell companies before submitting the cell ordinance. They also included input from Jonathan Kramer (their FCC legal advisor and RF expert).  The Mayor ignored the City’s process and recommendations and in effect ordered changes, all of which were what cell tower companies wanted.  He did not direct staff to include any of the resident’s requests.

The Mayor was not going to allow public comment.  Council member Chris Orlando said he felt that since the residents of San Marcos came to this meeting expecting a vote, they should be allowed to speak.  Discussion ensued and, after another Council member agreed with Chris, the Mayor agreed to let the residents speak, but the City Council cut their comment time to 3 minutes.

The Mayor instructed staff to provide him an advanced copy of the ordinance before (releasing it to the public).  The City Attorney said the ordinance is public record and therefore they cannot provide him an advanced copy.

Although AT&T had been present at all the cell tower meetings they were not present for this meeting.  San Elijo and Questhaven Hills residents’ questioned why the City communicated to AT&T the ordinance was not being voted on and was being redrafted to include the cell industry requests.  The City Council denied they notified AT&T of the ordinance status in advance of the meeting.

T-Mobile is still operating their out of compliance, 12 antenna cell tower at this San Elijo/Questshaven Hills site without a valid permit for almost a year.  This matter was brought to the City’s attention by residents six months ago.  Residents insisted that the cell tower be shut down until it is brought into compliance and a new permit approved–neither has happened.

You can view the January 14, 2014 meeting at:

The Ordinance segment starts at 49.3 minutes.

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