Guest Post from Kristal Jabara Council Member City of San Marcos-What’s Happening in San Marcos
What’s Happening in San Marcos
The City of San Marcos is clearing the way for a new downtown, literally. Many of you may have driven by the San Marcos Creek, which runs parallel to Discovery Street, and noticed that the surrounding vegetation has been cleared. What you see is the beginning of the first phase of work to be completed for the Creek District, a specific plan that covers more than 200 acres between San Marcos Boulevard and San Marcos Creek. Work on the project will continue over the next ten to twenty years, ultimately establishing a vibrant downtown for San Marcos.
Nearly twenty years in planning, the first phase of the project is now underway and includes the restoration of local habitat, flood control measures, the creation of Creekside Drive, and the construction of a linear park that will wind its way along the creek. Also included in the first phase of the project is a mixed use development known as The Residence and Shoppes at Creekside, which is expected to break ground this summer.
Although the clearing of vegetation has prompted many questions, the burning question I seem to hear most is, “What will happen to the Pink House”? The over 100 year old ‘Pink House’ located at the corner of Discovery Street and Via Vera Cruz is on the California registry of historic homes. Many times a home such as this would be moved to Heritage Park, where other historic homes are currently located. However, because of its dilapidated condition and the cost associated with an extensive move, this seems unlikely.
Because the city would like to preserve the home in its most original state, we are now looking to relocate the home to a location within the Creek District and showcase it as a visitor information center.
Other major events in San Marcos are the state’s forced dissolution of the San Marcos Redevelopment Agency (RDA) and the quest for a new City Manager. Both of these issues are quite significant for our city.
In February, the California State Supreme Court upheld the dissolution of all RDA’s across the state. For years San Marcos’s RDA, which was the second largest in the county, has been the instrument used to help rehabilitate our blighted neighborhoods and make our community a better place to live. As the appointed successor agency in charge of overseeing the dissolution of the RDA, the City of San Marcos has been busy wading through the deep waters of a poorly written state law enacted to guide the successor agencies through this process. In typical California fashion, laws were abruptly put into place without addressing every facet of their consequences, so now cleanup language is being drafted and voted on by state policy makers to clarify this process. As a result, the city cannot yet properly assess the full impact of the dissolution, and I believe it will be months before we have a clearer understanding of the fiscal impact on our city. With this being said, I am confident we will overcome the obstacle of losing redevelopment.
The other major event currently taking place is the search for a new City Manager. Paul Malone, who has served the City of San Marcos for more than 20 years, is set to retire on April 30, 2012 and our search for a new manager is underway. Candidates are being interviewed and we are optimistic that the selection of our next manager will be made soon. San Marcos hasn’t had to search outside our own organization for a manager in over thirty years, so this is new territory for the council. Fortunately, we have a well established and vibrant city making San Marcos an excellent place to work and live, which in turn has attracted dozens of well qualified applicants.
On a personal note, I have had the pleasure of working on a great committee, ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children), that Council Member Rebecca Jones invited me to join. The group has been working diligently on two Public Service Announcements that are soon to make their public premiere. My hope is to have my next post coincides with the release of the PSA’s, so I can share with each of you the valuable information I have gained through ICAC.
There is so much taking place in our magnificent city and it is such an honor to be a part of the vision so many of us share. I look forward to hearing from you; your questions and ideas help guide me and my fellow council members in our policies and direction.
City of San Marcos