Supervisors Hearing September 12: SD15 -Copper Hills (362 units on San Elijo Road at entrance to San Elijo Hills)

Op-Ed opposing County rezoning of 69-acre lot west of the landfill (sent to San Elijo Life by Friends of Copper Creek)

Urgent Appeal to Save San Elijo Hills Quality of Life:  Deadline September 12!

A huge increase in zoning is currently being proposed that, if approved, will permanently change San Elijo Hills.  The 69-acre property is just west of the closed San Marcos Landfill, south of San Elijo Road.  This project is called SD15 in the County and Copper Hills in the City of San Marcos.  

The developer could have named this project “Toxic Hills” as this land never produced copper and County reports document (1) on site signs of landfill leachate and/or landfill gas intrusion and (2) possible health risks to future residents and tenants.  

This will change the community forever by

  • harming the character of the community;
  • dramatically increasing traffic;
  • impeding emergency evacuation and diverting fire resources; and 
  • causing environmental harm to Copper Creek and neighboring habitat preserves.  

Right now, this property is in the unincorporated County.  An amendment to the County General Plan proposes increasing SD15’s maximum density almost six-fold from 61 dwelling units (SR-1 zoning) to 362 dwelling units plus a large amount of commercial space (C-1, SR-0.5, VR-10.9 zoning).

This project will be heard at a Board of Supervisors meeting on September 12 and will be approved unless San Elijo Hills and other neighbors vocally protest.  While the San Dieguito Planning Group voted against this project, County staff and the Planning Commission are recommending approval.  Nonetheless, this project can be stopped by our elected representatives if residents speak up.

Traffic Increases

If this property is rezoned, County studies report there will be an additional 16,231 average daily trips.  That is approximately a 27-fold increase over the number of trips allowed under current zoning.  This will negatively affect the quality of life.

Impedes Emergency Evacuation

Existing roads and connectors are already inadequate to provide a safe exit from San Elijo Hills.  In the 2014 Cocos fire, there was traffic gridlock causing people to wait hour(s) to evacuate.  The proposed residential and commercial density will make this problem much worse.

Diversion of Fire Resources

This property will primarily rely on the San Marcos Fire Department and will divert fire protection resources from San Elijo Hills.  This property will be very difficult to defend on up to three sides from a fire.  Because of the proposed density concentration, fire departments would likely prioritize this property over single family homes. 

Harms to Copper Creek/Escondido Creek/San Elijo Lagoon

Copper Creek (leading to Escondido Creek and San Elijo Lagoon) is already suffering from siltation, sedimentation, scouring and flooding from projects such as this that did not adequately mitigate the impacts.  The intensity of this proposed development/hardscape will only increase the harms to the Creek and property downstream.  

This project is opposed by the Escondido Creek Conservancy.

This Project Is Harmful to Habitat, Including Nearby Preserved Lands

This property serves as an important connector/corridor from the County Core to the San Marcos habitat areas.  Development of this property as proposed will fragment the habitat and decrease habitat connectivity between the County and San Marcos.  Edge effects will harm neighboring habitats and fuel modification arrangements will cut into the habitat.  Light and glare effects will affect neighboring preserves and decrease resident’s quality of life.  

This project is opposed by neighboring land managers, including the Center for Natural Lands Management.  

County Neighbors were Held to a Double Standard

Before the County’s 2020 General Plan Update, this property and its neighbors were all zoned 1 dwelling unit per 2 acres.  As a result of General Plan 2020, this property was already doubled in density to 1 dwelling unit per 1 acre while its County neighbors lost their density and are now zoned 1 dwelling unit per 10 acres.  That means this project will have 52.5 times the density of its County neighbors.  This just isn’t fair!

Landfill Dangers

There have long been concerns with the San Marcos landfill.  The landfill is mostly unlined and took 18.75 million tons of material between 1979 and 1997.  The landfill reportedly accepted residential, commercial and agricultural waste including paint and paint thinners, oil, treated sewage sludge and medical waste.  No laws prevented “certain types of low level radioactive waste, known as decommissioned materials” from disposal in the San Marcos Landfill.

A 2017 letter from the County about SD15 states, “While the San Marcos Landfill has closed, it can be expected to remain biologically active and generate landfill gas and leachate for more than 30-50 years after closure.”  Monitoring may need to continue forever.

The County writes that “Landfill gas represents a health and safety issue” and gas can “migrate off-site.”  Landfill gases “can pose an explosion and human health threat.”

SD15’s onsite groundwater monitoring wells are detecting toxic chemicals of concern (“COCs”).  According to the County, there are two likely sources: landfill leachate and landfill gases.  Per County documents, “[t]he source of COCs outside the waste area is likely due to migration of [landfill gas] and, to a lesser degree, leachate.”  County letters concerning SD15 state that “Landfill gas has been documented to travel in the subsurface 1,000 feet or more from the source.  The underlying geology of [SD15] is fractured rock, which adds another layer of complexity to potential gas migration.”

County maps show that most of the groundwater from the landfill flows towards the west, towards SD15/Copper Hills.

News articles report that the San Marcos landfill “is leaching chemicals known to cause cancer, reproductive harm and other health problems.”  It continues, “officials said that because these chemicals don’t occur naturally, any leak exceeds standards set for those sites” and “[a]ny volatile (organic compound) that’s detected in groundwater is an indication of release from the landfills” (emphasis added).

Unfortunately, the County has limited ability to protect residents/tenants from landfill gases and landfill gases.  The County has stated that the Solid Waste Local Enforcement Agency “has no regulatory authority to require [this] Project to be constructed with measures to mitigate the effects of the landfill” (emphasis added).  

The County has only the power to request Department of Environmental Health monitoring of residents, resident notification of landfill proximity, and installation of landfill gas mitigation measures such as explosion-proof conduits/sealing, use of a gas migration barrier with passive venting and hard-wired methane detectors.  Will this developer follow the County’s requests?

In 1999, eighty acres of San Elijo Hills was condemned by the County as a landfill buffer.  News reports state the condemned land was located 1000 feet to 1.5 miles away from the landfill.  SD15/Copper Hills is within 1000 feet of the landfill.

This property should not be aggressively developed and this project should be stopped.

Doesn’t this project include a Boys and Girls Club?

As the property is currently zoned for 61 homes only, with no commercial zoning, it is highly unlikely that there is any definite plan for any specific commercial tenant. I have seen real estate developers frequently make big promises to push through their projects.  Often these promises are not kept and communities disappointed.

Real Estate Speculators Should Not Benefit at the Expense of Neighbors

This property was purchased by the developer, Steven A. Bieri, for only $48,755 per acre.  That price reflects that this land is not suitable for intensive development.  Now, these real estate speculators want to benefit themselves at the expense of the San Elijo Hills, Harmony Grove and Elfin Forest communities.  

Take Action:

We can build a better world for our families and children by speaking up because every voice matters in local politics.  The more public input, using different communications methods, the greater the likelihood that we can preserve the community:

  • Oppose this in person at the Board of Supervisors Meeting on September 12, 2018 at County Administration Center (CAC), Room 310 (Board Chambers), 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego;
  • Contact all five County Supervisors via Email, Facebook and Twitter opposing the project; 
Supervisor’s email address Supervisor’s Chief of Staff email address Facebook Twitter
greg.cox@sdcounty.ca.gov danny.melgoza@sdcounty.ca.gov Gcoxsdcounty @SupervisorCox
dianne.jacob@sdcounty.ca.gov jeff.collins@sdcounty.ca.gov dianne.jacob.58 @dianne_jacob
kristin.gaspar@sdcounty.ca.gov dustin.steiner@sdcounty.ca.gov SupervisorKristinGaspar @kristindgaspar
ron-roberts@sdcounty.ca.gov salvatore.giametta@sdcounty.ca.gov SupervisorRonRoberts @RonRobertsSD
bill.horn@sdcounty.ca.gov Darren.Gretler@sdcounty.ca.gov SupervisorHorn @SupervisorHorn
  • Sign a petition; 
  • Share this information with your family and friends and encourage them to take action; 
  • Read more and sign up to the mailing list.  The developer is also processing this project in the City of San Marcos that will also need public input.

 

Coexisting with Coyotes: New Exhibit at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve Interpretive Center

The Escondido Creek Conservancy presents a new exhibit, Coexisting with Coyotes, which will be on display in the Interpretive Center at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve on September 5th through December 31st.

Coyotes are adaptable and found almost everywhere in San Diego County—including wild lands, suburban neighborhoods, and even in our cities. As coyotes continue to lose their traditional habitat and are driven onto human-occupied areas, the conflict between humans and coyotes has increased. Between 1998 and 2015 there were 90 reported coyote attacks on humans in California. In contrast, there were 2,446 documented cases of foodborne illness in California during this same period—so in effect, people are 27 times more at risk from their food than from coyotes. Nevertheless, coyotes do pose a risk to people and their pets, and public concern continues to mount. But coyotes are an important part of our ecosystem, and coexistence with them is possible, which is the aim of this exhibit.

Featuring puzzles, audio, art, taxidermy, and more, this interactive exhibit provides facts about these clever animals and dispels common myths. It also outlines specific things people can do to keep their family and pets safe while still keeping these beneficial creatures wild and free.

The exhibit was conceived by Dr. Adena Boxer-Capitano, a former veterinarian. She’s also an educator and a docent at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve. She started the Coyote Coexistence Project and is dedicated to helping communities develop plans to coexist with the wildlife that share our neighborhoods.

The Interpretive Center at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve is open seven days a week, 8:00-3:00, depending on volunteer docent availability. An updated weekly schedule of Interpretive Center hours can be found at https://elfinforest.olivenhain.com/.

Just listed for sale 12.6 Amazing acres in San Elijo Hills

Just listed for sale 12.6 Amazing acres in San Elijo Hills. The potential for 2 custom homes. Access from Attebury Drive via Questhaven. Build your custom dream home. Sit on your deck and enjoy ocean views across Elfin Forest and Rancho Santa Fe as you enjoy ducks and wildlife in your pond. Walk the trails to the new Double Peak K-8 School. Welcome the natural setting of old California but still minutes to San Elijo Hills Town Center and Carlsbad shopping and restaurants. Capture your piece of The North County Dream. Contact me today for a tour.

Ed Philbrick: REALTOR®
www.hillsandcoast.com
M: 760-496-8134
E: ed@hillsandcoast.com
DRE # 01967137
Coastal Premier Properties DRE # 01861547

San Elijo Hills Community Association HOA Updates for September 2017

San Elijo Hills Association Board of Directors-October Meeting: RE-SCHEDULED

The next General Session Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 22, 2018, 6:00 pm at the San Elijo Hills REC Center (1105 Elfin Forest Rd, San Marcos, CA 92078).

Front Yard Landscape

This year has brought some record-setting heat! The hot weather has affected many of the yards in San Elijo Hills. Now it’s time to cool off and give yards the TLC they deserve. Residents must continue to maintain their yard areas by mowing, edging, weeding, trimming, replacing dead vegetation and pruning.

Did you know that there are many great alternatives to grass? A well-designed drought-tolerant landscape can be filled with a lush variety of colorful plants that have year-round attractiveness and contain a sustainable landscape that benefits the environment. There are trees, shrubs and ground covers, grasses and wildflowers that are already well-adapted to the environment in our region. They will reduce the use of fertilizers, pesticides, watering, and maintenance. Native and non-native species can be interspersed to add variety and color. Plant using multiple layers or mixed borders. Trees, shrubs, and flowers can be planted in layers which successively shade each other, requiring less water. Plantings should be closely spaced to discourage weeds from sprouting.

Consider mulch! The first line of defense against hot weather, and against windy conditions which can dry surface soil, is to apply a liberal layer of mulch around the plants. This protects the soil from direct sun exposure, keeping it moist at the surface. Mulch also reduces evaporation of water from the soil which reduces the need for watering.

If you are interested in modifying your current design, please remember that you must submit the necessary application and plans for review and approval by the Architectural Committee. The Committee typically meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month. Please contact Liz McCardle at 760-798-9015 or sehdirector@waltersmanagement.com with any questions.

Community Yard Sale

The San Elijo Hills Community Association is hosting a community-wide yard sale! All residents are welcome to participate in this FREE event! The yard sale will be held on Saturday, September 22, 2018, from 7AM-11AM. Directional signage will be placed out the morning of the sale to the individual neighborhoods. Please note, there will be NO MAPS distributed indicating which individuals homes are participating. Please feel free to add additional signage in the community after 8 PM the night before (Friday 9/21/18) so long as it is removed promptly after the event. For more information, please contact Liz McCardle at sehdirector@waltersmanagement.com.

Coastal Cleanup Day in the Hills

The California Coastal Cleanup Day (CCD) has been set for 2018! The San Elijo Hills trails system is a designated California Coastal Cleanup Day (CCD) area, and we need volunteers! The trail system within San Elijo Hills is such a beloved feature of our community! Please join us on Saturday, September 15th from 9:00AM-12:00 PM to help clean up the trails! Volunteers will meet in the Town Square (by the fountain) of San Elijo Hills at 9:00AM. Walk-ups are welcome but pre-registration helps us with site logistics, so if you know for sure you want to help, please register online at www.cleanupday.org. All volunteers should wear comfortable closed toed shoes and sun protection. You can help reduce waste by bringing your own reusable water bottle, and gardening or work gloves. Note: every participant in CCD needs to sign a waiver; anyone under the age of 18 needs a parent or guardian signature to participate! Students are eligible for community service hours, and prizes will be given out for the most trash collected! Together we can all make a difference!

Save the Date! Oktoberfest!

Save the date for the most popular event of the year! Oktoberfest! Come to celebrate Oktoberfest with your neighbors on Sunday, October 14th 3:00PM-6:00 PM at the lower softball field of San Elijo Hills Park!  We have some new rides and inflatables, so you don’t want to miss this one! Please remember to bring proof of residency to gain entry into the event. If your teens or kids come on their own, please remind them to bring identification. If you have any questions regarding the event or would like additional information, please feel free to contact your Community Director, Liz McCardle, at (760) 798-9015 or email sehdirector@waltersmanagement.com.

Address Numbers

Clear and visible address numbers are important when it comes to safety. Please check your address numbers and replace any faded or missing numbers. This is a safety concern, which could potentially delay first responders in an emergency response. It also impacts the general aesthetics of the community and is part of the required maintenance per the Governing Documents.

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We have added San Elijo Life to Alexa, her Spanish pronunciation is not perfect but you will enjoy our San Elijo Hills weekly news and events updates in your Flash Briefing, Please add us to your Alexa.

“Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?” “Alexa, what’s in the news?” and she will share what is going on in San Elijo Hills.

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**Since 2006 SanElijoLife.com provides community news, photos, videos, and a directory of resources for residents of San Elijo Hills. The site is independent of the developer and the HOA and is run by local homeowners.

The Taste of San Marcos returns to North City!

 

Name: Taste of San Marcos
Date: September 8, 2018
Time: 12:00 PM4:00 PM PDT
The Taste of San Marcos returns to North City!
Saturday, September 8th, 12 PM – 4 PM.
250 North City Drive, San Marcos, CA 92078

Join us for the best bites & sips from the growing culinary and beverage scene in San Marcos!

Enjoy walking from booth-to-booth for an array of delectable eats or UPGRADE your experience to include UNLIMITED sips of amazing craft brew, cider & wine – all by local & independent acclaimed wineries and breweries.

We’ve got a terrific list of San Marcos favorites, and the list is still growing! Here’s a sneak peek of a few favorite hometown heroes that will be serving up the snacks and suds:

RESTAURANT LIST

Cocina del Charro
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
Decoy Dockside
Everbowl
Fresh Healthy Cafe
Grit Coffee
Jersey Mike’s
Noodles and Company
Old Cal Coffee House & Eatery
Old California Mining Company
Pick Up Stix
Players Sports Grill
Prep Kitchen San Marcos
San Marcos Deli
The Bellows
The Original Mr. Taco
Umami Japanese
Urge Gastropub & Common House
+ MORE to be announced!

BREW, CIDER, WINE LIST

Dos Desperados Brewery
Mason Ale Works
Newtopia Cyder
Raging Cider and Mead
Rip Current Brewing
Stumblefoot Brewery
The Lost Abbey / Port Brewing
Wild Barrel Brewing
La Fleur’s Winery
Twin Oaks Valley Winery

ITEMS TO BRING

Do not forget your UNEXPIRED & VALID photo ID!! It’s the state law, and the responsibility falls on us to ensure you have one to enter the event and/or partake in the Sip Garden!

BRING THE KIDS!

The Taste area is a family friendly event and kids are welcome to join in for tasty bites in the food sampling area (tasting ticket is required per person). Please note: You must be 21 years or older to enter the Sip Garden!

PARKING & TRANSPORTATION

Parking is FREE & convenient in the parking structure located directly next to the event on Campus Way. If you plan on enjoying the Sip Garden, please plan accordingly and consider your options, be it Uber/Lift or using the Cal State San Marcos SPRINTER station, located only 0.4 mi walking distance away!

CONTACT US

Please contact us directly with any additional questions about the Taste of San Marcos event. 760-744-1270 / melanie@sanmarcoschamber.com

Building Industry Association sues San Marcos schools, alleges excessive fees – The San Diego Union-Tribune

The Building Industry Association of San Diego County sued the San Marcos Unified School District this month, arguing that increased developer fees amount to illegal taxes that will raise the cost of new homes in the area.“The disputed fees should be deemed to be a form of unlawful tax, rather than reasonable ‘fees,’ ” the lawsuit, filed Aug. 10 in San Diego Superior Court, argued.The suit challenges a 21 percent hike in the fee that the district charges home developers, to cover the costs of serving new students in the school system. In May, the district raised that rate from $4.61 to $5.61 per square foot of new construction, a hike that the association called an “unjustified and grossly excessive schedule of fees on new residential construction.”

READ MORE VIA Source: Building Industry Association sues San Marcos schools, alleges excessive fees – The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Marcos goes back to school

As the summer winds down, San Marcos students are headed back to school. With elementary, middle and high schools back in school this week and Cal State San Marcos and Palomar College back in session later this month, I-15 and SR-78 travelers can expect increased traffic delays during their daily commute.

While the increase in traffic congestion is familiar to city residents, students and commuters alike, the City of San Marcos is pleased to report that continued relief is on the way.

In the city’s ongoing efforts to get motorists moving and improve traffic flow, several roadway improvement projects are lined up over the next five years.

Ongoing and Planned projects include traffic management system enhancements, upgrades to the city’s traffic signal communication network to high-speed Ethernet, traffic controller replacements, and citywide installation of LED safety lighting. Traffic signal improvements are also planned for Rancho Santa Fe Road and Grandon Avenue and intersection improvements at San Marcos Boulevard and Discovery Street.

Over the next five years, plans are also in place to reconstruct the State Route 78 overcrossing at Woodland Parkway, reconfiguration of on/off ramps, and the widening of Woodland Parkway, Barham Drive and Rancheros Drive. The City is working with Caltrans on completing the design of this project. Future funding and total project costs are still being determined based on ongoing discussions between the two agencies.

During the school year and periods of roadway construction, drive with caution and provide ample time to reach your destination safely and on time.

To learn more about planned traffic management improvements, visit www.san-marcos.net/trafficmanagement. Residents are encouraged to sign up to received city news, traffic alerts and information about programs and services by visiting, www.san-marcos.net/alerts and by following the City on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at the handle, @sanmarcoscity.

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