Tag Archives: City of San Marcos

Report: San Marcos’ Gaining Steam in Key Economic, Education Areas

Housing and business stock are on the rise, and there’s still plenty of potential for growth

In recent years, San Marcos has seen household incomes grow and the already low unemployment rate fall. At the same time, the city is home to high-paying industries and universities that are a pipeline for regional talent.

Those are among the takeaways of a recently released City of San Marcos Regional Profile, which demonstrates with comprehensive data sets the city’s momentum in key economic and education areas.

The city commissioned the regional profile, produced by the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (San Diego Regional EDC), to gain insight and information to be used on future economic development efforts, a major priority for the city.

The regional profile encompasses four sections: demographics, socioeconomics, the housing market and the economy, with major findings that include:

  • Household income grew by 8.9 percent each year from 2011 to 2015, greatly outpacing the region’s rate of 1.4 percent;
  • The unemployment rate of 2.9 percent continues to be low, and historical unemployment data show the city weathered the Great Recession better than the region, state and nation;
  • San Marcos boasts 4,000 businesses, up 10 percent from a decade ago. Local firms’ resiliency in the face of the Great Recession has been a key to San Marcos’ status as an economic powerhouse;
  • As North County’s education hub, San Marcos produces 10 percent of the San Diego region’s total academic program completions, with the lion’s share coming from Cal State San Marcos and Palomar College;
  • Higher-than-average median wages can be found in three high-paying industries: manufacturing, wholesale trade and information; and
  • Between 2010 and 2015 housing stock grew by 10.1 percent—San Marcos has more opportunities for development than other regional cities.

“The numbers in the regional profile tell the story: San Marcos’ growing reputation as a great place to live, work and play is well deserved. Not only do we have 40,000 jobs, an annual GDP totaling $7.9 billion and stellar educational institutions, but the community also boasts 72 miles of multi-use trails, 300 acres of park space, 240 restaurants and eight breweries,” said Economic Development Manager Tess Radmill.

As for the work piece of that trio, the City bolstered its business-friendly reputation through proactive economic development, which in 2012 the City Council prioritized in response to the tough economy and the end of redevelopment funding. City efforts thus far have included cutting red tape from the development approval process and there is recognition that there is room for more improvement.

Also part of this commitment to improving business is the regional profile itself, the City’s first such snapshot that will shape future economic development initiatives.

“This profile provides clarity and insight into San Marcos’ regional strengths, in addition to identifying the fundamental drivers of the local economy,” said Kirby Brady, the San Diego Regional EDC’s Director of Research. “It is clear that the city is an economic powerhouse with a diverse economic base, a highly-educated and talented workforce, and opportunities for growth.”

To review the full regional profile, visit www.san-marcos.net/regionalprofile.

City of San Marcos Boosting Its Economic Development Efforts

From tax-credit education to an easier permitting process, the city is striving to do business better

When it comes to economic development, the City of San Marcos is raising the bar and local businesses are taking note—like Cliniqa, a bio-techne company that just went through an expansion.

“What can be a lengthy permit process was made easier by the wonderful employees in the Planning, Fire and Building departments,” said Lisa Profeta, Facilities Manager at Cliniqa in San Marcos.

The city has always embraced entrepreneurship because it drives a high quality of life—but it took center stage in 2012 when the State ended redevelopment programming, which took a toll on local business growth. Coupled with the recession, San Marcos saw a need to be more proactive in its economic development.

“City Council quickly realized we needed to focus our energy there if we wanted to remain a thriving, leading city,” said City Manager Jack Griffin. “Given that, City Council created a vision for a more business-friendly San Marcos.”

That vision began to take shape in 2015, when the city’s first economic development division was created. Since then, significant progress has been made, including the hire of an economic development manager and the launch of the San Marcos Business Walk Program, a twice-a-year event where volunteers collect feedback about the challenges facing local commerce.

Staff has also worked to cut a lot of red tape from the development approval process—everything from making it easier to navigate the land entitlement process, to bolstering city and private sector collaboration on California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) document preparation, to a City of San Marcos and Building Industry Association (BIA) pilot project  that is under development to allow for digital submission of project plans to save money on construction document printing costs, which can run $20,000 to $70,000 per on a typical subdivision during the entirety of the development approval process.”

“The city Development Services team, particularly Planning staff, are constantly working with the city’s Economic Development Manager to understand the needs of existing and prospective businesses,” said  Director of Development Services Dahvia Lynch. “Planning and Economic Development go hand in hand and our collaboration is crucial to our improvements, which are a work in progress.”

In fact, staff still sees plenty of room for improvements. For example, they are working to give business owners more opportunities to save time or money by streamlining and more clearly defining permitting process. There are also plans to standardize more reference materials for the permitting process, and to make more resources available online for business owners.

“Ideally, we would love to empower more business owners with the knowledge and resources they need,” Lynch said.

In that vein, city staff has also started to educate business owners about any benefits that they may qualify for. For example, Wholesale Shade was awarded a $500,000 California Competes Tax Credit, which Founder and CEO Patrick Howe learned about through the bi-monthly Council Business Visits. As part of the credit, the company intends to create 26 jobs over the next five years.

Likewise, the Council Business Visits, also led Cliniqa to apply, resulting in a $350,000 California Competes Tax Credit, with which the company plans to use to create 24 jobs over the next five years. Economic Development Manager Tess Radmill and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation worked closely with the two companies—along with other San Marcos businesses that hope to receive the credit in the future—to simplify the application process.

“Most business owners I know are focused on the daily challenges of keeping their doors open and are not experts at regulations or government programs,” Howe explained. “Knowing that the City of San Marcos is a partner in the success of our business is reassuring.”

Radmill says that’s precisely how she hopes the business community views the city: a partner in their success.

“We’re working to ensure our local businesses are empowered to reach their full potential because their success is part of what drives the high quality of life we all enjoy here in San Marcos.”

To learn more about the city’s economic development efforts, contact Economic Development Manager Tess Radmill at tradmill@san-marcos.net.

San Marcos residents encouraged to attend annual Fourth of July Firework Extravaganza

Leave fireworks to the experts

Residents encouraged to attend annual Fourth of July Firework Extravaganza

With Fourth of July only a few days away, the San Marcos Fire Department reminds all residents that fireworks are best left to experts.

“Fireworks are extremely dangerous, unpredictable and capable of causing serious burns and disfiguring injuries,” said San Marcos Fire Chief Brett Van Wey. “They can also ignite dry brush, grasses and dead tree material and cause serious fires in our community.”

All residents should know that all fireworks — even those labeled “consumer” or “safe and sane” — are illegal in San Diego County. This includes cone fountains, cylindrical fountains, roman candles, skyrockets, firecrackers, mine and shells, helicopter-type rockets, sparklers, poppers and revolving wheels.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, thousands of people, including children and teens, are injured every year while using consumer fireworks. Even something as “harmless” as a sparkler, which burns at over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, can cause critical injuries and pose a serious fire hazard. Additionally, two out of five fires reported on Independence Day are started by fireworks.

Residents are encouraged to enjoy the city’s FREE professional fireworks show during the annual Fourth of July Firework Extravaganza at Bradley Park, 1587 Linda Vista Drive, on Tuesday, July 4.

Entertainment and festivities begin at 6 pm with the firework show at 9 pm. The evening’s free entertainment featuring Liquid Blue, a show band, will begin at 6 pm.  Children’s activities include face painting, party jumps and more.  Food concessions will include hot dogs, hamburgers, tacos, snow cones and more.

“Offered for more than 36 years of spirited family fun, this annual event offers residents a way to safely enjoy fireworks while celebrating our nation’s independence,” said Community Services Director Buck Martin. “With children’s activities, food for purchase and a great pyrotechnic display, this event has something for everyone.”

The fireworks show is entirely dependent on community donations.  To contribute, please send tax-deductible donations by June 26 to: San Marcos Fireworks Fund, 3 Civic Center Drive, San Marcos 92069.  Donations of $25 or more will receive a commemorative item.

For more fire prevention information, contact the San Marcos Fire Department at (760) 744-1050, ext. 3410.

To learn more about the city’s Fourth of July celebration or to donate to the fireworks show, visit www.gofundme.com/SM2017Fireworks.

Graduation season in San Marcos

Graduation season in San Marcos

Expect traffic delays expected for the next two weekends

San Marcos, CA— Springtime in North County’s education hub means one thing—San Marcos students are getting ready to graduate.

With Cal State San Marcos hosting commencement ceremonies Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20 and Palomar hosting commencement on Friday, May 26, I-15 and SR-78 travelers can expect increased traffic delays around the college areas.

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.

Planned projects include upgrades to the Traffic Management Center (TMC)’s server and software, traffic signal equipment, as well as communication lines between the TMC and the traffic signals. In addition to improved staff and equipment response times to changing traffic conditions, these enhancements will allow traffic signals to handle more complex intersection configuration conditions.

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

For more information about Palomar College commencement, visit www2.palomar.edu. To see Cal State San Marcos’ commencement schedule, visit www.csusm.edu/commencement.

To learn more about planned road improvements in San Marcos, contact the city’s Public Works Department at (760) 752-7550.

The summer edition of The City of San Marcos 360

The summer edition of the San Marcos 360 is now available online and will be delivered to San Marcos residents and businesses this week.

Featuring articles on upcoming road improvements,  emerging business industry clusters, summer recreation opportunities, water safety, wildfire preparedness, and more, the free magazine serves to connect residents to their government.

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

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

Life atop Double Peak ‘an adventure’ – The San Diego Union-Tribune

There are a handful of coveted sites in North County, where people get paid or live rent free to live at and watch over city parks, including Double Peak in San Marcos.

READ MORE VIA Source: Life atop Double Peak ‘an adventure’ – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Public meeting announcement for new proposed project on Twin Oaks near South Lake.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC WORKSHOP

WHEN: WHERE: PROJECT:

Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 6:00 PM
City of San Marcos – Valley of Discovery Room, 1 Civic Center Drive, San Marcos, CA Brookfield Residential Properties “MU-4 Area” – P17-0015: Specific Plan 17-002, General Plan Amendment 17-002, Rezone 17-001, Tentative Subdivision Map 17-003, Multi-Family Site Development Plan 17-002, Grading Variance 17-003

This notice is to inform you of an upcoming public workshop for the proposed Brookfield Residential Properties MU-4 project. The proposed project includes a Specific Plan Amendment, General Plan Amendment, and Zone Change to modify the permitted land uses onsite from Heart of the City Specific Plan “Business Park” and Public Institutional (PI) to Heart of the City Specific Plan “Low Medium Density Residential” (8-12 dwelling units per acre); a Tentative Subdivision Map and Multi-Family Site Development Plan to construct 218 attached residential condominium units; and, a Grading Variance to allow for slopes in excess of 20 feet. The project site is located at the southwest corner of South Twin Oaks Valley Road and South Village Drive. The workshop is intended to provide to the public an overview of the proposed project by the developer and an opportunity to inquire and comment on the proposed project. For more information, please contact Art Piñon in the Planning Division at (760) 744-1050, extension 3234, or email at apinon@san-marcos.net, or visit the Development Services counter during the week between 7:30 am and 5:30 pm. Note: We are closed every other Friday.

San Elijo Hills Towncenter Update from San Elijo Hills Development Company & Ambient Communities

San Elijo Hills Towncenter Update from San Elijo Hills Development Company & Ambient Communities 
Dear San Elijo Hills Residents,

As an update to last year’s town hall meeting (during which we shared the designs that you’ve seen reflected on the banners in the Towncenter), we are happy to report that we have been working cooperatively with Ambient Communities, and the City of San Marcos toward finalized designs and approvals for the second phase of San Elijo Hills Towncenter.

In that effort, we are very hopeful to receive a Site Development Permit before the end of March. Assuming we and the City are able to meet this important milestone, we intend to process the Precise Improvement Plans starting in March so that we can begin grading by early June. Vertical construction is planned for September, with the first shops opening their doors around April of 2018.

Ambient has been actively considering leasing interest for the past many months and looks forward to announcing the first businesses by mid-Summer of this year. A sincere thank you to many of you who have referred the Towncenter to businesses you would like to see open shop here in your community.

As we progress over the next several months, we will continue to provide updates to our efforts and refinements to these anticipated timelines.

San Elijo Hills Development Company & Ambient Communities

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.

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