Tag Archives: General plan


You may have seen a sign on the property right next to the former landfill site (on San Elijo Road) for a project named “Copper Hills.” Copper Hills is a project that is being proposed by a developer (Stephen A. Bieri Company) to the City of San Marcos. The land itself is actually in the unincorporated County of San Diego. San Marcos does not have jurisdiction (though the developer could attempt an annexation). In the County of San Diego, the developer is also attempting to change the current zoning of that land in case they choose to pursue the project in County jurisdiction. This zoning amendment (General Plan Amendment) is being called SD15 in the County of San Diego. Click link for more information.

City of San Marcos’ general plan receives regional award

The City of San Marcos recently accepted the 2012 Comprehensive Planning Award, Small Jurisdiction from the American Planning Association (APA), San Diego Section for its general plan approved this year.

Betsy McCullough, a representative for APA’s San Diego Section indicated that, “the award jury only selects the best-of-the-best and San Marcos is now eligible to receive state-wide recognition.”

In receiving this honor, the APA praised the city’s general plan for its sustainability measures and public outreach efforts. After acknowledging this nomination was the project that caught the APA awards jury’s attention, the jury remarked, “they [City of San Marcos] did not reach out-they hunted down and grasped the public in each and all of the eight distinct neighborhoods of the city.”

San Marcos Planning Director Jerry Backoff said, “The award is a testament to the project and great product that came out of a long process.”

In order to receive such a distinction, a planning effort nominated must demonstrate a comprehensive plan of unusually high merit for, by, or within a jurisdiction of less than 100,000. Developed by the national APA, award selection criteria include seven components: originality, transferability, quality, implementation, comprehensiveness, public participation, and the role of planners.

The general plan is the city’s blueprint for development and growth that incorporates seven guiding themes developed by the community over two-years, more than 36 public meetings and feedback from residents, property owners and businesses.

For more information about the city’s general plan, please visit www.ourcityourfuure.com.

Guest Post from Kristal Jabara Council Member City of San Marcos-New General Plan

Kristal Jabara San Marcos City Council Member

Almost like an overnight sensation the city has a new General Plan.  Of course, I am joking on the overnight part considering the General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) has been meeting since before I was on council.  Thirty plus GPAC meetings, three planning commission meetings, three city council meetings and the city’s new General Plan has been drafted, voted on, and passed.

Community members, property owners, real estate professionals, consultants, attorneys, city staff, and maybe a coyote or two weighed in on the plan that creates the road map for the next twenty years; that is until the first amendment is passed.

Guiding principles is what this document is meant to provide, but it is difficult not to want to attempt the drafting of a perfect blueprint.  With the hard work of our city staff and the GPAC I believe the updated General Plan is both viable and realistic.

After a quick “good job” to our planning department the question was asked by Council “when will we see the new Zoning Ordinance (the companion document to the General Plan)?”  The Planning Director was able to muster up a weary “soon”!  My hope is soon means by summer a draft is complete and the final document is in place by fall.  Until the Zoning Ordinance is in place, the General Plan along with a Zoning Matrix will provide guidance for any properties left in the gap.

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who worked so hard on this project, job well done!

Interview with Mike Hunsaker candidate for San Marcos City Council

Here is an interview with Mike Hunsaker candidate for San Marcos City Council. San Elijo Life has invited all candidates for council the answer the same set of questions.

Why should the residents in San Elijo Hills vote for you?

San Elijo Hills is poorly served by the proposed General Plan, overly lavish employee perks, lagging infrastructure improvements and lack of transparency in government. I will address these issues with common sense solutions.

How can the council help address aggressive cut through traffic and school traffic in San Elijo Hills?

The lagging infrastructure needs to be reprioritized. Too much of the Redevelopment Agency funds that are supposed to go into infrastructure are being diverted into revenue supporting City labor costs. That needs to be reversed.

What is your position on Proposition K?

The need for Proposition K at the present time and conditions is undeniable. However, serious issues are present concerning why much of this funding is required. Mello Roos payments should have covered many of the needs. Where did that money go? Dig developers escape their fair share of impact fees? Why have known problems with asbestos and lead been allowed to continue in the schools over decades while more and more money was diverted into employee compensation? These issues are not being corrected.

How can the city of San Marcos work with San Elijo Development to complete the San Elijo Hills Town Center?

Employee pension expenses have exploded and are continuing on a steep upward curve. Most cities experienced just over 200% growth in pension costs over the last ten years. San Marcos experienced a 572% growth. Too much money is being diverted to fund this growth at the expense of such projects as these which better serve the community.

What is your position on changes to the San Marcos general plan?

I have analyzed the problems with this plan in depth on my website www.hunsakerinnovations.com. The proposed plan is not necessarily what the Council will see. The zoning ordinances underpinning the Plan have not been updated, the economic study identifying economic projections and the even the boundaries and designations of zones are undefined. Without these very basic definitions and concepts, the proposed General Plan is meaningless. Councilman Preston rightly opposed the expensive public forums which were more for political cover than informed citizen evaluations.

What is your position on future housing and commercial development around San Elijo Hills (Creekside District, and university area projects, recycling plant, Quathaven and Attebury road area)?

Commercial development near to San Elijo Hills is badly needed as well as better roads. Much of the Creekside District consists of redundant facilities which will be stressed to survive much less prosper. The recycling plant is a potentially valuable asset allowed to languish. Possible useful  alternatives would be an industrial center, a shipping center (which will provide tax dollars for road improvements), or even a large storage facility.

What are your goals to improve the quality of life in San Marcos, such as events, parks, and trails?

I am currently working in the Walnut Grove Park area organizing more community activities in that Park. My wife plans on helping with the Heritage Homes.

Would you care to comment on the recent excessive compensation concerns for San Marcos city staff?

I am a member of the San Diego Taxpayer Association who has been active in uncovering and monitoring the lavish pay and benefits given to City employees. I suspect that unless firm action is taken these costs will continue to skyrocket. A number of employees are eager to acquire lifetime medical benefits and higher COLA’s in retirement. These increases will bankrupt the City and consume every dollar leaving nothing for projects. All three labor contracts will expire in 2011. These Council is considering shifting to a multiyear budgeting plan which could conceal the costs of new contracts until after the 2012 elections. I have recently attended a special Taxpayer Association seminar on pension plans in the County. My report is on the website.

If elected what are the top 3 issues you would focus on for San Elijo Hills?

1.     More infrastructure investments, not more pension benefits (now already the most generous in San Diego County).

2.     More balanced commercial development meeting local needs for grocery stores, drug stores, home improvement outlets, restaurants, etc.

3.     Ensuring that new developments pay their fair share so that another Proposition K is needed again for what should be normal expenses.

How will you clean up the campaign signs after election? will they be recycled?

I have no campaign signs. My campaign works entirely off the Internet and is totally green.


Editors note all San Marcos, Calfifornia candidates are welcome to contact us to conduct an interview.

Final San Marcos City General Plan Public Workshop Series on Land Use!

San Marcos, CA

Image via Wikipedia

San Marcos has been working on an update of its general plan since Fall 2009, and the City is now in the final stretch of its public outreach portion of the project.

The last workshop series to receive community feedback on proposed land use changes will be held this month. From there, the general plan will get further refined.

Please be aware that there may be significant land use changes near your property. These changes could include things like increased density/intensity, increased building heights or land use rezoning (i.e. mixed-use, commercial, multi-family).

Don’t miss your chance to attend one of the last community workshops on the land use portion of the general plan update and express your thoughts on proposed changes!

To learn more about what land uses are proposed near your property, please visit ourcityourfuture.com or call (760) 744-PLAN (7526).

Public Workshop Series Dates

September 23, 6:30 pm
Twin Oaks Elementary School
1 Cassou Road
September 29, 6:30 pm
San Elijo Elementary School
1615 Schoolhouse Way
September 27, 6:30 pm
Senior Center
111 Richmar Avenue
September 30, 6:30 pm
CSUSM (McMahan House)
333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road
Free parking in Lot B