Category Archives: San Marcos News

Large Dog Park at San Elijo Hills Park Undergoing Renovations

The large dog park at San Elijo Hills Park, 1105 Elfin Forest Road, will be closed until approximately August 26 for turf repairs. The closure will allow the City to provide a better environment for pooches to play by installing new sod to repair a large portion of the park’s turf, which has deteriorated and exposed dirt and rocks. The new sod must be irrigated several times per day for approximately three weeks in order to establish roots and grow strong enough to handle foot (and paw) traffic.

We appreciate your patience during the repairs and hope that you will enjoy one of San Marcos’ additional dog parks, including Hollandia Park, Montiel Park, and Sunset Park.

View a map of all San Marcos dog parks.

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New batch of San Marcos eateries raising the bar on kid-friendly dining

New batch of San Marcos eateries raising the bar on kid-friendly dining

San Marcos is steadily ranked as a great place to raise a family, thanks to its top-notch schools and high quality of life. Look around town and you’ll see that affirmed. Children 9 or younger make up about 15 percent of the city’s population. That’s higher than San Diego County’s rate, which is closer to 12 percent. 

The local dining scene has taken note, too. A fresh crop of family-focused restaurants has sprouted in recent years. And these aren’t the kiddie chains most of us remember from our childhoods. At these spots, parents can still enjoy a quality meal while their kids can—well, be kids.  

The newest to open its doors is My Yard Live, 288 Rancheros Drive, which serves family-style food with a backyard vibe (think smoked brisket by the pound and picnic tables). Billed for the “young and young at heart,” it aims to entice folks to linger awhile—much like you would at a neighborhood party. Live music, lawn games and lots of lounge areas underscore that comfy vibe. 

For example, families can relax on a large patio that features a play area and treehouse for kids to explore. Months of research went into perfecting this treehouse, and the company that built it has created similar structures for Disneyland. 

Because My Yard Live brews its own beer, parents can sample its in-house program—or one of the many guest brews it has on tap. There’s also a full bar offering all sorts of craft cocktails and wine. 

Many dishes can be served family-style, including roasted chicken, St. Louis-style ribs, smoked brisket and a sausage platter. Adults can also pick from salads, sandwiches, burgers and entrees—while kids can take their pick from staples such as mac-and-cheese, hotdogs and chicken tenders. 

Just across Interstate 78 is URGE Gastro Pub & Common House, 255 Redel Road, a sprawling eatery serving up family fun with a hip twist. For starters, there’s a bowling alley with a Big Lebowski theme. And yes, parents can order a proper White Russian at the bar—there are nine varieties, in fact. Parents with younger kids will appreciate the gutter guards and bowling ball ramps to make the game easier. Because there are just eight bowling lanes, everyone is encouraged to reserve one online at sm.urgegastropub.com/bowling—and check rates, as they vary. 

The back patio also feels more like a backyard thanks to a large, grassy area, which was recently added with kids in mind. In fact, this space offers all the makings of a family game night—including giant sized chess, Jenga, Connect Four,  cornhole and bucket ball. This back patio is dog-friendly, so families can bring their four-legged children, too. 

Urge also houses its own brewery, Mason Ale Works. Those in-house brews are on tap, along with dozens of other local craft beers. There’s also a hefty whisky list with more than 70 varieties, plus a full bar and sophisticated wine list. 

Most of the menu can be summed up as classic pub food, which includes burgers, fish and chips, schnitzels and meatloaf. There are also several salads, flatbreads and shared plates. The kids’ menu includes crowd-pleasers, such as mac-and-cheese, chicken tenders and sliders.  

The past couple of years has also ushered in Landon’s East Meets West—formerly Landon’s Gourmet Kitchen—1020 West San Marcos Boulevard. As the new name indicates, the restaurant recently pivoted its concept to feature a more Asian inspired menu. That comes through in dishes like kimchi fried rice and tandoori chicken. Fans of the original menu will still find burgers, flatbreads and stuffed avocados—and many of the other dinner entrees will return soon. 

A good selection of wine and craft beers also remains, though some imports have been added to pair with the Eastern-inspired entrees. The kids’ menu includes crowd-pleasers such a grilled cheese and  gluten-free chicken nuggets. 

Lucky for parents, one thing that hasn’t changed here is the supervised playroom, which truly sets this restaurant apart. Here, attendants will happily entertain kids for a reasonable rate ($8 per hour for one child or $12 per hour for two children). Kids can make crafts, play games or enjoy the treasure trove of toys, including a life-sized stuffed pony, dollhouse and musical instruments. 

The playroom, however, is not open every day: It is now only open on Wednesdays and Saturdays—though there are plans to eventually open it on Sundays. 

Also, worth noting: Dining is allowed in the playroom, which a gamechanger for parents who want to enjoy some uninterrupted adult conversation over dinner—while still giving their kids a fun night out.   

San Marcos welcomes new Communications Manager

San Marcos welcomes new Communications Manager
Robin Rockey, APR, joins the City

San Marcos, CA – The City of San Marcos is pleased to announce that Robin Rockey, APR, has been selected to join the City as Communications Manager. Reporting to Economic Development Manager Tess Sangster, Rockey will manage the City’s comprehensive communications program and will lead strategies for public outreach, community engagement and media relations.

“The City is highly committed to keeping our residents and businesses informed,” said City Manager Jack Griffin. “Ms. Rockey has a demonstrated history of success in the local government sector and is well-positioned to use her skills to effectively respond to the needs of the community.”

As an award-winning communications leader, Rockey brings more than 16 years of diverse experience in public information, journalism, internal communications, and digital media management to her new role at the City, effective June 27, 2019. In her previous position as South Coast Water District’s Public Information Specialist, Rockey was named Star Performer of the Year for her work to implement modern communications strategies to achieve organizational goals.

“I look forward to serving the City of San Marcos and fostering effective communication between the City and our residents, community organizations, businesses and visitors,” Rockey said. “I’m also excited to spread the word about all the incredible programs and services that make San Marcos an amazing place to live, work and play.”

Rockey holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Northern Illinois University, Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), and certificates in public information, advanced social media strategy and digital marketing. She currently serves on the Board of Directors at the Public Relations Society of America’s Orange County chapter and represents the California Association of Public Information Officials on the Universal Accreditation Board, which oversees the APR credential.

City Council Tomorrow Night (Tuesday 5.14.19 at 6:00 p.m.)

Let’s close out this phase of our efforts with a bang. Hope to see you tomorrow night. When you arrive make sure to pick up your special sticker on the way into the Council chambers.
The meeting starts at 6:00, but if you cannot make it exactly at 6:00 don’t worry, they start with proclamations and presentations and then other agenda items, including some public comment before getting to our issue.

If you are not comfortable speaking, you can submit your comments at the meeting in the form of a letter. If you do speak and read your remarks make sure to submit them so they will be included in the City’s response to the CPUC. Depending on the number of speakers, we will get from 3-5 minutes each.

City Council Meeting
1 Civic Center Drive
Tuesday, May 14 at 6:00 p.m

Wooden Poles – We are still looking for any and all pictures with the old wooden poles and power lines (pre-2010). Take this opportunity to stroll down memory lane, and look for pictures that might have them in the background. Three people have done just that and come up with pictures of their now college-aged kids out playing in the cul-de-sac or out on the hiking trails. Make this a fun challenge.

Thank you, one more time, to everyone who attended the April 30 CPUC meetings or has participated online via the website or facebook page. We are strong together!!

Pictures or questions:  Robert Pack – packrobert@gmail.com or 760-809-3299

For further information: 

sanmarcospowerlines.com

facebook.com/stopthepowerlines

Road update from City of San Marcos

Improving the roads we all travel

Like all cities, San Marcos has a unique blend of traffic patterns and routes that experience more traffic volume than others. We are conveniently situated between two major freeways, which means our roads easily take our residents where they need to go. It also means that San Marcos thoroughfares might be choice routes for others as well.

Over the past few years, the City has implemented many improvements to alleviate traffic in key areas including the:

  • Coordination of traffic signals on San Marcos Boulevard, resulting in a documented 40 percent improvement in travel time;
  • Replacement of outdated lights with LED traffic signals to enhance visibility and safety;
  • Installation of new signals at key intersections to provide for safer travel and crossings;
  • Advancement of our City’s signal reliability and speed with our citywide ethernet project and installation of fiber optic communication lines.

To encourage motorists to become part of the traffic solution. the City launched a new educational initiative to inspire more courteous driving in San Marcos. We encourage all drivers to remember the San Marcos manners that keep our roads safe and friendly for all.

Each of these initiatives, and many others, mean that the City of San Marcos is continually working to improve the infrastructure, systems and technologies used to manage our City’s traffic.

For a list of San Marcos driving manners, visit www.san-marcos.net/honklesswavemore. To learn more about traffic engineering in San Marcos, visit www.san-marcos.net/trafficmanagement.

 New SDG&E power lines

The time for action is now!  New SDG&E power lines and large steel poles are coming soon through our neighborhoods unless we attend these two April 30th meetings in force!  This is our biggest and nearly final opportunity to communicate our concerns to the CPUC before these power lines and poles are built.  Our goal is to stop SDG&E from building a second set of power lines through our communities and urge them to place these power lines underground.

Tuesday, April 30th from 1 pm – 3 pm at the San Elijo Hills Rec Center, 1105 Elfin Forest Road, San Marcos, CA 92078

Tuesday, April 30th from 6 pm – 8 pm at the San Marcos Community Center, 3 Civic Center Drive, San Marcos, CA 92069

Sign-up here to attend the meetings: https://forms.gle/LD9Fxp2SgJhrTFkv6

Learn more about SDG&E’s proposed project here:  www.sanmarcospowerlines.com

Background:
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), after 17 months of considering SDG&E’s request to build a new set of 69 kV high voltage transmission lines and large steel poles through our communities, has sent a Notice of Intent to approve the project to the Governor’s Office.  We have 30 days, until May 15 at 5 p.m. to make our voices heard. There are viable alternatives to SDG&E’s proposed 12-mile circuitous route including a direct 5.4-mile underground route which would have no long-term environmental impact, unlike their current proposal.

In summary, the tentatively approved 12 miles above ground circuitous power line route will:
-Increase potential wildfire concerns
-Create unnecessary health risks for our children due to increased EMFs along the 12-mile route
-Decrease our property values (some more than others but we will ALL be impacted)
-Negatively impact habitat for some of our local sensitive species
-Negatively impact the aesthetic nature of our homes and community
-Potentially impact cultural resources buried along the route

The 5.4-mile alternative underground route:
-Has none of the above long-term negative impacts on our communities
-Has unknown financial consequences due to lack of in-depth budget analysis

Commit to attending April 30th. Bring a neighbor, a friend, and pack these hearings. Copy/paste onto local social media pages and sites, and encourage participation in your neighborhood.  Your community needs you!!

Join our FB page to stay up to date on event details: https://www.facebook.com/groups/445866435944617/

San Marcos wins state award for helping businesses expand

The California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED) recently honored the City of San Marcos with an Award of Excellence—its highest prize—for helping local businesses grow over the past two years.

San Marcos has helped four San Marcos companies secure nearly $1.4 million in state income tax credits since 2017, allowing them to collectively create 79 local jobs.

“We’re proud to have helped these businesses connect with the resources they need to grow in San Marcos,” said Economic Development Manager Tess Sangster. “These companies will undoubtedly boost our local economy, which is a really big win for our whole community.”

CalEd awards San Marcos for economic development effortsThe Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) awards these credits, which are applied to reduce a company’s state income taxes. Those savings are then invested back into the company.

Winning these credits is highly competitive, so city staff guided business owners each step of the way. This included calling on the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (San Diego Regional EDC) for added expertise in the area.

“Helping these business owners put their best foot forward was a team effort,” Sangster said, pointing out that the City appropriately won the award in the Economic Development Collaboration category. “By bringing San Diego Regional EDC to the table, we were ultimately able to win against stiff competition.”

In fact, only 63 companies across the state were awarded tax credits in the last round—and San Marcos was the only city in northern San Diego County to make the list.

To date, the City has helped: Wholesale Shade earn a $500,000 tax credit that will create 26 jobs; Cliniqa earn a $350,000 tax credit that will create 24 jobs; Creative Electron earn a $446,700 tax credit will create 22 jobs; and Quick Charge Power earn a $100,000 tax credit that will create seven jobs.

These companies are all are part of San Marcos’ booming manufacturing industry, the City’s second-largest economic sector. Data recently compiled by the San Diego Regional EDC shows that manufacturing accounts for nearly 7 percent of local gross domestic product (GDP), or about $550 million annually. It also provides 11 percent of local employment, which is about 4,300 jobs.

Sangster—who formally accepted the award on Thursday, March 28 during CALED’s annual conference in Anaheim—said she hopes to help even more businesses apply for tax credits.

“The City is eager to support its business community, and this is one of the many ways we’re happy to continue doing that,” she said.

For more information about CALED, please visit caled.org. For more information about the City’s economic development division, visit www.san-marcos.net/openforbusiness or contact Economic Development Manager Tess Sangster at TSangster@san-marcos.net or (760) 744-1050, ext. 3120.

The San Marcos Sheriff’s Station is holding a Coffee with the Community

Community: Coffee with the Community – San Marcos

Community outreach is a top priority of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

Members of the community should feel comfortable bringing problems related to safety and security to our staff.

The San Marcos Sheriff’s Station is holding a Coffee with the Community event on:

Tuesday, March 19th
Noon to 1:00 p.m.
Starbucks
126 Knoll Road, San Marcos

This is an opportunity to connect with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. You’ll have a chance to ask questions, voice concerns and get to know deputies who patrol your neighborhood. Get crime prevention tips and learn more about our free safety programs.

Let’s work together to keep our communities safe.

For more information, contact Deputy Jason Allen or Deputy Aaron Ritt at (760) 510-5200.

Update: North City and San Elijo Town Center Gaining Steam

UPDATE FROM THE CITY OF SAN MARCOS

San Marcos is arguably becoming one of the region’s most desirable cities, according to data collected by the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (San Diego Regional EDC). It is one of San Diego County’s fastest growing cities, median incomes are on an uptick that’s outpacing the region, and business inventory grew 10 percent in the last decade.

“This translates to an annual GDP of  $7.9 billion that’s driving the high quality of life we all enjoy in San Marcos and across North County,” said Economic Development Manager Tess Sangster.

This economic momentum is partly being spurred by two developments: North City, which aims to anchor the City’s future downtown; and San Elijo Town Center, in the heart of that community.

“Beyond the economic benefits, each will help shape our city’s emerging culture. Therefore, we’ve been engaged from design concepts to helping find business tenants that best align with our community,” Sangster explained. “Each step of the way, we’re doing our best to inform the public.”

In that vein, here’s what you can expect to see over the next year at each development:

North City, 250 North City Drive

Rendering of North City in San Marcos, CANorth City aims to be a cultural hub for San Marcos, complete with restaurants, stores, offices, townhomes, apartments and entertainment venues—all within walking distance.

Soon, it’ll reach a new milestone: This summer, North City Drive will open off S. Twin Oaks Valley Road, between E. Barham Drive and Interstate 78., creating a direct road into North City.

“It will help create a sense of place,” explained Darren Levitt, Vice President of Sea Breeze Properties, the developer behind North City. “Our ultimate goal here is to create a destination space where people want to gather and feel a sense of community.”

Levitt says the long-term vision includes a high-end movie theater and grocery store. While nothing official can yet be announced, there have been recent talks with a gourmet ice cream shop, yoga studio, and popular Mexican eatery.

In April, Union Cowork will open a 10,000-square-foot space near Umami Japanese Restaurant, Prep Kitchen, Fresh Healthy Café and Newtopia Cyder. In August, California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) will open its Extended Learning building—a six-story, 135,000 square foot structure that will house academic space and retailers, though none have been announced yet.

City staff is also reviewing a permit application from Mesa Rim for a 25,000 square-foot indoor rock-climbing gym. It is slated to open in 2020, right next to Urge Gastropub & Common House.

“In fact,  you’ll be able to sit on the patio of Urge and watch people climb,” Levitt added. “This is all part of the communal experience we’re working to create.”

For more information about North City, including updates about new tenants, visit northcity.com.

San Elijo Town Center, 1620-1646 San Elijo Road

Lourdes Mexican Restaurant exterior viewThe village vibe of San Elijo Hills continues to take root as its central plaza becomes more bustling by the day. It’s not uncommon to see locals lounging on the greenbelt—or strolling along the shops and eateries, which as of late includes Lourdes Mexican Food, Starbucks, Everbowl, Sourdough & Co, CycleBar, Downtown Academics, San Elijo Pediatric Dentistry and Grand Vision Optometry.

These businesses are all part of San Elijo Town Center, which is still taking shape. Though most of it is filled, there a couple of restaurant space still up for grabs.

“We would love to see a local chef-inspired concept in one of those spaces,” said John Jennings, Senior Managing Director with Newmark Knight Frank, who is the listing broker representing the developer Ambient Communities.

Later this year, crews will break ground on the next phase of the center, which will be along Elfin Forest Road. Plans call for a two-story building with 7,700 square feet of commercial space.

There’s been interest from several businesses, including fitness groups, yoga studios, medical offices, one of the nation’s top five banks and other destination-oriented retailers, Jennings said.

“These are some of the ideas we’re open to, but we are not committed to anything yet,” Jennings said. “Whatever businesses end up there, we want it to be the right fit for the community.”

The nearby Albertsons grocery store, for example, owns its location—meaning the national chain has invested in the community, Jennings pointed out.

“So far, we’ve managed to attract the right type of businesses, and the sales back that,” he said.  “It also tells us the community is embracing this place, so we know we’re on the right path.”

For more information about San Elijo Town Center, please visit ambientcommunities.com.

To learn more about the City’s economic development division, contact Tess Sangster at TSangster@san-marcos.net or (760) 744-1050, ext. 3120.

My Yard Live To Debut In San Marcos In 2019

An ambitious live entertainment venue and brewpub is in the works for San Diego’s North County neighborhood of San Marcos. Set to begin construction in early 2019 at the space that last housed Hometown Buffet is My Yard Live – a 17,000+ square-foot restaurant, entertainment hub and brewery from a team of experienced industry veterans.

The crew behind the My Yard Live project probably has more than a century of combined industry experience that should come together perfectly for this particular project. On the music side, partners Jamie Minotti and Mark McLary owned and operated the country’s largest solar-powered stage company, Alternative Power Productions, which worked with inumerable companies and touring groups and even hosted a yoga & music festival in San Diego back in 2014. My Yard Live partner, George McKerrow, is the culinary professional – boasting four decades of experience in the hospitality industry, namely as the founder of Longhorn Steakhouse, as well as a co-fouder and CEO of media conglomerate, Ted Turner’s, Ted’s Montana Grill chain of almost 50 restaurants. Rounding out the brewing side of the team is Freddy Bensch, who co-founded Atlanta-based SweetWater Brewing, which is currently the county’s 15th largest brewery, more than 20 years ago.

Assisting Freddy Bensch with the brewing side of the project is experienced local brewmaster, Pat Korn, who last worked to establish Green Flash Brewing’s Cellar 3 barrel-aged brewery. Korn aims to brew as much as 2,000 barrels a year from My Yard Live’s 10-barrel brewhouse. He hopes to make arrangements with local farmers to obtain seasonal fruits, herbs and veggies to add to certain beer recipes and will also make barrel-aged varieties.

My Yard Live will offer a total of 17,507 square feet of dining, drinking and entertainment space. There will be nearly 7,000 square feet of outdoor patios, one which will offer playground and climbing features for children and another with lawn games and firepits aimed for adults. There will also be 10,600 square feet of interior space that will have arcade & table games, a 36-seat bar, and a stage for live entertainment performances.

My Yard Live will sit at 288 Rancheros Drive in San Marcos and hopes to open by summer 2019. For more information, visit myyardlive.com.

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