Category Archives: City of San Marcos

City of San Marcos launches new COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program

San Marcos renters who have experienced financial setbacks due to COVID-19 may be eligible for the City’s new COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program.

The program, funded with $1,051,615 of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) resources, will provide immediate financial aid to residents experiencing a loss of income directly related to COVID-19. It provides residential rental assistance (up to $10,000, total) to residents whose incomes are at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income, who were current with rent payments prior to March 16, 2020 and who are otherwise in good financial standing.

“Thanks to these CDBG resources, the City of San Marcos is able to extend a helping hand to renters facing extreme financial hardship during the pandemic,” said Lisa Fowler, City of San Marcos Finance Director. “Our goal is to raise awareness about this valuable program and encourage residents who are eligible to apply.”

The development of the Rental Assistance Program was approved by San Marcos City Council on June 9. Program funds will likely be fully expended by June 30, 2021.

Applicants with the lowest income levels will receive priority over other eligible applicants. Residents may receive up to $10,000 per household, per application, for up to six months of partial or full rent. A rent reasonableness assessment may be conducted by the program administrator to determine the amount of assistance that will be provided.

To learn more about the COVID-19 Rental Assistance program, eligibility and the application process, go to the COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program webpage.

Tune in to view the Mayor’s virtual ‘State of Your Community’ address

San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones has recorded a virtual ‘State of Your Community’ address to keep residents in the know about all things San Marcos. Click here to tune in!

Although hosting a ‘State of Your Community’ event isn’t currently possible due to COVID-19, the Mayor felt a virtual presentation would provide a helpful update to residents. In her address, she covers a wide range of topics including: Community safety, quality of life, supporting local businesses, lending a helping hand, the importance of community input, healthcare and education and infrastructure and mobility.

“2020 has certainly been a challenging year, unlike anything we have experienced before,” Mayor Jones said. “Yet the resilience I’ve witnessed in our community has been absolutely astounding. From businesses navigating uncharted waters and families supporting each other, to online solutions for what we used to do in person and creative new communications tools that are helping us bridge the gaps. I am incredibly proud of who we are and how we have adapted.”

The Mayor’s ‘State of Your Community’ address will air on San Marcos Television at 2:30 p.m., and can be viewed anytime on the City of San Marcos Youtube channel here.

City of San Marcos helps Piercan USA, Inc. secure $1.5 million tax credit

Attracting, retaining and expanding businesses is at the forefront of the City of San Marcos’ economic development efforts. The City offers a variety of services to help businesses thrive.

Piercan, a worldwide leader in manufacturing niche polymer products, including specialty gloves (used by NASA, pharmaceutical companies, national laboratories, military, and beyond) experienced this concierge service first-hand. The City helped Piercan secure a $1.5 million California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) this summer. Announced by Governor Gavin Newsom’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), the income tax credit is set up to help businesses that want to grow and stay in California.

With this assistance, Piercan will expand their San Marcos operations and hire 62 new employees. The company will be investing more than $7.5 million in wages, equipment and improvements within the next five years.

“The City was instrumental in obtaining this tax credit,” said Julio Cedillo, General Manager of Piercan USA, Inc. “I’m very grateful for their support and their guidance through this process, as well as defining new opportunities to help us grow as a company in a reasonable and responsible way.”

Piercan, an international company headquartered in France since 1948, has been operating in the U.S. since 1995. It started in Vista, then expanded to San Marcos, where it currently employs more than 60 full time workers. Thanks, in part, to this tax credit, accelerated growth is on the horizon.

Piercan’s San Marcos headquarters specializes in containment isolator and glovebox gloves as well as  bladders that are used to form unique carbon fiber components for aerospace and recreational markets to create propellers for airplanes, forks for bicycles, wing spars for drones and bows for violins among other products.

“We’re planning to grow, we’re going to create more jobs here in San Marcos, and we’re going to bring indirect development to this area. We want to stay in San Marcos, and we will likely double our size and workforce within in the next five years,” Cedillo said.

The City of San Marcos has helped five San Marcos companies secure nearly $3 million in state income tax credits since 2017, allowing local businesses to expand and create new jobs. Winning these tax credits is highly competitive, so City staff help guide business owners through the process.

Only 22 companies across the state were awarded tax credits in this round of CCTC tax credits – and San Marcos was the only city in northern San Diego County to make the list.

Of the more than $73 million tax credits awarded, nearly $18.2 million of that will go to nine businesses (of which Piercan is included) that are adding high-quality manufacturing jobs to our state – a national leader in manufacturing. Early in the stay-at-home order, Governor Newsom deemed manufacturing to be an essential function of California’s economy.

“As California works to safely recover from the COVID-19 induced recession, this tax credit program continues to be a model for both accountability and transparency. What we see today is 22 companies not only choosing California, but choosing Californians,” said Chris Dombrowski, GO-Biz Acting Director, and Chair of the California Competes Tax Credit Committee. “We are innovators at heart and so is our economy and we will continue to invest in companies that look to build the future here in California.”

To date, the City has helped Piercan USA, Inc. earn a $1.5 million tax credit that will create 62 jobs; Wholesale Shade earned a $500,000 tax credit to create 26 jobs; Cliniqa earned a $350,000 tax credit to create 24 jobs; Creative Electron earned a $446,700 tax credit to create 22 jobs; Oasis Breads earned a $200,000 tax credit to create six jobs and QC Power earned a $100,000 tax credit to create seven jobs.

These companies are all are part of San Marcos’ booming manufacturing industry, the City’s second-largest economic sector. Manufacturing provides 11 percent of local employment, which is about 4,300 jobs.

“We love helping connect local businesses with resources that will help them grow in San Marcos,” said Tess Sangster, Economic Development Director for the City of San Marcos. “This is a big win for the City and Piercan, as their expansion and creation of new jobs will boost our local economy and community.”

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

Business licenses and more go virtual in San Marcos

It just got a whole lot easier to apply for a business license or submit a business renewal with the launch of San Marcos’ new online business portal.

Business owners in San Marcos and companies who are doing business with the City of San Marcos can now easily apply and renew online on our business license web page:

· New business license applications:  In-City businessesOut-of-City businessesHome businesses

· Business license renewals

The business license portal now allows for online payment processing. It speeds up the process, too. Business owners can submit applications, renew and print their license within 1-2 business days after payment and any required approvals instead of waiting to receive it in the mail, which was taking 2-3 weeks. Not only does the portal simplify the process, it allows for virtual vs. in-person interaction. The City has implemented a variety of no-touch environments as a result of COVID-19 and will continue to expand its offerings.

Please ensure the City has your correct email address on file before your license expires. If you have already received a paper renewal notice and would like to renew online, please send an email to smbusinesslicense@san-marcos.net to request your security code.

For applications, options and details, visit the business license web page. 

Additional virtual solutions:

· San Marcos City App: You can help us keep San Marcos safe and clean by downloading this app that is your gateway to City service requests. Whether you see graffiti, maintenance needs, traffic light outages or stormwater issues, the app is a simple way to report non-emergency concerns. The app makes it easy to identify the location of your concern and track the progress and resolution of your request.

· Online services: Visit the City’s COVID-19 response page for a full list of services available online, by phone or email. From building permits and inspections to parking citations and land development, residents can easily get in touch.

Get involved: Participate in City of San Marcos virtual Housing Plan workshop


The City of San Marcos welcomes community input about housing priorities as we plan now to meet the housing needs of current and future residents.

A housing plan update is required every eight years by state law to ensure that we are planning ahead appropriately.

We invite you to explore our new Virtual Housing Plan Workshop about the City’s housing priorities and share your feedback. Here, you can easily participate in a virtual three-step process that replaces an in-person workshop. You can provide input between now and September 4.

At your own convenience, you can:

  • Watch a brief video that explains what a Housing Element is and why we are updating ours.
  • Review our ‘Housing in San Marcos Guide’ to understand how we’re addressing housing needs.
  • Share your ideas about housing in an easy-to-use online survey format categorized into these three sections: Your existing housing choices, your housing priorities and where you think new housing should be located.

We need your help in order to make this focused planning effort a success. Your feedback is greatly appreciated to ensure that we address the housing priorities of our community. A new Housing Element must be adopted by April 2021. Other state requirements include our Climate Action Plan Update  and resiliency planning within our Safety Element (coming soon). While the City of San Marcos’ General Plan Update has been temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Housing, Environmental and Safety Elements must be addressed as required by state law.

We’re listening – please give us your feedback at our Virtual Housing Plan Workshop through September 4. Together, we’ll envision the future of housing in San Marcos.

For more information:

You can also review San Marcos’ current Housing Element Plan and get more details and contact information on the City’s 2013-2021 Housing Element webpage

City of San Marcos Public Notice Posting: Climate Action Plan Update

RELEASE OF UPDATED CLIMATE ACTION PLAN and INITIAL STUDY/NEGATIVE DECLARATION 

The City of San Marcos has updated its Climate Action Plan (CAP) to meet new State of California goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting the community’s desires for a clean, sustainable environment.  The new state requirements set stricter targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030. The updated CAP and environmental materials are now posted on the City’s web site at  https://www.san-marcos.net/departments/development-services/planning/climate-action-plan-update

It’s time for you to weight in. 

Community members can review and comment on the Draft CAP and associated Initial Study/Negative Declaration through September 7, 2020

WHAT IS A CLIMATE ACTION PLAN?

A CAP is a long-range plan that outlines strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The intent of this updated plan is to adopt strategies and measures that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in San Marcos to 42 percent below the City’s 2012 levels by 2030. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the updated CAP provides additional benefits including: reducing air pollution, improving traffic conditions, supporting local economic development and improving public health and quality of life. Partial funding for this update was received from SANDAG’s Roadmap Program.

Key CAP highlights include:

  • The updated CAP builds on the City of San Marcos’ 2012 baseline greenhouse gas inventory.
  • Based on emissions projections in the future, and to be consistent with the State’s current regulations, the City’s target reduction for the year 2030 is 42 percent below the 2012 levels.
  • The updated CAP includes eight strategies and 22 measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The implementation timeframe for the updated CAP is 10 years.
  • The City of San Marcos will monitor the progress of CAP implementation and will provide periodic public updates.

WANT TO PROVIDE COMMENTS?

Due to current public health orders related to COVID-19, the City is not able to host a public workshop on the updated CAP and Initial Study/Negative Declaration. Comments on the updated CAP and environmental document can be submitted by:

Email:squreshy@san-marcos.net

Mail:      Saima Qureshy, Principal Planner

Development Services Department

1 Civic Center Drive

San Marcos, CA 92069

 

NEXT STEPS

The City will review all comments received on the updated plan and Initial Study/Negative Declaration and incorporate those into the final CAP. Staff will hold Planning Commission hearings in October 2020 and City Council hearings in November/December 2020 to formally adopt the CAP update.

QUESTIONS?

Contact:              Saima Qureshy, Principal Planner, City of San Marcos

Email: mailto:squreshy@san-marcos.net

Phone: (760) 744-1050, ext. 3222

 

San Marcos claims two state awards for excellence in communications

San Marcos claims two state awards for excellence in communications

The City of San Marcos was recognized with two prestigious awards this month from the California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO).

Two projects received CAPIO’s top honor, an EPIC award, for the San Marcos Creek Project logo and the San Marcos Creek Project groundbreaking ceremony. The logo and groundbreaking ceremony were created by the City with support from JPW Communications.

“These awards are a testament to the importance we place on keeping our community informed and involved on key infrastructure projects,” said Tess Sangster, Economic Development Director for the City of San Marcos. “We are honored to receive recognition from CAPIO – the state of California’s top communications association.”

EPIC Award details for The San Marcos Creek Project Logo

The City of San Marcos has embarked on a three-year, $104 million construction project to raise the roadways and bridges over the San Marcos Creek. This effort will reduce seasonal flooding that has plagued the area and restore habitat, along with other infrastructure improvements. The project, 30 years in the making, is the largest in the City’s history. JPW Communications was hired to develop and execute a robust, multi-year communications plan to guide the project’s outreach from pre-construction to post-completion.

The project’s tagline, “Our Neighborhood. Our Creek,” was created to underscore the collective vision for the area and acknowledge the work that had been done by previous councils, commissions and volunteers. Additionally, the tagline speaks to a new level of access the community will have to experience and appreciate its creek, as well as introduce a new era of development possibilities for the surrounding area. The tagline was designed to scale as it grows to encompass a soon-to-be-realized future. The new logo introduces a bold and energetic mark that embodies the flowing creek, new bridges and inclusive features that will invite San Marcos residents to enjoy the creek in a new way. The logo, tagline, assets and collateral pieces were created to launch the project uniformly and carry the project seamlessly through to completion.

EPIC Award details for The San Marcos Creek Project Groundbreaking Ceremony

To commemorate the San Marcos Creek Project’s kick-off, the City of San Marcos hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on Dec. 11, 2019, for both elected officials and the community. The goal was to welcome as many community members as possible. San Marcos wanted to inform its audiences about the project and build goodwill in advance of two years of disruptive construction. The event was a huge success, with 180 people in attendance. The event also garnered media attention including six articles, an in-studio interview with the mayor and a live TV broadcast.

“The San Marcos Creek Project is 30 years in the making, so it was crucial for us to create a comprehensive communications campaign for the community that would carry us through the life of this important project,” Sangster said. “The award-winning logo and groundbreaking ceremony have played an integral role in the project’s continued success.”

 

Sustainable infrastructure and innovative technology make San Marcos’ North City shine

Visitors to San Marcos’ vibrant North City neighborhood will instantly notice the new downtown district’s cool vibe, modern architecture, bustling energy and ‘green’ footprint.

Artful succulent plantings and green infrastructure solutions hint at the numerous elements of sustainability incorporated into the district’s design above ground. And there’s plenty of innovation beneath the feet of foodies visiting the area’s vibrant eateries, families relaxing in the airy outdoor spaces and Cal State San Marcos students walking to class when school’s in session.

Yet with just 25 percent of the overall North City project currently developed, there’s even more excitement on the horizon. The completed project will include 1,500+ new housing units (both single-family and higher density residential units), new retailers, innovative office and commercial spaces, community events and a 20-acre Discovery Park in North City’s residential community west of Twin Oaks Valley Road.

At the foundation of it all is state-of-the-art green infrastructure. A high-tech stormwater management system is built-in under the sidewalks and medians. The City of San Marcos, in partnership with developer Sea Breeze Properties and Stevens Cresto Engineering, installed 80 trees and 1,200 innovative modular suspended pavement units called DeepRoot Silva Cells, (along with inlets and storm drains), which collect and treat urban runoff. Special grates and soils designed for biofiltration enable the capture and treatment of urban runoff and retain it to nourish the trees.

The new technology increases water conservation and reduces the amount of potable water that’s needed for irrigation. The San Diego region typically gets 10 inches of rainfall each year, yet April brought nearly half of the average yearly rainfall in just six days. Thanks to North City’s new innovative footprint, more than 80,000 gallons of stormwater were captured and treated through bioretention offered by Silva Cells, significantly improving the quality of stormwater runoff. The system helps keep San Marcos waterways clean by reducing the amount of runoff and pollution that flows into our creeks, streams and the ocean.

This kind of innovation and sustainable infrastructure are key benchmarks for the future as San Marcos continues to grow. Expect to see more mixed-use, green infrastructure development projects in the near future, including: North City West, Discovery Park and El Dorado Apartments.

Here’s how to stay up to date on North City and the latest City of San Marcos projects

COVID-19 Update from The City of San Marcos: Public Counters and Parks & Recreation

Cities in San Diego County have been granted permission to start slowly reopening businesses, parks and a variety of other services. In response, the City of San Marcos is making the following updates:

Public Counters

  • Public counters at City Hall and Public Works will reopen on Monday, June 1. Hours will be Monday-Thursday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Public health and safety measures will be in place.
  • In addition, residents can continue to take advantage of our “Virtual City Hall” by engaging with the City online, and via phone, email and the San Marcos City App. Visit www.san-marcos.net/covid19 to learn more about the wide variety of services that are available online.

Parks & Recreation

  • All City parks and parking lots will reopen on Monday, June 1, at 9 a.m.
  • Dog parks will also reopen Monday.
  • Pickleball and tennis courts will reopen on Wednesday, June 3. The County is allowing play at these courts if used by members of a household or others who can maintain social distance. Please check in with the facility attendant to be assigned a court and follow the rules that are posted at each court. You can view the rules for each court at www.san-marcos.net/courts.
  • Athletic fields will open, but no organized sport play or games will be allowed.
  • Playgrounds, skate parks, restrooms, splash pads, basketball courts and volleyball courts will remain closed.
  • The Corky Smith Gymnasium and the Senior Activity Center (SAC) will remain closed. For information about the senior nutrition program, call (760) 744-5535.
  • You may go outside for exercise if you can keep six feet away from people who are not members of your household.
  • Park visitors are allowed to sit, lie down, and picnic if they practice social distancing.
  • Please avoid groups and crowded outdoor spaces.

Health and Safety Guidelines

  • All State and County public health-related measures will remain in effect at all City facilities and parks.
  • Please maintain six feet of social distance and wear a face covering when you come within six feet of anyone outside your household.
  • You can learn more about all of the guidelines in place at www.coronavirus-sd.com.

Thank You

As always, the health and safety of the San Marcos community is our top priority. We appreciate your continued efforts to protect yourself and others in our community by making smart, safe choices during this time.

City of San Marcos eases rules to allow businesses to temporarily expand outdoor uses

Some restaurant, retail and other activities now allowed in parking lots, sidewalk patios.

The City of San Marcos is here to support businesses through COVID-19 as they gradually reopen under the State’s orders.

With new social distancing requirements, many businesses want to move some activities outdoors. In response, the City has temporarily changed our rules regarding outdoor uses and is now allowing restaurants, retail and other activities in parking lots, as well as sidewalk patios in some cases. This can be done with a fast, easy, no-cost permit process.

We’ve also changed our regulations to allow some signage without permits and an array of additional changes to help businesses and community organizations.

The temporary modifications to the San Marcos Municipal Code include:

  • Drive-thru or Designated Curbside Pickup: Temporary Outdoor Business Permit Required. Businesses will be allowed to designate their customer parking spaces for curbside pickup. This will be permitted in commercial centers and other locations provided that businesses work with neighbors and property management companies to minimize conflicts. ADA stalls and fire lanes may not be used for this purpose. The City may require operational changes or disallow drive-thru or curbside pickup based on complaints and/ or traffic or other health/safety or applicable regulatory compliance issues. The number of spaces used would be decided by the business owner in terms what works for their business provided it does not exceed the number spaces allocated for their suite.
  • Signage: No permit required for on-site temporary banner signs of prescribed sizes. No new permanent signage or off-site signage is permitted. Business owners must coordinate with property management regarding site specific sign restrictions.
  • Outdoor Dining: Outdoor dining will be permitted in various locations provided that ADA access, ingress/egress requirements and other health and safety requirements can be met and that existing occupancy is not exceeded.
    • Public right of way or private sidewalks. Special Event Permits and other permits may be required (Right of Way, Encroachment, Traffic Control).This applies only in University District/ North City and along non-arterial roads only. This may include street closures with appropriate plans and permits.
    • Private parking lots. Temporary Outdoor Business Permit Required. Applicable to certain location types with required timeframes to be determined (i.e., sites with shared uses such as breweries in industrial areas may have staggered hours to avoid conflicts). Individual approvals required. Other permits may be required in some cases (Special Event Permit, Right of Way, Encroachment, Traffic Control).
  • To-go and On-Site Outdoor Consumption of Alcohol: Allows for consistency with the Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC) Notices that provide that bona fide eating places (i.e. restaurants) selling beer, wine and pre-mixed drinks or cocktails for consumption on the premises pursuant to an ABC license, may sell alcohol for off premise consumption in conjunction with meals prepared for pickup or delivery. These businesses may also allow on-site outdoor alcohol consumption with appropriate permits as outlined above (see “outdoor dining”). This modification is effective only for the duration of the ABC notices.
  • Personal Services (Instructional/ Fitness): Temporary Outdoor Business Permit Required. When public health orders permit such uses, would allow for instructional/fitness facilities to deviate from their Conditional Use Permit or Director’s Permit conditions and allow for outdoor activities on site in a parking lot or other open area. Allows for indoor activities provided safe reopening and any other safety requirements are followed.
  • Retail Businesses: Temporary Outdoor Business Permit Required. Allows for all retail sales businesses to open with interior sales under safe reopening plans. Allow for curbside pickup if desired by business. Also allows businesses to designate their customer parking spaces for curbside pickup. The number of spaces would be decided by business owner in terms what works for their business, provided it does not exceed the number spaces allocated for their suite. Allows for outdoor sales in parking lot if desired by business.
  • Home Occupation: Temporary Outdoor Business Permit Required. Allows for on-site customers, employees, and stock in trade on site at home occupations.
  • Group Assembly: Temporary Outdoor Business Permit Required. When public health orders permit such uses, would allow for assemblies in and outdoors in various locations provided that ADA access, ingress/egress requirements and other health and safety requirements can be met. Requires individual plan approval. Other permits may be required (Special Event Permit, Right of Way, Encroachment, Traffic Control).
  • Retail Expansion in Industrial Buildings: No permit required. Allows for an expansion of retail uses from 10% up to 50% of building square footage within buildings or on sites zoned as Industrial. Retail sales must be for the sale of a product(s) produced on site.

These provisions apply throughout the Stay at Home order. They are only applicable as allowed under the State or County public health orders in effect at the time.

Learn more

For more information, contact Economic Development Director Tess Sangster at (760) 744-1050, ext. 3120 or tsangster@san-marcos.net.

Stay informed

Visit the City’s COVID-19 Response webpage for information about City’s response to COVID-19 at www.san-marcos.net/covid19.

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