Tag Archives: Development

San Elijo Life Interview with Sharon Jenkins Candidate for San Marcos City Council

sharon-jenkins-2013repic

Here is an interview with incumbent Sharon Jenkins who is running for San Marcos City Council. San Elijo Life has invited all candidates for Council the answer the same set of email questions.

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

I believe residents would vote for me for several reasons. I have been an elected leader in the community over the past 18 years – the last 4 as the newest Councilmember and the 14 years prior as a Governing Board Member of San Marcos Unified School District. Prior to this time and during this entire time I’ve been involved with giving back to the residents of San Marcos by volunteering in or leading within various non-profit and community groups (these are listed on my campaign website – www.sharonjenkinsforcouncil2016.com). You can also see on my website that I have a broad base of supporters from throughout the San Marcos community. Those who work with me know that my goal, whether it’s a city, school board or volunteer decision, is to thoroughly evaluate the situation and make an informed decision.

Please describe your stance on future development in San Marcos?

In my mind, future development includes residential, commercial and industrial. We need to work with the property owners to balance the remaining developable properties with the needs of our community. In 2012, after several years community meetings (30+) the City Council approved an update to the General Plan. These open meetings were held at multiple locations throughout the city. Attendance ranged from 20 – 100+. The General Plan advisory commission itself had 30+ members representing various aspects of the city. This is the foundation from which most development starts. I am not a proponent of future development growth just for the sake of growth. I am a proponent of smart growth that balances the needs of the community, respects a property owner’s rights and provides a benefit to the existing community.

How can you help solve school crowding issues in San Elijo Hills?

I can attest to the fact that the city and school district have a long history of working together to help each other for the betterment of the community. It’s my understanding that the district is in the process of updating their facility needs.  The school district is a critical component of the success of our community. While the district will be the one deciding what to do I’m sure the City will do what we can to support their efforts. I think the city can help them out by helping to identify future properties that might fit within their needs and ensuring as new development is being planned that the developer and school district are communicating.

How can the council help address commuter traffic and school traffic in San Elijo Hills?

There has been much discussion of this topic lately. As a council we have already asked the City Manager to work closely with the local Sheriff’s Captain to continually look at ways to address both issues. In addition, we can continually evaluate our resources to see if we need more or can rebalance what we have, but we have to be mindful that when staffs do this they have to look at the overall needs of the community as well as associated costs to any changes. We can also encourage continued collaboration between the city, sheriffs and school district to review and refine, if needed, the traffic plan that was designed as part of constructing the school.

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

This plan was submitted to the city the end of September. The developer and our staff have kept the council informed throughout the process and staff will be working closely with them to move the project thru as quickly as it can. If the process goes as planned we can expect to see grading, if weather allows, by the end of January followed by 12 – 18 months of construction. As a Council, we can continue to monitor its progress.

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

Events are planned through our Community Services Department. They continually evaluate what events are needed as well as the success of current events. When challenged a while back to come up with a signature event I feel they hit a homerun with the recent “Double Peak Challenge” coordinated along with the Friends of San Marcos Parks and Recreation and The San Marcos Promise.

Parks – San Marcos is known for its parks. Funds for new parks come from either grants or fees paid by developers. New park land mostly comes to us through agreements with new development. With the help of Community Services we should try to ensure they are building what is needed and/or providing us with sufficient land to build in the future. In addition, we should continue to work closely with the school district to allow joint use of our sites for field use.

Trails – as part of new development they are required to provide trails and connect, if possible, to our existing 63+ miles of current trails. Again, we can also keep watch for grants.

I think there are other qualities of life aspects in San Marcos we need to focus on. Public safety is a top priority. The Council works closely with the fire department to make sure they have what’s needed to serve our community. I think we can all be proud of the heroic efforts of our firefighters and Sheriff deputies during the 2014 Coco fire. This was a prime example of public safety at its best serving and protecting our community. We are currently in the process of purchasing a new truck and engine to the fleet, which will be about a $2M cost. The department recently added an ambulance company due to the increased medical calls. We are participating in the County upgrade to the emergency response system, which will also cost millions of dollars. In addition, we receive reports on a regular basis from the Sheriff’s Department of areas where they’ve had success as well as discussions of areas of concern they want to focus efforts. Thanks to our local Sheriffs it was recently reported that overall crime was down 22% in San Marcos.

Another aspect of quality of life in San Marcos is the education hub we have been recognized for in San Diego County. As I mentioned in another post, the foundation of this is our very own San Marcos Unified School District. We are very proud of their accomplishments and I feel working closely together with them can only benefit the community.

Lastly, bringing jobs to our community is another important facet to our quality of life. If residents can find jobs within the community they live in then they will spend less time away from their family due to the need to commute. I think it’s essential that we continually look at how we can support current businesses and constantly look at what new businesses we can bring to San Marcos. Recent new job opportunities in San Marcos include: DMV, Hobby Lobby, Winco Foods, the continued expansion of SMUSD, Palomar College and CSUSM as well as the upcoming PIMA Medical Institute, Fairfield Inn and the continued development at the North City community across from CSUSM.

If elected what are the top 3 issues you would focus on in San Marcos?

San Marcos is known to be a well run city. So, I would have to say my number one issue is not to upset what’s known to work well – focus on public safety, quality of life, traffic management, be cautious with future development.

As a Councilmember we have to focus on everything so to come up with only three is difficult.

I think as we move into four voting districts plus a Mayor being elected by the entire population, instead of being able to vote for all five, could become a concern for San Marcos. I believe it is our responsibility to keep the focus on what’s best for the entire San Marcos community and not just our particular district. Though we all come with our intentions as to why we want to be elected to the City Council, as a current Councilmember I feel it will be partly my responsibility to encourage newly district elected Councilmembers to focus on the greater good of the entire community and not just what’s best for his/her own district.

Another focus would be to ensure we maintain, and even improve where possible, the financial stability of the City. We are constantly striving to be fiscally responsible with taxpayer funds and find ways we can better improve how we do business in order to save money. Our entrepreneurial approach to government helps to solidify our financial stability. Current examples include: our decision to build and lease to the DMV at market rate rents, buy the former Lowe’s building so we could receive greater rents from Hobby Lobby and Winco Foods, continually seeking new businesses that will provide sales tax revenue.

The most frustration I hear about from residents is the traffic within the community. I think we need to constantly look at ways to improve traffic management, especially at our peak times of day. Though it hasn’t proven successful in the past, I think we need to continually try to work with Caltrans for better coordination of the their ramp traffic signals on our streets. I think we also need to collaborate with the Sheriff’s Department to ensure resource levels are where they should be.

How will you clean up the campaign signs after election?

It is my responsibility to make sure they are removed as quickly as possible. If possible, I will start the night of the election or at the very latest early the next morning. Please email, or call me, if you find a straggler I missed.

____________

Editors Note:

We have invited all 2016 City of San Marcos City Council Candidates to answer the same questions.

 

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San Marcos still has room for major developments

University District in San Marcos

The city of San Marcos still has room for large-scale projects, although the lack of redevelopment funds may make construction difficult.

Along with many projects, the 214-acre San Marcos’ Creek District Specific Plan was about to be implemented when the state of California eliminated redevelopment agencies in 2012.

While that financing vehicle is gone, city officials and developers are proceeding on the assumption the money will somehow be cobbled together.

Located along San Marcos Creek, between Discovery Street and San Marcos Boulevard, the plan calls for 2,300 residential dwelling units, 1,265,000 square feet of retail and as much as 589,000 square feet of office space.

READ MORE VIA Source: San Diego Source > News > San Marcos still has room for major developments

Mayor Desmond Pressures San Elijo Hills Development Company on San Elijo Hills Town Center Development

San Elijo Hills

Council member Chris Orlando invited HomeFed/San Elijo Hills Development Company to give an update on the status of the undeveloped portions of the San Elijo Hills Town Center. Paul Borden, President of HomeFed spoke before City Council on Tuesday evening. You can watch his recorded presentation here about 15 mins into the agenda. Here are our efforts to summarize the presentation and the exchange with The Mayor and Council Members.

Paul Borden started with some history. San Elijo Hills Development started developing San Elijo Hills in 1998. The Town Center was started in 1999. Albertsons was built in 2007, and the MarketWalk shops were completed in 2009. In 2011 and 2012, Chase Bank and Pacific Preschool purchased land and developed the respective buildings. Paul stated the remaining portions have been HomeFed’s “Achilles’ heel”.

Borden explained that HomeFed has looked at various mixes of retail, medical, office, live/work units. HomeFed has worked with two different agencies to secure a developer or builder. Borden spoke about the slowdown in retail and his resistance to bringing a big national chain. Borden spoke of his patience and support of the current retail and the San Elijo Hills Development Company marketing campaigns to encourage residents to shop locally.

Borden briefly mentioned that he has two developers/builders that are interested in developing the parcels and HomeFed is now in negotiations with those perspective developers/builders. He did not give specifics.

Mayor Desmond asked what is the status of completing the entire development of San Elijo Hills? Borden responded with the fact that there are roughly 3,300 approved units/homes with 150 units/homes left to build-out. Borden estimated they are 85% to 95% complete with San Elijo Hills. Mayor Desmond responded “The time is now to build out the Town Center. People have bought into the dream.” Borden responded: the residents of San Elijo Hills are our biggest supporters and they have purchased multiple homes in our community and sold homes to friends etc. Mayor Desmond responded with “Get it going, get it done.”

Borden explained this is a project of pride for HomeFed and they would like to keep the standards high and they did receive the feedback from the residents who were not looking for 40 more residential units in the Town Center. HomeFed just could do the  “Just build it and they will come concept”.

HomeFed did not volunteer any specifics on the two negotiations they are engaged in. Council Member Jabara pressed this issue and Borden responded with: they’re looking at a mix of residential and retail and no longer interested in building the approved parking structure. It sounded like they are looking at 9-12 row homes and up to 13,000 SQF of retail but Borden said the retail will not work. HomeFed would like to keep the quality of spaces and construction on par with the rest of San Elijo Hills.

Council Member Orlando stated “I’ve been involved in this project for a very long time, but we now have roofs and we now have traffic it’s been 14 months since your last plan was presented in a San Elijo Hills community forum and you’ve been silent with the public and residents”.

“Residents have seen significant retail go up around them. They ask how are they able to get that done?” Council Member Orlando felt the shops are doing well and it’s time to talk about “what is next”.

Borden again stated he was not supportive in placing a national brand and he was going to work with The City and possibly scale back their current entitlements. Borden stated he was willing to meet with The City.  Council Member Orlando encouraged them to be receptive to more community input.

At this point the tension escalated the mayor said “Same old song and dance. Same story waiting for the perfect time, you guys made a lot of money in San Elijo Hills, you are still going to have ups and downs but I’m very frustrated. I will not vote to approve anymore parcel maps for San Elijo Hills residential units.” Borden responded “That is not helpful. I did not come here to get into an argument with Council”.

Council member Jabara stated you are 85% to 95% built-out, the roads are impacted, the schools are impacted, residents see large new anchor tenants nearby in La costa and they are frustrated. Borden said we hear you, maybe we need to scale back maybe we need to be more flexible, we just can’t build retail and have it sit vacant.

Mayor Desmond removed item 8 from the Council consent calendar, this was a final map approval for tentative subdivision map for Phase 5 units 8 and 9 (48 Lots) of San Elijo Hills near Double Peak park and the water tower.

Listen to the video recording of the meeting here the Town Center discussion starts at 15 mins: http://www.san-marcos.net/index.aspx?page=34

 

10-Q: HOMEFED CORP (San Elijo Hills Development Company) Annual Report-February 17, 2011

HOMEFED CORP Annual Report-February 17, 2011

Current Development Projects: San Elijo Hills

In 2002, the Company purchased from Leucadia National Corporation (together with its subsidiaries, “Leucadia”) all of the issued and outstanding shares of capital stock of CDS Holding Corporation (“CDS”), which through its majority-owned subsidiaries is the owner of the San Elijo Hills project (title is owned in fee simple). The San Elijo Hills project, a master-planned community located in the City of San Marcos in San Diego County, California, will be a community of approximately 3,500 homes and apartments, as well as a commercial and residential Towncenter. Since August 1998, the Company has been the development manager for this project, with responsibility for the overall management of the project, including, among other things, preserving existing entitlements and obtaining any additional entitlements required for the project, arranging financing for the project, coordinating marketing and sales activity, and acting as the construction manager. The development management agreement provides that the Company receive fees for the field overhead, management and marketing services it provides (“development management fees”), based on the revenues of the project. Through its ownership interest in CDS, the Company has an effective 68% indirect equity interest in the San Elijo Hills project, after considering noncontrolling interests held by former owners of the project before CDS acquired its interest. Before amounts are distributed to the noncontrolling shareholders, the Company has the right to receive repayment of any amounts advanced by it to the project and to receive a preferred return on any advances. For more information on the noncontrolling interests, see Note 6 of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

Current Market Developments: Throughout much of the period that the Company has been developing the San Elijo Hills project, the Company’s sales efforts greatly benefited from a strong regional and national residential housing market. However, beginning in 2006, residential property sales volume, prices and new building starts declined significantly in many U.S. markets, including California and the greater San Diego region, which negatively affected sales and profits. The slowdown in residential sales was exacerbated by the turmoil in the mortgage lending and credit markets, which resulted in stricter lending standards and reduced liquidity for prospective home buyers. Sales of new homes and re-sales of existing homes declined substantially from the early years of the project’s development; based on information obtained from homebuilders and other public sources, the Company estimates that total home sales (both new and re-sales) at the San Elijo Hills project were approximately 194 in 2010 as compared to 860 in 2004. As of December 31, 2010, the San Elijo Hills project has sold 2,007 of its 2,364 single family lots and 1,068 of its 1,099 multi-family units.

During the past two years San Elijo Hills received increased interest from homebuilders concerning certain of the project’s remaining single family lots and multi-family units, and the Company was able to sell some single family lots and multi-family units at acceptable prices. Although these developments are encouraging, it is too soon to determine if the long slump in the housing market is coming to an end, or when the Company will be able to sell its remaining inventory. The Company has substantially completed development of all of its remaining residential single family lots at the San Elijo Hills project, many of which are “premium” lots which are expected to command premium prices if, and when, the market fully recovers. The Company believes that by exercising patience and waiting for market conditions to improve it can best maximize shareholder value with its remaining residential lot inventory. However, on an ongoing basis the Company evaluates the local real estate market and economic conditions in general, and updates its expectations of future market conditions as it continues to assess the best time to market its remaining residential lot inventory for sale.

Estimates of future property available for sale, the timing of the sales, selling prices and future development costs are based upon current development plans for the project and will change based on the strength of the real estate market or other factors that are not within the control of the Company.

During the past two years San Elijo Hills received increased interest from homebuilders concerning certain of the project’s remaining single family lots and multi-family units, and the Company was able to sell some single family lots and multi-family units at acceptable prices.  Although these developments are encouraging, it is too soon to determine if the long slump in the housing market is coming to an end, or when the Company will be able to sell its remaining inventory.  The Company has substantially completed development of all of its remaining residential single family lots at the San Elijo Hills project, many of which are “premium” lots which are expected to command premium prices if, and when, the market fully recovers.  The Company believes that by exercising patience and waiting for market conditions to improve it can best maximize shareholder value with its remaining residential lot inventory.  However, on an ongoing basis the Company evaluates the local real estate market and economic conditions in general, and updates its expectations of future market conditions as it continues to assess the best time to market its remaining residential lot inventory for sale.

The parent company’s principal sources of funds are cash and cash equivalents and investments, proceeds from the sale of real estate, fee income from the San Elijo Hills project, dividends and tax sharing payments from its subsidiaries and borrowings from or repayment of advances by its subsidiaries.  As of December 31, 2010, the Company had consolidated cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities aggregating $82,100,000, substantially all of which was held by the parent company and available to be used without restriction.

The Company expects that its cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities classified as available for sale, together with the other sources described above, will be sufficient for both its short and long term liquidity needs.  Residential sales at the San Elijo Hills project are expected to be a source of funds to the Company in the future; however, the amount and timing is uncertain due to current market conditions.   The Company is not relying on receipt of funds from Otay Land Company for the foreseeable future, since the timing of sales of undeveloped property, development activity and sales of developable and undevelopable property cannot be predicted with any certainty.   However, with the possible exception of the environmental remediation matter discussed below, Otay Land Company is not expected to require material funds in the short term, and long term needs will not be determined until a development plan is established.  The Company is currently marketing the Rampage property for sale; however, if the property is not sold, property development expenditures, if any, are not expected to be significant for the next few years.  In the interim, the Company has been conducting farming activities at the vineyard and in 2010 generated positive cash flows from selling grapes. Except for the acquisition of the Fanita Ranch property discussed below, the Company is not committed to acquire any new real estate projects, but it believes it has sufficient liquidity to take advantage of appropriate acquisition opportunities if they are presented.

During 2010, the Company closed on the sale of one neighborhood in the San Elijo Hills project consisting of 52 single family lots for aggregate sales proceeds of $13,600,000, net of closing costs.   In addition, the Company sold 131 multi-family units at the San Elijo Hills project for aggregate cash proceeds of $18,000,000, net of closing costs.  The Company also sold nine condominium units in the San Elijo Hills Towncenter for aggregate cash proceeds of $4,100,000, net of closing costs.  As of December 31, 2010, the Company had completed all required improvements to these and previously sold properties.

As of December 31, 2010, the remaining land at the San Elijo Hills project to be sold or leased consists of the following (including real estate under contract for sale):

Single family lots
357
Multi-family units
31
Square footage of commercial space
51,200

In January 2011, the Company sold 32 single family lots to a homebuilder for aggregate cash proceeds of $7,000,000, pursuant to which it had previously received a non-refundable option payment of $650,000 in 2009.

The Towncenter includes multi-family residential units and commercial space, which are being constructed in phases.  The Company has completed construction of the first phase of the Towncenter, which includes 12 residential condominium units and 11,000 square feet of commercial space.  Nine of the twelve condominium units were sold during 2010, and seven of the nine phase one retail spaces covering 8,800 square feet have been leased.  The Company has decided that it will not proceed with its existing plan for phase two of the Towncenter, which included a mixture of retail and office space, and it will have to develop a new plan for phase two.

Estimates of future property available for sale, the timing of the sales, selling prices and future development costs are based upon current development plans for the project and will change based on the strength of the real estate market or other factors that are not within the control of the Company.

Read more: http://www.faqs.org/sec-filings/110217/HOMEFED-CORP_10-K/#ixzz1EjnwVFgd

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