Tag Archives: Kristal Jabara

Cell tower again raises neighbors’ ire | SanDiegoUnionTribune.com

Cell tower again raises neighbors’ ire More trees will go up around tower in San Elijo Hills By Teri Figueroa

 A cellular tower in the San Elijo neighborhood that has run afoul of city rules landed briefly in the spotlight again this week when the San Marcos City Council renewed its permit — but not before adding conditions and blasting the operator for past missteps.With the permit in hand, Crown Castle International Corp. can fix up a fading faux tree near the tower and continue operating there for another decade.But in strong language at Tuesday’s meeting, the council demanded some extras from the company, including an annual report regarding the amount of radio frequency emissions from the tower. The company also must add more real trees to help shield the fake tree from view, and city staffers must inspect the site each year.The finger-wagging highlighted tensions between cell tower providers and the people who live nearby.The San Elijo tower is on the same agriculturally zoned property where neighbors revolted in 2013 after learning a second tower was planned at the edge of the land that abutted their subdivision. That months-long battle made headlines and led the city to rewrite the rules for how many towers it would allow on a single property, eventually limiting the total to three. The City Council approved the second tower at the property in 2014, though the structure has yet to be built. Residents had unsuccessfully argued that cell towers be kept at least 100 feet from a property line. Many cited fears that the devices could emit harmful radiation, but — with little evidence to support those claims — federal law prohibits cities from considering such concerns. Cities can consider aesthetics, however, when deciding where the towers should be allowed.Fast forward to last fall, when a couple of neighbors who spearheaded that earlier battle asked San Marcos to refuse to renew the permit for the first tower, arguing the company had failed to meet previous conditions.They said a faux tree designed to mask the structure had deteriorated, and there were no other trees around to block their view of the tower.That cell tower was first approved in 2008 under five-year permit granted to T-Mobile. In fall 2012, Crown Castle spent $2.4 billion to acquire the rights to some 7,200 T-Mobile cell towers, including the San Elijo site.A few months later, in spring 2013, the San Elijo permit expired and Crown Castle failed to renew it — leading the city to eventually file civil litigation to get the company to comply. During that same time, the city also noticed that the fake tree hiding the cell tower had deteriorated, and demanded that it be fixed. After filing five incomplete applications for renewal, the company eventually provided the right information to the city, and the Planning Commission OK’d the new permit last fall. The city dismissed the suit, and Crown Castle paid the city $6,500 for its trouble. But neighboring homeowners appealed to the City Council, asking the panel to review the permit decision. The council heard that appeal on Tuesday. Councilman Chris Orlando made note of the legal clash before casting the sole vote against renewing the permit.“From my view, you haven’t been a good participant, and you haven’t followed your (permit provisions) that existed before,” Orlando said before his vote. He later added, “I am suspect that you will comply with them … or that we will be able to make you comply with them.”Councilwoman Kristal Jabara told the company representative that she understood that the company had acquired a large number of towers, but “this is what you do for a living, day in and day out.”“We do have a level of discomfort here,” she said, “and we are hearing a lot of excuses as to why it (permit renewal) wasn’t done properly.” John Dohm, a zoning manager for Crown Castle, told the council the company wasn’t making excuses, and had not shirked responsibility. He told the panel that no one was “sitting on their hands,” but rather the renewal process “just took a really long time.” teri.figueroa@sduniontribune.com

Source: Cell tower again raises neighbors’ ire | SanDiegoUnionTribune.com

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


San Marcos City Council to Consider Canceling The November Election

8-19-14 Agenda & Adjournment Notice

The next General Municipal Election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 4, 2014 for the expiring terms of Mayor Jim Desmond, Councilmember Kristal Jabara, and Councilmember Chris Orlando. San Marcos City Council will hold a special meeting August 20th, at 1:00 pm. to consider canceling the November election and appointing of incumbent candidates for four year terms, because no other candidates have signed up to run for election.

The City has a deadline set by the Registrar of Voters of August 21 to tell them whether or not they are going to hold an election.
Write-in candidates have from 9/8 – 10/21 to file as a write in candidate, City Council could vote tomorrow to eliminate that possibility.

North County Child Abuse Center Needs our Help to Stay Open

Kristal Jabara San Marcos City Council Member

Kristal Jabara San Marcos City Council Member

Every day, for the past 30 years, the staff of Palomar Health’s Child Abuse Program (CAP) and the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) has devoted their lives to caring for those most vulnerable in our community: children and victims who have been abused.  But today they are faced with a different battle, how to keep the doors open.

As a councilmember, I was recently given a tour of this unassuming facility.  But, it was the mother in me that was deeply touched by the reality that many children face each year, the trauma of abuse.  The Child Abuse Program is the first and only stop for victims of abuse in North County.  The center has a team of highly trained staff, who are able to listen to a child’s story and document the evidence needed to take offenders off the streets.  The center is safe and quiet, far from the madness of a hospital’s emergency room or a law enforcement interview room.  Without this program hundreds of children will have to be taken far from their homes and subjected to multiple exams and interviews, each time having to repeat the story of their personal trauma.

For the first time since being founded, the Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Response Team programs are vulnerable and in jeopardy of being closed.  Community help is desperately needed!  Faced with new federal regulations in healthcare reimbursements, sequestration cuts and smaller grants made from foundations, the Child Abuse Program is bracing for losses that must be made up with private support. Your help today can minimize these children’s trauma and help convict the abusers– preventing future children from suffering abuse.

Below is more information on how you can help.  I urge you to take the time to learn about the program and share this information.


Or contact:

Kimberly Rideout Cardoso

Palomar Health Foundation

(760) 739-2961


Guest Post from Kristal Jabara Council Member City of San Marcos – Time to Vote

Kristal Jabara San Marcos City Council Member

It’s beginning to look a lot like…campaign season!  The sights and sounds of campaign commercials and Robocalls, going to the mailbox in anticipation of cards from candidates and political parties, and  the vivid colors of campaign signs that decorate our city; who could miss what season we are in.

Of course, I am making light of what surrounds our most treasured freedom, the right to vote.  Voting is a simple act that has a significant impact.  When we cast our vote, we help decide who will lead our nation, make our laws, how much or how little we will be taxed, how businesses are regulated, and who will protect our Constitutional rights.  Voting is a privilege and a freedom that millions of others around the world can only dream about.

Unfortunately, many Americans choose not to vote.  The U.S. Census Bureau reports that nearly 30% of the voting population is not registered.  And, even worse, less than half of registered voters actually cast a vote in a given election.

The most common excuse heard for not voting is “my one vote won’t make a difference.”  There are many examples throughout history where one vote did matter, consider these:

  • In the 1800 Presidential Election, a tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr threw the election of the President into the House of Representatives where Jefferson was elected our third President by a one vote margin.
  • 1941 the Selective Service Act (the draft) was saved by a one vote margin, just weeks before Pearl Harbor was attacked.
  • In a 1959 city election, mayors of both Rose Creek and Odin, Minnesota were elected to their respective offices by one vote.
  • 1962 Governors of Maine, Rhode Island, and North Dakota were all elected by a margin of one vote per precinct.
  • In 2000 our nation had one of the most closely contested Presidential elections in American history and some people are still arguing over who won.

There are so many instances where the course of a nation, ours included, have been altered by one vote, all because an individual ballot was either cast or not cast.

This election season we have the privilege to vote for National Leaders, State Assembly, Statewide Propositions, County Judge, and locally we have races for San Marcos City Council, Palomar College Board, San Marcos Unified Board, Vallecitos Water District Board, and some will vote on the Palomar Hospital Board.

Please take time to vote on Tuesday November 6th; the vote you cast now will shape the future of our Nation, State, County, and City!

Guest Post from Kristal Jabara Council Member City of San Marcos – Protecting Our Children

Kristal Jabara San Marcos City Council Member

Since being elected to serve San Marcos I have had the distinct pleasure of working with the San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, which is an outgrowth from SANDAG’s (San Diego Association of Governments) Public Safety Committee.  Accepting an invitation from fellow Council Member Rebecca Jones, who serves as San Marcos’s representative for the Public Safety Committee, to join ICAC has been one of my most challenging and gratifying experiences.

The task force is made up of hard working representatives from the San Diego ICAC Division, Sheriff’s Department, District Attorney’s Office, representatives from the cities of Solana Beach, Vista, San Marcos, and two nonprofit coalitions, The Joyful Child and Innocent Justice Foundation.  A tremendous amount of work is accomplished through this group considering we meet just once per month for an hour. The group has had two primary goals, 1. To introduce and pass new legislation that would create stricter laws for child predators and 2. To develop new public outreach tools.

This year Assembly Bill 1817, which will add commercial computer technicians to the list of mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect was introduced by California Assembly Member Toni Atkins of San Diego.  AB 1817, was sponsored by the local grassroots group CA Keeping Innocence Digitally Safe and would require a report to be made by computer professionals when they have knowledge or observe a child who appears to be under 16 years of age being subject to sexual conduct on an electronic medium.  The ICAC Task Force worked to gain local support for the bill by asking local elected officials to support the measure.  The bill has unanimously passed the Assembly’s Public Safety and Appropriations Committee and is a major step in giving individuals, companies, law enforcement and district attorney’s more power to identify, catch, and convict child predators.

In addition to this monumental legislative change the task force has been hard at work developing public service announcements for the San Diego region.  By creating a series of PSA’s about the dangers of internet crimes against children, our team hopes to raise awareness for parents and children about the potential risks of the internet and steps they can take to protect themselves and their families.  We are in the final approval stages for the first two videos and are expecting their release within the month.

The first video is designed to warn parents about the hazards children face while on the internet. The video features commentary from Elizabeth Smart, who was a victim of a child predator and now is an advocate for children through the Elizabeth Smart Foundation.  The video also contains a special message from Sheriff Bill Gore, as well as information on where parents can find additional resources for keeping their children safe while using the internet.

The second video is aimed at the tween / teen audience and addresses the dark side of technology.  The video features commentary by Alicia Kozakevitch, a teenager who was groomed, lured, and abducted by a 38 year old internet predator posing as a young teen boy.  Alicia’s testimony is direct, powerful, and will not be easily forgotten.  Also included are tips for the teen audience, a message from the Sheriff, and additional resources at the end.

Both videos contain a map of the United States depicting, with red dots, each time a child sexual abuse image is trafficked in a 24 hour period.  By the end of a single day almost the entire US map is covered in red and San Diego County, including San Marcos, is no exception.  The videos, especially the teen version, tackle heavy subject matter and can be difficult to watch. Despite this difficulty, it is crucial to educate parents and children now verses even one more family experiencing the real life nightmare of child abuse and abduction.

The task force has been making the rounds to different San Diego agencies, updating them on the legislative measures and previewing the PSA videos.  We are waiting for one small change to the teen video, and once that is finished we will be ready for a complete roll out.  Our hope is to release the videos to every city, school, and other organizations that work with children in San Diego County. The City of San Marcos will have a link to the PSAs from our website and will show the videos on our government access channel.   As soon as the PSAs are ready for their debut, I will share the link with the readers of San Elijo Life.  The ICAC Task Force hopes these first two videos will be the beginning of a series of PSAs addressing various aspects of internet safety.  We know that tougher laws against child predators are our strongest tools.  It is up to each and every one of us to protect our children from the potential evil that lurks behind our computers and smart phones.

Guest Post from Kristal Jabara Council Member City of San Marcos-What’s Happening in San Marcos

Kristal Jabara San Marcos City Council Member


What’s Happening in San Marcos

The City of San Marcos is clearing the way for a new downtown, literally.  Many of you may have driven by the San Marcos Creek, which runs parallel to Discovery Street, and noticed that the surrounding vegetation has been cleared.  What you see is the beginning of the first phase of work to be completed for the Creek District, a specific plan that covers more than 200 acres between San Marcos Boulevard and San Marcos Creek. Work on the project will continue over the next ten to twenty years, ultimately establishing a vibrant downtown for San Marcos.

Nearly twenty years in planning, the first phase of the project is now underway and includes the restoration of local habitat, flood control measures, the creation of Creekside Drive, and the construction of a linear park that will wind its way along the creek. Also included in the first phase of the project is a mixed use development known as The Residence and Shoppes at Creekside, which is expected to break ground this summer.

Although the clearing of vegetation has prompted many questions, the burning question I seem to hear most is, “What will happen to the Pink House”?  The over 100 year old ‘Pink House’ located at the corner of Discovery Street and Via Vera Cruz is on the California registry of historic homes. Many times a home such as this would be moved to Heritage Park, where other historic homes are currently located. However, because of its dilapidated condition and the cost associated with an extensive move, this seems unlikely.

Because the city would like to preserve the home in its most original state, we are now looking to relocate the home to a location within the Creek District and showcase it as a visitor information center.

Other major events in San Marcos are the state’s forced dissolution of the San Marcos Redevelopment Agency (RDA) and the quest for a new City Manager.  Both of these issues are quite significant for our city.

In February, the California State Supreme Court upheld the dissolution of all RDA’s across the state. For years San Marcos’s RDA, which was the second largest in the county, has been the instrument used to help rehabilitate our blighted neighborhoods and make our community a better place to live.  As the appointed successor agency in charge of overseeing the dissolution of the RDA, the City of San Marcos has been busy wading through the deep waters of a poorly written state law enacted to guide the successor agencies through this process. In typical California fashion, laws were abruptly put into place without addressing every facet of their consequences, so now cleanup language is being drafted and voted on by state policy makers to clarify this process. As a result, the city cannot yet properly assess the full impact of the dissolution, and I believe it will be months before we have a clearer understanding of the fiscal impact on our city. With this being said, I am confident we will overcome the obstacle of losing redevelopment.

The other major event currently taking place is the search for a new City Manager. Paul Malone, who has served the City of San Marcos for more than 20 years, is set to retire on April 30, 2012 and our search for a new manager is underway.  Candidates are being interviewed and we are optimistic that the selection of our next manager will be made soon.  San Marcos hasn’t had to search outside our own organization for a manager in over thirty years, so this is new territory for the council.  Fortunately, we have a well established and vibrant city making San Marcos an excellent place to work and live, which in turn has attracted dozens of well qualified applicants.

On a personal note, I have had the pleasure of working on a great committee, ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children), that Council Member Rebecca Jones invited me to join.  The group has been working diligently on two Public Service Announcements that are soon to make their public premiere.  My hope is to have my next post coincides with the release of the PSA’s, so I can share with each of you the valuable information I have gained through ICAC.

There is so much taking place in our magnificent city and it is such an honor to be a part of the vision so many of us share.  I look forward to hearing from you; your questions and ideas help guide me and my fellow council members in our policies and direction.


Kristal Jabara
Council Member
City of San Marcos

33rd annual Boys and Girls Club Auction on Saturday April 21st. “Swing into Spring”

33rd annual Boys and Girls Club Auction will be held on Saturday April 21st. The theme is “Swing into Spring”.

Co-Chairs Kristal Jabara, along with Council Woman Rebecca Jones and Honorary Chair Council Member Hal Martin. The event will be catered by Stone Brewery Catering and features silent and live auctions. The event was sold out last year with over 400 people in attendance. The event raised more than $125, 000 last year for the club with great items such as suites for a baseball game at PetCo park, vacations, a private dinner at Stone Brewery, a private dinner at the San Elijo Fire station, and many other great items. It is a premier event in San Marcos and is a fun evening.

The Boys and Girls Club of San Marcos, keeps our kids safe and giving them fun activities to participate in is a benefit to the entire community!


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!

Guest Post from Kristal Jabara Council Member City of San Marcos

Kristal Jabara San Marcos City Council Member

This month I was saddened by the loss of Mr. Curt Noland, President and Senior Development Officer for Home Fed Corporation, the Master Developer for the award winning San Elijo Hills.

Having grown up with the nickname “Dirt”, by his siblings, it is no wonder Curt became an award winning community planner.  With a career spent creating homes and communities in San Diego County, he will be best known by San Marcos residence for San Elijo Hills, the picturesque community each of us calls home.  The skills he honed during his career helped shape his vision for San Elijo and a quote from 2003 makes that apparent: “I learned the importance of evaluating the significant attributes and resources of a property and developing designs to enhance those attributes.  I also learned the importance of weaving open space through the development to create a design that looks like the neighborhoods have always been there”.  I believe each of us would agree that aspiration was accomplished.

Having grown up in North San Diego County I can remember coming to “Questhaven” to hike, play, and see if the urban legends were true; for those who also grew up here you know the tales of which I speak.  It still astonishes me that those hills and trails have been transformed into an environmentally sensitive community with all the charm of a small coastal village.  San Elijo Hills is a blend of charming homes interwoven with two school campuses, open space, trails, parks, and a quaint town center.

Featured in the town center is the community Christmas tree.  In a press release from 2005 Mr. Noland is quoted with saying, “When we landscaped the town square, we planted a pine tree to be used as a Christmas tree for the community.  We selected a small tree on purpose, so we could tie the growth of the community to the growth of the tree.  During one of the tree lighting ceremonies, I was struck by the transformation in the community.  San Elijo Hills use to be my community, my responsibility, an object of my affection, a reality based on my vision.  I realized that it was no longer my community.  It was the residents’ community.  It would grow in response to their vision and commitment”.

I am blessed to call San Marcos home and equally blessed to live in San Elijo Hills, with great neighbors and friends.  My daughter plays in a cul-de-sac and on any given day I am warmed with the joyful sound of children playing.  I have said a few prays thanking Mr. Noland for that gift and I continue to pray for comfort for his family during what I can only imagine is a very difficult time. Curt leaves behind a wife and three sons who I am sure will be a bigger legacy than even the greatest of communities could ever be.  Family and friends are the true measuring stick of a life well lived, and we are fortunate enough to be left with an exceptional community in which to raise our children and build friendships that will carry on through the generations.  We have Mr. Curt Noland to thank for that gift; so thank you Curt, you will be missed.

Kristal Jabara
Council Member
City of San Marcos

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