Tag Archives: san marcos

Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) questions? We’ve got answers.

San Marcos residents who are interested in learning about the possibility of adding an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) or Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU) to their property will find answers to the most frequently asked questions (in English and Spanish) on the Zoning Information Page.

A change in California State law earlier this year has made it easier to add a second house (called an ADU) to a residentially-zoned property. An ADU is an attached or detached residential dwelling unit that provides complete independent living facilities for one or more persons. ADU’s must include permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation on the same parcel as a single-family or multifamily dwelling. A JADU is 500 square feet or less and is contained entirely within an existing or proposed single-family residence. It must include a separate entrance from the single-family residence.

Both ADUs and JADUs can be integrated into existing single-family or multi-family properties and can be designed in a variety of ways, including converting part of an existing home, adding on to the existing home, converting an existing garage or constructing a new detached structure.

San Marcos residents who are considering adding an ADU or JADU to their property are encouraged to review all of the detailed information outlined here, which includes applicable regulations, requirements and contact information.

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

The San Marcos City Council will hold the following public hearing telephonically; at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020.

Project No: PA18-0003/ND20-004-Climate Action Plan update
Applicant: City of San Marcos
Request: The City of San Marcos intends to adopt an update to its Climate Action Plan (CAP) to be consistent with the State’s requirement to meet the Greenhouse Gas reduction targets as stipulated in AB 32, SB 32 and Executive Order S-3-05.

Environmental Determination: The City prepared a Negative Declaration (ND20-004) pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
Location of Property: Various/Applies to all area within the City limits

Planning Commission Action: The Planning Commission recommended approval of the proposed project to the City Council by a 7 to 0 vote.

Further information about this notice can be obtained from Saima Qureshy, Principal Planner, by calling 760-744-1050 ext. 3222, or via email at squreshy@san-marcos.net.

Pursuant to Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-25-20: Members of the San Marcos City Council and staff may participate in this meeting via a teleconference. In the interest of reducing the spread of COVID-19, members of the public are encouraged to submit comments via email. As a standard practice, City Council meetings are streamed live on our City website at: https://www.san-marcos.net/your-government/agendas-minutes/city- council-agendas. All relevant project plans, reports, and resolutions will also be posted on the City’s website a week before the hearing date and project presentations will be posted the day of the public hearing. To provide comments on the project during the hearing, please follow the instructions below.

Public Comment: To submit a comment in writing, please email pscollick@san- marcos.net and write “Public Comment” in the subject line. In the body of the email, include the project number PA18-0003/ND20-004 and/or the title of the item as well as your comments. If you would like the comment to be read out loud at the meeting (not to exceed 3 minutes), please write “Read Out Loud at Meeting” at the top of the email.

Comment emails will be accepted until the end of the comment period of the public hearing on this project. Comments can also be submitted via telephone, by calling (760) 744-1050, extension 3145, and leaving a message indicating that you are providing public comment for the City Council on Climate Action Plan update and then state your comments. All comments received via email will be included in the Public Hearing for the item. All comments received via telephone by 4 pm on December 8, 2020 will also be included in the Public Hearing.

NOTICE:

The hearing before the City Council is a de novo hearing and any correspondence submitted to the Planning Commission that you wish presented to the City Council must be resubmitted for the Council’s consideration. Contact the City Clerk for resubmittal of any correspondence and/or petition for/or against the project.

The City of San Marcos is committed to making its programs, services and activities accessible to individuals with disabilities. If you require accommodation to participate in a public hearing or any other city program, service, or activity, please contact the City Clerk’s office at 1 Civic Center Drive, San Marcos, CA 92069, or call (760) 744-1050, Extension 3145.

City of San Marcos recognized for visionary creation of new downtown core

 It’s a rare occurrence to have the opportunity to create a new, thriving downtown core for an already established city. Yet that’s exactly what a shared vision between the City of San Marcos, Sea Breeze Properties and California State University San Marcos conceived.

Enter North City – San Marcos’ new downtown gathering place that has captivated local residents and businesses alike with its energy, creative mixed-use concepts and modern vibe. North City recently received top honors from the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED) with an Award of Excellence for its innovative, collaborative foundation and creation.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from CALED for a project that has truly changed the landscape and heart of San Marcos,” said Tess Sangster, economic development director for the City of San Marcos. “North City has become a thriving destination that mixes independent restaurants and retailers with urban living, student housing, co-working and community events. The vision was to design a space that would breathe new life into the City.”

Creating community

Each Tuesday afternoon, the streets of North City come alive with artisans, food vendors, flowers and fresh fruits and vegetables at the weekly Farmers Market, run by the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce. Live music fills the air as kids dance and residents and visitors explore everything that makes North City unique.

Diners at Urge Gastropub sip a pint of handcrafted microbrew produced on site while watching rock climbers scale the walls of the newly opened Mesa Rim Climbing Center. Ice cream aficionados sample taster flights of delicious handcrafted flavors (ranging from Bourbon Smoked Pecan to Cinnamonutella – yum!) while students venture from their student housing above to the Copa Vida coffee shop below.

North City’s deliberate combination of mixed-use buildings, residences, destination-worthy restaurants/entertainment, student housing, campus facilities and community gathering spaces has charted a new course for how purposeful development can inspire and support an entire community.

“It’s urban living, reimagined,” said Andy Tenn, senior project manager for Sea Breeze Properties. “This fusion of unique eateries, housing, co-working and recreation is fostering community pride and recognition.”

Learn more about North City and the City of San Marcos’ North City development project. 

Shop small this holiday season to make a big impact in your community

Small businesses are the heart of a city’s character and vibe. That’s why this season’s Small Business Saturday, happening Nov. 28, is more important than ever.

It’s no surprise that small businesses have been hit particularly hard throughout the pandemic. San Marcos residents are encouraged to show their support by shopping local on Small Business Saturday and throughout the holiday season. Mayor Rebecca Jones announced the City of San Marcos’ participation in the 11th annual national effort to support the independent businesses that make our community unique and provide valuable contributions to the local economy.

“When you treat your loved ones to a special present or gift certificate from our local businesses, you’re truly investing in our community and helping our small businesses thrive,” Jones said. “That’s something we can all feel great about this holiday season.”

Created in 2010, Small Business Saturday serves as the ceremonial kickoff to the holiday shopping season for small businesses across the United States. An average of two-thirds of every dollar ($0.67) spent at a small business in the U.S. stays in the local community, according to the 2018 Small Business Economic Impact Study by American Express. That means consumer’s local impact during the important holiday shopping season could be significant.

“During this pandemic, I’m amazed and energized by the passion and creativity of business owners to continue to do business in the face of unparalleled adversity,” said Rick Rungaitis, CEO of the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce. “Now, more than ever, it’s critical for the community to support our local businesses. This holiday season, think of supporting them by shopping locally.” 

In 2019, 800+ mayors and city officials joined together to support Small Business Saturday. Highlights include:

  • U.S. shoppers who visited independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday reported spending a record high of an estimated $19.6 billion.
  • Seven in ten American adults reported being aware of the day.
  • 96 percent of respondents who shopped on Small Business Saturday agree that shopping at small, independently owned businesses supports their commitment to making purchases that have a positive social, economic, and environmental impact.
  • 97 percent of consumers who shopped on Small Business Saturday agree that small businesses are essential to their community.
  • 95 percent of consumers who shopped on Small Business Saturday reported the day makes them want to shop or eat at small, independently owned businesses all year long, not just during the holiday season.

Learn more about Small Business Saturday and the Shop Small initiative here.

City of San Marcos launches podcast to inform and engage community members

Your city news. On your time. That’s the idea behind the new ‘San Marcos City Podcast,’ hosted by City Manager Jack Griffin and other city staff. As a podcast aficionado himself, Griffin knows the podcast platform allows and encourages listeners to take a deeper dive into issues they care about.

So why not offer San Marcos residents podcasts that demystify city government and offer a transparent listening opportunity about current projects and how government works?

“Most cities are increasingly challenged getting communications out to the public,” Griffin said. “The podcast is a great platform to engage our residents in thoughtful, in-depth discussions about the city they call home. We won’t be talking politics here, but we will be focusing on important city issues and updates.”

Listeners can tune in to listen to interviews with local experts, business owners, higher education leaders and more. As a leader in public safety, infrastructure, recreation, industry and cultural programs, the City of San Marcos features a wide variety of innovative offerings and services to share with the community.

The San Marcos City Podcast currently features four podcasts:

–        Introduction

–        Interview with Fire Chief Dan Barron and District Chief Dean White regarding wildfires

–        A summary of key items the San Marcos City Council approved in September

–        San Marcos Creek Project update with Project Manager Isaac Etchamendy

To learn more and tune in, go to the San Marcos City Podcast webpage where you will find links to a variety of podcast platforms to listen in from.

To provide feedback or submit podcast topic requests, email podcast@san-marcos.net.

City of San Marcos launches ‘Learning Hubs’ program for employees

Thousands of San Marcos students were scheduled to start school in-person on Aug. 18. In the weeks leading up to the start of school, COVID-19 numbers spiked, and plans to start in-person learning vanished. City of San Marcos leadership recognized an opportunity to support City employees as they prepared to balance the demands of their essential jobs and distance learning with their children.

The Parks and Recreation and Human Resources departments teamed up to quickly determine how to best assist City employees. That’s where the idea for ‘learning hubs’ was born.

Learning hubs are socially distanced classrooms providing online learning support for students of different ages and grade levels at the San Marcos Senior Activity Center. There are two classrooms with an average of 18 students that attend daily. Desks are spaced out and aisles are lined with power strips where students can charge the devices they need for online learning. While there are not on-site teachers, City staff members oversee the classrooms and provide support to students when needed. The City follows CDC guidelines by checking temperatures before students enter, prohibiting visitors (including parents) from entering the classroom, providing hand sanitizer and wipes to students, and following a strict cleaning protocol.

“The City has a number of staff members, across several departments, who have limited or no ability to work from home,” said Darren Chamow, program manager for the City of San Marcos Parks and Recreation Department. “When we got the news about school districts continuing distance learning due to COVID-19 numbers, we saw challenges ahead for City operations. The City is providing critical services and programs to the community. Without the learning hub, it would not have been possible for some of our employees to continue to work and support our community and assist their kids at the same time.”

The concept of the learning hub not only supports the City’s essential workers and their children, but also provides new job responsibilities for other City employees whose programs were put on hold or canceled for the year due to COVID-19. In addition, the learning hubs program provides the City with an opportunity to leverage underutilized facilities to provide support to City employees, who are providing essential services during the pandemic.

“Launching the program was a perfect example of timing meeting opportunity,” said Janelle Laughlin, human resources manager for the City of San Marcos. “The demands on our employees, as public servants, have never been greater. Overnight, we had to completely change the way we do business and how we provide programs and services to the San Marcos community.”

Program costs for this new offering have been largely covered by funds available from programs that were canceled due to COVID-19. The program will likely continue to provide support for City staff through the end of 2020 and potentially beyond.

“The math made sense and we got buy-in from City leadership, allowing us to quickly launch a program to support our employees, at a time when they needed it the most,” Laughlin said.

 

Join the City’s Bilingual Virtual Housing Workshop

The City will be hosting a “live” virtual presentation online using Zoom Meetings Tuesday, September 29 at 6 p.m. The meeting will be facilitated in English and Spanish and the project team will be available to answer questions from the public. The link to the Zoom presentation will be provided on this site prior to the presentation.

For more information about community workshops please visit this link.

Encourage participation in the 2020 Census

Efforts and planning to encourage participation in the 2020 Census have been underway since last year.

As of 9/14/20 San Marcos has a 76.1% self response rate.  In 2010 San Marcos finished with a 70% participation rate.  Out of 18 cities in the County, San Marcos has the third highest participation rate, with Poway being number one and Carlsbad being number two.  Among the same cities, San Marcos has the second highest increase in participation compared to the 2010 census, behind La Mesa.

You might ask why does it matter if you participate or not.  The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data.

The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

Thank you to 76.1% of households who have already participated.  If you haven’t participated yet, please do so by 9/30/20. You can answer online at www.my2020census.gov.

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

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