Tag Archives: The City of San Marcos

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.

City honored with CSUSM’s Community Partner of the Year Award

The City of San Marcos and North City have been selected as the recipients of the 2020 California State University San Marcos President’s Award for Community Partner of the Year.

The award was created to acknowledge CSUSM’s deep connections to the regional community and recognize partners who have engaged in meaningful projects and initiatives that support the university’s mission, according to CSUSM officials.

“The City of San Marcos has been by our side since CSUSM was founded more than 30 years ago,” California State University San Marcos President Ellen J. Neufeldt, Ed.D. said.

In a letter announcing the award, Neufeldt emphasized the many
ways that the City and the university work together, including the Democracy in Action program, which empowers students to engage with local government, along with the City’s collaborative approach to economic development, which has benefited the educational community along with the entire region.

“As the educational hub of North County, San Marcos is educating the next generation of leaders,” City Manager Jack Griffin said. “We are proud to partner with CSUSM to work toward this shared goal.”

The award also recognized the collaboration between the City of San Marcos and North City in creating a vibrant new downtown district that further connects CSUSM students, faculty and staff with the community.

“The City is supporting place-making at its finest in North City – a walkable community with restaurants and cafés as well as spaces to work and live – which enhances the quality of life our students and San Marcos residents alike,” Neufeldt said.

To learn more about the City of San Marcos, visit www.san-marcos.net/live. To learn more about the North City development, follow the progress and events on Instagram @northcitysanmarcos, or visit www.northcity.com.

San Marcos bond refi cuts Mello-Roos taxes in San Elijo neighborhoods – The San Diego Union-Tribune

The city of San Marcos refinanced municipal bonds in June to save some San Elijo property owners $120 to $450 per year in Mello-Roos taxes.“We are trying to be prudent, and whenever we can, with any of our (community facilities districts,) make sure we are getting the best interest rate and moving forward for our taxpayers,” said Finance Director Laura Rocha. Mello-Roos districts are authorized by a 1982 California law which allowed local governments to finance infrastructure improvements and services through special districts. Facilities covered by those bonds include roads, sidewalks, water and sewer lines, police and fire stations. Those special taxes are usually included annually in property tax bills issued by the county. Benefiting from favorable bond markets this year, the San Marcos Public Financing Authority reduced interest rates on $20.6 million in bonds for a number of San Elijo neighborhoods, slashing net interest from 4.82 percent to 3.55 percent, officials said. That produced total savings of about $3.9 million to 882 property owners in the San Elijo communities of Saverne, Azure, Cambria, Woodley’s Glen, Crest View, Waterford, Village Square and Westridge. Savings to individual property owners vary, based on the square footage of their homes, with condominiums typically paying a lower tax rate than single-family homes, said Fiscal Services/Debt Manager Roque Chiriboga. The 31-year Mello-Roos bonds covered the cost of sidewalks, lighting and other infrastructure for the communities, and will mature in 2035. The refinancing reduces annual payments, but will not extend the term of the bond, officials said.The new bond issue, which closed June 6, marks the final step in a series of refinancing efforts to bring down rates in the city’s Mello-Roos districts, Chiriboga said.“Our previous refinances started in 2012, when we initially started seeing the market come down,” he said.As districts became eligible for refinancing, the city issued new bonds at lower rates. It completed three bond refinancing efforts in 2012, one in 2014, and the final one this summer, he said. Those efforts cut bond rates for 5,533 property owners by a total of $23,543,126, officials said.“We try to be very diligent in making sure we are capturing any savings throughout the term of the bond,” Rocha said.

Source: San Marcos bond refi cuts Mello-Roos taxes in San Elijo neighborhoods – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Summer concert series returns to San Marcos


Summer concert series returns to San Marcos

Beginning Saturday, July 21, the City of San Marcos will present its 17th annual “Summer Concerts in the Gardens” series at the Wood House, 1148 Rock Springs Road.

A variety of bands will provide music appropriate for all ages during the summer months. All concerts will begin at 7:30 pm. Guests are encouraged to bring low back beach chairs or blankets for picnic seating; parking is free. In addition to traditional desserts and non-alcoholic beverages for purchase, a different food truck will also be selling food at each concert.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance at the San Marcos Community Center. Prices are $6 presale, $8 at the door. Children under 12 years are free. Season passes are now available for $15.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.san-marcos.net/specialevents or call San Marcos Parks and Recreation at (760) 744-9000.

2018 Summer Concerts in the Garden Schedule

July 21: The Detroit Underground

August 25: Toni Suraci and the Highwayman Band

September 15: Sully and the “Blue Eyed Soul Band”

Listening Sessions on Ambulance Services for San Marcos Area

EMS SERVICE AREA BACKGROUND

The San Marcos EMS Service Area is currently an exclusive operating area (EOA) pursuant to California Health and Safety Code Section 201.224. From 1988 until 2001, the services in the EOA were delivered through a joint contract consisting of private enterprise Advanced Life Support (ALS) transport units and ALS fire department first responder engine companies. In 2001, the San Marcos Fire Department (SMFD) began providing ALS transport services in San Marcos as a sub-contractor. In 2009, the SMFD was awarded the contract to provide ALS transport services to San Marcos residents.

The City of San Marcos is a Charter City operating under a Council/Manager form of government. The City encompasses an area of approximately 24 square miles and the Fire Protection District adds approximately nine (9) square miles for a total service area of 33 square miles. The San Marcos Fire Protection District became a subsidiary district to the City of San Marcos in 1987. In 1988, the City added paramedic services to the community.

EMS SERVICE AREA COMMUNITY PROFILE

The residential population of the City is nearing 100,000 with a steady estimated 11 percent population growth since 2010. In addition to the City population, approximately 20,000 residents are located within the Fire Protection District, for a total of nearly 120,000 residents being served by the SMFD. The service area’s daytime population increases to approximately 160,000. The San Marcos population is growing four (4) percent faster than the other neighboring cities and almost two (2) percent faster than the San Diego region with a projected growth of 6.1 percent by 2020. It is projected that by the year 2030, the City of San Marcos population is expected to grow by more than 15 percent.

EMS SERVICE AREA SERVICES

San Marcos EOA calls for service are dispatched through the North County Dispatch Joint Power Authority (NCDJPA). Participation in this regionally-based JPA supports and enables the shared use of other area agencies ALS assets through an automatic aid “boundary drop” agreement that utilizes the closest transport resource concept.

The EOA ALS Transport Services contract requires that ALS ambulance response times not exceed nine (9) minutes, 90 percent of the time. ALS Engine and Truck company response times also adhere to strict response time expectations, with an eight (8) minute response time required 90 percent of the time. The SMFD consistently meets or exceeds these response time standards. The Department has steadily experienced significant call volume increases since 2014. Throughout 2017, the Department responded to 11,490 calls which represent an increase of 4 percent from 2016. During 2014 and 2015, the Department experienced a 22 percent and 11 percent increase in calls from the previous year, respectively.

SMFD currently provides ALS transport service to the City of San Marcos and San Marcos Fire Protection District residents. The ALS transport service is a no-subsidy service in San Marcos, meaning the City does not provide monetary support to the provider. Rather, all revenues needed for program operations are derived from billing for services provided. In order to provide the highest level of service to the residents of San Marcos, the Department staffs four (4) ALS Engine companies, one (1) ALS Truck company and five (5) ALS Ambulances 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. In addition to five (5) ALS ambulances staffed with a minimum of one (1) Firefighter-Paramedic and one (1) Emergency Medical

Technician, every Engine and Truck company is staffed with a minimum of one (1) Firefighter-Paramedic and/or Fire Engineer-Paramedic. SMFD employs 105 personnel including those assigned to Emergency Services, Fire Prevention and Administrative Services. Fifty-six (56) of the seventy-five (75) field personnel are licensed, Paramedics.

EMS SERVICE AREA PROGRAM MANAGEMENT

To provide continuous EMS program oversight, the EMS program is managed within the Department’s Emergency Services Division. Under the direction of the Fire Chief, EMS Program leadership and management is provided by a Fire Division Chief, an EMS Program Coordinator (R.N./P.M.) and a Emergency Services Support Specialist. The Department staffs a 24-hour on-duty Battalion Chief to provide field level supervision over all personnel and incident activity.

California’s EMS authority has recognized SMFD as a Continuing Education (CE) Provider for both Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians. The Department maintains trained and certified instructors to deliver these CE classes. In addition, SMFD also maintains a comprehensive ALS Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement Program (QA/QI), designed to identify and address potential or existing clinical, operational or equipment concerns. To learn from experiences and improve upon overall EMS service delivery, QA/QI process outcomes are routinely incorporated into CE case review training sessions.

In addition to providing multiple opportunities and platforms for community public education, the Department also maintains innovative program partnerships and customer feedback outreach efforts. Community outreach events provide education related to health, safety and various life-saving techniques. The Department promotes programs that provide specialized medical referrals and associated services in order to integrate a whole health service approach. By adhering to a whole health service approach, the entire patient is evaluated, not just their immediate concern, thereby promoting an advanced level of care for San Marcos residents.

SUMMARY

Through dedicated leadership, integrity, safety, competency, and customer service the San Marcos Fire Department has provided emergency medical services since 2001. SMFD encourages and maintains continual education and training, keeping personnel current on all certifications, licenses, protocols, and best practices. Two-thirds of SMFD workforce are licensed Paramedics, creating a highly trained medical team on scene. Incorporating education and training, SMFD manages a quality assurance program overseeing emergency medical services while maintaining excellent customer service. SMFD provides community outreach education and professional emergency medical services connecting, empowering, educating, and acting as advocates for members of the community and offering resources to improve overall health.

SMFD is prepared to grow with the population and continue to provide innovative, cost-effective and consistent service to all members of the San Marcos community. The Department looks forward to continuing to improve and is always seeking avenues to increase our level of service to the community.

San Marcos helps businesses secure more than $500K in tax credits

The savings will help create dozens of jobs in the city

The City of San Marcos helped two San Marcos businesses secure more than $500,000 in state income tax credits, allowing them to collectively create nearly 30 local jobs.

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) awarded a $446,700 California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) to x-ray machine company Creative Electron and a $100,000 CCTC to Quick Charge Power, which makes charging equipment for electrical vehicles.

These companies are exempt from paying state income taxes in the amount awarded—an incentive to help them grow their operations with its savings, Creative Electron will hire 22 employees over the next four years and Quick Charge Power plans to hire another seven.

“The California Competes Tax Credit encourages companies from around the world to locate, expand and add good paying jobs in California,” said GO-Biz Director Panorea Avdis.

Last year, the City helped secure $850,000 in CCTC awards for two other San Marcos companies, which are in the process of adding another 50 jobs. This means that in the past two years, the City has helped secure nearly $1.4M for local businesses, which in turn is creating 79 local jobs.

“I think this underscores the fact that San Marcos is a community worth investing in—even when considered at a regional or state level,” said San Marcos Economic Development Manager Tess Sangster. “We contribute a $7.9 billion annual GDP to the regional economy, largely thanks to leading companies like Creative Electron and Quick Charge Power.”

And with these CCTC awards in place, San Marcos is poised to have an even greater impact on the regional economy, according to local experts at the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (San Diego Regional EDC).

“This is a win for all of North County,” said Jennifer Schoeneck, Economic Development Manager for San Diego Regional EDC. She tracks the economy along Interstate 78 that snakes through Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista, San Marcos and Escondido, commonly known as the ‘78 Corridor.’ “The two San Marcos companies that won tax credits will be hiring more employees, which creates a positive economic impact not only for the city, but also elevates the entire 78 Corridor.”

With only 63 companies making the list during this most recent round, earning a CCTC is highly competitive—and in fact, San Marcos was the only North County city on the list. Both companies largely credit their success to guidance from City staff and the San Diego Regional EDC.

“They helped guarantee a smooth application process and were always available for questions,” said Bill Cardoso, CEO of Creative Electron. “I am thankful for that assistance because this is an excellent opportunity to continue growing here in San Marcos.”

“In all my interactions, staff has been very efficient, professional and helpful,” said Quick Charge CEO and Founder Tony Williams. “They’ve made it clear they are here to engage and support businesses. They get an A plus in my book.”

“When we foster a thriving local economy, our entire community benefits,” Sangster added. “It drives the high quality of life we all enjoy here in San Marcos.”

And for any other business owners who may be eyeing a CCTC, Williams says go for it.

“Don’t let the size of your business keep you from applying. If you’re growing, then you should do it. Especially considering that city staff is there to help you through the process.”

Sangster encourages business owners to reach out for more information—especially because there will be more CCTC awards available later this year, pending an approved state budget.

“Economic development is a relatively new priority for us, so business owners may not realize this is a service we can provide—but we are trying to get the word out,” she explained. “There are many resources out there for business owners, and we are eager to help them discover those.”

If you would like more information about the CCTC program or the City’s economic development division, please contact Tess Sangster at TSangster@san-marcos.net or (760) 744-1050, ext. 3120.

San Marcos City Council Approves Massive Development Plan – NBC 7 San Diego

San Marcos City Council Approves Massive Development Plan Some residents are concerned it’s too much change while others are looking forward to new housing options

San Marcos is moving forward with a massive development project, but not without a little bit of pushback from the community. Tuesday, the City Council voted in favor to develop a desirable 87-acre parcel just west of Cal State San Marcos and east of the San Marcos Creek.

READ MORE VIA Source: San Marcos City Council Approves Massive Development Plan – NBC 7 San Diego

Paving the way: Several San Marcos streets to be resurfaced

The City of San Marcos has announced that several streets in the community will receive routine maintenance from Monday, Nov. 6 through mid-December as part of the City’s ongoing commitment to maintaining its roadways.

Every year in San Marcos, several streets receive a chip and slurry seal treatment to significantly extend the life of existing pavement by protecting the undersurface from the effects of aging and the environment. Residents directly affected will receive notices two weeks and 72 hours prior to scheduled work so that appropriate parking arrangements can be made.

“Over the past five years, the city has resurfaced more than 15 million square feet of pavement to provide motorists a safe and smooth ride while traveling through San Marcos,” said Public Works Director Matt Little.

During construction work, there will be flaggers and other workers directing traffic to ensure the safe passage of all individuals and for the safety of construction workers between the designated weekday construction hours Monday through Friday from 7 am and 5 pm; some Saturday work will be required.

Streets affected will receive two slurry seal coats. The first coat will be a larger rock followed by a second coat of smaller rock that will provide a smoother ride for motorists; coats will be applied on different days.

“We appreciate continued patience from residents and motorists during these important roadway repairs that will pave the way for lasting improvements,” said Little.

Paid for by the city’s capital improvement projects budget, the $465,000 project will be completed by American Asphalt South Inc.

Motorists are advised to expect delays and use caution when traveling through roadwork areas.

Road work schedules, maps and other traffic alerts will be posted to the city’s website at www.san-marcos.net/roadwork. Schedules are subject to change and residents are encouraged to regularly check the website for updates. Traffic alerts will also be shared through the city’s social media platforms @sanmarcoscity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more information or questions about work on your street, please call the City’s Public Works Department at (760) 752-7550 or the City’s contracted construction manager Jason Linsdau at (760) 759-2466.

San Marcos Fire Department to partner with Trauma Intervention Programs of San Diego

San Marcos Fire Department to partner with Trauma Intervention Programs of San Diego

The City of San Marcos and the Trauma Intervention Programs of San Diego (TIP) announced on Wednesday, Sept. 27 a new partnership between TIP and the San Marcos Fire Department (SMFD). SMFD joins the 30+ neighboring agencies affiliated with the TIP program allowing them to request trauma volunteers to help San Marcos residents when a tragedy occurs.

“We are excited about this new partnership with the Trauma Intervention Programs of San Diego County,” said Fire Captain Leighton Ewens. “The new partnership will enhance our existing capabilities to provide 24/7 response to residents in their time of greatest need.”

TIP is a nonprofit organization that has served San Diego County for 32 years; training citizen volunteers to respond and assist residents after tragedy strikes. Volunteers respond on a 24/7 basis to emergency scenes at the request of first responders. TIP volunteers provide immediate emotional and practical support which emergency responders may not have time to provide, adding another dimension to the emergency response system: compassionate support.

“The 24/7 coverage and impressive 23-minute average response time to emergency scenes will give our first responders a valuable tool in the toolbox when faced with challenging incidents,” said Ewens.

TIP Executive Director Sher DeWeese is delighted with the new partnership.

“TIP San Diego looks forward to working in conjunction with the San Marcos Fire Department to provide such assistance to its citizens in order to ease their immediate suffering and help facilitate their healing and long-term recovery.”

With the next TIP Training Academy beginning Wednesday, Oct. 4, the program is continuing to seek skilled compassionate individuals looking to give back to their community.

For more information on becoming a volunteer or supporter, visit www.TIPSanDiego.org or call 855.TIPSD.HELP. To learn more about the San Marcos Fire Department, visit www.san-marcos.net/smfd or call (760) 744-1050, ext. 3410.

San Marcos residents encouraged to attend annual Fourth of July Firework Extravaganza

Leave fireworks to the experts

Residents encouraged to attend annual Fourth of July Firework Extravaganza

With Fourth of July only a few days away, the San Marcos Fire Department reminds all residents that fireworks are best left to experts.

“Fireworks are extremely dangerous, unpredictable and capable of causing serious burns and disfiguring injuries,” said San Marcos Fire Chief Brett Van Wey. “They can also ignite dry brush, grasses and dead tree material and cause serious fires in our community.”

All residents should know that all fireworks — even those labeled “consumer” or “safe and sane” — are illegal in San Diego County. This includes cone fountains, cylindrical fountains, roman candles, skyrockets, firecrackers, mine and shells, helicopter-type rockets, sparklers, poppers and revolving wheels.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, thousands of people, including children and teens, are injured every year while using consumer fireworks. Even something as “harmless” as a sparkler, which burns at over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, can cause critical injuries and pose a serious fire hazard. Additionally, two out of five fires reported on Independence Day are started by fireworks.

Residents are encouraged to enjoy the city’s FREE professional fireworks show during the annual Fourth of July Firework Extravaganza at Bradley Park, 1587 Linda Vista Drive, on Tuesday, July 4.

Entertainment and festivities begin at 6 pm with the firework show at 9 pm. The evening’s free entertainment featuring Liquid Blue, a show band, will begin at 6 pm.  Children’s activities include face painting, party jumps and more.  Food concessions will include hot dogs, hamburgers, tacos, snow cones and more.

“Offered for more than 36 years of spirited family fun, this annual event offers residents a way to safely enjoy fireworks while celebrating our nation’s independence,” said Community Services Director Buck Martin. “With children’s activities, food for purchase and a great pyrotechnic display, this event has something for everyone.”

The fireworks show is entirely dependent on community donations.  To contribute, please send tax-deductible donations by June 26 to: San Marcos Fireworks Fund, 3 Civic Center Drive, San Marcos 92069.  Donations of $25 or more will receive a commemorative item.

For more fire prevention information, contact the San Marcos Fire Department at (760) 744-1050, ext. 3410.

To learn more about the city’s Fourth of July celebration or to donate to the fireworks show, visit www.gofundme.com/SM2017Fireworks.

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