Neighborhood Watch: Home Burglaries Increase

Scripps Ranch was hit with five residential burglaries at the end of September. See the Crime Report on your right for locations—three were in StoneBridge Estates. In all the cases the suspect(s) entered by smashing windows or glass doors. Detectives say that none of the burglaries are related.

This is why having an active Neighborhood Watch group on your block is so important. You want your neighbors looking out for you and noticing if something doesn’t look right, whether it is a suspicious “solicitor” casing homes or a unfamiliar car driving slowly down the street. Please contact us at [email protected] and let us get you started.

When home and vehicle burglaries occur in Scripps Ranch, they are usually—not always, as in the recent cases—because that home or vehicle is an easy target. These are crimes of opportunity and criminals look for easy access.

They jiggle the handles on your home’s front door to see if it has been left unlocked, which surprisingly occurs frequently. If there is an unlocked side gate or none at all, they will check the backyard to see if it provides them the privacy they need to break a window and enter the home undetected. They even try to get to that window left open on the second floor.

Despite all of our warnings, residents still are not locking the exterior side door that opens into the garage, which is an easy entry point. From there criminals can enter your home through the access door, whether you are home or not. No one wants a “hot prowl,” when suspects enter your home while you are there. That is one of the most dangerous crimes and it puts you and your family in peril.

Criminals peer inside the windows of your vehicle to see if there is anything inside, valuable or not. We are always surprised by how many vehicles are left unlocked in driveways and on the street. If the vehicle is unlocked, so much the better, but if something—even a gym bag—is spotted inside, don’t be surprised to find the window smashed in. A criminal may think a wallet is hiding inside that bag.

Please lock your side garage door, the door leading from your garage to your home’s interior, your side gates, and your vehicles. If you want to protect yourself and your property from criminals who are looking for easy access, you need to be proactive. For more tips on how to keep your family and home safe, visit our website at www.scrippsranch.org/watch.

Cheryl Shaw, SRCANW Chair

Chabad Housing

Nearly 25 years ago Chabad proposed a campus with a K–12 private school and a “Yeshiva”—rabbinical seminary—accommodating a maximum of 800 full-time students. In 1994 the City Council determined Chabad’s proposed facilities were in substantial conformance with the use approved for the original Conditional Use Permit (CUP) granted to the United States International University (USIU) for educational facilities. Chabad would build on land formerly owned by USIU.

In 2009 the City Council approved another request for substantial conformance. It approved an expansion for high school, college, athletic facilities, and 280 student-faculty housing units for the existing Chabad educational campus. This approval included a waiver from the Inclusionary Housing Regulations and fees and reduced impact fees.

In 2013 the City Council approved a subdivision of the Chabad property into four parcels: one for the original campus; and three for on-campus housing buildings. At that time Chabad requested 228 on-campus units.

Over the past two years the first increment of 82 apartment-style housing units was completed. Chabad told the community that the residential units were for faculty and students in their lifelong learning program called Campus of Life— https://liveabigidea.com. The units were then advertised as “luxury residences” to the public. Many Scripps Ranch residents questioned whether this conformed to the original approval of educational facilities.

At this point the San Diego City Attorney has reviewed the Chabad CUP for the residential units. City Attorney Mara Elliott and her staff reviewed all the documents, including the original permit, the lease used for apartment rentals, and the rental advertisements. According to Mara, Chabad does not rent its on-campus units without requiring each renter to be enrolled in its educational program.

Chabad’s rental application form and lease show that Chabad requires enrollment in the educational program as a condition of residency. In the lease provided to the city there is a provision at the end that states failure to enroll and participate in eight credits per semester is a “default” on the lease. Residents must participate and, if not, face possible eviction. It remains to be determined how or if these provisions will be enforced.

The City Attorney appreciates the community’s concerns as her intervention led Chabad to modify its rental ads to confirm the enrollment requirement. As part of the investigation Chabad provided three rental ads and based on these circumstances, the staff at the city’s Development Services Department is satisfied that Chabad is in compliance with existing permit requirements. At this time the city has no factual basis for an enforcement action against Chabad. If the community believes there are other non-compliant rental ads, Chabad says it will cooperate in fixing them.

Dangerous Embers

The words “new normal” have been used so many times to describe California’s current experience with catastrophic wildfires that it can’t be new anymore. By the same token, what we tell you every month may not be new but it needs to be constantly reinforced.

One important thing to remember is to protect your home from embers. Residents have lost their homes to wildfire despite having defensible space. Embers can travel great distances with wind or turbulence caused by the fire itself and can ignite brush or homes far from the main fire. Here are tips to protect your home.

Roofs: Replace wooden roofs and cover openings in roofs, such as the end of barrel tiles. Also, remove debris such as leaves and pine needles from the roof and rain gutters.

Vents: Cover attic, eaves, and foundation vents with 1/8-inch wire mesh.

Windows and skylights: Replace single pane non-tempered glass with double pane tempered glass. Also in case of fire close all windows and doors.

Fireplaces: Install an approved spark arrester on chimneys. Be sure wood piles are at least 30 feet from your home.

Decks: Make sure there is metal flashing between a wood deck and the house, and the deck and under the deck is clear of debris. Remove patio furniture, door mats, barbecue propane tanks, and other flammable items and put them in your house or garage if a fire is threatening.

Flower beds and boxes: Remove wood flower boxes from beneath windows if a fire is near. Flower beds should not have wood mulch or dead plants or leaves.

Vehicles: Close all windows and back your car into the garage or leave it away from the house and make sure the garage door fits as tightly as possible to the door frame to minimize gaps. Make sure you can open your automatic garage door manually if you lose electricity in case you need to evacuate

Fences and trash cans: Be sure all wood is in good condition and use non-combustible material next to your house. Use metal trash cans with tight fitting lids

For more fire safety tips, visit www.srfiresafe.org and “Like” us on Facebook. Have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving.

Scripps Ranch Farmers Market Closes

Sadly, we have to share with you that the Scripps Ranch Farmers Market is closing. Our last day is Saturday, Oct. 27. On behalf of Mike and me (right), the Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary School (EBS) Academic Fundraising Partnership (AFP), and our vendors, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of your support and the friendships we shared for the past 17 years.

We tried so hard to overcome the fact that the San Diego Unified School District was moving us off the property where we have been for the past 17 years in order to build a massive apartment complex. For more than two years we have searched for alternative sites, to no avail.

We were blocked from using the YMCA site, and the Scripps Ranch High School campus does not garner enough visibility. We want to thank SRHS principal, Nicole DeWitt, for entertaining the idea of us moving to the school’s parking lot.

The saddest part for us is not being able to see, on a regular basis, all of the wonderful friends we worked with or met as regular shoppers. Most of all, we will miss the EBS foundation members, especially Gail Faber and Nina Salinas. They have been there to support us through thick and thin. Since a portion of profits benefited EBS students, we are sad they will lose that funding.

We believe that everything happens for a reason, so we remain loyal Scripps Ranch residents who will start a new chapter in our lives. Thanks for the ride!

Bev and Mike Cassity, Market Managers

The Spirit of Giving

Nine years in a row and still going strong, thanks to our wonderful Scripps Ranch community! The 9th Annual Becky’s Gift is starting, and we are reaching out to everyone again this year to help surpass our goal to collect 1,000 toys to help families affected by cancer. Please help us Scripps Ranch moms make a difference this holiday season.

We deliver toys to the Oncology Associates of San Diego, UCSD Moores Cancer Center, and South County Hematology Oncology. We give families the chance to choose a gift for their loved ones while they receive treatment.

We know it is emotionally, physically, and financially difficult for families during the holiday season. We want to help relieve this burden by collecting toys so a patient can choose one for their child or children at their treatment center. We want the patient to focus on getting healthy and not worry about shopping or the financial pressures of the season. We want them to know that their child will have a gift.

If you would like to donate a new unwrapped toy or gift card for children from infants to 16 years old, we would appreciate anything you can give. You can drop off toys at: Scripps Rock Dental, 12112 Scripps Summit Drive, Suite C; or St. Gregory the Great Catholic School at 15315 Stonebridge Parkway.

If you would like to have a toy collection box at your business, let us know. For any questions, please contact Christie Jackson at chris[email protected] or Becky Walton at [email protected] For more information, go to www.Facebook.com/BeckysGift. Thank you for your generosity, Scripps Ranch!