New Marshall Middle School Finance Update

The SRCA’s New Middle School Finance Committee was formed about 90 days ago, bringing members of the Scripps Ranch Civic Association (SRCA), the Scripps Ranch Planning Group (SRPG), the Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee (MRNPC), and the Scripps Ranch Recreation Council together. The committee’s goal was to identify any and all opportunities for the Scripps Ranch community and the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) to synergistically share funds toward achieving common goals.

This effort, supplementing the collaborative work done between the SDUSD architects and the Scripps Ranch Community Design Task Force, is directed at achieving the best possible school from an aesthetic as well as a functional perspective. This situation has become an important consideration in light of the SDUSD’s Prop MM budgetary challenges, driven primarily by the escalated prices of land beyond original forecast.

The committee has spent its time completing a comprehensive review of all potential funding sources and spending restrictions and limitations. The committee has also reviewed the SDUSD’s final preliminary design versus the state’s "education specs" to insure that all are included. While the design does address all required "education specs," there are several items from Scripps Ranch’s original wish list that were not included and won’t be part of the new middle school unless the community shares costs.

The most obvious among these omissions are as follows:

  • Replacement of the initially planned Performing Arts Theater with a downscaled Multi-Purpose Room;
  • Only two fields in the PE area, where the Rec Council indicated a need for three fields that could be potentially joint-used for after-school recreation needs such as Little League, soccer, and other sports; and,
  • Adequate parking to allow for convenient community use of these joint-use opportunities.

In addition to these three, the "perfect world" wish list also included a gymnasium and a pedestrian bridge to mitigate traffic issues at the Pomerado and Willow Creek Roads entrance.

The committee has begun discussion with the SDUSD to help them understand what uses can and cannot be financed by the city of San Diego/Scripps Ranch community funds collected from developers for infrastructure supplement. For example, the possibility exists that Special Park Fees collected from developers could be used to add the third field and light all three of them such that the community could benefit from them in the after-school hours.

In addition, while a pedestrian bridge over Pomerado Road would be cost prohibitive, Scripps Ranch community funds could be potentially used for some of the traffic mitigation and safety enhancement improvements to the Willow Creek Road intersection. Finally, Scripps Ranch funds may be able to aid in ensuring adequate parking is incorporated into the final design.

Future updates will include more details regarding these situations, as well as others that may evolve from our ongoing communications with SDUSD facilities manager, Lou Smith. We will keep you informed in the SRCA Newsletter and on the SRCA website at [www.scrippsranch.org].

Gordon Boerner, Committee Chair

City Passes Fiscal Year 2004 Budget

The City Council approved its budget for fiscal year 2004 on June 23. This budget resolved a $20 million deficit, which follows mid-year reductions of $30 million. Further impacts in the range of $10 to $50 million are expected when the state resolves its budget crisis over the next several months.

Service impacts to Scripps Ranch residents and facilities do not include any reduction in hours to the Information Center on Cypress Canyon Road, but the Scripps Ranch Library is now closed on Sundays. Rec Center hours are reduced to 48 hours per week, and the Scripps Ranch Recreation Council has the flexibility to schedule hours of operations and add hours to this specific center if funding is secured. These new schedules began July 1.

For transportation funding, State Route 56 is still on schedule for opening in fall 2004. Improvements to Interstate 15 are funded in part, with work currently underway for added auxiliary lanes between the Miramar Way to Mira Mesa Boulevard exits. Improvements are also funded and underway from Ted Williams Parkway, across Lake Hodges, to Centre City Parkway in Escondido. For more specific details, see the project maps available at the SRCA website [www.scrippsranch.org].

I will have more news once the State Legislature takes action on its budget.

Councilmember Brian Maienschein

Information Center–New Hours

As of July 19, the Information Center hours were changed to ones we hope will provide better customer service. We are now open the first and third Saturday of each month from 9 am to 1 pm, and until 12:30 pm for passports.

These new Saturday hours will replace our late Thursday schedule, which has never been as convenient to our customers as we had hoped. So, our general office hours are now as follows:

  • Monday through Thursday–8 am to 1 pm, and 2:30 to 5 pm;
  • Friday–1 to 5 pm; and,
  • First and third Saturdays of each month–9 am to 1 pm.

Passport hours are:

  • Monday–8 am to 12:30 pm, and 2:30 to 3:30 pm;
  • Friday–1 to 3:30 pm; and,
  • First and third Saturdays of each month–9 am to 12:30 pm.

Passport hours are slightly different to accommodate the processing required by the U.S. Department of State. Both Anita Rivera, the community service center specialist you see when you visit, and I hope you find our new hours useful.

Clay Bingham, Center Manager

Miramar Lake Update

I am still working to find a way to open the path around Miramar Dam for recreational uses. As a security precaution after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the California Department of Health Services ordered the city to install a chain link fence that blocked access to the path. I know this closure, combined with the lack of notice before the fence went up, frustrated many residents who enjoy walking, running, bicycling, and rollerblading around the lake.

I have been successful in persuading water and security officials to open the path for the Scripps Ranch Old Pros Bike and Run Races on both July 4, 2002 and 2003. My goal is to gain access like this on a more frequent basis.

Last year, the city received a $115,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to fund a study of security procedures at Miramar Lake, as well as at all other city water facilities. The study, which began in November 2002, was recently completed, and the City Council is expecting to receive a report of the results in the near future. Once I receive this report, I will push to reopen the dam.

I will also continue to provide updates to the community as news develops in the SRCA Newsletter and on the SRCA website at [www.scrippsranch.org].

Councilmember Brian Maienschein

Field Dedication

The Scripps Ranch Recreation Council has approved a request from the Old Pros to dedicate Jerabek Park’s "J-9" field to the memory of Steve Allen and that a placard be prominently placed identifying it as "Steve Allen Memorial Field." Steve passed away in May.

Steve Allen was a dedicated husband, father, and friend to so many in Scripps Ranch. He lived here with his wife and two sons for more than 26 years. He dedicated his time and energy first to his family, but he spent almost as much time working with his extended family in the Ranch, supporting sports activities.

The Old Pros request has moved onto the next level of city review.

Summer Safety

Summer means more of our children are out and about enjoying the beautiful weather. Unfortunately, sometimes they don’t pay as much attention to safety as they should. The San Diego Police Department has received a large number of calls regarding the traffic laws in the use of skateboards, bicycles, and motorized scooters. A motorized scooter is any two-wheeled device that has handlebars, is designed to be stood or sat on, and is powered by an electric or gas motor.

Here are the requirements by the State of California Vehicle Code in the operation of the following:

 

Skateboards

  • Prohibited on roadways, business sidewalks, posted public or private property;
  • Prohibited on school grounds; and,
  • Must yield to pedestrians.
 

Motorized Scooters

  • Unlawful to ride on any street that exceeds a 25 m.p.h. speed limit;
  • Unsafe speed in excess of 15 m.p.h.;
  • Must travel on the right side of the roadway;
  • Unlawful to ride on a sidewalk;
  • Must wear approved bicycle helmet;
  • Unlawful for anyone under the age of 16 years; and,
  • No passengers allowed.
 

Bicycles

  • Lights required during darkness;
  • Must ride to the right of the roadway;
  • No passengers; and,
  • Helmet required for those under 18 years of age.

Please obey the laws. They were designed with your safety in mind.

Scripps Ranch High School to Celebrate 10 Years

September 2003 marks the 10-year anniversary of Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS). A fantastic celebration is being planned that will include fabulous food, prizes, and entertainment. Please mark your calendars and watch for details about this community event.

  • Friday, Nov. 7–"A Taste of Scripps Ranch," Alliant International University, 7:30 pm; and,
  • Saturday, Nov. 8–Pre-game barbecue, 11 am; Homecoming Game, 1 pm, SRHS vs. Patrick Henry.

Please plan to celebrate this milestone with us.

The Corvettes Are Coming

Take a large pinch of nostalgia–that feeling that makes you tingle inside and brings you face-to-face with the tastes, smells, and feelings of your past. Combine it with the best hits of the 50s and 60s. Stir until totally danceable. Arrange the music on a platter exactly as people remember it. Embellish with glitter, add a helping of wild and crazy, and sprinkle with a generous portion of laughs.

This is the magic recipe for The Corvettes Doo-Wop and Motown Show Band, San Diego’s favorite oldies revue. Their up-tempo, fast-paced show is entertaining for people of all ages. If you grew up in those simpler days, The Corvettes will take you back. Younger than that? Don’t worry–the show is so entertaining that even kids can’t take their eyes off them! And, hey, it’s the roots of rock and roll–everybody can dance!

We’ll be ready for you on Sunday, Aug. 17, at 6 pm sharp! We’ve heard great things about this band, so come ready for fun! It’s all happening at Hoyt Park, where Aviary and Canyon Lake Drives intersect. Bring your blanket. Bring your picnic. Bring your low-back chairs. And most definitely, come ready to dance and sing, because these songs are from your past. You’ll know them whether or not you were born in the 60s.

Questions? Please call our chairs, Joyce Wulkowitz at 566-4206 or Scott Pritchard at 578-2536. Plan ahead now for our last concert of the season on Sunday, Sept. 7, at 6 pm when we dance our way into Caribbean nights with Left Coast Tropical Fun.

M’Lu Colbourn, Volunteer

Farmers Market News

The Scripps Ranch Farmers Market and Art Festival will temporarily be located in the parking lot of Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary School, until construction on campus is completed. We apologize for the loss of parking spaces and for any inconvenience to our shoppers, and we thank you for your continuing support.

Bev Cassity, Market Manager

SR Board and Care–New in the Neighborhood

Scripps Ranch Home Care, a home care-based business serving seniors in Scripps Ranch since 1996, has just opened the only board and care in Scripps Ranch for seniors and the disabled. This exclusive residential care facility provides our seniors and the disabled with an intimate home environment that promotes freedom and independence.

Scripps Ranch Board and Care is a quaint six-bed home with the highest staffing ratio in the industry. The team of registered nurses and caregivers assess individual care plans for seniors with limitations due to the effect of dementia or other medical or physical disabilities.

The goal at Scripps Ranch Board and Care is to provide loving care, stimulating activities, nutritious meals and snacks, as well as rehabilitation to ensure that our clients can have a safe and happy living environment. For more information, please call 271-4507 for a personalized tour of Scripps Ranch Board and Care’s residential facility for the elderly.

Summer Landscaping with a Purpose

During the hot summer months, landscaping can do more than add an aesthetic appeal to your home. It can also protect your home from possible brush fires, as well as help you reduce your water consumption outdoors. Several plants can perform this triple duty.

Simple steps can help landscapes defend your home from dangers. First, remove excess foliage and dried leaves around your home to lessen the amount of impending fuel for fires. Homeowners can then provide their homes additional firefighting support by choosing the right plants. Trees, shrubs, and plants can vary in flammability depending on leaf moisture content, volatile oils and resin content, salt content on leaves, amount of loose bark, and dry twigs.

Plants that are less flammable, such as Crocea Ice Plant and Saltbrush, will slow down or help suppress fires. While it is true that all plants will eventually burn, two categories of plants can mitigate the damage. Fire-retardant plants will not easily ignite during moderate intensity brush fires and can actually turn fires away, while fire-resistant plants have the ability to survive some exposure to fire and can even readily resprout after burning. Be careful to only make changes to plants within your property boundary so that you do not disturb any protected wildlife areas.

Choosing landscaping that can ward off fires can also create new water savings. Some plants such as Coyote Brush and Rockrose, which are low growing, are considered to have low fuel volume for fires and also require minimal watering. By utilizing these types of plants, homeowners can decrease water use and reduce their water bill.

Selecting appropriate plants is important during the summer months when water consumption rates tend to increase. Studies show that landscaping alone accounts for more than 50% of the total residential water usage.

When selecting plants for your garden, remember that vibrant colors and beautiful flowers do not have to be compromised when it comes to drought tolerant and water-efficient landscaping. According to the American Nursery and Landscape Association, vibrant and colorful landscaping can add 7-15% to the value of your home.

For ideas and tips on how to develop and maintain healthy water-wise landscapes that are drought tolerant and beautiful, visit the Water Conservation Garden located at Cuyamaca College. For information on the garden and its special events, call 619-660-0614 or visit [www.sandiego.gov/water/conservation] and click on the "Water Conservation Garden" link.

For fire safety tips and information on brush management, check out the City of San Diego’s Fire and Life Services website at [www.sandiego.gov/fireandems/].

Dan Carney, Landscape Architect, City of San Diego Water Department

Mello-Roos Fees

We often get asked what Mello-Roos fees are and what they cover. SRCA President Marc Sorensen provides some answers.

When a community plan is approved by the city, it usually has a Public Facilities Financing Plan (PFFP). Both Scripps-Miramar Ranch–old Scripps Ranch–and Miramar Ranch North have city-approved PFFPs. These plans are the financing plan by which city-controlled public facilities are financed, and, in most cases, the city and developers negotiate this plan.

There are several ways in which these plans are funded. In the Scripps-Miramar Community Plan the PFFP is financed via two assessment districts, the Financial Benefits Assessment (FBA) and the Special Park Fund (SPF). These two assessment districts collect fees from the developer as each building permit is issued. The city collects and holds the funds until sufficient funds are available to fund the public facilities.

In Miramar Ranch North the PFFP was set up to provide facilities up front and this was done via a bonding mechanism, Mello-Roos. In this mechanism the developers were assessed a portion of the public facilities costs. However, they in turn created the Mello-Roos, which assessed each house an amount. Each developer was responsible for their homes’ Mello-Roos costs and had to pay them up until the house was sold. At that time the monthly assessments were assigned to the new owner.

As for the homes in Miramar Ranch North that do not have Mello-Roos funding, they are that way for a couple of reasons. With Shea it was because they elected to pay up front the public infrastructure costs they were responsible for in the PFFP. Here it is very likely that the developer put the PFFP costs into the sales price of the house or "ate" the cost.

With respect to the Kaufman-Broad homes, they were not part of the Miramar Ranch North Community Plan. Rather, they are part of the Scripps Miramar Ranch Community Plan and paid funds into the FBA. They also were the source of the $770,000 fund that grew to $1 million and was used to purchase the 4-acre parcel planned for the YMCA. They also paid about $500,000 toward Scripps Poway Parkway improvements.

As for who pays for public facilities, the south of Scripps Ranch paid its fair share. Their FBA fund helped pay for the fire station, the library, and provided funds to help complete the Community Park. They also funded Jerabek Park, Cypress Canyon Park, and traffic improvements to Scripps Ranch Blvd.

Schools are the responsibility of the school district and not the city, therefore they cannot be funded via PFFP funds. The school district, using school bonds, constructed them. Dingeman Elementary School and Marshall Middle School were funded via Prop O; EBS was funded via Prop MM.

Both PFFPs are public documents available from the city. We also have them at the Scripps Ranch Library.