First of all I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all of you who called and sent cards when the very nice Union Tribune article appeared highlighting Scripps Ranch and the role that I have been able to play over these years. I have been honored to be able to work with many wonderful people in helping all of Scripps Ranch. It is the community working together that has made it possible to achieve what we now have. The work of hundreds of devoted resident volunteers who more often than not go unsung and unrecognized yet are vital to our community is the main reason Scripps Ranch is the best community in San Diego. Some of the phone calls asked what was the magic “formula” in getting the City to do things for the Ranch? I have to admit there is no magic formula, just simple concerned citizens working hard for their community and paying attention to what needs to be done, without “demanding” that it be done.
When I receive a request for assistance I always personally go to the area and look at “the problem” and take a picture if needed. I come home and using the past community files and working with other members of the community develop a plan of action that will solve “the problem.” The next step is to go through my extensive card deck and City points of contact and begin making phone calls asking for the assistance, which I know they can provide. I never demand services or threaten political action. They know I have personally seen and looked at the project, determined that it is indeed a City related issue and will offer a doable solution. When the work is done I always thank the individuals and write letters of appreciation to the City so that the next requests to be honored as well. I have always found that acknowledging and thanking helpful City personnel is good for them and good for Scripps Ranch. When all else fails I initiate a written request through the Council Office soliciting their assistance. Someone asked if I knew everyone in the service departments of the City? The answer is no, not all, just many. I have dealt with many and I try to deal with the agency that can do the job without referral up the chain of command so to speak. Can anyone else do it? Of course! Just get started, do your homework ahead of time, be pleasant, present a doable plan, which they appreciate, try and understand that we are not the only community in the City, and finally have pleasure doing it.
This has been a very active and important month for Scripps Ranch. There have been a number of major projects all affecting the total Ranch, which have been considered and approved during the past month. I will simply highlight some of them for emphasis and information and I am sure many will be covered in more detail in separate articles
A. Approval of the Shea “Gateway Project
This is the project set for the north side of Scripps Poway Parkway at Mercy Interchange. The City Council and the Planning Commission had recommended disapproval of the project, as it did not conform to the intent and content of the Community Plan. A revised plan was presented and approved. The project will include two four-story hotels, a fast food area, a gasoline service station and a Park and Ride Facility. The next project is the development of the adjacent multi family housing project on the pad immediately to the east.
B. Approval by the City to purchase the 4-acre commercial recreation parcel from Shea.
Using $1 Million from the Upton Settlement Fund and $200,000 arranged by Councilman Brian Maienschein the City acquired the Shea parcel for $1.2 million. As the last market assessment was about $2.9 million, the City and the Ranch got a bargain. Now, we as a community must come up with the best possible plan for its development to meet recreational needs and of course how to finance and maintain what we build. Your ideas and assistance will be essential for this project to be really successful.
C. City Approval of the Scripps Ranch LMD-MAD budget
The Scripps Ranch Landscape Maintenance District (LMD) budget for the coming fiscal year was finally approved and the assessment will remain the same $84 as last year. The LMD will still maintain our playing fields and open space; however, this years budget is very “lean” due to several cost escalation factors. A separate budgeting plan is underway for the LMD which maintains the Miramar Ranch North Area. Both of our LMDs are faced with escalating cost of services and it is highly likely that both will need an increase in budget in the near future. If this is to occur, the City will notify all residents and the Newsletter will be providing as much information as possible.
D. The Rancho Encantada Project was approved with specific conditions regarding traffic.
Working directly with Mc Millin representatives, the community generated a listing of Specific Conditions needed to make the project better and to try to address the recognized unmitigated traffic impacts of the project on Scripps Ranch. These conditions will be incorporated into the legal agreements between the City and the Developer. Work remains to be accomplished to ensure that the coordination and completion of construction with CALTRANS is accomplished – a tall order at best made even more pressing as work on I-15 and its access points is the key to the project. We recommended that the project not be initiated unless and until the work was programmed and time lined by CALTRANS on I-15.
E. Expanded Environmental Impart Report (EIR) that the School District initiated for alternate middle school sites due to have first report in September.
Mooney and Associates, under contract with the School District, has initiated an EIR for the two alternative sites for the middle school: the Renzulli site, and the USIU West site. This work adds these two sites to the already complete EIR on the Intel business park site. A preliminary analysis of feasibility should be available in September, which should give a good indication of the various land site options that could be available for our school expansion needs. The results should be presented to the Board of Trustees with a specific recommendation(s) as to which site(s) should be further examined. The Ranch is eagerly awaiting this assessment so we can start working with the School District on the right solution for our schools.
F. Ellen Browning Scripps (EBS) Elementary School will open September 4, 2001.
All work is proceeding on schedule for opening our new EBS School on September 4, 2001. Dr. Rich Cansdale and his fine group of faculty and parents have done a terrific job preparing for what is to be another Scripps Ranch Signature School. The City will finance the installation of flashing speed sign on Scripps Poway Parkway as an additional safety measure to help slow down traffic. Please, remember there is now a school at this busy intersection and drive carefully.
Vandalism and Other Reports
Rather than have you receive rumors, here is a short report as to some of the incidents which have happened on the Ranch and which seem to occur despite our best planning each summer.
First of all we had an unfortunate incident in which some youths threw a water filled balloon out of a speeding car on Spring Canyon Road slightly injuring the leg of a resident. She was so shocked and hurt she was unable to secure a license plate or a good description of the individuals. If you witness this type of action remember the police need good descriptions and a license plate to follow up on it. This has been reported to Lt. Christian and Captain Goodrich NE SDPD.
Second we had a couple indecently exposing themselves in Lakeview Park. The incident was reported by a resident. Unfortunately this cannot be prosecuted but it has been reported.
Third, we have had after hours drinking, trying to kill the ducks, and other activities at Hendrix Pond. This seems to be a rite of summer and the police are patrolling it as well as our other parks for your safety.
Fourth, each year we close down our playing fields for extensive repair and replanting. This makes it possible for us to heavily use the limited playing fields year round. Despite all our efforts and signs some individuals come on the fields before they are opened thereby hampering our efforts. Your cooperation in abiding by the park-closed signs would be appreciated. If you are unsure about a park just call the Rec. Center at 538-8085 they have a schedule of all park closings.
Garage Sale and Clean up Day
It was not listed on the calendar but just a reminder that the Prudential Realty will sponsor again the fall Ranch Wide Garage Sale on Oct. 20. The Annual Fall Clean Up day will be held on Saturday Oct. 27, one week later. This is your chance to sell your unwanted items and if not sold donate them to the Goodwill. Also your chance to clean up and pick up around your residences, trim your bushes and trees and of course help in the general clean up of the Ranch. The work you do shows your pride in our fine community. SRCA District 5 Director John La Bar will again head up our Clean up Committee. Time 8 am until 1 pm in the Business Park. The LMD crew will assist in picking up and we will also have the chipper as well as dumpsters for your use.
Covenants, Codes, Restrictions (CC&R)
One of the major forces that help retain our Ranch’s appearance is adherence to the CC&Rs that apply to your home. The file in the Information/Service Center is being updated all the time with new CC&Rs for your reference. Remember the CC&Rs that apply to your home remain in effect no matter how many times sold. We normally secure voluntary cooperation on these and when and if there is a Code Violation we refer it to the City. We are still looking for an individual or individuals to take over this essential work of making our community better. Call me at 566-6083 if you are interested.
Off Leash Dog Run
Several residents have asked for a committee to be formed under the SRCA to investigate the feasibility of locating and maintaining an Off Leash Dog Run in Scripps Ranch. At the present time there is one in Poway called appropriately “Bark Park” and there is another one in Maddox Park in Mira Mesa. Both are fenced (courtesy of dog owners) and maintained. The committee will evaluate the City program and determine if such a program has any validity and hope for success in Scripps Ranch. There are strict guidelines for these parks and they must be established through the City Park and Recreation Department. The City did a preliminary site survey of our current parks and only Cypress Canyon Park met the minimum standards for consideration. This does not mean that Cypress Canyon is even being considered it was just a site review. It is a clear City policy that no such Off Leash Park can be established without Community endorsement and support. Be advised again that dogs cannot be run off leash in the parks, school district property, or open space. It means dog lovers, like myself, must keep their dogs on a leash and of course please pick up after the dog. Will keep you posted.
The letter sent to Assistant City Manager George Loveland requesting his assistance has paid off. I am now working directly with the Streets Division to take the appropriate action to eliminate the safety hazard for the 12 reported buckled sidewalks reported so far. I am preparing another map showing the location for the City crews and suspect that all they will do is patch or grind most of them for now. We are very interested to remove any potential accident sites and make our sidewalks safer.
Redistricting Commission Reaching The Decision Point
We expect the San Diego Redistricting Commission to announce their recommended plan this month. We appeared before the Commission four times including when we hosted the Commission here in Scripps Ranch. Our views were incorporated into what they termed “The Preliminary Map.” This kept us in District Five and removed Kearney Mesa and parts of Linda Vista and joined them with similar communities in District Six. An Evolution Map was among nine different versions that were proposed but we recommended continuing the Preliminary Map. From all reports this is the way they will go, with of course, some tweaking of the boundaries. District Five must lose population and the Preliminary Map does meet this goal while maintaining most, if not all, of the integrity of District 5. There will be a 30-day review period after the Redistricting Commission forwards their recommended plan and we will continue our close monitoring of the project. As you can imagine this has been a very difficult and daunting task for these volunteers to come up with a fair and equitable plan which can be legally supported in the courts and fairly represents all of the citizens of the City of San Diego.
Schools Are Opening – Be Careful Driving By The Schools
Just a reminder lots of children will be going back to school. Be alert to fast movers wanting to get to school as well as slow movers wanting to delay the process, please give them the brake, we mean slow down and drive carefully! For the parents of Miramar Ranch Elementary School we requested the Water Authority, as a part of their mitigation measures, to remove the Bike Path sign on the corner of Red Cedar and Scripps Lake Drive and replaced with the green Bike Route sign. That way parents can temporarily park to drop off and pick up children.
What Makes Scripps Ranch The Fine Family Community It Is
We will hold our Annual Business Meeting for the SRCA in September to plan for the coming year. I would just like to make a few comments as to what I have noted over the years in Scripps Ranch. We have a fine family community first of all because we care about the community and its sense of being a close- knit community. Second we have a wonderful cadre of volunteers who make all our activities from schools to sports leagues work. Third we unite and present a strong voice in the councils of government in support of our consensus views. Together we make it work. Let’s keep it that way as we face the challenges we have.
We will be asking for new volunteers for District Directors, Newsletter distributors etc. So don’t be bashful. Step up and do your part – it is greatly needed and appreciated.
Fire Station Report
Our new Fire Station is finally nearing completion. It will be a delight for the firemen and a showplace for the Fire Department and for Scripps Ranch. Not only will it have wonderful facilities, but it is also located adjacent to a park. We will announce the Grand Opening as soon as we know it, so please watch for it in the Newsletter.
We are not alone in our delays; Engine Company 44 was to move into the Black Mountain Station months ago but also encountered the same problem with their contractor. It is back on track as well. As the plan was to complete # 44 and have it online and providing coverage before moving our #37 to their new quarters. I talked to the firemen and they can begin their move as soon as the electronics (Communications) are in. They will be most happy to leave their (30 year old!) “temporary” quarters in the water plant area.
`Til next month…