Homes

Homes

PROPERTY TAX RELIEF FOR FLOOD VICTIMS

 

 

East County News Service

January 9, 2016 (San Diego)—San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk Ernie Dronenburg wishes to advise all property owners whose property was damaged or destroyed during the recent flooding that property tax relief is available. This tax relief program requires the reassessment of the property to reflect its damaged condition.

The reduced value will remain in effect until such time as the property is rebuilt or repaired. More importantly, after the property is rebuilt or repaired, the owners can retain their previous taxable value if the property is rebuilt in a like or similar manner. This means that the property tax assessment will not increase beyond what it was prior to the flooding.

CHIRP, ORGANIZER OF ALPINE’S SAGE & SONGBIRDS GARDEN TOURS, CLOSES DOORS

 

East County News Service

December 30, 2015 (Alpine) –After 19 years of working to create gardens friendly to birds, butterflies and other creatures, the nonprofit Center to Instill Respect and Preservation for Garden Wildlife, or CHIRP, is coming to an end.

The board of directors voted in November to dissolve the nonprofit after financial challenges, as many nonprofits have faced in recent tough times.  “I feel it is time for me, the founder and executive director, to move on,” Maureen Austin wrote in a letter published on the Alpine Community Network.

CHIRP, a garden club known for organizing the popular Sage & Songbirds garden tour each year, gained national fame for Alpine after helping the community become first in the nation to receive a Community Wildlife Habitat designation from the National Wildlife Federation.  Austin voiced hope that Alpine will continue to nurture habitats for wildlife to retain the designation, adding that she will happily help transfer NWF’s annual status report to another organization or individual.

CHRISTMAS IN ALPINE HOME TOUR DEC. 12

 

November 11, 2015 (Alpine) - The Alpine Woman’s Club will hold its Eleventh Annual “Christmas in Alpine” Home Tour on Saturday, December 12th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.. You will have an opportunity to stroll through five stunning country estates and visit Alpine’s Garden and Gifts Shop. After the tour The Historic Town Hall will be open from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for ticket holders to enjoy light refreshments, to pick up a surprise gift and view Andrew Poindexter’s incredible nutcracker collection.

PLANTSRAVAGANZA! WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN HOSTS FALL PLANT SALE NOV. 7

 

Planstravaganza! Among San Diego County’s Most Diverse Water-Wise Plant Sales; Vendors, Professional Consultations Available

 

October 29, 2015 (Rancho San Diego)--The Water Conservation Garden is hosting its annual Fall Planstravaganza! on Saturday, November 7 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to help San Diegans make the most of the region’s fall-to-spring planting season and save water while they do it.

The event boasts the most diverse drought-tolerant plant sale in San Diego County. Retailers and growers will sell shrubs, trees, perennials, succulents and more, making the event one-stop shopping for fall and winter gardening essentials.  Plants that get planted during the mild San Diego fall planting season will reward gardeners with strong root systems that allow the plants to establish to their potential by the spring, particularly with this year’s upcoming El Nino. 

SOLAR CITY PROGRAMS EMPOWER COMMUNITIES AND HOMEOWNERS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

 

 

Hear our exclusive interview with David Guefen, Solar City in San Diego: http://k003.kiwi6.com/hotlink/p9k7v10vp9/Newsmaker-DavidGuefen-SolarCity_and_SolarFoundation.mp3

October 12, 2015 (San Diego)—Solar City, the largest solar company in the U.S., has launched some of the most ambitious and empowering programs in the solar industry.  The company can even act as your utility company, enabling you to get a solar system for no money down and start saving on your utility bill from day one.   Average savings per home run 20 to 60 percent on utility bills, says David Guefen with Solar City San Diego.

The company is also giving back through programs that provide free solar to schools in impoverished countries, giving free solar power to families in military housing, and offering a rewards program for referrals. (If you buy a system from Solar City and mention East County Magazine, our nonprofit will receive a reward. Just click the ad in this story.)

But the window to go solar with maximum incentives ends December 31st, when a 30% federal tax credit is set to expire or be slashed.

Audio: 

HERO PROGRAM HELPS HOMEOWNERS SAVE MONEY IN EAST COUNTY, SAN DIEGO

 

 

 

 

 

East County News Service

October 17, 2015 (San Diego's East County) -- New, updated HVAC systems offer ways for homeowners to save energy, and therefor money in their wallets. But some homeowners may avoid updating their systems because they are afraid of what seems like a high cost to install.

Now with the new Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) program, that doesn’t have to be a concern. HERO offers financing for approved energy and water efficient products, as well as renewable energy products, for homeowners in San Diego. With the program, homeowners can get low, fixed-rate financing options and payment plans that can vary from five to 20 years, making it as easy as possible for homeowners to upgrade their heating and air conditioning units and better protect the environment.

ROBOTS ON THE BLOCK?

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 3, 2015 (Valley Center) – Imagine a community where a driverless electronic “pod” picks you up at a transit station and ferries you to your home, or errands along the way.  Envision other robots that can fetch and carry groceries, or follow your children to school or their bus stop to make sure they arrive safely. 

That’s the vision of 5D Robotics CEO David Bruemmer, who teamed up with Randy Goodson, developer of Lilac Hills Ranch, a proposed multi-use community of largely agricultural land in Valley Center that would include 1,746 homes, parks, and businesses.

ENCHANTED GARDEN GALA OCT. 17

 

September 30, 2015 (Rancho San Diego) -- On Saturday, October 17th, The Garden at Cuyamaca College will once again be transformed into "The Enchanted Garden." Wander a magical path through illuminated gardens as you enjoy ethereal music, delicious, garden-inspired fare and captivating entertainment.

SUPERVISORS TO VOTE OCT. 14 ON LILAC HILLS RANCH: OPPONENTS ASK HORN TO RECUSE SELF DUE TO CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

East County News Service

September 26, 2015 (Valley Center) – Supervisors are poised to vote October 14 on whether to approve an amendment to the County’s General Plan to allow construction of Lilac Hills, a project that includes 1,746 homes plus commercial development on 608 acres in rural Valley Center. Current zoning allows only 110 homes on the site.

If approved, the project could set a precedent to waive General Plan requirements countywide.

Now the Cleveland National Forest Foundation has called on Supervisor Bill Horn to recuse himself due to apparent conflicts of interest involving potential increased property value of land he owns nearby.  Horn has asked the state's Fair Political Practices Commission for a legal opinion on whether he must recuse himself, after another activist sent a letter of complaint to the FPPC.

TWO SANTEE HOUSING PROJECTS MOVE AHEAD

 

 

By Mike Allen

Photo, left: Parc One artist's rendering

September 19, 2015 (Santee)--Two long-planned residential projects in Santee moved ahead this summer, with the Parc One apartment complex nearing its opening and the larger, more controversial Castlerock development looking to obtain final permits to begin construction, possibly later this year.

Castlerock, a project that’s been in the works for about 12 years, should go before the Local Area Formation Commission in October, said developer Pardee Homes.

AMENDMENT TO ROOMING HOUSE ORDINANCE PASSED BY CITY COUNCIL

 

East County News Service

September 18, 2015 (San Diego)—Aiming to help families and individuals sharing housing, San Diego’s City Council has unanimously passed an amendment to the Rooming House Ordinance proposed by Councilmember Marti Emerald.

KNOW THE LAW ON TOWING AT RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES

 

By Alan Pentico, San Diego County Apartment Association

August 17, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Parking is a scarce and valuable commodity in much of urban San Diego. Many property owners use towing as a tool to keep off-street parking available for tenants and their guests. But the right to tow is not unlimited. California law gives vehicle owners rights and protections against unreasonable and predatory towing. To protect yourself from the steep cost of retrieving a towed vehicle, make sure you’re familiar with the basic tenets of towing law in California.

ENCHANTED GARDEN GALA BRINGS MAGIC TO THE GARDEN OCT. 17

 

July 24, 2015 (Rancho San Diego) -- On Saturday, October 17th The Garden will once again be transformed into  "The Enchanted Garden." Wander a magical path through illuminated gardens as you enjoy ethereal music, delicious, garden-inspired fare and captivating entertainment.

NEW FEDERAL RULE TAKES AIM AT HOUSING DISCRIMINATION, TARGETS LOCAL ZONING

 

East County News Service

July 21, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – Last week, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced  finalization of a new rule, “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, that requires communities to remove zoning laws and other barriers to integration in neighborhoods at all income levels, or lose federal HUD funds.

PET PATIOS HELP PROTECT CATS AND DOGS FROM COYOTES, HAWKS AND OTHER PREDATORS

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 14, 2015 (Mt. Helix) – Recently, Mt. Helix residents on the “Next Door” community forum website posted concerns after a distraught resident reported seeing a coyote kill her small Yorkie dog.  Fortunately, another  East County resident has offered a solution for residents who want to provide a safe outdoor area for small dogs or cats to exercise safely, without harming  coyotes, which are native to our region and help control rodent populations.

ECO-FRIENDLY PEST CONTROL IN THE GARDEN

 

 

By Melinda Myers

Photo: Melinda Myers LLC

July 11,2015 (San Diego’s East County)--Spots on tomatoes, holes in hosta leaves and wilting stems mean insects and diseases have moved into the garden. Don’t let these intruders reduce the beauty and productivity of your landscape. Work in concert with nature to prevent and control these pests and you will be rewarded with a bountiful harvest and landscape filled with beautiful blooms.

WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN ANNOUNCES JULY CLASSES & ACTIVITIES

 

East County News Service

July 10, 2015 (Rancho San Diego)—From “dog days” strolls with your canine companion to classes on turf-tossing and glass-making, a stargazing party, a wine walk and an evening of music with the San Diego Concert Band, the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College has a wealth of enriching activities and events coming up later in July.

Here are highlights:

WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN WINS NATIONAL AWARD FOR PROGRAM EXCELLENCE

 

July 1, 2015 (Rancho San Diego) – The American Public Gardens Association (APGA) this week announced the winners of its 2015 member awards. Now in its 39th year, the APGA awards honor the professional horticulture industry's most influential and pioneering individuals and organizations.

WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN OPENS EAST COUNTY ROTARIAN'S NATIVE HABITAT GARDEN

 

East County News Service

June 28, 2015 (Rancho San Diego) – The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 12th to mark the opening of its newest exhibit, a 400-square foot Native Habitat Garden at the six-acre venue.  Honored guests included San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob and Louise Andres, Rotary International Governor, District 5340.  The Habitat Garden, underwritten by several east San Diego County Rotary clubs, will demonstrate ecology landscaping, a growing gardening movement that emphasizes native plants grown in their natural associations, creating optimal habitat for birds, butterflies, and other beneficial wildlife. The exhibit will also demonstrate best practices for water-wise design, storm water pollution prevention, on-site water reclamation, and gray water systems.

ARCHITECTURAL RESPONSES TO CALIFORNIA'S DROUGHT

 

Originally Published on the ECOreport

By Roy L Hales

June 23, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - There was a new source of inspiration at the 45th Annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards. Some of the winners were architectural responses to California’s drought.

GREEN YOUR HOME AND GARDEN

 

By Mary Bradford

June 8, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--It was right after buying a new “fixer-upper” home that I realized a few things; I had an immense project on my hands, one that would include a great deal of buying, reusing, and inevitably discarding, because there were a number of details that prevented the new place from feeling like home. The other thing I realized was that trends were changing in the home-design industry, and that a bigger focus than ever was being put onto products that were energy efficient, environmentally conscious, and made with an intent focused on more than just aesthetics.

SPLISH AND SPLASH YOUR WAY TO COOL ENERGY SAVINGS

 

 

East County News Service

June 7, 2015 (San Diego's East County) -- Summertime is almost here--time to dive in and cool off. But maintaining a pool  and air conditionoing can be costly. SDG&E has provided some tips for saving energy and money on your swimming pool and air conditioning systems.

DEFENSIBLE SPACE IN THE DROUGHT

East County News Service

May 28, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Creating defensible space around your home is more important than ever amid the drought.  But that doesn’t mean hacking down landscaping to bare earth.  Now Cal-Fire has posted information on plants that are fire resistant and drought tolerant. These ideal choices not only provide color and beauty with minimal water – they also provide a safe area for firefighters to operate and increase the odds that your home will survive a wildfire.  

For details, click “read more” and scroll down, or visit http://www.ReadyForWildfire.org/landscape_ideas.

FREE PAINT DROP-OFF EVENT ON MAY 9 IN SPRING VALLEY

 

May 2, 2015 (Spring Valley)--PaintCare, a nonprofit that runs the California Paint Stewardship Program on behalf of paint manufacturers, is holding a special event to collect old and leftover paint to make it easier for households and businesses to recycle their unwanted paint. The event will be Saturday, May 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Steele Canyon High School, 12440 Campo Rd., Spring Valley.

SDG&E OFFERS TIPS FOR SAFE PLANTING THIS ARBOR DAY

 

Customers and landscapers are reminded to call 8-1-1 two days before digging

April 24, 2015 (San Diego) – With Arbor Day upon us, San Diego Gas & Electric's (SDG&E) Vegetation Management team is reminding customers and landscapers to plant the “Right Tree in the Right Place” this Arbor Day.

COLLEGE BLOSSOMS WITH SPRING GARDEN FESTIVAL APRIL 25

 

Source: Cuyamaca College

April 15, 2015 (Rancho San Diego)--Like honey bees to a hive, the public swarms Cuyamaca College each year for its immensely popular Spring Garden Festival.  This year, the 22nd annual free event takes place 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 25.

SAVE WATER IN YOUR GARDEN: FREE COMPOSTING CLASS MAY 2

 

By Helen Ofield

April 12, 2015 (Lemon Grove)--You planted green beans, snap peas, tomatoes, chard and zucchini, then stood back and waited for the good times to roll. After the funeral for the first four, you were left with baseball bat size zucchini. You left them on doorsteps at midnight only to be caught in the act by a dozen cell phones ("local weirdo leaves humungous zucchini for helpless neighbors"). The video went viral and you became the laughing stock of Lemon Grove.  But, wait...

Cry on the shoulder of the Lemon Grove Organic Garden Club and the Lemon Grove Historical Society. They're holding a free composting class on May 2 from 1 to 3 p.m. outdoors in Civic Center Park (between Main and Olive Streets) next to the historic H. Lee House, 3205 Olive.  Parking is free, too.

SAGE & SONGBIRDS GARDEN TOUR TAKES WING MAY 1-3

 

April 10, 2015 (Alpine) – The 18th annual Sage & Songbirds Garden Tour on May 1-3 will feature five private home gardens plus a hummingbird haven and a raptor rehabilitation facility for close-up viewing of wildlife.

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