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HOT TOPICS: EL CAJON REALTORS GROUP DISCUSSING MEASURES A, B AND FIRE INSURANCE JAN. 31

East County News Service
 
January 24, 2020 (East County) – The Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (PSAR), a real estate trade group for San Diego-area realtors with an office in El Cajon, will host a presentation on Measures A and B, two March primary ballot measures that address housing development in semi-rural and rural, unincorporated areas of San Diego County, starting at 9 a.m., Friday, Jan. 31, at its PSAR East County Service Center, 1150 Broadway, El Cajon. The public is invited to attend.
 
PSAR is recommending a no vote on Measure A and yes vote on Measure B for the March California Primary Election. Speaking on Measures A and B will be Tony Manolatos, a political consultant and principal with Manolatos Nelson Murphy.
 
Voting by mail begins Feb. 3 and Election Day is a month later.

READER’S EDITORIAL: MEASURE A WILL REDUCE FIRE RISK IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

By Nona T. Barker and Richard W. Halsey

Photo: 2007 firestorms in San Diego County, courtesy of La Mesa Fire Dept.

January 22, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- As we watch Australia burn, many Californians remember the fear they felt as fires raged near their homes in recent years. Fires are a fact of life in much of California, but there are steps we can take to reduce the damage to people, property and our regional economy. One important commonsense step is to avoid building new houses in areas at the highest risk of burning.

Unfortunately, the urge to maximize profits seems to outweigh common sense for many big developers. Time and again, developers have requested amendments to the county’s General Plan to build massive sprawl housing projects in fire-prone areas of San Diego County. Our General Plan is a guide to sustainable growth in San Diego County. Despite the 13 years, millions of dollars, and widespread public input and support that went into developing the plan, our Board of Supervisors has shown time and again that it is inclined to support sprawl developments in our backcountry.

Measure A would put a stop to this short-sighted behavior. Under Measure A, voters get a direct voice in deciding whether large proposed housing developments that would increase zoned residential density in fire-prone rural and semi-rural areas can be built.

SUPERVISORS APPROVE BUILDING CODE CHANGES TO MAKE NEW HOMES IN FIRE-PRONE AREAS MORE RESISTANT TO WILDFIRES

By Miriam Raftery

 

January 16, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego Supervisors today gave preliminary approval to change the county’s building code in order to require fire-resistant construction of all new homes in areas with moderate to high wildfire risk in unincorporated areas. The standards are tougher than those mandated by the state.  A final reading of the ordinance is scheduled for January 29.

 

The changes were proposed by East County’s two Supervisors, Dianne Jacob and Jim Desmond. Jacob said she hopes the new requirements will serve as a “model for fire protection” statewide, also saving lives during wildfires.

 

San Diego County has been devastated by numerous major wildfires, including the 2003 Cedar Fire and 2007 firestorms which killed 17 people and destroyed thousands of homes, causing billions of dollars in property damage.

REAL ESTATE REALITY: INSPECTION WOES--IT’S GOOD TO KNOW

By Maryanne Jackson Real Estate Broker

January 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County)  

Dear Maryanne,

My wife and I are considering selling our home in Spring Valley and purchasing 

a larger home in the same area. We will need to use the proceeds from the sale to UPSIZE.

Is it recommended to hire a home inspector prior to putting our home up for sale? 

If so, what is the advantage of us putting the 450.00 out to do this. Will the buyer still need to get their own home inspection during the escrow investigation process?

Eric J. Spring Valley, CA

EL CAJON DESIGNATES HALL FAMILY RANCH HOUSE AS LOCAL HISTORIC RESOURCE

Source: City of El Cajon

December 19, 2019 (El Cajon) -- On Tuesday, December 10th, the El Cajon City Council approved designation of the Hall Family Ranch House, built in 1886, as a local historic resource. The property includes a single-family residence with a detached garage located on Provo Street in El Cajon. The 133-year-old home features a Folk Victorian architectural style. 

REAL ESTATE REALITY: WHO PAYS WHAT ON A REAL ESTATE PURCHASE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA?

By Maryanne Jackson Real Estate Broker

December 10, 2019 (San Diego’s East County)

Dear Maryanne,

Can you clarify for us whom pays for what on a property purchase/sale in Southern California?

Joel B and Jessica M.

THE HOLIDAYS CAN BRING ADDED RISKS FOR HOMEOWNERS: HERE’S HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF

 

By Michael Evans

Reprinted with permission from Bankrate.

Photo:  Fazeful/Getty Images 

December 2019 (San Diego) -- We all love classic holiday comedies in which characters tumble down staircases, battle wildlife intruders and fight tooth and nail against burglars. But in the real world, holiday disasters can leave homes in ruins and families in mourning.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, one in 32 holiday tree fires result in fatalities. Between 2013 and 2017, holiday tree fires caused around $10 million in property damage each year. During the same period, fire departments across the country responded to nearly 800 fires per year caused by holiday decorations other than trees.

TURN MILKWEED PODS INTO WORKS OF ART

By Melinda Myers

Photo credit: Melinda Myers, LLC. Common milkweed is making a comeback in part because it’s an important food source for the monarch butterfly. The milkweed’s seedpods can be crafted into wreaths, art and more.

December 9, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Homemade gifts are a wonderful way to show you care. Making them from items grown in your garden adds that extra personal touch. And just like the plant, decorations and gifts made from milkweed pods are gaining in popularity.

Considered a weed by some, common milkweed is making a comeback as more gardeners are growing this important food source for monarch butterflies. Harvest the seedpods and craft them into wreaths, stars and indoor holiday trees.

SUPERVISORS CHANGE LANGUAGE ON BALLOT MEASURE SUBMITTED BY OPPONENTS OF NEWLAND SIERRA, ADOPT DEVELOPER’S DESCRIPTION

Project would include 2,135 homes to help meet housing demand plus retail and commercial development; opponents cite concerns over traffic, evacuation during wildfires, and loss of wildlife habitat

By Miriam Raftery

December 7, 2019 (San Diego) – Over 100,000 residents signed a petition opposing the controversial Newland Sierra housing development approved by Supervisors, qualifying an initiative to appear on the March 2020 ballot after to let voters decide whether or not to allow the massive project.  But after the developer, Newland Communities, threatened legal action if neutral wording wasn’t changed, Supervisors voted 3-2 to adopt ballot language changes nearly identical to changes demanded by the developer.

The action angered environmentalists and planning groups opposed to the project, who only learned of the proposed changes when the matter showed up on an agenda days before the Nov. 19 vote.   Supervisors met twice in secret closed-door meetings, first voting down the changes 3-2. But then Supervisor Greg Cox changed his mind, joining with Kristin Gaspar and Jim Desmond to approve the developer-backed wording. Both Gaspar and Desmond have taken campaign contributions from Newland.

COLDWELL BANKER WEST MERGES WITH ASCENT REAL ESTATE, CREATES ONE OF SAN DIEGO’S LARGEST BROKERAGES, 15 OFFICES, 1,000 SALES AGENTS

East County News Service

November 27, 2019 (San Diego's East County) – Coldwell Banker West (CBW), one of San Diego County’s largest real estate brokerages with East County offices located in El Cajon and La Mesa, has announced a merger with San Diego-based Ascent Real Estate. The merger was jointly announced by Peter Mendiola, CBW president, and Penny Nathan, president/CEO of Ascent, who will become a partner of CBW. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

COUNTY GETS $1.7 MILLION TO HOUSE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

Nov. 25, 2019 (San Diego) The County Health and Human Services Agency was awarded more than $1.7 million in federal funds to house people with disabilities.

The $1,753,026 comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which awarded more than $130 million to 325 housing authorities across the nation. The County was one of 25 California counties and cities, including Oceanside, to receive this type of federal housing grants.

EARTHTALK®: DO LAWN CHEMICALS CAUSE CANCER IN DOGS?

From the Editors of E - The Environmental Magazine
 
November 24, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that lawn chemicals can cause canine cancer, and if so, how can I protect my dog? --Bill W., Ithaca, NY
 
Unfortunately, the answer may very well be yes. A 2012 study published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal, Environmental Research, found that exposure to certain lawn care products, such as the nearly ubiquitous herbicide 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2 4-D for short), increases dogs’ chances of developing Canine Malignant Lymphoma (CML) by 70 percent. When ingested repeatedly, 2 4-D acts as an endocrine disruptor, mutating a dog’s white blood cell count allowing malignant tumor cells to replicate unchecked. While obviously worrisome for dogs and those of us who love them, the implications for people aren’t good either, given the similarities between the onset of CML in canines and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in humans.

BRIGHTEN YOUR SPIRITS AND INDOOR DECOR WITH A COLORFUL CYCLAMEN

By Melinda Myers

Photo:  Easy-care cyclamen varieties offer plain or ruffled white, pink, rose or lavender flowers.  Photo courtesy Melinda Myers

November 20, 2019 (San Diego's East County) - Add some unique beauty to your indoor décor or give the gift of low maintenance splendor with the easy-care cyclamen. You’ll enjoy the colorful plain or ruffled white, pink, rose or lavender flowers that look like shooting stars hovering over heart-shaped leaves with silvery highlights.

STATE SUPREME COURT REJECTS APPEAL BY DEVELOPER AND COUNTY; HOSKINGS RANCH TO REMAIN AS AGRICULTURAL PRESERVE

By Miriam Raftery
 
November 6, 2019 (Julian) – Land slated for development into luxury homes in the Julian area must remain as an agricultural preserve.  That’s the impact of the California Supreme Court’s denial of a petition for review filed by Genesee Properties, the developer of Hoskings Ranch and the County of San Diego.  
 
The appeal sought to overturn a July ruling in Cleveland National Forest Foundation et al. v. County of San Diego County (Genesee Properties) by the 4th District Court of Appeal, which found that the County acted wrongly in approving 24 luxury homes on the agriculturally-zoned site protected under the Williamson Act.
  

REAL ESTATE REALITY: HOME SHOWING TIPS, MAKING A STRONG FIRST IMPRESSION

By Maryanne Jackson, Real estate broker, CNE, CPRES.

November 3, 2019 (San Diego's East County)

Dear Maryanne,

My mother is selling her home soon. Are there any important steps she should know about when people come to look at her property?

Is it acceptable for her and her cats to be there?

Lorie B., Spring Valley

FANITA RANCH WOOS COUNCIL AND PUBLIC WITH PROMISES OF PUBLIC TRAILS, OPEN SPACE, A FARM, VINEYARD AND 3,000 HOUSES

By Mike Allen
 
Photo:  SR 125 heading northward toward Santee
 
October 28, 2019 (Santee) -- The developer of Fanita Ranch, the planned community of 2,949 houses in Santee’s northwest quadrant, are trying hard to convince Santee that its project will enhance the city rather than detract from it.
 
Last week, the development firm, HomeFed Corp., wooed councilmembers and the public with new details on the amount of open space and other features on the 2,600 acre site in the third public workshop during a Oct. 23 City Council meeting and public workshop.

CARLTON OAKS OWNERS PLAN RESORT WITH HOTEL, HOUSING AND MORE

By Mike Allen

October 22, 2019 (Santee) -- The owners of the Carlton Oaks Golf Course submitted plans to the city of Santee to build 285 residential units on the site and other new development to create an upscale tourist attraction. The golf course itself will be moved and revamped to accommodate the new facilities.

WESTMONT RETIREMENT COMMUNITY HOSTS GRAND OPENING: PUBLC TOURS THIS WEEKEND

By Miriam Raftery

 

October 18, 2019 (La Mesa) – Westmont of La Mesa invites the public to a tour, buffet lunch, entertainment and prizes this Saturday and Sunday, October 19 and 20, from 12 noon to 3 p.m. The upscale facility features independent living and assisted living, including memory care, at its location at 9000 Murray Drive at Wakarusa.

This 130,00-square foot, three story retirement community includes 50,000 square feet of common area space will include a common meeting room that can be used by community groups for meetings and workshops, along with a pool that can be used for aqua aerobics for residents, as well as the community.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: TRENDY PUMPKINS

By Miriam Raftery

October 14, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Just in time for Halloween, Rebecca Jefferis-Williamson sent in these pics of “super-trendy pumpkins” spotted at Sprouts market. Why settle for a mundane round orange pumpkin when you can liven up your holiday décor with choices such as a Fairytale or Cinderella pumpkin that looks like a princess’s coach?  Or a knobby Knucklehead variety to add texture to your pumpkin patch display.  How about a ghostly white Jarradale pumpkin to add a spooky effect?

FIELDS OF DREAMS: LAVENDER FARM FOR SALE

By Miriam Raftery

October 13, 2019 (Valley Center) – Readers of East County Magazine have seen our stories through the years on the beautiful and fragrant fields of lavender blooms and events such as high teas held at Keys Creek Lavender Farm in northeast San Diego County. But now, the farm is up for sale – and owner Alicia Wolff is seeking “the perfect buyer – one who may continue my dream…while living their own dream.”

REAL ESTATE REALITY: STAYING PUT; EXPERIENCING CONTENTMENT

By Maryanne Jackson 

Photo: Creative Commons

October 14, 2019 (San Diego’s East County)

Dear Maryanne,

My husband and I own a home in La Mesa. We really do not plan on selling or moving any time soon.

However, we are planning on fixing up the place just for us.

I am curious what type of improvements tend to induce homeowners to stay put?

Lesley M.

SAN DIEGO GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL ANNOUNCES 10TH ANNUAL GREEN HOMES TOUR ON OCT. 19-20

Public tour expands to two days to showcase San Diego County’s most innovative eco-friendly residences

East County News Service

Photo: Straw bale home in Jamul

September 11, 2019 (San Diego) -- The San Diego Green Building Council (SDGBC), a nonprofit organization promoting sustainable building and community practices in San Diego, will host its 10th annual Green Homes Tour on Saturday, Oct. 19 and Sunday, Oct. 20. In response to growing public interest in the green movement and an abundance of groundbreaking projects in the region, the Tour has been expanded this year to two full days, showcasing a diverse collection of the most innovative eco-friendly homes in the San Diego region including several in East County.

NEW CALIFORNIA LAW RESTRICTS RENT HIKES ON MANY PROPERTIES

Law applies to apartments over 15 years old, but mobile homes are not included. Many condos and single family homes are also exempt

By Miriam Raftery

October 8, 2019 (Sacramento) – Governor Gavin Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 1482 into law, which he says will provide “the nation’s strongest statewide renter protections.”

Starting January 1st, it will be illegal for many landlords in California to raise rents by more than five percent a year plus the local inflation rate (as measured by the Consumer Price Index).  San Diego’s inflation rate was 2.8 percent from January to June.  

PSAR REALTOR TRADE GROUP/AARP PRESENT FREE FORUM ON ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS, WEDNESDAY, OCT 9

East County News Service

October 7, 2019 (La Mesa) – The Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (PSAR), a real estate trade group for San Diego-area realtors, will host “Small Homes, Big Impact,” a free, two-hour forum and resource fair on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9 at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Dr., La Mesa. The public is invited to attend.

The event sponsor is AARP, formerly the American Association of Retired Persons.

Topics to be discussed will include state and local compliance laws and legislative updates, as well as financing and types of ADUs, also known as granny flats and companion units. Additional topics will include why ADU’s are an option for homeowners, common experiences for homeowners, and where to go for more information and to apply for permits.

The moderator will be Colin Parent, La Mesa City Councilman (photo, left).

COUNTY TO OFFER FREE PRE-APPROVED HOUSING PLANS FOR GRANNY FLATS

 

By James Kecskes, County of San Diego Communications Office

September 30, 2019 (San Diego) - County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, joined by affordable housing advocates and builders, launched an incentive program aimed at spurring the development of granny flats and other accessory homes (granny flats).

COUNTY HELPS TO BUILD THOUSANDS OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS

By Jose A. Alvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

Photo:  The Beacon apartments, in East Village, will open Sept. 20.

September 22, 2019 (San Diego) - High rental prices and low vacancy rates have made it extremely difficult for many San Diegans to find affordable places to live.

As part of its ongoing effort to help ease the affordable housing crisis impacting families, seniors and those experiencing homelessness, the County and its many government and social service partners are building more than 3,000 new housing units to help people find a stable place to live.

REAL ESTATE REALITY: THE DISHWASHER REPAIR NIGHTMARE

By Maryanne Jackson, real estate broker, CRE, CPRES

September 21, 2019 (Mt. Helix) - Dear Maryanne,

My son purchased a home in Mt. Helix recently.  I have been staying at the house and have noticed a strange noise coming from the dishwasher when I open the door.  The appliance company came out and said they cannot remove the dishwasher to do the necessary repair, as the tile floor was placed too high and is now preventing the dishwasher from being removed at all.  The dishwasher repair is a relatively inexpensive fix, but the floor will need to be torn up and replaced.  Do we have any recourse to get this fixed?

Any suggestions appreciated,

CVS, Mt. Helix

BOARD OF EQUALIZATION HOSTS PUBLIC MEETING SEPT. 19 IN SAN DIEGO ON MODERNIZING PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM

East County News Service

 

September 15, 2019 (San Diego) – County Assessor Ernie Dronenberg invites you to a meeting of the California Board of Equalization on Sept. 19 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. in San Diego. 

LA MESA HOSTS COMMUNITY WORKSHOP SEPT. 25 TO DETERMINE HOUSING AND COMMUNITY NEEDS

Source:  City of La Mesa

September 11, 2019 (La Mesa) - The City of La Mesa receives approximately $400,000 annually from the federal government through the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) to fund housing, community development, and infrastructure projects. The city would like your input to help determine housing and community needs in the community for future funding.

GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR TOMATO HARVEST

By Melinda Myers

Photo:  At the end of the season, pick tomatoes that are starting to show some color and allow them to finish ripening indoors.  Photo credit:  Melinda Myers, LLC

September 3, 2019 (San Diego) - Nothing beats the flavor of fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes and when they’re left on the plant five to eight days after the fruit are fully colored, the flavor only gets better.

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