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San Marcos is an ever-growing city of versatility

One of the fastest-growing cities in San Diego County, San Marcos is constantly in a state of change. According to the San Marcos Economic Development Corp. Web site San Marcos is 70 percent built out with approximately 4,000 acres of land available for development and redevelopment.

The city boasts affordable and luxury housing and land prices are less than neighboring cities like Carlsbad, where it sells for an average of 20 percent to 30 percent more.

The 19-acre San Elijo Park, located at the corner of Questhaven and San Elijo Roads, became open to the public in July 2004. The facility is a two-tier park with lighted ball fields, two playgrounds, a dog park, picnic grounds, a water "sprayground" and 6,000-square-foot recreation center. The park is just one of many facets the new, mixed-use San Elijo Hills community has to offer. Voted master-planned community of the year and best master-planned community, among other recognitions, the partially completed neighborhood is also home to San Elijo School.

The approximately $10 million Las Posas Interchange Project broke ground in October 2004, providing more direct access to Palomar College in the future and relieving traffic at adjacent San Marcos Boulevard and Rancho Santa Fe Road. The new freeway access is predicted to improve the flow of traffic on San Marcos streets by minimizing the distance of trips from state Route 78 to destinations near Restaurant Row and Palomar College. Construction is slated for completion in 2006 and will also include fill and grading, retaining walls, a bridge crossing over Las Posas for the eastbound off ramp, three more on/off ramps, signals for the ramps, auxiliary lanes on the freeway between Las Posas and Rancho Santa Fe Road, signing and striping. Right-of-way acquisition is already complete.

With all of the new growth that San Marcos is experiencing, it became necessary to enhance Fire Station #2 on 1250 South Rancho Santa Fe Road. The San Marcos City Council approved construction of the station in August 2004. The new facility will measure approximately 12,000 square feet and will contain one paramedic engine company and one paramedic ambulance and is slated for completion in August 2005.

What would San Marcos be without its colleges? Palomar College and California State University, San Marcos (CSUSM) attract students from all over San Diego county as well as neighboring cities. In May 2004, construction of the new business building at CSUSM commenced. Construction will be completed at the end of 2005 and it will be used for classes in spring 2006, said Steve Ramirez, administrative coordinator for planning, design and construction at CSUSM.

Mulberry Park became one of 10 parks in San Marcos last July. This four-acre park was built in conjunction with the Olive Hills Estates residential project and features a tot lot, picnic grounds, field and a water playground."

The first phase of Montiel Park, a 10-acre city park, broke ground in September 2004. Montiel Park is located between St. Paul Drive and Hillsboro Drive along Montiel Road in eastern San Marcos and will offer a half-court basketball court, play areas, picnic space, a trail and a dog park. Further features will be considered as more funding becomes available. The facility is slated to open in May 2005.

In October 2004, the San Marcos City Council broke ground on Walnut Grove Park, a 20-acre, $4.8 million facility at the corner of Olive and Sycamore avenues. Improvements to the project will include 13 acres of grass turf for special events and sports activities. The turf area is designed to wrap around a remodeled facility with new restrooms, a meeting room, storage area, snack bar and an on-site caretaker residence.

A diverse list of development makes San Marcos a hot commodity for people in a vast range of income brackets.

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