Daily Business Report-June 12, 2014
New home development
Developers to Pay Big Fees to Build in Mid-City
Developers are about to pay a whole lot more in fees to build homes in San Diego’s mid-city area. The City Council approved a plan Tuesday that will increase fees there by about 500 percent. It will take up fees in other communities over the next two years.
It’s a risky bet that could pay off in more parks — or further stagnate investment in older communities.
The decision came via an update of the community’s 1998 Public Facilities Financing Plan. Community plans each come with a financing plan to lay out how to pay for their long wish lists of parks, fire stations and libraries.
Fees paid by developers are supposed to cover a big chunk of those, but the outdated plans mean fee rates haven’t kept pace with inflation — or much of anything, judging by the exponential increase.
Residential developers will now have to pay $11,925 per unit, up from $2,545, if they want to build in Normal Heights, Kensington-Talmadge, City Heights and the Eastern Area. If city planners were only adjusting for inflation, the fee would be $3,701.
Councilwoman Marti Emerald represents the neighborhoods in the plan and said it was time to level the playing field with newer communities.
“There are many planned communities in San Diego, predominantly north of (Interstate) 8, that have been collecting higher fees for many, many years and because of that they do have all of these wonderful public facilities,” Emerald said. “Many of these older neighborhoods haven’t had that advantage.”
Mid-city communities have a shortage of park acreage – a shortage that, Emerald pointed out, will only be compounded by the dense development the community is slated to take on as the region’s population grows. Currently, the fees provide about 10 percent of the funding for new parks and other facilities, according to an Independent Budget Analyst report.
— KPBS report
Minimum Wage Ballot Proposal Sent to City Council
A plan to put a proposed incremental increase in the minimum wage before San Diego voters in November was passed Wednesday by the City Council’s Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee, City News Service reports.
City Council President Todd Gloria is leading a drive to get the proposal, which would also require that employers provide five earned sick days each year, on the ballot in this fall’s general election.
His plan, passed 4-1 at the committee level, will now go before the full City Council, which needs to grant approval before the item can be placed on the ballot.
The city currently abides by the state minimum wage — $8 an hour — which is set to increase to $9 an hour next month and $10 an hour in 2016.
Gloria based his proposed San Diego minimum hourly wage of $13.09 on a study by the Center on Policy Initiatives, showing that’s the least amount of money needed to live in San Diego on a bare-bones budget without government assistance.
The council members on the committee are Sherri Lightner, Mark Kersey, Ed Harris, David Alvarez, and Marti Emerald. Kersey cast the dissenting vote.
ViaSat Inc. Acquires NetNearU
CARLSBAD — ViaSat Inc., a provider of satellite and other wireless networking systems and services, has expanded its ability to deliver high-speed satellite services and Internet access with the acquisition of privately-held NetNearU Corp.
NetNearU has developed a comprehensive network management system for Wi-Fi and other Internet access networks that can extend ViaSat Exede services to a growing base of subscribers for multiple markets, including commercial airlines, live events, hospitality, enterprise networking and government broadband projects.
Operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary, NetNearU will retain its Bryan/College Station, Texas, location-also establishing a ViaSat presence in Texas.
June 26 Panel Will Discuss Email Forensics
San Diego ESI Forum will present a June 26 panel program to educate attendees on the methods and tools used by forensic professionals to preserve, collect and analyze emails. Attendees will learn how civil and criminal lawyers work with forensic practitioners regarding email preservation, collection, analysis and production; and learn best practices in obtaining discovery of email, obtaining inspection orders and managing the relationship with forensic practitioners.
Panelists will include Mitchell D. Dembin, U.S. magistrate judge; William M. Low of Higgs Fletcher & Mack; Assistant U.S. Attorney Alessandro Serano; and Jim Sevel of San Diego Digital Forensics.
The program will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Jury Assembly Room 250, U.S. Courthouse Annex, 333 West Broadway, Downtown San Diego.
La Terraza Professional Building Sells for $2.2 Million
ESCONDIDO — A 12,241-square-foot La Terraza Professional Building at 150 La Terraza Blvd. has been sold for $2.2 million to a buyer doing business as Reliant General Insurance Services Inc. The seller was Coastline RE Holdings Corp. The building was built in 2006 and sits on 0.91 acres. Cushman & Wakefield and Cassidy Turley were the brokers.
Ashford University Provost Joins
Downtown San Diego Partnership Board
Ashford University Provost Lori Williams has been selected to serve on the board of directors of the Downtown San Diego Partnership.
Williams ha more than 25 years of experience in the education field. She was the vice provost of curriculum development and innovation at Kaplan University, and was executive director of the Center for Student Success at Walden University. Williams also held positions at Laureate Online Education and Union Institute & University.
Williams holds a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies from Union Institute & University, a master’s degree from Saint Michael’s College and a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University.
Mayor Offers Incentives to City
Workers With Cost-Saving Ideas
The city of San Diego will implement a program to encourage employees to come forward with ideas for saving money and streamlining operations, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced Wednesday. They mayor also said he would work with city labor organizations to improve the city’s competitive bidding program known as “managed competition.”
“I’m calling on the city’s 10,000 workers to come forward with innovative ideas that boost productivity and save money so that we can increase the amount of work the city does in our neighborhoods,” Faulconer said. “I believe we must start with empowering employees, who know what needs to change so they can be more effective at their jobs.”
Faulconer said that in the San Diego Works s program, workers will be offered rewards and recognition for efficiency proposals that save money and/or allow for enhanced services that benefit neighborhoods.
The time and money saved in the program can be spent directly on services for residents, the mayor said.
For managed competition, Faulconer said he wants to implement two dozen changes recommended by a consulting group led by former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith.\
— City News Service report
Carlsbad Resident Wins Karl Strauss Brew Contest
Carlsbad resident Robert Masterson has won the top prize in Karl Strauss Brewing Co.’s fourth annual Pro-Am brewing competition with his “Hops Til You Drop” Double IPA (India Pale Ale). The beer will be brewed at Karl Strauss Carlsbad in early August for submission to the Great American Beer Festival in October, when it competes with hundreds of other Pro-Am contestants from across the country.
“This beer was so impressive,” said Matt Johnson, head brewer at Karl Strauss. “The citrus aroma really stood out and it had huge hop flavor while still being balanced with the malt. I wanted to keep drinking more.”
Besides taking first place for his double IPA, Masterson tied for third place for his British-style Barleywine.
A double IPA contains double the amount of hops and has double the ABV (Alcohol by Volume) of a standard IPA.