PUBLIC MEETING Aug. 18 regarding potential Avocado Half Marathon for 2015; County, FCPG seek input

County pushes Avocado Half Marathon to public meeting, gives residents opportunity to comment on proposed plan

Debbie Ramsey

Managing Editor

Prior to giving the organizers of this year’s Avocado Half Marathon final approval to hold the event again in 2015, the County of San Diego has required that the proposed plan for the event go in front of the public for comment at a Fallbrook Community Planning Group (FCPG) meeting. That meeting will take place on Monday, Aug. 18.

“The organizers of the Avocado Half Marathon have asked to be on the August Planning Group agenda,” said Anne Burdick, chair of the FCPG circulation committee. “The County asked them to organize early and provide an opportunity for the community to speak regarding the road closures during the hours of the event.”

The reason behind the County’s request was undoubtedly due to the number of complaints it and other entities received from residents on the affected roadways of the inaugural event. Dozens of complaint calls were fielded by the County as well as the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce and the Village News (neither of which were organizers or sponsors of the event).

“There were a number of unhappy residents last year, and it would be great if they had an opportunity to be heard,” said Burdick.

Bob Fuller of the County of San Diego said he hopes as many residents turn out as possible to provide input on how improvements can be made to satisfy concerns about the roadways involved in the event.

Fuller said the County will take all input into consideration prior to endeavoring to craft a final, approved plan with race organizers.

Burdick said the information below is what was tentatively proposed by the race organizers. It was submitted by Fallbrook resident Vickie Knox:

“The following county roads will be closed on April 18, 2015 from 6:45 a.m. to approximately 10:45 a.m.: Gird Road from Reche Road to before the golf course; Reche from Gird to Stagecoach; Stagecoach from Reche to South Mission; Brooke Road; and part of Winterhaven. Some roads like Gird Road will be open by 8:15 a.m. Others will open up before that time as well, but all roads last year were completely back open by 10:45 a.m. We want to ensure plenty of notification in advance this year beginning with this meeting. There will be notices in the paper, online and in mailers so that all residents are aware and can plan ahead.”

The race and its proposed route will be featured at the Aug. 18 FCPG meeting, 7 p.m., at Live Oak School, 1978 Reche Road, Fallbrook.

Prior to the main general meeting, the proposal will be heard by FCPG subcommittees. The Circulation Committee will review it on Tuesday, Aug. 12 at 2 p.m. at Palomares House, 1829 S. Stage Coach Lane, Fallbrook and the Parks and Recreation Committee on Wednesday, Aug. 13 at 11 a.m. at the Fallbrook Sheriff’s substation, 388 E. Alvarado St. The public is welcome at subcommittee meetings also.

17 Responses to "PUBLIC MEETING Aug. 18 regarding potential Avocado Half Marathon for 2015; County, FCPG seek input"

  1. Supporter   July 31, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Unfortunately what was failed to be mentioned in this article is that the organization that the 2nd Annual Avocado Half Marathon and 5K will be benefitting this next year is Homes for our Troops that was in three pages of this weeks paper as well. This race will directly provide money for the home of Gunny Sgt. Brian Meyer who’s home will be built next in Fallbrook. Organizers from the Avocado Half Marathon participated in volunteering last Sunday at the Torres home for the installation of the landscaping. This race is doing nothing but good for this community from the high school, local businesses, the camp Pendleton marines who received credit for participating to Homes for Our Troops. Please report all of the story, not just partial.


    VILLAGE NEWS NOTE REGARDING THIS COMMENT: This information has not been received by or verified by the Village News. This article was done at the request of the County of San Diego who is requiring that the plans and information pertaining to this event go in front of the public at the Fallbrook Community Planning Group meeting. That is the arrangement so that all information (including any organizations that will benefit) can be shared with the public. Thank you. Debbie Ramsey, Editor.

  2. avocado half fan   August 1, 2014 at 9:26 am

    I like the first comment sounds like this paper does not have facts. Very poor writing on your part why is the county the only one with a quote why is the event not being represented for all the good it did this year and all the people backing this race in town and in the impacted area. I hope the next articles are represented by the event owners and directors. Vickie Knox name should not be I. This article as she did not submit any plans to county. Get your facts in line.

    VILLAGE NEWS NOTE: The story is factual. Thank you. D. Ramsey

  3. Liveoakparker   August 1, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    If you need to run that bad, get off the street and use the track at the high school.
    But if you must run on the street. Don’t run in the middle of it. learn from the poor kid on fallbrook street

  4. Lastyearrunner   August 1, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    I ran in the race last year. And it was a good event. The transportation to your car after completing the 5k will hopefully be better organized next year. It was the only complaint about the 2014 event.
    People need to get over the street closure inconveniences… They had plenty of warning to stay home, get out early, or get your butt in the races!

  5. 40 year resident of Fallbrook   August 1, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    The Village News had 2 front page stories this week. One that makes the Avocado Half Marathon sound pretty controversial, of course, that is according to our very, unaccommodating, County of San Diego, and a low percentage of outspoken, selfish, not so friendly, villagers. Do you realize, that for the most part, the same citizens who called you also called the county, and the Chamber? That makes the percentage of complaints much smaller than you think. Did you see the large number of residents who were outside with signs of encouragement, passing out drinks, etc., that they had purchased themselves? Everyone in town that I talked to LOVED the race and many of them were impacted by the closures. The second story on the front page, and a spread inside the paper, was about Homes for Our Troops. Did you somehow miss that the Marathon benefits that very organization? I had to laugh when I saw Vickie Knox’s name and know she, and her family, were in the photos you posted, in such a positive light for last Sunday’s workday. The landscape design and foundational landscape work on the homes for Our Troops is done by her husband Mike Knox. I would be so pleased to see our local paper get behind this marathon and start covering it in a more positive light.

  6. resident not affected by route   August 1, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    This is a great idea. My only problem is that they are planning it the same day as the Avocado Festival that draws 100,000 people to Fallbrook. To close down any major roads on this day (even for a few hours in the morning when all the vendors are trying to set up with their trucks and vans), is a total mistake. It should be held on another Sunday to allow full support for all the runners and their goals. Trying to divide our community volunteer base is a terrible mistake. Let each event have the full support of the community.

  7. Supporter   August 2, 2014 at 10:48 am

    @resident not affected by route.
    The Avocado Half Marathon and 5K is not the same day as the Avocado Festival and was not this past April either. It is the Saturday morning before the festival. The roads are closed very early on Saturday and has no impact on the festival whatsoever. There were plenty of volunteers for both events, some did both. The race is done and over 24 hours prior to the Avocado Festival. I agree that would be not wise to have both events on the same day, but instead it is a weekend event where people can come to Fallbrook for the entire weekend, stay in our local hotels, race on Saturday and attend the Festival on Sunday if they’d like to. We need more people like those that are living a healthy lifestyle to patronize our town and enjoy our community.

  8. @residentnotaffectedbyroute   August 2, 2014 at 10:59 am

    the race is on a Saturday…..

  9. Rude people   August 2, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    The people that ran this last year were very rude and shouldn’t be allowed to do it again and they were passing petitions around the high school when it should have been to people who live on the roads

  10. Fitness freak   August 2, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    As long as runners get their way they are happy but as soon as you dare speak out against the road closures and the organizers who PROFIT from this so-called charity event they turn into bullies. Fallbrook is too small to successfully host such an event, it should be moved to a location that doesn’t interfere with local traffic & access.

  11. ZZZ   August 3, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Reche is a bad choice, even Camino del Rey, which hosts bike races, is wider. Choose a four lane so vehicles can still pass through. Go Bonsall to Fallbrook. Or 395 ….

  12. Supporter   August 3, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    @Fitness freak
    Oh good grief!! There are running events all over the world and many in small towns. They bring revenue both to cities and towns and the charities that they donate to. In almost all cases, roads are closed and people and businesses are inconvenienced for a few hours once a year. They are positive events that bring the types of people that you want to your community. There are other events in this town that interfere with local traffic and access, and they profit our Chamber of Commerce and businesses. It is all for the good of all involved (except those that want to whine about a few hours).

    @Rude people
    Organizers were asked to get petitions out to residents. There were large numbers of signatures on impacted roads as well as other petitions that were just passed around by supporters that were trying to help. This was not asked by the event organizers to do, but the high school was in full support and seniors were getting community service hours for volunteering their time so they passed the petitions around.

  13. Virginia   August 3, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    I don’t think you can make everyone happy 100% of
    The time unfortunately. The road was closed only a few hours
    Early in the Morning and I would hope those who were unhappy could see this as a small inconvience as I believe their are many many more supporters than not. It’s just makes me wonder how many complaints other races get like the 3 day walk which surely impacts many more people for a much longer time and that is an awesome cause. The Avocado is supporting Home for Troops and how about the LA marathon, rock and roll or boston. What can’t we all just be supportive! The Fallbrook avocado half was awesome and I was proud to be apart of the first one. I will be there with more supporters!
    To Supporter. I 100% agree with your comments!

  14. Virginia   August 3, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    To live oak parker, the high school
    Track is not open to the public, if you do didn’t know this now you do . Also it is in poor taste to mention the kid who was killed and although I don’t know why he was in the middle of the street. It was posted that he was laying in the middle of the road which has nothing to do
    With running. Constructive comments are one thing but to
    Bring up The poor child. please think of the family who is suffering.

  15. D   August 4, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I think having the marathon is great as it brings people up to our town and it benefits not just the community but some specific individuals as well.

    What I don’t understand is why do they have to do a full road closure? Why can’t they let runners run in one lane and have a patrol led caravan of cars that legitimately need to get through? Is it too expensive? Is it more risky than what runners do every day running on the side of the road?

    I feel for those who are told to wake up at the crack of dawn and leave if they have to get out hours later or are told to suck it up and wait because they can’t get home by 6:45AM from a night shift.

    Is it really that difficult to accommodate residents requests?

  16. Supporter   August 4, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    I completely agree with you and unfortunately DPW at the County of San Diego would not approve any traffic control plans that allowed vehicles and runners on the same road. This is called a soft closure and due to the amount of driveways and roads along the course, they mandated a "hard closure" which does not allow vehicles to have access to the road. Also, the route was changed from one where runners were only on one side of the road to a much shorter, out and back course where runners are now on both sides of the road. This was approved by the County so that it impacted less residents and roadways since they were not going to allow vehicles to be on the roads anyways. With much advance notice residents can make arrangements for that morning if they must be somewhere or are trying to get back in. This is the case in most races. The San Diego Rock and Roll marathon does not only shut down major freeways for 10 hours, but with the new route change it blocks off many miles of residential streets. Residents either left or MANY decided to support the race and cheer on runners from their driveways and pass out water and treats. OC marathon was the same and AFC in San Diego will close off much of Pt. Loma during their half marathon in a few weeks. Those neighbors have banned together for years and support that race. It makes me sad that this community views this as a burden when large cities all over the country welcome their racing events year after year.

  17. VILLAGE NEWS   August 4, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Comments are being closed on this article as its intention, based on a request from the County of San Diego, is for interested residents to attend the public meeting on the topic. The County hopes that both those in favor of the event as well as those opposed to it will attend the meeting so voices can be heard before a potential plan is developed.
    This comment system is not the venue for exact questions to be asked and exact answers to be given since this system allows people to remain anonymous. No assurance of accuracy can be given to either questions or answers given that.
    The public meeting is the best place for accurate information and to share concerns.
    Thank you,
    Debbie Ramsey


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