East Solana Beach residents form new community group

By Kristina Houck

A new community group has formed out of the now defunct Solana Homeowners Association Group.

Solana Eastside Community Group, or SECG, brings together homeowner associations and private residences east of Interstate 5. The group held its first general meeting April 3 at Lomas Santa Fe Country Club.

“We want to unify the eastside of the freeway for all the projects of significance that are important to all of us,” said Solana Beach resident Roger Boyd, president of SECG.

Established nearly 25 years ago by 11 HOAs located east of I-5, SHAG had been relatively inactive for the past few years. During a special meeting on Oct. 16, the group met to discuss the future of the organization and formed an ad hoc committee to explore how to revitalize the group.

Over a five-month period, the 12-member committee met nine times to choose a new group name, revise the mission statement and organization charter, and nominate officers and directors.

Representatives from SHAG met on March 24 to officially dissolve the old group and transition into SECG. Committee members approved the new mission statement and charter, and officers and directors. Group members also transferred roughly $1,000 in SHAG funds to a new SECG bank account.

The newly formed SECG covers 16 HOAs, five neighborhoods and five commercial entities — a total of 2,074 homes, or more than 5,000 people. Most of the territory is within Solana Beach.

“I am so thrilled to see this new group launching, picking up the heritage of SHAG and really carrying the banner forward,” said San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom also briefly stopped by the meeting, which nearly 40 people attended. He was the featured speaker at the Rancho Santa Fe Democratic Club meeting, which was held in the room next door at the Lomas Santa Fe Country Club.

“One thing I know is if you don’t like the way the world looks when you’re standing up, stand on your head and go local. Things are happening at the local level,” Newsom said. “I just want to thank you for your active participatory engagement.”

In the second part of the meeting, City Manager David Ott and City Engineer Mohammad Sammak talked about some projects that affect the eastside of Solana Beach. Ott noted the city didn’t choose the topics, just helped Boyd narrow his list of potential topics.

Much of the talk focused on plans to calm traffic on the eastside of Solana Beach, specifically sections of Santa Helena, Sun Valley Road and San Andres Drive.

Ott also briefly touched on public arts, the train station project and recycled water.

Although the date of the next SECG meeting is not yet set, Boyd noted the board would soon meet to discuss how to move the group forward.

“Our input as a community has been rather minimal because we don’t know what’s going on,” he said. “This will help us find out what’s going on, when it’s going on and how to become active and continue to make our city one of increasing values.”