Fallbrook, CA Tidbits: H-P

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Hazardous Waste Collection Facility

A permanent Hazardous Waste Collection Facility opened in Vista on June 28, 1997, to serve North County residents, and closed in ~June 1998. The facility accepted such materials as paint, used motor oil, garden products, lacquers, solvents and cleaning products, at no charge to the public.

However, this was financed by fees collected from the county's dumpsites, which were sold in 1997.

It was replaced by the County Hazardous Waste Collection Facility at 1145 East Taylor Street in Vista, open 9-3 every Saturday except holiday weekends (760 639-6118), which will cease accepting waste on 31 January 2004.

After 31 January 2004, residents of unincorporated areas must go to Ramona Disposal, a private facility operating for the county, at 324 Maple, in Ramona. Directions: I-15 to SR78 east to Ramona, right on Olive, drive one block and turn left on Maple.

Ramona Disposal is open every Saturday from 9-3. Each trip can deliver no more than 15 gallons of liquid or 125 pounds of solid waste, in containers no larger than 5 gallon buckets. No tires are accepted.

For more information, call Ramona Disposal at 760-789-0516 or I Love a Clean San Diego at 800-237-2583.

Source: Village News, 1/8/04, A5, and previous articles that weren't noted.

Legislature Districts and Representatives

List of all Legislators (from North County Times)

Fallbrook area districts (click on number to get a map of the district)

BodyDistrict NumberRepresentative
U.S. House48 (southern boundary)Ron Packard (R)
California Senate36Ray N. Haynes (R-Riverside)
California Assembly66 (find district by address)Bruce Thompson (R-Fallbrook)

Lost Pets

San Diego County Animal Control now puts pictures of lost pets online within minutes after they arrive at shelters.

Macadamia Nuts

In addition to the avocados for which it is famous, Fallbrook also probably grows more macadamia nuts than anyplace else in the 48 mainland states. (Hawaii is the larger grower in the U.S.) Local grower Jim Russell, president of the California Macadamia Nut Society, claims that the Fallbrook soil makes the nuts sweeter than nuts grown elsewhere.

Over 900 acres in Fallbrook are devoted to macadamia trees, out of perhaps 3000 acres in California. Because no one keeps track of macadamia statistics, the total acreage in California is an estimate. Al Snider, former president of Gold Crown Cooperative for 10 years, estimates 1,000 acres growing nuts in California producing about 100,000 pounds of nuts. Jim Russell estimates 3,000 acres and 400,000 pounds. The largest planting in California is Richard Sager's 20,000 trees in Valley Center on ~150 acres.

Gold Crown Cooperative markets the nuts. In 1997 it moved from a location on Old 395 near Lawrence Welk Village to Del Dios Highway in Escondido. Half the crop goes to exotic birds, particularly macaws, which sharpen their beaks by cracking the extremely hard shells to get the meat. The rest goes mostly to health food stores.

Gold Crown marketed 68,000 pounds in 1997 and expects to market 80,000 pounds in 1998.

Jim markets his nuts at farmers markets throughout Southern California. Tom Cooper, with 400 trees, markets his nuts through his Cooper's Nut House stand at 1378 Willow Glen Road and the internet, and receives so many internet orders that he has to get nuts from other growers to satisfy demand. Tom's 36 varieties of trees produce 20,000 pounds of nuts on his 4.5 acres.

Gold Crown paid $1.05 per pound for dried nuts in the shell in 1996, and was paying $1.95 per pound in 1998. So the estimates of 100,000 to 400,000 pounds would be worth $ 0.2 - 0.4 M per year wholesale, a small fraction of the ~$40 M per year avocado crop.

Tom Cooper has invented a number of machines to process macadamias, including a husking machine, a nut cracker, a float table to separate kernels from shells and a solar dryer.

Source: NCT 8/16/98, B3; 2/13/00; 9/28/00, Our Town-1; Tom Cooper email of 10/2/00.

Magazine articles mentioning Fallbrook

Date, PageMagazineTopic
August? 1998, ?CountryGrowing avocados in Fallbrook and some recipes on how to use them, featuring Al Snider. (NCT 8/23/98, B2)
June 1998, 54SunsetClassic Roses for a Fallbrook garden, featuring Marilyn Herlihy's rose garden.
March 1997, 17SunsetSanta Margarita River Trail
1870's?Forest and StreamDeer hunting in Fallbrook

Mountain Lions in the Fallbrook Area

Like nearly everyplace in California that has natural areas nearby, Fallbrook has mountain lions. This comes as a shock to most people, since mountain lions are very reclusive creatures, usually active only at night, avoiding contact with people, and adept at hiding. You are a very lucky person if you have ever glimpsed a mountain lion in the wild.

Mountain lion sightings have indeed increased dramatically as well, from 59 in 1991 to over 300 in 1994 in California. However, because mountain lions are camouflage experts, and eyewitness sightings are notoriously inaccurate, perhaps 80% of all lion sightings are actually deer, bobcats, dogs, and even domestic cats. Part of any increase is also surely due to the heightened awareness of lions with the increase in attacks.

Mountain lion attacks on people are extremely rare. You are much more likely to be attacked by a dog you know than by a mountain lion, even if you spend a lot of time hiking in the wild by yourself. You are more than a thousand times more likely to die crossing the street than from a mountain lion attack. See Mountain Lion Attacks On People in the U.S. and Canada for more information, including what to do if you encounter a lion.

Mountain lions in the Fallbrook area have been collared with radio beacons and tracked. You can view some of their roamings on a plot at the Santa Rosa Plateau Visitor Center. Tracks can often be seen along the Santa Margarita River.

A 120 pound dog was attacked in the mid-afternoon on 5/8/00 and suffered at least several slash wounds, but survived. A tracker from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Service confirmed that the attack was from a mountain lion. (VN 5/18/00, 1, 27) The specific location for this attack was about one mile west of Fallbrook High School, a few blocks north of the Rattlesnake Water Tower, but it could just as well have happened in any part of the Fallbrook area.

Such attacks on animals are too numerous to keep track of in California, and do not imply that an attack on humans is imminent.

Name(s) For Fallbrook Area Residents

De Luzians

De Luzions


or 'Brookers used by Tim Barnes and his friends, Fallbrook resident since 1977.

Marc Steffler, the Fallbrook High School Principal in 2000, sometimes wears a letterman's jacket with Brooktown on the back.


Used in:


Used in editor's note in VN 10/29/98, 8.


Sent in by an anonymous reader on 9/27/00.

Newcomers and Encore Clubs

Fallbrook has an extremely popular and active Newcomers Club, which serves as a wonderful way for the many new residents of Fallbrook to get to know each other and the area. New residents are eligible to belong to the Club for three years, after which they "graduate" to the Encore Club.

The Newcomers Club Website lists the many activities of the Newcomers Club.

Here are some of the activities of the Encore Club (see their website for up to date information):

Source: NCT 11/9/99, B2; email from the webmaster of the Newcomers club 7/3/05; email from the webmaster of the Encore Club on 6/12/06.

Noise Limit In County

County Code Section 36.404 (Sound Level Limits) says the noise is not to exceed 50 decibels. I assume this means that a neighbor is in violation of that code if they make repeated noise above that level as measured on your property.

The issue came up when Aaron and Amy Newman of Oceanside bought a 21 acre parcel off Ranger Road in an area of $350,000 to $700,000 homes. The Newman's removed 1,500 orange trees, put in a large moto-cross track, and began riding motorcycles on it. Residents of Los Hermanos Road, Yucca Way and Stonegate Place complained to the County Department of Environmental Health and Noise Control and the Sheriff's Department. The County measured the noise, and found that the Newman's were violating the Code.

The Newman's plan to put in large trees to create a sound barrier, and Mrs. Newman stated "We'll do whatever we have to do, to stay under the noise ordinance. If we're out of range, then we won't ride, we want to be within the law."

Source: VN, 7/30/98, 11.

Numbers on the Water Tower above FUHS

The 16'-wide and 24'-high numbers on the Rattlesnake Water Tower above S. Mission and Green Canyon Road honor Fallbrook Union High School's class that graduate in the spring of the year given by those numbers. Since 1983, the numbers have been professionally painted by Larry Perea's Escondido sign-painting company, at the current cost of $875 per letter. The job is bid each year. The numbers are painted using a straight edge, yardstick, hoist and ladder, working from a scale drawing.

Students from FUHS used to do the job themselves, but included a bit extra graffiti. That graffiti, and the hazardous situation faced by the students and those that had to clean up the graffiti, led Fallbrook Public Utility District to preemptively put the desired numbers up each year just before school begins. It has actually saved FPUD money, since cleaning up the graffiti cost as much as $2000 for one incident.

The water tower is 48' high, and holds 3.6 million gallons of water. It was named in honor of the hundreds of rattlesnakes discovered as it was built.

Source: Ent, 8/14/97, A1, A3.


Fallbrook has a lot of nurseries. The 2000 Fallbrook Directory lists 67 nurseries, and is not complete (EuroAmerican is missing, for example). 29 of those nurseries are listed as wholesale nurseries, most of whom are not open to the public. That in fact is one of the frustrating things about living in Fallbrook - to see all these wonderful nurseries that one can't visit!

This section will contain tidbits about a few nurseries found in the local papers.

EuroAmerican Propagators moved to 32 acres in Bonsall from Encinitas in October 1997. They propagate plants to order, usually with a 6 week lead time, and ship 30,000 trays of plants per week in the winter, a total of 2.5 million plants per week! They sell 30 million plants a year to hundreds of wholesale nurseries throughout the U.S. and Canada, employing over 250 people in peak season. Some of the varieties they grow are verbena, daisies, fuschias, petunias, herbs, Fischer geraniums and poinsettias, nasturtiums, and gypsophila.

The nursery takes cuttings from its stock house, roots them in 3-4 weeks in a mist house kept at 70° at night and up to 90° in the day, and then hardens the plants outdoors for 2-4 weeks. Workers harvesting the cuttings wear protective gear to prevent virus infections.

The nursery also does research and conducts "a lot of experiments here on the plants" for "new varieties and ways to make plants vigorous and healthy", according to representative Ginger Gabold.

Marketing Director Kerstin Ouellet says that Bonsall has exceeded their expectations: "They used to call Encinitas the 'Flower Capital of the World', but the marine layer was really becoming a problem. I have heard of several other growers moving here."

Source: VN 2/10/00, 1, 16.

Olive Hill Greenhouses also moved to Fallbrook from the coast, a "wise decision" according to owner Tony Godfrey. "On the coast, I didn't like all the fog. You go for days and nothing grows. When I told growers on the coast that I was buying land in Fallbrook, they said: 'Fallbrook! Where are you going to put a greenhouse? There is no flat land!' Obviously, we found enough."

In 1973 they began with 20 acres of foliage plants on Olive Hill Road, augmented by 50 acres on Green Canyon Road in 1982. Their Green Canyon site has 10 acres of greenhouses, 25 acres of vineyards, with the rest citrus trees, a pond, and areas too steep to plant. They employ close to 100 people.

Half of their crop is 800,000 bromeliads per year from 35-40 varieties. They ship 200,000 orchid plants per year. Pothos, crotons and philadendrum are among the many other crops they produce. All are potted in distinctive white pots, which are thought to bounce more light around in the greenhouses.

All plants are sold to wholesalers, with two-thirds going to the L.A. area and one-third beyond that. Some end up in local stores including Major Market, Daniel's Apple Market, Hank's Hardware, Nickerson's Nursery, Albertson's and some florist shops.

Source: VN 4/13/00, A18, A19.

Other Fallbrooks

Pala Indians

The 11,892 acre Pala Indian Reservation was established 12/27/1875 by executive order. The Reservation is immediately east of Fallbrook, south of Rainbow, along SR76, southwest of Palomar Mountain.

1,071 Indians live on the Reservation, with an unemployment rate of 46%, correlated with the 43.5% of the adult population that did not graduate from high school. As a result, the median income is only $10,500.

Source: NCT 2/26/98, B2.

The Pala Reservation "became home to the Indians around 1903" when the tribe was moved from Warner Springs. (NCT 7/19/98, B2.)

Planned Park Improvements and Maintenance Fees

County Service Area 81 (CSA-81) advises county park planners on spending developer impact fees for the Fallbrook, Bonsall and Rainbow area.

The bulk of the money received in the last several years, $1.1 million, went to the $1.3 million first phase of the Ingold Sports Park, formerly called Fallbrook Sports Park, which opened in May 2000, nine years after the park was first proposed. The Park includes a new combination softball and soccer field, complete with fencing and lighting, and a roller-hockey rink. The Sports Park has also received $300 thousand of private donations and another $300 thousand from the county budget.

In October 2000, the Board of Supervisors authorized $144,250 toward the $1.3 million second phase. The money will help fund another softball field, concrete walkways and ramps, a concession building and landscaping, to be completed in 2001.

Improvements to the community center have been seriously discussed since 1989, but little money has been actually allocated to it from the CSA-81 fund. The most recent estimate for the community-center improvements is ~$475,000, which includes building a permanent addition to the existing community center, two sand volleyball courts, a trailer and home pad to house a volunteer to manage the park, outdoor restrooms, picnic areas, parking spaces, turf and landscape work. CSA-81 members approved spending up to $558,000 on the community center in August 1996, but that money was later diverted to the Sports Park.

The Board of Supervisors has separately funded a few improvements. The kitchens were upgraded in 1998 or 1999, and $70,000 was allocated in 2000 for the Fallbrook Community Center Playground.

Sources: NCT 6/24/97, B1, B4; NCT 2/13/98, B1, B7; 3/15/00; 5/28/00.

A park in Rainbow, adjacent to the Vallecitos School, has been planned since 1991. It will be a 4 or 5 acre "passive park", meaning an irrigated grassy area, with a tennis court, basketball courts, a combination soccer-softball field, restrooms, a tot-lot, picnic tables and pavilion. Public hearings were held in 1992, and in October 1997 insurance liability was arranged with an architect who has been retained for the plans to produce a cost estimate. The plans will be submitted to CSA-81 for approval, followed by construction plans. After approval from the county supervisors, the park could be built.

Late in 1997, county officials submitted an application for $400,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to begin the $877,000 park project. But in January 1998 the committee said it would not consider the full application and instead may grant only $40,000 for a drainage and topographical study. Park construction could then not begin until 2000.

Sources: NCT 10/19/97, B1, B6; NCT 2/14/98, B1, B2.

A teen center to be built next to the Fallbrook Boys & Girls Club was proposed in November, 1997. The CSA-81 "expressed their interest and support in general", but will defer any funding until they find out whether their funds could be used for that purpose, and until they could review the center's overall cost.

Source: NCT 11/18/97, B3.

Six small neighborhood parks have been proposed in downtown Fallbrook. (NCT 3/5/00)

A parks benefit tax which would have started at $14 - $20 per dwelling unit and was capped at $38 over its 20 year lifetime, was voted down, 4466 to 2405, in December 2000, which would have solved the maintenance problem for the current parks. Proposition 13 limited the county to spending no more than 0.5% of property taxes on park maintenance. In March 2000, that totaled $105,000 for Fallbrook parks. Another $130,000 to $180,000 of maintenance is currently funded by public donations and volunteer labor. The Sports Park alone requires ~$50,000 per year in maintenance. (NCT 3/5/00, 12/12/00, B1, B6)

Property Tax Rate

The year 2000 property tax rate in Fallbrook is 1.03618% plus $62:

TaxRate (%)$ Amount on a house valued at
$100 K$300 K$600 K
1% tax1.00000100030006000
Voter-approved bonds
High School0.022552368135
Public Utility District0.0039241224
Metro Water District0.0088092653
County Water Authority0.00091135

Fixed charge assessments:

AgencyPhone #Amount ($)
County Mosquito / Rat Control858-694-28882
Fallbrook Water Charge760-728-112518
MWD Water Standby Charge800-528-271022
County Water Authority Availability619-682-422619
Total 62

Note: I am not sure if the fixed charge assessments are different for different property types. If your property tax bill has different amounts for the year 2000, please let me know. The property valuation is the minimum of {the purchase price inflated by 2% for every year since purchase} or the market value. (Technically, the 2% inflation only applies when the CPI exceeds 2%, but that nearly always happens.)

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Copyright © 1997-2006 by Tom Chester.
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Last update: 23 June 2006.