December 12, 2013

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12/12/13

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Wal-Mart is planning to open the second store East Valley Parkway on January 31, 2014.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Escondido Jaycees 63rd Annual Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 14, 2013
9:30 a.m. Broadway (Between Escondido High and Grape Day Park)

This beloved Escondido tradition attracts tens of thousands of spectators each year from everywhere in San Diego County. This year’s theme is “Christmas across the Galaxy.”

UPGRADE OF COUNCIL CHAMBERS EQUIPMENT

The replacement of the audio control system in the Council Chambers will begin this Thursday, December 12 and should be completed by Monday evening, December 16. On Tuesday, December 17, Intent Digital upgrade the Voting System.  Final testing of all the new control system and voting equipment will take place on Wednesday December 18.  These upgrades are being funded by PEG fees.

ASSISTED LISTENING DEVICES

Both volunteer and paid staff at The California Center for The Arts and City Hall worked together over the past several months researching and purchasing state-of-the-art assisted listening devices for the Center for the Arts theaters and the City of Escondido City Council Chambers. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires public auditoriums to provide assisted listening devices for their hearing impaired patrons.  The previous ALDs were decades old, out-of-date and did not function well with current technology. Mike Conrad, a volunteer at the California Center for the Arts, spearheaded the project and worked closely with Center staff as well as staff from Risk Management at City Hall. The ADA Committee from the City of Escondido set aside $25,000 for this project. The equipment was purchased through Quiet Voice Audio in Fallbrook, the closest vendor for the equipment as well as the lowest bid. The total cost of the project including equipment, installation and training of staff was $20,819.42.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT UPDATES

Planning:

  • Staff has received positive feedback regarding the revised Environmental Quality Regulations and associated Climate Action Plan adopted by the City Council last week. The changes will help streamline the CEQA process for applicants and reduce costs for technical studies (particularly regarding traffic and air quality analysis), will use thresholds that are applied consistently throughout the region, and will provide flexibility for developers to choose how the thresholds can be met.
  • Major Projects Update:
    • NUWI submitted additional information on 11/26/13 as a partial response to previous incomplete letters for the Oak Creek project. This is the third submittal and includes significant changes including revised specific alignment plan for Felicita Road, a redesigned lot configuration to meet clustering provisions, and new drainage design. Staff is prioritizing review of the modifications and is working with the applicant to clarify the improvements they propose for their three frontages (Felicita, Hamilton and Miller) as well as along other substandard street segments proposed for annexation.
    • An incomplete letter has been issued for NUWI’s proposed Amanda Lane project. The primary issues also focus on their proposed improvements for offsite segments along Gamble Lane and the potential need for right-of-way acquisition. Rincon has also submitted a letter expressing concern regarding the adequacy of water pressure to serve the upper lots.
    • An incomplete letter has been sent to owner of the property at 2412 S. Escondido Blvd. regarding the proposed 76-unit residential project that was submitted on 11/12/13. The project proponent is David Zak, NCA Developments, LLC, and is unaffiliated with Lyon Homes.
    • A CUP application was submitted on 12/9/13 for the construction equipment and storage facility proposed on the City property at 525 N. Quince (former Cocina del Charro)
    • An application was submitted on 12/4/13 for Tract 972, a 16-unit subdivision in the Stanley/Lehner area; the application is under review.
    • The proposed Black Angus restaurant at Westfield is being considered by the Planning Commission on 12/10/13. The Commission will also consider the proposed Chick Fil-A restaurant at the Promenade Center on W. Valley Parkway.
    • The applicant for Centerpointe, the proposed grocery store and drive-through restaurant at the former Toyota site, has chosen to prepare their own traffic study and is working with staff to refine the scope of their traffic study for inclusion in an EIR.

Building:

  • Building had a very busy week issuing permits with 68 permits issued, well above the weekly average of approximately 35. Most of the permits were of the minor type ( i.e tenant improvements, reroofs, water heaters, signs etc.). We experienced one of the busiest weeks on record at the building counter with average daily sign-ins of 37 with 55 on Wednesday. The Wednesday sign-ins was the highest counter sign-ins since 2009. Building broke another record this week with 26 photovoltaic permits issued for the week, 429 issued for the year.
  • The Classical Academy at 207 E. Pennsylvania has received Building approval and is waiting for sign off by other departments prior to issuance. The new McDonalds restaurant at 1146 E. Valley Pkwy has all department approvals and is ready to issue. The new winery tenant improvement at 298 Enterprise St. has been issued. 

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS

2013 - 2014 Pavement Repair and Rehabilitation Program:

The Notice to Proceed was issued on December 9.The contractor will have 80 working days to complete the project. The concrete contractor has begun construction of the pedestrian ramps at Tulip Street and 9th Avenue. The city tree crew will begin the removal of 8 additional trees at 9th Avenue and Vine Street this week.

Grape Street Public Improvement Project:

The contractor is onsite potholing utility conflicts and preparing for additional water service replacements. 27 new services have completed to date, the contractor is scheduled to perform 5 more service taps on December 12.   

Escondido Creek Trail Lighting:

The contractor has 12 bike path light poles remaining to be installed along the north side of the channel between Juniper Street and Broadway. The electrical service points have been completed and a request for service has been placed with SDG&E. Due to the potential for wire theft along this isolated service runs the contractor is being directed to provide additional security measures at each point the wire could be accessed.  Once completed, a special lighting ceremony will be held.

Traffic Signal Construction:

The City was notified that it had been selected to receive over $600,000 in federal funds to build two signals on the City’s adopted traffic signal priority list. The Highway Safety Improvement Program funds will be used to construct a signal at El Norte Parkway and Fig Street and at East Valley Parkway and Date Street. The federal funds will pay for 90% of the construction costs of these high priority signals. The City survey crew will be completing the field survey of the existing improvements for the Fig Street and El Norte Parkway intersection later this week.

Encino Drive & El Dorado Drive- Storm Drain Replacement:

The final fully executed document is anticipated to be completed by the close of work on December 10.  In preparation a preconstruction meeting is being scheduled for December 12.  At this writing the Notice to Proceed is tentatively scheduled for December 16. The project is set to be completed in forty (40) working days.     

Private Development

Contempo Townhomes-Tract 921:

The offsite water main construction was completed on December 4. The public safety lighting and traffic striping along Orange Avenue has been completed. 

Stone Brewery Traffic Signal:

The trench patching is scheduled for completion on December 11. The final striping and signal activation is set for December 17.

Lincoln Avenue & Escondido Boulevard Gas Main Testing Station:

The SDG&E contractor is on site doing field installation work this week.

Cox Communication -  Auto Parkway between Andreasen Drive and Citracado Parkway:

A preconstruction meeting was held on November 26 to discuss the project limits of work. The first day of construction was December 3.  The contractor has begun to install conduit on Auto Parkway between Andreasen Drive and Market Place. Electronic message boards are being used to notify that businesses are open during construction.

620 North Ash Street- 7-11 Convenience Store:

The project is moving forward at the old City of Escondido Engineering Utilities building. The contractor has completed the Grading Permit process and has erosion control measures in place in preparation for demolition of two of the existing structures.

1146 East Valley Parkway- McDonald’s Restaurant:

The contractor for the McDonalds Restaurant has brought in the Caltrans approved permit and recently provided the required securities bonds and paid all remaining fees. A representative for the contractor has indicated that work will not start until January 2014. The project consists of major road widening along both Valley Parkway and Ash Street. Valley Parkway will be reduced to a single lane of travel west bound with Ash Street being reduced to a single lane of travel south bound during portions of construction. Electronic message boards are required as part of the traffic control plan to aid with notify the motorist of potential delays along this section of roadway.

BUILDING MAINTENANCE

We had a number of maintenance issues arise in connection with the City Hall fountain that are taking some time to complete. The filter failed and needed to be replaced; an in-line backflow device failed and needed to be replaced; and the caulking inside the fountain has eroded in many areas causing water to leak out into the underground drainage system. The caulking also needs to be completely replaced, and the inside painted black again.

Progress to date: The new filter has been installed. The check valve has arrived and should be installed by December 15. The caulking will begin as soon as weather permits. It needs to be dry and warmer so the caulking can cure. A temporary fence will go up around the fountain while the caulking and painting is being done to prevent intruders. If all goes well, the fountain should be running again before the end of January.

PUBLIC SAFETY

  • The Police Department participated in the hugely successful Annual Teddy Bear Drive at Children’s Hospital.  Escondido PD partnered with San Diego Sheriff Department on the drive.  
  • The Police Department is working on organizing a Red Cross Blood Drive in January to benefit City employee Michelle Geller’s son who is undergoing treatment for leukemia. The Red Cross posted a story on him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RedCrossBlood