COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT UPDATES
The City Manager has received an appeal from Mayor Abed and Deputy Mayor Diaz to consider the proposed amendment to the Interim Downtown Specific Plan to allow educational facilities for adults in the Historic Downtown District, subject to a Conditional Use Permit. This amendment was denied by the Planning Commission on 1/8/13; if approved, it would allow consideration of a CUP application by a private university (St. John Paul the Great University), which is negotiating to lease several large vacant buildings along Grand Avenue. The appeal is scheduled for consideration by the City Council at the 2/13/13 meeting.
Sale of the six lots in the Mountain Shadows and Escondido Views mobile home parks is nearing completion. The lender has informed the City that it will not allow the deed restriction on the lots restricting resale to qualified buyers, as originally anticipated. Staff has consulted with the State HCD and Urban Housing Communities regarding an alternative strategy to recapture the sale proceeds, which would then be designated for future affordable projects. Since the units would no longer guarantee availability to low income households for the anticipated 20-year period, they would not be counted towards meeting the City’s RHNA goals; however, all parties are in agreement that this approach is acceptable and would meet the goals of providing new housing as well as maintain a funding source for future projects. Staff is coordinating with the City Attorney regarding implementation of this change, to enable the sales to close.
Benton Burn Site Remediation:
Grading is ongoing within the project limits, importing and placement of clean soil is continuing this week. The project has been in the print media this past week and city staff were contacted by KUSI yesterday to get more updated information regarding the project and the surrounding community.
Oak Hill –Street and Modular Building Site Improvements:
A preconstruction meeting was held this week for the upcoming project. The notice to proceed date is for January 23, 2013 with the project consisting of 60 contract days. The project consist of the construction of a building pad for a future modular building located on the Day Care Center property. The remaining item of work is the construction of public improvements which include curb and gutter, sidewalk, asphalt roadway improvement and street lighting.
Mission Avenue SDG&E 69 KV Electrical Line:
Main line conduit installation is continuing along Mission Avenue at the Metcalf Street intersection. The second crew is presently stopped due to utility conflict resolution in the Mission Avenue and Broadway intersection. Potholing of the utilities will continue this week with a planned restart set for next week. It is anticipated that the crossing of this intersection will take up to 8 days once construction is commenced. The third crew will begin excavation for the next vault located on Mission Avenue in front of Mission Grove Park Wednesday.
Grading is continuing on site, the offsite water line was tied in this past week in the Ash Street and Pennsylvania Avenue intersection.
Broadway & 8th Avenue:
There is no activity to report regarding the reconstruction of the wall.
Grape Day Task Force Update
The Police Department continues its enforcement details several times a day in the park and surrounding areas. Since the start of the increased focus, the police department has conducted 255 extra patrols in the park. 63 field interviews, 55 citations and made 33 arrests.
The Park Rangers continue to report the increase in families using Grape Day as an area for family picnics, parties and get-togethers. There were no reports of problems in the Greater Grape Day area this past weekend. The bathrooms have also been reported to problem free, and the food and clothing delivery to the homeless at the park has disappeared. However, we have had a number of reports of persons now feeding homeless at the library. We are currently working with Library and Interfaith to eliminate this problem.
The application for a Smart Growth Incentive Grant from SANDAG was approved at Council last Wednesday and was submitted to SANDAG last week. A subcommittee of the Task Force was formed as the “Playground Committee” to discuss the selection and installation of additional playground equipment that was approved at a council session last November. This committee will be selecting the type and location for the added play equipment which will likely be adjacent to the existing playground.
The next task force meeting will be on Tuesday, January 29.
Congratulations to Police and Fire Dispatcher Nancy Duran. She and 13 year old Conner Blaser from Escondido will be honored at the 2013 CalNENA 9-1-1 Heroes Awards Ceremony scheduled for January 24. The incident Nancy Duran and Conner Blaser are being recognized for is a medical aid head injury. Nancy did a great job following emergency protocols and guiding Connor through the pre-arrival questions.
- By the end of February the City will be able to further improve Graffiti response times. The Public Works Department has an opportunity to hire a seven worker team for a six month period at a very low cost through a non-profit agency. The team will tackle park and creek maintenance and other similar tasks which will free up full time workers to work on graffiti removal and other similar projects.
- Gophers have returned to the median on Centre City Parkway between Valley Parkway and the flood control channel. A notice of intent to apply bait this week has been filed. Bait will be distributed in numerous areas throughout the CCP corridor. Reapplication will occur if needed in the weeks to follow.