January 30, 2013

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01/31/13

UPDATE FROM THE CITY CLERK

The Mayor will be recognizing exceptional community volunteers on a more frequent basis instead of only at the annual State of the City address.  Nominations will be solicited through a news release next week, and wording about this new approach will be added to the weekly agenda.  Nominations may be submitted at any time and recognition will be made on a monthly basis during a City Council meeting.  The nomination forms will be available on the website at http://www.escondido.org/city-clerks-office.aspx , by email to mgrimm@escondido.org, or by calling 760-839-4617.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Two additional sponsors came on board this week for the AMGEN Tour of California.  They were Dr. Bronner’s  ($2,500 in support of the Kids’ Zone) and Crossfit ($1,000).  This brings our current total to $$85,500.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT UPDATES

Planning:

  • Staff notes a lot of developer interest in several properties, including City Plaza (Escondido Blvd. and Third Avenue)  and Valley View (near San Diego Zoo Safari Park).
  • Contempo (formerly City Square):  Grading is underway for the completion of this project, and building permits should be issued soon.
  • Citracado Parkway: The City Appearance Committee approved the conceptual landscape plans for the proposed extension of Citracado Parkway. The plans include decorative stucco sound walls, landscaping of the median and parkway, and barrier fencing along the bridge over Escondido Creek. Due to the location of water and other utility pipelines within the right-of-way, as well as sight visibility concerns at unsignalized intersections, portions of the corridor will not be able to accommodate street trees. Staff is coordinating with the Rincon Municipal Water District regarding the relocation of water lines in order to accommodate more street trees. Slopes will be planted with a combination of a natural hydroseed mix and trees; this eliminates the need to acquire additional slope easements, and reduces maintenance responsibilities in areas where future development is anticipated that will alter the slope configuration.
  • Avocado Court: A Certificate of Occupancy was issued on 1/24/13 for Avocado Court, located at El Norte Parkway and Broadway and constructed by Community Housing Works.  The project includes 36 affordable units, including eight units for disabled veterans. The City had been previously received the Ruby award for the Outstanding Public Agency from the San Diego Housing Federation in recognitions of its efforts to keep this project going when the redevelopment funds were eliminated. The happy families will be moving into their new homes in February. The developer expressed great appreciation to City staff for their efforts to final the project.

Code Enforcement:

Staff received a complaint from a business owner at 1260 Ohio Street regarding trash and debris being dumped in the alley between Ohio and Pennsylvania (west of the Wal-Mart site). Upon field inspection by Code Enforcement, staff determined that the debris was in the City-maintained alley and notified Public Works. The Public Works crews responded quickly and were able to remove and dispose of the debris the following day.

CAPITAL PROJECTS

Benton Burn Site Remediation:

The grading portion of the project has been completed with the last contaminated soil being placed and compacted in the lower portion of the site. Installation of the protective blanket material has begun on the upper portion of the project with completion still set for February 11, 2013.

Oak Hill Street and Modular Building Site Improvements:

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on site this past Monday with the Mayor and Councilman Gallo in attendance. The contractor has begun to clear the site of vegetation along the Oak Hill Drive frontage with the roadway construction being the first item of work. The construction of the building pad has been rescheduled to coincide with the delivery of the modular building which is planned for the end of March. By constructing the building pad at the rear of the project the city can minimize the interaction of the children and the construction activities.

Dos Cabazos Retaining Wall Project:

Equipment and material were delivered to the site on Monday with excavation set to begin on Tuesday of this week.

Wal-Mart:

Grading was shut down for a short time this week due to the three day rain event this past weekend. The contractor will be pumping out the standing water to a temporary retention pond on site in an attempt to dry out the building pad.  Grading should resume on Thursday.

Mission Avenue SDG&E 69 KV Electrical Line:

Main line installation will continue this week on Mission Avenue between Metcalf Street and Rock Springs Road. The second underground crew is continuing with the conduit installation at the Broadway and Mission Avenue intersection. A third crew has prepared the next concrete vault for installation this week on Mission Avenue in front of Mission Grove Park. Mission Avenue is closed to through traffic from Ash Street to Beech Street from the hours of 7:00 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. The construction is being performed off hours to insure the safety of families using this heavily traveled school corridor.

Broadway & 8th Avenue:

There is no activity to report.

PUBLIC SAFETY

Police

  • On Saturday, February 2, starting at 9:30 a.m., the Escondido Police Athletic League (PAL) and City of Escondido Recreation will be having a basketball tournament at the East Valley Community Center.  Attendance should be high.  Schools participating will be elementary school teams playing for the championship. 
  • On Monday February 4, the Police Department will be conducting training exercises in the old Police Station at 700 W. Grand.  This likely will continue over the next two weeks.
  • Sergio Lopez sentenced to 25 years from a May 2012 case on Oakhill where he shot at officers.  Background Stories:  Arrest of Sergio Lopez and Search of Sergio Lopez.  
  • San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced free software available to help protect children from Internet crimes.  We have published the News Release from the DA’s Office on the EPD Facebook to help get the information to the community.   

Grape Day Task Force Update 

Enforcement Efforts
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 273 extra patrols in the park.  68 field interviews, 58 citations and made 35 arrests.  The heroin dealer who was arrested last month and likely the source of much of the drugs in the park was sentenced to three years in custody.   

Police officers continue their enforcement efforts in the park but will focus primarily on the Signature Pavilion, Maple Plaza and CCAE due to recent increase in activity by the Juggalos.  Patrol officers did make two arrests during the past week for warrants.    

Signature Pavilion: On Thursday evening, January 24th, the manager of Fat Burger, located at the Signature Pavilion, confronted a young female, (possibly associated with the Juggalos), for taking soda from a soda fountain without paying.  A confrontation ensued and one of her friends entered the store and pushed the manager to the wall.  The female fled before officers arrived, but was later arrested for unrelated criminal acts.   Due to the recent problem at Fat Burger, Eddie Goldberg the property manager, will be repairing the video cameras adjacent to restaurant and exploring a prohibition of smoking in the Pavilion, which seems to attract the Juggalo teens.   

CCAE:  One of the arrestees was trespassing in the Center for the Arts "Rose Garden" and was wanted for outstanding warrants.  No other activity was reported at CCAE.    

Interfaith: Capt. Benton spoke to those in the Interfaith Shelter to explain the role of the Grape Day Task Force and the reasons for the zero tolerance of the parks rules to restore Grape Day to a family-friendly park.    

Classical Academy/ Boys and Girls Club/ Children’s Museum:  Representatives of Classical Academy and Boys and Girls Club reported no problems.   

History Center: Wendy Barker reported no problems in the park.   

Park Special Events: Theresa Collins of the City Manager's Office provided the group with an overview of the upcoming events in the park including Amgen.  Theresa also mentioned that for the past two weekends, a movie production filmed a pilot for a television show in the park and at CCAE at night.  They encountered no problems, and would like to use the park and surrounding areas in the future.    

City Planner, Jay Petrek, provided an overview of the proposed playground equipment that will be installed adjacent to existing play structure near Broadway. Jay provided renderings of the type of equipment as well as the approval process of having the area  

The next task force meeting will be on Tuesday February 12, 2013.