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September 24, 2014 

09/17/14

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

Swirlz Candy Store on Grand Avenue is closing due to the owner’s health. 

SPECIAL EVENTS 

On September 28th, the 28th Annual Tour de Poway bike ride will pass through Escondido. This is a rules of the road bike ride meaning all cyclists will be required to stop for red lights. 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT 

Planning:

  • An application has been submitted for a temporary use permit for an Oktoberfest Craft Beer event at the Swap Meet World Market at 800 W. Washington on Oct. 25th and 26th. The event will be held from 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM each day and will include live amplified music.
  • Staff met with the applicants for the Safari Highlands project to discuss project status, submittals and procedures. Discussion focused primarily on the need for the applicants to secure some sort of binding commitment for offsite road easements for emergency access in order to process a tentative map and avoid potential condemnation issues. Staff has encouraged a phased submittal, with the first phase including the Specific Plan, annexation and Sphere of Influence amendment applications and the associated EIR to establish a feasible road alignment, to be followed by subsequent submittal of the tentative map application processed concurrently with the LAFCO annexation process. The applicant is negotiating with adjacent property owners regarding the easements and anticipates submittal of preliminary agreements for staff consideration, to allow the tentative map to be considered with the other entitlements. They anticipate submittal of an application in 2-3 months.
  • The representatives for the proposed Conditional Use Permit for a self-storage facility at 222 W. Mission have indicated they do not intend to pursue the project, based on feedback that the project would necessitate a General Plan Amendment that may not be supported.
  • Interfaith submitted building permit plans on 9/8/14 for administrative offices and a recuperative care center for veterans to be located at 250 N. Ash St. Staff determined that the submittal was sufficient for plan check purposes, and “grandfathered” the care facility as a permitted use under the zoning code provisions for the Hospital Professional (HP) zone since it was submitted prior to the 9/12/14 effective date of the recent zoning code amendment for the commercial zones (which now require a Conditional Use permit for similar uses).
  • The Planning Commission unanimously approved both agenda items last night, including a variance to allow a new freestanding monument sign for the Shell station at 615 W. El Norte Parkway, and a CUP for a new Verizon wireless communications facility and associated generator at 2066 Aldergrove Ave.
  • Major Projects Update:
    • Oak Creek (NUW) – Comments on the Draft EIR are due on 9/29/14. The document is posted on the City’s website at the following link:
    • http://www.escondido.org/Data/Sites/1/media/pdfs/Planning/oakcreek/CD/INDEX_-_Report_Navigatoin.pdf. A neighborhood meeting was held on 9/22/14, in the City Council Chambers to discuss the project and the findings of the Draft EIR. Approximately 70 people attended. Comments focused on issues associated with downstream impacts from the Chatham site, the design of the single project entry on Felicita, and the tree removals.
    • Amanda Lane (NUW) – Staff continues to coordinate with the applicant on their revised submittals and the design of offsite improvements along Gamble Lane.
    • Centerpointe 78 Commercial: – Staff is coordinating with the traffic consultant to finalize the traffic study for inclusion in the Draft EIR. A major issue is the need for additional right-of-way and improvements along the Broadway frontage, and the associated impact on the existing traffic signals.
    • North Broadway Deficiency Area Projects: – The application for the Zenner annexation and the associated 40-unit subdivision at Vista Ave. and Lehner Ave. remains incomplete, pending submittal of letters of permission for offsite improvements at Ash/Vista, to avoid condemnation issues.
    • San Diego Veterans Village: The applicant is evaluating potential revisions to address the HPC comments regarding the proposed demolition of several historic adobe structures and to address Fire Department concerns.
    • Latitude II – Following a series of preapplication meetings, a formal application is anticipated within the next month for a proposed 112 unit condominium project. 

Housing: 

Staff is reviewing the four submittals received in response to the 2014 RFP for the Housing funds; applicants include Solutions for Change, Urban Housing Communities (UHC), Community Housing Works (CHW), and Habitat for Humanity. This item will be presented to Council on 10/15/14. 

Building Division: 

  • Building had very busy week issuing 52 permits for the week with a total valuation of $97,515. Most of the permits issued were miscellaneous type permits and photovoltaic permits. 
  • Inspections and counter contacts have increased with average daily inspections of 28 with 24 on Friday and average daily counter contacts of 32 with 23 on Friday. Our new Building Inspector started this week, to fill the vacancy created by a newly retired employee.
  • Photovoltaic permits are dominating the permit activity for this week with 29 permits issued and 15 more in for plan review. Building has issued 477 photovoltaic permits this year. 

PUBLIC WORKS UPDATE 

Engineering: 

The City’s “Missing Link” Bicycle Path project that connects the Escondido Creek trial with the Transit Center was recommended for Active Transportation grant funding by SANDAG’s Transportation Committee on Friday, September 19th.  The project ranked 8th out of 42 applications received.  If approved by the SANDAG Board and California Transportation Commission, the City will receive $1.092-Million in grant funding to complete this important bicycle path link. 

Capital Improvements: 

Lake Wohlford Road- Emergency Repair:
All slope restoration and site cleanup was completed on Monday, September 22 with the roadway reopened to all traffic at 4:22 in the afternoon. Thank you to staff and Shaw Equipment Rentals Inc. for completing the repairs in 12 days.  

2013/2014 Street Maintenance Project:
New roadway striping has been applied along 9th Avenue between Spruce Street and Auto Parkway as part of this year’s roadway maintenance project. The new striping plan provides for two vehicle travel lanes and a bike lane for west bound traffic. East bound traffic is provided a single travel lane with the addition of a bike lane.  

Maple Street Pedestrian Plaza Modifications:
The project is scheduled to begin after the end of Cruisin’ Grand on October 3, 2014. 

Private Development 

Lincoln Avenue at Goldenrod Street - 16” Gas Main Inspection:
SDG&E will begin testing of the pipeline on Saturday, September 27th, 2014. At that time, they will launch the robotic device, which will examine the interior surface of the 16” gas main which runs between the City of Escondido and the City of Carlsbad.    

County Project - Bear Valley Parkway Widening between Boyle Avenue and San Pasqual Valley Road:
The contractor is continuing to clear and grub the site which includes house foundations, driveways and landscape items between Birch Avenue and Viewmont Drive. 

Pennsylvania Avenue and Kalmia Street- Classical Academy High:
The project striping is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, September 25. 

Moir Wall reconstruction:
The replacement of the large granite wall that failed at the intersection of 8th Avenue and Broadway has now been completed. 

Operations:

  • 81 street lights were repaired and brought to operational status.
  • City electricians collectively completed 53 special projects at various locations throughout the City.
  • 20 traffic signals were repaired, 3 traffic signals were serviced.
  • Crews started on the installation of an 18 inch storm drain to the east of the parking lot of the Sports Center in Kit Carson Park. This project will eliminate an unsightly drainage swale, eliminate an existing erosion problem and improve the water quality through the installation of a bio filter above the storm drain. The bio filter will treat storm water runoff from the Sports Center parking lot.
  • Parking lot lighting was repaired at 5 locations within the City.
  • The Paving Crew completed a pavement repair in Kit Carson Park adjacent to the amphitheater. This area was damaged by Cal Fire during their occupation of the park in May.
  • The Patch Truck crew repaired 72 potholes at various locations in the City.
  • 1 transient camp was cleaned up and yielded approximately 10 cubic yards of trash and debris.
  • The Debris Crew collected approximately 10 yards of abandoned materials from the City's right of way.
  • The material removed from Eagle Scout Lake has been removed from Kit Carson Park and transported to Ryan Park. The fill material will be used for the construction of an athletic field sometime in the future. At present, the area serves as additional parking when large events are held in the park. A small amount of soil was left adjacent to the lake to be used as backfill for the storm drain installation ongoing adjacent to the Sports Center

Building Maintenance 

The City will be participating in a program sponsored by SDG&E that allows an approved contractor to inspect and “tune up” our HVAC equipment. There is no cost to the City for this service. This program applies to qualifying building HVAC equipment that is sized at 60 tons or less. We have approximately 150 units that will qualify. The contractor will perform services such as: optimizing the refrigerant charge, tightening or replacing belts, replacing filters, lubricating the equipment, checking for leaks, etc. This service would likely cost us over $20,000 if we had to pay for it. Additionally, it will be added reassurance that our HVAC equipment will be running as efficiently as possible. This should save energy as well as lower cost. 

PUBLIC SAFETY 

Police

  • Three conditional job offers were given this week (Pete McCollough, Adrian Garcia and Jose Guerrero).
  • Detective Jeff Valdivia received the “Business Salute to Public Safety” award due to the NTP idea.
  • PD’s vintage police car was recognized with an award at Cruisin’ Grand.
  • The Chief gave a presentation at the Emanuel Faith Leadership Retreat on NTP
  • A fundraiser at Amici’s generated over $11,000 for Suzeth Perez.
  • County chiefs met with director of the FBI James Comey to discuss current issues and future trends
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