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July 1, 2015 

07/02/15

CITY TO RECEIVE FUNDS FOR REHABILTATION OF PARKS AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES 

The Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has announced a $685,450 award to the City of Escondido through their 2014 Housing-Related Parks (HRP) Program. The HRP Program is an innovative program designed to reward local governments that approve housing for lower-income households and are in compliance with State housing element law with grant funds to create or rehabilitate parks and/or recreational facilities. Funds were awarded for preserving three affordable housing developments and creating 17 affordable home ownership opportunities. These funds will be focused on rehabilitation projects at several parks and community centers including: PACC, EVCC, Train Depot, Washington Park Pool & Rec Center, Jim Stone Pool, Oak Hill Activity Center.

 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

  • As a follow up to Council direction regarding surplus parcels, Real Property developed a Request for Proposals for the El Norte Parkway surplus lots and started advertising the land for sale for residential development in April 2015.  The RFP is posted on the City’s web page, E-Bid Board and it has been mailed to certain developers specializing in smaller residential projects.  Because of the uniqueness of the property’s character (size, shape and access limitations), the market will be used to determine the property’s value so an asking price was not included in the RFP. The RFP is open until an award is made.  So far no offers or inquiries have been received;  however, it has only been on the market for a short time.  With the right amount of time and exposure, we remain optimistic that the right developer will come along with an offer to purchase the property to develop a 2-lot custom single-family home project for the site. Additionally, one of the abutting residential property owners remains interested in purchasing the property at a future date for the expansion of his backyard.
  • The annual Escondido Girls Softball League Freedom Tournament will be played at Kit Carson Park from July 2nd to July 5th.  They will be using all eight softball fields and two youth baseball fields to accommodate 97 teams.  Teams will be traveling in from all over Southern California and Yuma Arizona.  We will see 8u, 10u, 12u, and 14u youth girl divisions participating with an estimated 3,400 players and spectators in the Kit Carson Park area.  The tournament will be using 10 fields in the park, all 8 softball fields and two youth baseball fields. 
  • Cute Cakes is opening their new Downtown Escondido bakery/café located at 345 West Grand Avenue on Thursday, July 2 from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. For more information visit cutecakes-sd.com

RETROFIT OF GRAND AVENUE MEDIANS 

In response to current drought regulations which prohibit irrigation of ornamental turf in medians, the Public Works Department will be completing a water-wise retrofit of medians on Grand Avenue in downtown Escondido. Irrigation will be retrofitted to improve efficiency and reduce water use.  The ornamental turf will be replaced with drought tolerant plantings. 

SPECIAL EVENTS 

  • Escondido’s 52nd  annual July 4th celebration & fireworks display in Grape Day Park is back this year with an exciting line-up featuring fun for the whole family! This exciting event celebrates our community’s patriotic heritage and shares the love of our great nation with all of Escondido. Enjoy a variety of free entertainment beginning at 4 p.m. with a presentation by the American Legion followed by; Jimmy & Enrique  at the Main Stage (4:45p.m.), Mrs. Jones’ Revenge  at the Main Stage (5:45 p.m.), Morgan Leigh Band at the Main Stage (6:45 p.m.), 1st Marine Division Band in concert at the Main Stage (8:05 p.m.), fireworks display by Fireworks America (approx. 9 p.m.). From 4 to 7 p.m. The Escondido History Center will be open and there will be projects for children of all ages. A variety of refreshments will be available for purchase. This event is generously sponsored by the City of Escondido and the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.  

    Please note: BBQs, alcohol, pets and tall chairs/canopies should not be brought to the park.
  • For information about activities taking place in Escondido, please visit www.visitescondido.com 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Planning:

  • The County Assessor’s Office has released information regarding assessed valuation (gross) for taxable properties (see attached). The City’s total assessed value is up 4.82% compared to the prior year, compared to the County average of 5.62%.
  • An application has been submitted for a three-story, 75,825 SF medical office building within the ERTC Specific Plan Area, located on a 9.1 acre site addressed as 2130 Citracado Parkway. The property owner (JRM-ERTC, ILP) has also submitted an application for an extension of time of the ERTC development agreement which would otherwise expire at the end of the year.
  • The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is soliciting comments on a Draft Cleanup Response Plan for the Oak Creek Project. Comments are due July 30th. A public workshop is scheduled for July 9th (see attached flyer).
  • New State legislation (AB 52) becomes effective on July 1st regarding tribal notification and consultation procedures for development projects which are undergoing CEQA review pursuant to a negative declaration or EIR. The legislation is intended to provide early notification and opportunity for consultation regarding impacts to tribal cultural resources and mitigation. Three tribal bands have recently requested notification pursuant to AB 52. While this notification process will be incorporated into review procedures for all new applications, the process may result in a delay to some pending projects which have not yet been released for review of the CEQA document.
  • Major Projects Update:
    • Oak Creek (NUW) – The applicants are in discussion with the Army Corps of Engineers regarding permit requirements for mitigation of wetland impacts. LAFCO staff has recommended that the proposed annexation boundary be expanded to include a roadway segment of Hamilton Lane between Bernardo and Felicita Avenues. This road segment does not meet City standards. Staff has sent a letter to LAFCO providing justification to support City’s staff’s recommendation to eliminate the proposed expansion of the annexation boundary. LAFCO anticipates comments from the County addressing this issue. A LAFCO hearing date has not yet been scheduled. Staff met to with the developer to discuss the permit submittal and plan check process, particularly regarding their timing expectations in anticipation of the new storm water requirements.
    • Amanda Estates (NUW) – The applicant has submitted a certified tentative map for review, and has provided information to LAFCO staff addressing the additional information requested to process the Amanda Estates annexation and the associated annexation for the “Disadvantaged Unincorporated Community” (DUC) properties. No further action is anticipated for the DUC annexation. A LAFCO hearing date has not yet been scheduled. Staff has met with the developers regarding their expectations and timing of submittals in anticipation of the new storm water requirements.
    • Centerpointe 78 Commercial – Staff is reviewing sections of the screen check EIR as they become available. The EIR traffic consultant has identified alternative traffic mitigation measures for consideration by staff and the applicant, to address significant traffic impacts.
    • North Broadway Deficiency Area Projects – Staff continues to coordinate with the various development teams regarding the design of infrastructure improvements and has taken a proactive approach with County staff on review of required improvements within the unincorporated area. Street improvement plans for Lehner Ave. are being prioritized to allow construction to occur this summer while school is not in session. A grading permit has been issued for Lennar’s “Pradera” project and building permit applications for the model homes are under review. A variance application has been submitted to resolve setback issues relating to the location of the perimeter walls. Staff and the applicant are coordinating with the San Diego County Water Authority which has raised concerns regarding the construction of the waterline improvements (required by the development agreement) within the SDCWA easement on Conway. The Zenner annexation application is under review by LAFCO. The applicant indicates they do not anticipate pulling grading permits this year in advance of the new storm water requirements.
    • Kaen Planned Development (2516 S. Escondido Blvd.) – Revised plans were submitted on June 4th. The redesign eliminates 3 units (total number of units is now 65 units) to provide improved emergency access and provide additional opportunity for landscaping along the long entry drive. Refinements are needed for the Water Quality Technical Report and other site features affected by the redesign. A letter addressing items needed to complete the application for processing has been sent.
    • Wohlford – A letter has been sent for the proposed 55-unit residential subdivision and planned development at 661 Bear Valley Parkway advising the applicant that the application is incomplete and identifying the necessary submittals to continue processing the application. The applicant is coordinating with staff regarding a Specific Alignment Plan for Bear Valley Parkway and is conducting technical studies. The applicant indicates their preference to prepare an EIR; this determination will be made upon submittal of the complete application and review of the technical studies. The applicant has offered to prepare a draft Request for Proposals for preparation of an EIR, to help expedite the EIR consultant selection process.
    • Latitude II – The applicant continues to negotiate with the owners of adjacent properties regarding several issues that affect their proposed site plan, parking and sewer improvements. An alternative site plan has been provided to demonstrate a feasible plan if the negotiations regarding the motel sign along CCP are not successful. However, the proposed plan relies upon the relinquishment and/or relocation of access and sewer easements across the property’s southeast perimeter to construct the proposed project; these private party negotiations are still underway. A revised Water Quality Technical Report has been submitted. The applicant recognizes that these issues must be resolved prior to issuance of any grading permits or final map. The draft Mitigated Negative Declaration was released for a 20-day public review period ending July 20th in anticipation of a Planning Commission hearing tentatively scheduled for July 28th.
    • Shea Homes has submitted a revised map for substantial conformance review and determination for the 179-lot residential subdivision known as Hidden Valley Ranch (Tract 923). Revisions to the Water Quality Technical Report and documentation from Vista Irrigation District (VID) concurring with the proposed relocation of the water line are needed to make this determination. A revised plan for the internal park acreage is under review, with specific amenities to be review as part of a future Precise Plan submittal; the applicant is exploring mechanisms to address setback issues anticipated on 9 lots where the proposed units do not meet setback requirements of the planned development. Staff has sent a letter confirming discussions held with the developer regarding the schedule and timeline for submittals needed for issuance of grading permits. Rough grading plan submittal is anticipated by July 7th.
    • Concordia Homes submitted a draft Specific Plan and tentative subdivision map for the Safari Highlands project for conceptual review prior to their formal application submittal. The project includes annexation and Sphere of Influence update for the 1,098 acres site and a subdivision to create 550 residential lots in seven neighborhoods, with lot sizes ranging from 7,663 SF to 4.76 acres. The applicant has deposited initial funds for a consultant agreement authorizing an extension of Planning staff to manage the project review; discussions regarding similar staff assistance for Engineering staff is underway. Staff met with LAFCO regarding submittal requirements and study area for a Sphere of Influence Update and Municipal Services Review.
    • Felicita Development, LLC has submitted a Planned Development application for the vacant 6.9 acre property at the southeast corner of Felicita Rd. and Gamble Lane. The proposed project includes the phased development of a 140-unit hotel, an 80-unit extended stay hotel, a 120-bed assisted living facility and a gas station and car wash. Additional technical analysis and coordination is needed to address traffic, biology, water and sewer service, geotechnical and storm water concerns, along with a market study for the proposed uses. A letter addressing items and technical studies needed to complete the application has been sent.
    • Revised plans submitted for EDI’s proposed CUP expansion of the existing Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) are under review. The draft Mitigated Negative Declaration was released on June 24th for a 30-day public review period ending July 23rd. The project is tentatively scheduled for Planning Commission hearing on August 11th

Building Division: 

  • The Building Division issued 60 permits for the week with a total valuation of $550,350.
  • 22 photovoltaic permits were issued for the week.  Building has issued 537 permits so far this year compared to 269 issued at the same time last year.
  • Inspections and counter contacts remain steady with inspections averaging 32 per day with 33 on Friday and counter contacts averaging 33 per day with 24 on Friday.
  • The 76 unit apartments on 2412 S. Escondido Blvd have received underground plumbing and foundation inspections on the first of 3 buildings.
  • The tenant improvement at 649 W. Mission Ave for the County Health and Human Services offices has received a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy. 
  • The Black Angus restaurant at the North County Mall has received foundation inspection approval and is now in the process of framing the building. 

Code Enforcement: 

  • As of June 29th, the total number of open code enforcement case is 330 cases, with a backlog of an additional 38 cases not yet opened for assignment and investigation. During the prior week, 73 new cases were opened, 96 cases were closed and a total of 75 signs were removed. Staff processed 2 public records requests (PRR) last week, bringing the year-to-date total to 75 requests. Recruitment is underway for one full-time and three part-time vacant officer positions to assist with the backlog.
  • Last week the Business License Division received 40 new applications and 171 renewals, and issued 29 new licenses. 

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS

Eucalyptus Avenue Traffic Calming
At its April 11th meeting, the Transportation and Community Safety Commission (TCSC) selected Eucalyptus Avenue for study of possible traffic calming measures.  While the project was ranked 7thusing adopted scoring criteria, the Commission elevated the project based on testimony received from residents of the area.   Staff has sent out a letter to residents with homes fronting the proposed traffic calming area and has received mixed feedback with some residents supporting traffic calming and others opposed.  The feedback will be summarized and testimony will be received by the TCSC at their meeting on July 9th prior to deciding if and what type of traffic calming is appropriate for this area. 

FY 2014-2015 Street Rehabilitation Project:
June 29, 2015 through July 3, 2015 the striping subcontractor is placing the remaining legends and roadway signs throughout the project limits.                         

Private Development 

Bear Valley Parkway between Boyle Avenue and San Pasqual Valley Road (County Project):
The contractor has paved the base section of asphalt on the new Bear Valley Parkway between Birch Avenue and Viewmont Drive. The temporary striping on Idaho Avenue has been replaced in anticipation of reopening the intersection for east bound traffic later this week. The wall contractor is continuing to stack block for the new retaining wall at Boyle Avenue at Bear Valley Parkway. 

2412 South Escondido Boulevard:
The construction of the new onsite water main had to start the water quality testing over again. The contractor failed to secure all points of access to the new system and a subcontractor released the pressure from the main resulting in a test failure.  The developer has requested to haul off excess soil remaining on site to his future Latitude II project site.  Staff has notified the developer that excess can be hauled off to any site that has environmental clearance and a grading plan, such as the Pradera project; however, the Latitude II project does not meet these conditions which would allow placement of fill. 

Pradera - Lennar Communities: The demolition of existing structures is ongoing.  The permit and traffic control plans for the import operation has been approved. The grading contractor is actively grading phase 1 and 2 of the project. 

Recycling 

Under the direction of Stormwater and Recycling’s “We Clean Escondido” program, a volunteer group from Rancho Escondido Mobile Home park has been established to remove litter from the flood channel adjacent to their homes.  On Saturday, June 13th, with just 5 volunteers, they removed 29 bags of trash from the area! This is an excellent example of teamwork between the Utilities Stormwater division and the Public Works Recycling division: 

PUBLIC SAFETY

Police 

Incidents: 

  • On 06-23-15, a resident in the 400 block of W. Washington Ave woke up in the middle of the night to noises inside his residence and his dog was barking. Upon further investigation, the resident discovered that he had just been burglarized.  Officers responded and located one of the suspects nearby.  Through the investigation, the second suspect was identified and later located at a nearby location a short time later.  Both suspects were arrested on burglary charges.
  • On 06-24-15, officers were responding to a License Plate Reader hit on a stolen vehicle when they observed it in the area of El Norte Pkwy and Rose St. The vehicle was stopped and both occupants were detained without incident.  Officers located numerous burglary tools in the car.
  • On 06-24-15, officers observed a vehicle that they believed to be associated with the homicide that occurred on Gamble St. earlier this month. The vehicle fled from the officers and the suspects eventually abandoned their vehicle near Oak Hill St and San Pasqual Valley Rd.  The three occupants attempted to flee on foot.  The driver got away, but his identity is known.  The two passengers were apprehended, one of which was involved in the homicide.  All three suspects from the homicide are now in custody.
  • On 06-25-15, an unknown suspect broke the window to Pegah’s (Westside Café) and stole the cash register. The loss was approximately $200 in cash.  There is possibly video of the burglary and a suspect vehicle description was provided.
  • On 06-26-15, an EPD officer observed smoke from the area of Iris Lane and Morningside Glen. As units responded to the area, police dispatch started receiving reports of a vehicle fire in the area.  Rodelo was nearby and arrived on scene within moments.  He found the vehicle fully engulfed in fire and a male subject lying on the ground just a few feet from the vehicle.  The male subject had suffered a stroke and could not walk on his own.  Det. Rodelo was able to move the subject to safety away from the vehicle.  The fire department responded and put out the vehicle fire.  The male subject’s boot was singed by the fire, but he was otherwise unharmed by the fire.  He was treated for the stroke.
  • On 06-26-15, officers responded to a residence in the 1700 block of S. Juniper St regarding a male who had just hung himself. The male teenager was found in the garage and was pronounced dead at the scene.  He had a mental health history and had previous attempts at hanging himself.
  • On 06-28-15, an adult male victim was approached by two unknown male suspects in the Flood Control Channel near Auto Park Way. The suspects beat the victim until he lost consciousness.  When the victim came to, he realized that he had been robbed of his watch and a utility multi-tool.  The suspects have not been identified or located at this time. 

Events 

  • On 06-24-15, Patrol Squad 2B conducted a special detail focusing on transient activity. During the detail, the officers made 5 arrests (3 for warrants and 2 for drug possession), issued 3 citations, and removed 11 shopping carts from the street.
  • On 06-26-15, Patrol Squad 4A conducted a juvenile curfew sweep in conjunction with the Juvenile Diversion Program. During the detail, 15 juveniles were taken into custody, 12 were referred into the Diversion Program, 14 were released to their parents, and 1 was booked into Juvenile Hall.
  • On 06-27-15, a DUI checkpoint was conducted at Centre City Pkwy and Decatur Way. During the event, 1,236 vehicles drove through the checkpoint, 835 vehicles were screened in primary, 52 vehicles were sent to secondary (drivers who could not provide a driver’s license or who were suspected of DUI), 3 Field Sobriety Tests were administered resulting in 1 DUI arrest, 32 citations were issued (8 for suspended license, 15 for unlicensed, and 1 for no insurance), and 11 vehicles were impounded.
  • NTP Board Members attended a second meeting at Charter High School in an attempt to generate more interest for the East Valley Business Association. Fourteen additional business owners attended the meeting and committed to being involved in future meetings.
  • EPD welcomes our latest new hire, Bernice Castillo, who is filling one of our Police/Fire Dispatcher vacancies. Bernice is an experienced dispatcher who previously worked for the San Diego Police Department as a dispatcher.
  • The North County San Diego Division of the California Highway Patrol recently moved into their new facility near the Vista Courthouse. They had previously operated out of the Oceanside facility for many decades. 
  • A nineteen year old man was sentenced to four years in state prison on a felony DUI conviction from earlier this year. He was involved in a major injury DUI collision that occurred at 2nd Ave and Broadway, which left one his passengers paralyzed from the chest down.  This was a significant conviction and was successfully prosecuted by the San Diego District Attorney’s office special vertical prosecution unit that was formed to handle fatal and major injury DUI collisions.
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