May 8, 2013

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05/09/13

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Attached is a comprehensive report from Katherine Zimmer of Visit Escondido regarding her efforts and progress in promoting Escondido. 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT UPDATES

Planning:

  • On 5/1/13, Council directed staff to monitor a proposed waste recycling facility located in the County at 25568 Mesa Rock Rd. (County File No. 2008-3500-08-015), west of High Point. The 139-acre site is owned by ADJ Holdings (Arie De Jong). The property was redesignated as High Impact Industrial land use under the County’s 2020 General Plan. Prior to the adoption of the County’s General Plan in 2011, the City had expressed objections to the proposed land use change from low density residential to industrial use. The property is within the Escondido Sphere of Influence and is designated Rural I (one du/4 acres) under the City’s General Plan. The County indicates the project is incomplete and no environmental review has been completed yet; public review is anticipated in August with action on the project anticipated in December. Staff has requested to be notified of all future actions on this project and will update the Council as new information becomes available.
  • New Urban West, Inc. (NUWI) has submitted their application for annexation, prezoning and a tentative vesting subdivision map for the 41-acre Felicita “duck pond” property, known as Oak Creek . The applicant proposes 65 dwelling units on minimum 10,000 SF lots (pursuant to clustering provisions) in a gated community. The application is incomplete, pending submittal of the Planned Development submittals. Potential concerns include the specific alignment plan for Felicita and other road improvements, design of the clustered lots in reliance upon panhandle lot design, and the mechanism for conservation of the wetlands. Timing of the project will be closely aligned with the proposed Utilities Department project for wastewater disposal.
  • The Talk of the Town site has been re-inspected by multiple departments in response to comments made during last week’s Oral Communications item. The most recent building inspection was on 4/4/13 for the foundation; they have until 9/16/13 to request another inspection under the current permit. While the site currently appears idle, the project has not been abandoned for any length of time that would be a concern from the Building Division. Code Enforcement has opened case on this property for weeds and the containment bags that are deteriorated at the street. Field Engineering staff has also inspected the property and determined that the standing water in the curb is coming from the upstream neighborhood irrigation. The  BMP’s, inlet protection, silt fencing and a stabilized entry are in place.  There is an active stockpile of material on site. Staff has confirmed with the Regional Board that they visited the site recently and confirmed that there was no off site discharge.

Building:

The monthly Building Activity Report for April is attached.

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS

Oak Hill Modular Site Improvements:

The contractor is completing the ADA access sidewalk from the back of sidewalk to the front entrance of the facility. The chain link fencing has been completed along the Oak Hill frontage and staff is awaiting submittals for the rod iron fencing which will complete the improvements.

1341 Oak Hill Frontage Improvements:

The concrete driveway approaches and public sidewalk were poured this week. The asphalt paving will be completed by weeks end. Staff has designed a new striping plan to maximize the use of the new roadway paving. The contractor will complete the removal of the old striping and installation of the new striping alignment within two weeks.

Painting for the Traffic Signals along Grand Avenue:

The rainy weather has pushed the completion date of this maintenance item to Friday.

Facility Improvements

City Hall Exterior:

  • Painting of the stucco is nearing completion.
  • Painting of doors, railings and window trim is 60% completed.
  • Walkway pressure washing began this past weekend and is 50% complete.

CCAE:

  • Pressure washing of all buildings has been completed.
  • Painting of critical areas underway.

EVCC Interior Improvements:

  • Reception counter design completed.
  • New interior signs are being ordered.

Library Roof Replacement:

  • Addition repairs are needed on the flat roofs. Scheduled start date is 5/15/13.

Private Development

Wal-Mart:

The contractor is installing lighting and irrigation system in the new parking lot in preparation for the installation of the asphalt pavement.

Mission Avenue 69 kv Electrical Line:

The underground crews are focused on two points along the project. The first crew completed the concrete encasement of the duck bank within the boring pit. The contractor will pour 335 cubic yards of cement slurry during tonight’s operation to back fill the entire bore pit. This will allow one north bound lane of Enterprise Street to be reopened to traffic by Friday morning. The second crew is working along Ash Street completing the last of the conduit installation at this location. The project has 300 feet of conduit remaining to be installed. The tentative completion date for all construction activities will be Friday May 31. SDG&E crews will suspend the cable pulling for the next three weeks due to required safety training. The crews will return in June and complete all work for this project by the close of August.

Adopt a Lot: Heritage Garden

The park is looking excellent. The contractors have completed the installation of the 30’ flag pole this past week. The artificial turf is in place next to the new Gazebo location. The wood trellises were to be constructed this week but had to be postponed due to a delivery problem with the building material. These elements will begin after the AMGEN event.

Lincoln Avenue @ Midway Drive Gas Main Replacement and Testing Station:

Excavation of the existing 16” gas transmission main is continuing this week in preparation to next week’s scheduled cut over procedure.

Cox Communication Downtown System Upgrade:

The utility has 5 projects scheduled to begin after May 13 along the downtown corridor bordered between Pennsylvania Avenue to the north, Ivy Street to the east, Orange Avenue to the west and Second Avenue to the south. Most construction activity will be concentrated in the alleys north and south of Grand Avenue. Hours of work will be restricted when working near the Farmer’s Market event area and on Friday for Cruisin Grand.     

PUBLIC SAFETY

Police:

  • Lt. Griffin and the Police Department Cadets participated in Join Hands Day last Saturday at Mission Grove Place.  A flyer about the event is attached.
  • Our officer who was struck by the DUI driver on Saturday morning is doing well.
  • The investigation on the Officer Involved Shooting from Saturday night continues.   These cases are complex, and the Police Department is on track with the work that needs to be done. 
  • Grape Day Task Force:

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 665 extra patrols in the park, 123 field interviews, 73 citations and 69 arrests.

This past week members of EPD are preparing for this weekend’s Amgen events.  We have increased our normal extra patrols in the area.    

As mentioned last week, many of the city departments on the task force have been committed to cleaning and preparing City Hall, Grape Day Park and surrounding areas for Amgen.  The new benches and tables should arrive this week and will be installed quickly for the festivities.  Two new “porta-potties” have been installed adjacent to the south side of the Grape Day bathrooms.  The existing bathrooms have already been repainted, cleaned and secured for use during special events only including  Amgen.  

Center for the Arts reported significant damage and graffiti to the east side of the museum area Friday night.  The vandals used both marking pens, and an etching tool to vandalize the windows and surrounding metal window frames.  CCAE is attempting to determine the property damage but it is estimated in the thousands of dollars.  Currently there is not a video camera system that covers that area or witnesses.  Graffiti detectives are currently following up on the case to try to determine who may be responsible for the damage. 

Another arrest was made with the cameras at Maple Plaza for an individual who was using a marking pen on part of the table.  

Signature Pavilion – Since the security officers moved their start time to 11 am. no reports of problems have been reported regarding the Juggalos who had been causing problems. 

History Center/ Classical Academy/ Boys and Girls Club/ Children’s Museum: no incidents to report. 

The next Task Force Meeting will be Tuesday May 14. 

UTILITIES UPDATE

The Utilities Department recently received a Notice of Violation (NOV) and Investigative Order from the Regional Water Quality Control Board concerning a sewage spill on August 28, 2011 at the HARRF Influent Pump Station.  The Investigative Order includes several technical questions about the circumstances surrounding the spill.  These Orders can and often do result in penalties, usually fines.   Wastewater staff are preparing the necessary responses, which are due on June 7.

The spill occurred when a backup power supply failed on a component of the pump station control system.  The wastewater pumps, which were set to run automatically, therefore did not start as programmed.  When the spill was detected, the station was started and run manually until the control system was restored.  The estimated spill volume was 250,000 gallons into Escondido Creek.  Appropriate regulatory agencies were notified immediately after the spill was discovered.  The public was also notified and cleanup commenced.

In response to the spill, more alarms were added to the influent pump station.  Additionally, “smart covers” were added to the upstream manholes to monitor flow levels and provide alarms if the level is too high. 

The Department will provide further updates once the Board replies to our answers of the Investigative Order questions.