October 23, 2013

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10/23/13

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

  • Sales tax for the most recent four quarters (October 2012 throughSeptember 2013) showed an increase of 5.1% over the previous period(October 2011-September 2012).The San Diego County total was 4.1% and the State total was 6.2%. Additional information is attached.
  • In an effort to keep the Economic Development Subcommittee (Mayor Abed and Councilmember Masson) updated on various issues, quarterly "regular" meetings of the subcommittee have been scheduled as follows for the remainder of 2013 and 2014: Nov. 21, 2013; Feb. 20, 2014;  May 15, 2014; August 21, 2014 and November20, 2014."Special" meetings of the subcommittee will continue to be held on an "as needed" basis for BEZ requests.
  • This weekend on October 26th & 27th Kit Carson Park will be hosting a very large youth girls' fast pitch softball tournament.  Triple Crown Sports have 101 games scheduled located at the four girls and four adult softball fields in Kit Carson Park. They have 130+ teams attending this tournament from all over the country and a good mix of local Southern California teams. We can expect close to 4,000+ players and spectators in the area over this time frame. Kit Carson Park will be in use from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday and 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Sunday.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Thursday, 10/24 through Sunday, 10/27 – Chamber of Commerce Carnival

1201 E. Washington (City owned property on the corner of Ash & Washington)
This is a traditional family carnival with rides, games and concessions. Proceeds benefit the Escondido Chamber of Commerce

Saturday, 10/26 – Zombie Food Truck Festival

Grape Day Park 1-7 p.m.
Featuring 10 food trucks, vendors, music, kids zone, ZomBeer garden (proceeds benefit the History Center) and a Zombie procession starting at 5 p.m.

Sunday, 10/27 – Pedal the Cause

This is a "Rules of the Road" 2-day bike ride, although riders will only be in Escondido on October 27. Various streets of Escondido will be affected (San Pasqual Rd., Bear Valley Parkway, Via Rancho Parkway). Pedal the Cause is a fundraiser for cancer research.

COMMUNITY SERVICES UPDATE

Due to a posting glitch, this Thursday's Community Services Commission meeting has been canceled.  It is hoped the commission members will be able to reschedule for next week so the BMX track and the renaming of Sand Lake issues can be discussed then.  I will let you know when the new date has been set.

UTILITIES UPDATE

On January 1, the MWD Water Availability Charge (Readiness-to-Serve charge) will increase from $2.90 to $3.00 per meter per month and the SDCWA Infrastructure Access Charge will increase from $2.65 to $2.68 per meter per month.  Together, these increases are $0.13 per meter per month for single family residential customers.

These increases occur annually and in the past have been publicly noticed in the Utilities Department's Prop. 218 notice.  Since there is no Rate Hearing this year, public notice will be given via the monthly Utility Bill.  Past inclusion in the Prop. 218 notice was a matter of convenience and not a requirement.  In 2009, the City Council approved pass-through of these increases through 2014 with 30-day notice prior to each annual increase.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT UPDATES

Planning:

  • The Planning Commission considered a zoning code amendment to modify the City's Environmental Quality Regulations (EQR) and associated draft Climate Action Plan (CAP). Together, the changes would establish revised thresholds for environmental review under CEQA to streamline processing and implement state requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Commission recommended approval by a 5-0 vote (Commissioners Johns and Winton absent). In other actions, the Commission approved revised grading exemptions and recommended approval to vacate a portion of an open space easement to facilitate construction of the Vista Verde Water Reservoir, originally approved as part of the Hidden Valley Ranch subdivision (Tract 932). The Commission also recommended approval of the proposed Rural Road  standards.
  • A self-guided walking tour map of Escondido's downtown public art is now available online at http://www.escondido.org/public-art-program.aspx.The guide entitled "Downtown, The heART of Escondido" includes projects funded through the City's Public Art fee program as well as other privately funded pieces and the iconic Joor Muffler Man.

Building:

  • The Building Division issued 44 permits for the week with a total valuation of $889,286. Inspections and counter contacts remain constant with a daily averageor 27 inspections and 30 counter contacts. The building inspectors are in training this week at the CALBO education week in Ontario; schedules are being adjusted to provide inspection coverage each day. Photovoltaic permits continue to lead the permit activity for the year with 333 issued so far this year and 16 for the week.
  • The Cheese Cake Factory is pushing forward to a possible November 26th opening. Permits were issued for the new Old Navy tenant improvement located at the previous Robinson May location at Westfield.

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS

2013 - 2014 Pavement Repair and Rehabilitation Program:

The list of streets to be included in this year's program is available on the City's website: https://www.escondido.org/Data/Sites/1/media/PDFs/Engineering/PavementRehabStreetList.pdf . The pavement repair program will resurface over 3.75 million square feet of City roadways. The project will be completed in two phases with the bids for the first phase anticipated on October 24th.

Grape Street Public Improvement Project:

SDG&E crews have completed installation and the testing of the 6" gas main along with the service laterals. The preconstruction meeting for the project is scheduled for this Wednesday, October 23rd.

Escondido Creek Trail Lighting:

The contractor began installation of the conduit package located on the northerly side of the channel. The pedestrian lighting poles are being delivered on November 1st.

Encino Drive & El Dorado Drive - Storm Drain Replacement:

The improvement plans have been signed and the project is being advertised.

Washington Avenue Emergency Road Repair:

The asphalt replacement along Washington Avenue between Broadway and Juniper Street was completed on October 21st. The contractor placed 926 tons of asphalt over a 24,000 square foot area. The permanent striping will be done by Public Works personnel in the coming days.

Private Development

Wal-Mart:

The Caltrans improvements along Ash Street at Pennsylvania Avenue have been completed. The left turn pocket from north bound Ash Street to west bound Pennsylvania Avenue has been in operation since last October 18th.

Contempo Townhomes -Tract 921:

The final portion of the water main distribution system began on Monday the 14th. The underground contractor has installed the metal sleeve between the project and the Pine Street connection. The water line installation will begin later this week.

Resurrection Church - Storm Drain in El Norte Parkway:

All elements of the storm drain system have been installed along El Norte Parkway. The contractor has replaced the temporary asphalt trench material with permanent hot mix asphalt. The final paving will be completed later this week.

Stone Brewery Traffic Signal:

The project is on hold, the contractor is awaiting delivery of the signal poles.

Cox Communication- Valley Parkway and Auto Park Way:

Work is being performed along both streets of this intersection. The contractor completed the conduit installation this past Saturday. Permanent trench resurfacing has yet to be scheduled.

PUBLIC SAFETY

Police:

  • FB likes are at 1145 and keep going upward.
  • Grape Day Park 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 1048 extra patrols in the park, 178 field interviews, 92 citations and 87 arrests.The Bike Team Officers, Adan Martinez and Russ Whitaker,  continue to focus their efforts in the downtown area including Grape Day Park, Maple Plaza and Signature Pavilion, along with our two new Community Policing Officers Bill Havens and Lew Shaver.There were no significant calls for service or arrests made in the Task Force area.

On Saturday, October 19th, from 10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  Grape Day Park hosted a free community event, the North County HOPE Regional Rally, to stop domestic violence now. HOPE = Healing Opportunities Prevention Education. Resource booths, youth activities, food vendors, speakers and music were on hand during this well-attended event. Detective Michelle Mayfield organized the event and former KFMB News Reporter John Culea was emcee.  Posting on our FB for pictures and more details.

CCAE reported 7 windows had been etched into with gang-type symbols. No suspects were identified and repair cost is estimated in the $1000's.  The City Hall Mitchell Room also sustained damage from etching into a window, with repairs estimated at $600.  There were no witnesses to either crime.  EPD graffiti detective Matt Nelson is actively working both cases.

Boys and Girls Club, SD Children's Museum did not report any problems this week.

The next Task Force Meeting will be rescheduled for November.