Draft General Plan and Others Available for Review

After several years of labor involving citizen and staff involvement a significant milestone has been reached…Escondido’s Draft General Plan Update, Downtown Specific Plan Update, and Climate Action Plan now are available for public review and comment. The Draft Environmental Impact Report that assesses these documents is complete, and its 45-day public review / comment period extends from January 13 – February 27, 2012 (see attached Notice of Availability).

All documents are available for review or purchase at the City Hall Planning Division (201 N. Broadway, Escondido, CA 92025), and copies are at the Public Library Reference Desk (239 S. Kalmia Street, Escondido). Electronic copies are available on City’s General Plan Web Page at http://www.escondido.org/general-plan-update.aspx

In addition, a City Council workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, February 1st at 4:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public and will be held in the City Council Chambers, 201 N. Broadway, Escondido CA. No decisions will be made at the workshop; the intent is to provide information, and receive input and direction. Additional public meetings are anticipated during the spring and summer of 2012.

If you have questions, please contact Jay Petrek, at (760) 839-4556.

Maple Street Pedestrian Plaza

Aided by a $945,000 Smart Growth grant from SANDAG, the City has turned Maple Street, between Grand Avenue and Valley Parkway, into an interesting, urban pedestrian plaza. The street has been reconstructed as a “festival street”, with a single, one-way lane from south to north with no on-street parking.  What makes the festival street different is the absence of curbs defining the traveled way for autos. It is all constructed at one level and, with the use of removable bollards, can be closed to car traffic for special events making the entire block a people place.

Both the travel lane and the pedestrian areas have been resurfaced with decorative paver blocks. The project includes a large Oak tree in the center of the project, in addition to a large interactive water feature and two trellises with art features. Street trees lining the plaza, as well as the large Oak tree, are lit with dramatic, colored LED lighting.  Two large gateway structures spanning the drive aisle form bookends to the plaza. 

The new plaza connects the Civic Center, Grape Day Park and the Arts Center with our historic downtown and is an ideal venue for many Downtown community events. The Plaza has augmented the City’s renowned Friday Night Cruzin Grand events as well as other evening and weekend events many of which also feature live music all drawing large crowds to the downtown area.  The plaza also provides a great daytime gathering place for nearby university students for before and after class activities.  Construction of the project was completed in December 2012.  Improvements to the plaza are currently underway to improve accessibility and fountain operations.

You Can Serve Your City

The Escondido City Council is preparing to begin its recruitment for volunteers to serve on eight boards and commissions.  Vacancies will occur on all of the following:  Building Advisory and Appeals Board; Community and Older Adult Services Commission; Historic Preservation Commission; Library Board of Trustees; Personnel Board of Review; Planning Commission; Public Art Commission; and Transportation and Community Safety Commission.

For the most part, the qualifications to serve are residency within the geographic boundaries of the General Plan.

Historic Preservation Commission requires a resume to assure that you have specific expertise.   The Planning Commission may require evidence of certification for design professional classification. The Library Board requires either residency or that you work within the geographic boundaries of the General Plan, and the Public Art Commission requires that you either reside or have a business within the designated boundaries. 

Meeting times and frequency vary, depending on the commission, and the term of office is four years, with the exception of the Library Board, which has a three-year term.   The application period will begin on January 2, 2012 with a closing date of Thursday, February 16, 2012. 

More information is available on the City’s website at www.escondido.org/boards-commissions.aspx or by calling the City Clerk’s Office at 760-839-4617.