December 17, 2020

Business License Management Moving Online
To increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve service, customers will no longer receive a printed business license in the mail.  Instead, customers are invited to access their approved business license certificate online 24/7 at https://ols.escondido.org.  Customers may use their renewal code to log into their account online to check the status 5-10 business days after submitting their renewal and payment. 

2020 Employee Holiday Drive
Each year City employees organize a Holiday Drive to give back to the community. This year’s drive has ended, and a total of 291 Souper Sacks and 502 sets of pajamas were collected! Souper Sacks are bundles of nonperishable food items and holiday surprises that are distributed to seniors at the Park Avenue Community Center during the holiday season. The pajamas are donated to various agencies that provide them to children in need. Thank you to everyone who participated in making the Employee Holiday Drive a success!

December Economic Development Newsletter
The December edition of our Economic Development newsletter is out now. This issue features "Escondido Eats, 25 Days to Go", a program that supports local businesses; and coverage of the Kismet Refining Company, a local business that sells vinegars used in food and drinks.
Read the issue and subscribe here.

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December 10, 2020

City Council Installation Ceremony
Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Escondido’s newly elected Councilmembers: Tina Inscoe, representing District Two and Joe Garcia, representing District Three.

The Installation Ceremony took place on December 9 where both were sworn in along with re-elected Council Member Mike Morasco, representing District 4 and City Treasurer Douglas Shultz.

Congratulations to all!
For more information and City Council biographies, visit:
https://www.escondido.org/city-council.aspx

Community Updates:
On December 7, San Diego County was placed in a regional stay at home order for at least the next 3 weeks. More information about what is open and closed is available at the County's website here: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/coronavirus.html

A few notable changes for Escondido:

  • Camping at Lake Dixon has been temporarily suspended.
  • The Escondido Library has transitioned back to curbside pickup and virtual services. For more information visit: https://library.escondido.org/

City of Escondido Playgrounds:
Per the California Department of Health, playgrounds in the City of Escondido have been allowed to reopen. Please continue to follow all posted signage, wear a face covering and practice social distancing. For Escondido COVID information, visit: https://www.escondido.org/covid-19.aspx

Lake Wohlford Closure:
Due to reduced staffing, Lake Wohlford will be closed through the end of the year. We apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to seeing you at the Lake next year.

Maintenance Scheduled for Vinehenge Play Structure.
The Vinehenge play structure located in Grape Day Park will be closed for maintenance, beginning Monday, December 14. It is anticipated that the work will take approximately 30 days, and the play structure will reopen in mid-January. While the maintenance is being completed, the structure will be fenced off and closed to the public. The work will be performed by Nature Works Inc., the original artists.  Please refer any questions to Danielle Lopez, Assistant Director of Community Services, at dmlopez@escondido.org.

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December 3, 2020

Escondido Creek Trail Community Workshop
Starting in early 2010, residents brought forward a vision of the Escondido Creek as a linear park. The top priorities for the project were improving safety and usability of the trail for all users. The Missing Link project that connects the Trail between Broadway and Centre City Parkway was completed in 2019; and midblock crossings from the east side of the City to the west are now being designed thanks to multiple grants.

In 2020, the City was awarded $8.5 million dollars from the California Department of Parks & Recreation through the Prop 68 Parks & Water Bond Act of 2018. The new Escondido Creek Trail Expansion and Renovation project will improve 4.5 miles of the existing Escondido Creek Trail and add approximately 0.4 miles of new bicycle path creating a true linear park. We are currently designing the improvements and want to hear from you about how you would use the trail.

Join the virtual workshop and provide feedback: December 10, 2020, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

More information and meeting link at: Escondido Creek Trail - City of Escondido

"Escondido Eats, 25 Days To-Go" is Here!
This event is 25 days of Escondido business and restaurant specials that give thanks to the Escondido community and our retail & restaurant industry. This business focused event was created to encourage curbside pickup and to-go of both gifts and food leading up to the holidays. Let's support our Escondido businesses this season! For participating businesses, or to register your business visit: http://escondidochamber.org/escondido-eats-2/

Winterizing Outdoor Business
It’s getting cold outside! If you have moved your business operations outside please see our Outdoor Dining - Winter Safety Tips to help keep your employees and guests safe this winter season. Visit our Business Resource page for more information about restrictions and safety guidance.

Escondido Awarded Planning Grant
On November 19, the State of California announced that the City of Escondido had received a $500,000 grant from the Local Early Action Planning Grants Program (LEAP Program).  The grant will fund several important projects that will be in development over the next year or two, all aimed at increasing housing production:

  • Create pre-approved accessory dwelling unit (ADU) plans and conduct a study of the likely economic savings of utilizing preapproved ADU plans on homeowners and tenants.
  • Develop a Parking Management Plan and update off-street parking standards to right-size the parking requirements in the downtown area.  This will allow the City to potentially reduce the parking requirements for sites zoned for residential development and enable a conversation about how to utilize public parking areas in the future.  Through this program, the City would also research the feasibility of building parking garages, identify the source(s) or mechanisms to construct centralized parking structures, and develop a much-needed strategy for accommodating future parking demand in the downtown area. 
  • Amend the Downtown Specific Plan to amend the open space standards to right-size the requirements in the downtown area and incorporate new strategies to provide green space within new development such as green roofs, vertical gardens, community gardens, etc. 
  • Support the Housing and Community Investment Study (i.e. Housing Element and East Valley Specific Plan) with project-level environmental analysis and, more importantly, project level mitigation measures that will help accelerate future housing production on rezoned sites. 

Grants are critical to our ability to operate and provide high-quality services to the community. This award is an example of grant funding aiding projects that the City of Escondido’s General Fund cannot cover.

SDG&E’s Midway Drive Replacement Project Complete
SDG&E has finished paving the 2.4 mile stretch of roadway along Midway Drive and Bear Valley Parkway, marking the completion of the Midway Drive Replacement Project.

The 2.4-mile section of vintage pipeline was successfully replaced with new pipe with state-of-the-art safety features to enhance the safety of the local natural gas system. The construction work began in February this year at Midway Drive and Lincoln Avenue in Escondido, proceeding south to Bear Valley Parkway to Highway 78/San Pasqual Valley Road. 

Once the new pipe was interconnected to SDG&E’s natural gas system, the pipe was pressure tested to validate the integrity of the pipe. The new pipeline is now providing reliable natural gas to customers in the Escondido area and to the rest of the region.

Neighborhood Revitalization Projects
The City receives CDBG funding annually from HUD that is used to improve the physical, economic and social conditions of the community. A few notable projects in this year’s funding include playground improvements, with new equipment in Jesmond Dene, Westside, El Norte and Washington Parks. As well as preserving the Hoffman Victorian house at the Escondido History Center and installing new lighting at Jesmond Dene Park. Stay tuned for updates and photos as these projects are completed!

More information about this CBDG funding and projects can be found in the staff report here.

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