March 18, 2021

San Diego County Enters Red Tier
As of March 17, San Diego County has moved into the "Red Tier" of the State's Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Changes from the previous “Purple Tier” include:

  • Restaurants can operate indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Gyms and fitness centers can open indoors at 10% capacity.
  • Museums, zoos and aquariums can open indoors at 25% capacity.
  • Movie theaters can open indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Retail and shopping centers can operate indoors at 50% capacity.

Please continue to wear a facial covering and practice social distancing.

For more information, click here.

Online Services Update
Saving time and creating efficiencies equals cost savings. Last year, business license customers used the City’s Online Services Portal to process over 1,100 new applications and almost 3,000 renewals. Based on the success of this program, the Engineering and Building Departments are now offering online permitting options. Not all permits are online yet, but more options will be added in the coming months.

  • Since July 2020, 481 of the 492 (98%) encroachment permit submittals have been made to Field Engineering through the online portal.
  • The Building Division has received 620 building permits through the portal, including photovoltaic and water heater permits. 
  • This month, 40% of engineering cases were submitted online, including grading and improvement plans. 

Knowing that customers are looking for more online services, City staff have responded by making more information available on the portal. Homeowners and project applicants often call the City looking for detailed property information. To save time and streamline the process, this information is now available online and searchable by address. This tool shows the location of key infrastructure, including sewer, water, storm drains, and street lights. City call volume is decreasing, indicating that customers find this tool beneficial. Instructions and a link for the tool can be found on the Engineering Land Development webpage.

In addition to the great new features above, the Community Services Department completed a successful software implementation that better meets user needs and increases efficiency. This new system includes a variety of enhancements that improve direct communication with customers, provide a series of automated functions creating staffing efficiencies, and has an open platform for data-driven analysis. A few key features include:

  • Website integration
  • Online park reservations
  • Automated waitlists
  • Downloadable App
  • Greater customer activity controls (class registration & cancellation by the customer)
  • Decreased processing fees

Helicopter Announcement Transcription Now Available
In partnership with the San Diego Sheriff Department, the Escondido Police Department is now offering transcription of the Sheriff Helicopter Public Address System (PA) announcements. Now, if you are unable to hear the entire PA message, you can call or text the San Diego Sheriff Department’s Auto Helo System to get the message.

Simply call 858-866-4356 or text “Hello” to 858-866-4356 to receive the message. Save the number to your contacts for easy access any time you hear PA announcements in your area. You can also obtain the information to access Auto Helo by visiting the City of Escondido’s website at or the Escondido Police Department’s website

While this program is free, you might have to pay to receive text messages depending on your phone plan. Please note that this phone line is not for reporting a crime or emergency. For emergencies, call 9-1-1. For non-emergencies, call 760-839-4722.

County Rental Assistance Deadline Extended
San Diego County residents financially impacted by COVID-19 who need help paying their rent and utilities may qualify for assistance. Applications must be submitted by March 31, 2021.

For more information on the County of San Diego’s program, please visit or call (858) 694-4801 to speak to a housing representative.

. . . read more

March 11, 2021

Hand Sanitizer Donations to Community Partners
This week City staff distributed PPE donations of hand sanitizer and thermometers to help our community partners combat COVID-19. The donations were secured and provided by Dr. Aminlari with the San Diego Chapter of Last Mile.

City staff coordinated the delivery of the donation to our community partners who have the work and connections to distribute the items to those in need throughout Escondido. Thank you to Last Mile and the following: Neighborhood Healthcare (Escondido, CA)Escondido Education COMPACTEscondido Union High Sch DistrictEscondido Chamber of CommerceInterfaith Community Services

March Business Newsletter
The City of Escondido March business newsletter is out now! This issue highlights an Escondido scientist developing a rapid COVID test, information on grants and loans, workforce resources and much more. Read and subscribe here.

Smoke Free Escondido Kick Off
On March 8, Escondido Education Compact held their first Smoke Free Escondido informational event. The youth leaders distributed educational materials to 149 businesses to help the owners stay informed and in compliance with the Smoke and Vape Free Ordinance that passed in Escondido on April 24, 2020. Great work!

Legal Aid Society of San Diego – Tenant and Rental Resources
The Legal Aid Society of San Diego provides free assistance for renters that need help with eviction and rental issues.

Visit their website at or call 844-449- 3500 for more information.

. . . read more

March 4, 2021

2021 State of the City
The 2021 State of the City took place virtually as part of the March 3 City Council meeting.
Check out the video below for a look at how Escondido faced the challenges that 2020 brought all of us. 

San Diego Remains in the Purple Tier
San Diego County remains in Tier 1, or Purple Tier, of the State's Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
To see what is currently open in San Diego County click here.

The Ranch 50K/Half Marathon
On March 6, the first endurance race in the region in almost a year will take place at Daley Ranch. Although endurance races are not permitted at this time, the County of San Diego has agreed to use The Ranch as a pilot race, to evaluate and develop safe reopening procedures moving forward.  

Event and City staff have worked tirelessly to get this event approved by the County, and hope that its success will allow for future races to proceed. County and City staff will be onsite to monitor the race, and ensure all COVID protocols are followed. This event will set the stage for future racing events, and we excited to be a part of it.
For more information on the race, visit The Ranch 50k — Second Wind Trail Running

City Planning in North County

Have you ever wondered how city planners are able to help bring new developments and recreation amenities to a city? Our dedicated team of professionals help Escondido plan for smart and sustainable growth.
Check out this video for an explanation of what planners do to keep North County an amazing place to live!

. . . read more

February 25, 2021

2021 Virtual State of the City
The 2021 State of the City will take place next Wednesday, March 3 as part of the regularly scheduled virtual City Council meeting.

Tune in for a message from Mayor Paul McNamara and a look at how Escondido has faced the challenges that 2020 brought all of us.

The State of the City will be livestreamed at 6 p.m. and available for viewing after at: 

County of SD Emergency Rental Assistance
San Diego County residents financially impacted by COVID-19 who need help paying their rent and utilities may qualify for assistance.

Applications for the County of San Diego’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) 2021 can be submitted starting March 2, 2021.

For more information on the County’s program, please visit or call (858) 694-4801 to speak to a housing representative.

Business Tools and Resources
New business licenses and renewals will now be receiving welcome letters with helpful tools and resources to further set businesses up for success. The City evaluated an opportunity to help our businesses by increasing communication via our Online Service Portal. Customers can now access resources such as Local, State and Federal incentives, graffiti waivers, business marketing opportunities, COVID resources and more. View all of our available Online Services here.

Washington Avenue Pipeline Construction
The City is constructing a portion of pipeline which runs along Washington Avenue between North Broadway and Waverly Place. This work is part of the Membrane Filtration Reverse Osmosis project. There will be a lane closure along Washington Avenue between these intersections. Therefore, traffic delays should be anticipated through this area.

It is advisable to take alternate routes around the construction when possible from March 2021 through July 2021.  This closure will mainly affect motorists. However, bike and pedestrian traffic are encouraged to exercise caution when passing through this area. The lane closures are essential for safety reasons. 

. . . read more