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 www.escondido.org or the Escondido Police Department’s website www.police.escondido.org.
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 www.sdhcd.org or call (858) 694-4801 to speak to a housing representative.
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