ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

The City Manager’s Office, through its Visit Escondido staff, is playing an instrumental role in assisting the formation of an Escondido arts and museums group. The group consists of businesses and nonprofits comprised of art galleries and studios, museums, live theater venues, and other arts-oriented businesses. These businesses are working together to promote cultural and heritage tourism, children’s educational experiences, create cooperative marketing programs, and to network. Cultural and Heritage Tourism is an important part of our local economy, our community’s quality of life and our city’s attractiveness for visitors and economic development. Creating an organized partnership to collaborate, leverage, learn, and promote will benefit everyone. In the coming weeks, the group will choose a name, decide on co-leaders, and put together a list of priorities. The first meeting was held on Thursday, March 31st and was enthusiastically attended by 18 people representing 15 of the businesses in the listed below: 

  • Art 120 Grand
  • Art Tradition Gallery
  • California Center for the Arts, Escondido
  • Distinction Gallery / Art Hatch
  • EcoVivarium
  • Escondido Art Association
  • Escondido Arts Partnership Municipal Gallery
  • Escondido History Center
  • Gemstone Gallery
  • Joe's Glass Shack
  • Old Escondido Historic District
  • Patio Playhouse Community and Youth Theater
  • Roynon Museum of Earth Science & Paleontology
  • San Diego Archaeological Center
  • San Diego Children's Discovery Museum
  • Spiritivity
  • Steven Fiswick Gallery
  • Stone & Glass Gallery & Studio
  • The Dive Gallery
  • Welk Resorts Theatre 

SPECIAL EVENTS 

  • The Cruisin’ Grand Wine Tasting event on Maple Street Plaza, scheduled for this Friday, April 8, has been postponed due to the possibility of rain. The new date will be Friday, June 3rd.

    NOTE: Cruisin’ Grand has not officially been cancelled at this point. That call will be made by the event organizer by Noon on Friday and posted to the Cruisin’ Grand Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cruisingrand 
  • American Diabetes Association – Tour de Cure
    Saturday, April 9th
    A fun and challenging 100 mile bike ride raise funds and awareness for the American Diabetes Association. This ride will pass through Escondido on the way to the coast.
  • For information about activities taking place in Escondido, please visit www.visitescondido.com 

GRAPE DAY PARK PLAYGROUND REPAIRS 

On April 4, the contactor began to mobilize for construction on the new playground improvements. This includes a new playground and swing structure, rockscape, new sidewalk, and concrete bridge structures. The construction period will be about 3 months. The construction area will be directly west and north of the existing playground. Safety fencing will be installed throughout the project, with the use of five parking stalls along Broadway for storage. 

PUBLIC WORKS UPDATE 

March Graffiti Report: 

Opened - 546
Closed - 550
Resident Reported - 199
City Employee (other than GET) - 31
GET - 316
CDBG - 135
Still Open-81 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Planning:

Major Projects Update: 

Commercial / Office: 

  • Escondido Research and Technology Center – East (ERTC) No change from the following update reported last week: This is a 72,000 square foot medical office building proposed on the east side of Citracado Parkway across from Palomar Medical Center located at 2130 Citracado Parkway. A grading permit has been issued by the Engineering Division.  Building plans have been submitted for plan check.  The Planning Division has approved a second set of corrected grading plans.  On November 4, 2015 the City Council approved a 10-year extension to the previously adopted Development Agreement for ERTC that involves 20 lots in ERTC owned by JRMC. 
  • Escondido Research and Technology Center – West (ERTC) – This is a 144,000 sq. ft. development involving two medical office buildings proposed on the west side of Citracado Parkway across from Palomar Medical Center located at 2097 – 2175  Citracado Parkway.  A grading permit has been issued by the Engineering Division.  The Planning Division has approved the building plans submitted for plan check. 
  • Centerpointe 78 CommercialNo change from the following update reported last week: This project is a 45,650 sq. ft. supermarket and restaurant located at 925 N. Broadway. The project was approved by the Planning Commission on November 10, 2015. The project was approved by the City Council meeting on December 9, 2015 and filing fees were paid to the County for the EIR. Street striping plans for the project’s frontage along North Broadway were approved. A revised site plan was submitted to shift parking away from the grocery store. Staff is waiting for submittal of a revised storm water plan that incorporates recent changes in regulations and is working with the property owner regarding obtaining permits to demolish the existing structure. 
  • Westfield TheaterNo change from the following update reported last week: This project is a 10-auditorium movie theater totaling 57,600 sq. ft. located on the north side of the Westfield Mall. The project was approved by the City Council on November 4, 2015. 
  • Felicita Development, LLCNo change from the following update reported last week: This project is a 140-unit hotel, and a gas station or office/residential care facility at the southeast corner of Felicita Rd. and Gamble Lane. The applicant and staff met with the architect to discuss building elevations, 5-story height limitations and site design issues given the existing wetland constraints on the property. Additional technical analysis and coordination is needed to address traffic, biology, water and sewer service, geotechnical and storm water concerns, along with a market study for the proposed uses. The applicant met with the wild life agencies and is responding to technical studies needed to complete the application. Tribal consultations are underway. 
  • Springhill Suites – This project is a 105-suite hotel totaling 73,300 sq. ft. located at 300 La Terraza Drive involving 4 stories, a small conference room and an enlarged lobby for serving continental breakfast. A revised set of grading plans have been approved and grading has commenced for the parking lot on the adjacent office property which shares a driveway access. Landscaping plans were submitted for review, and department comments are being finalized.  Building plans have gone through at least one review. 
  • BMW DealershipNo change from the following update reported last week: A Precise Plan application to expand the existing dealership showroom an additional approximately 4,000 square feet and enhance the building façade at 1557 Auto Park Way was approved by the Planning Commission on October 13, 2015. A demolition permit to remove portions of the existing structure has been issues. The project is under construction. 
  • Escondido Auto Park AssociationNo change from the following update reported last week: The association is proposing to upgrade the existing electronic message sign along I-15. On September 23, 2015, the Economic Development Subcommittee considered a request by the association to enter into an agreement with the City for reimbursement of a portion of the cost of the upgraded sign and expressed support for a five-year agreement based on anticipated public benefit of additional sales tax revenue. Staff has received information for processing and has provided environmental consultants for preparing the environmental review. 
  • Ford-Hyundai Dealership ExpansionNo change from the following update reported last week: An expansion involving approximately 13,000 sq. ft. of showroom buildings and 6,700 sq. ft. wash/detail building at 1717-1919 Auto Park Way was approved by the Planning Commission on June 23, 2015. Grading has commenced, the sign plans have been approved, and the Planning Division has signed off on the building plans.

Industrial 

  • Escondido Disposal Inc.No change from the following update reported last week: The CUP modification to expand the existing facility was approved by the Planning Commission on August 25, 2015. The project has completed its post-approval plan check process; staff has approved the grading and landscape plans. The County has notified the City that the applicant has made its application to the State permitting agency. Storm drain issues improvements that extend through the site are under construction. A revised site plan with updated parking and circulation has been submitted for staff review. Staff is determining the adequacy of the storm water basins. Building plans were received for Phases I and III. 
  • StorQuestNo change from the following update reported last week: This proposed project at 220 W. Mission Avenue involves a 102,500 sq. ft. development with 4-stories, 3 in-line shops and a small office in conjunction with a public storage facility. The application involving a General Plan Amendment, zone change and Planned Development was submitted for processing and routed to city departments for comment. Correspondence has been mailed to the applicant regarding initial comments and the need for additional information to complete the application. 
  • Victory Industrial Development – This project involves two industrial buildings totaling 91,000 sq. ft. (one building 55,500 sq. ft., second building 35,500 sq. ft.) located at 2005 Harmony Grove Road and a zone change from residential to Planned Industrial consistent with the updated General Plan. Revised maps and technical studies have been submitted for review. Design review has been completed and the project is progressing through the environmental review phase. 
  • Micro-Filtration Reverse Osmosis – The proposed project involves a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for the development of a new city facility at 2512 E. Washington Avenue to provide advanced treatment for Title 22 quality recycled water produced at the City of Escondido’s Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility (HARRF) for agricultural uses. The facility would be sized for a total production capacity of 2.0 million gallons per day (mgd) and consists of two separate buildings (one building 14,440 sq. ft., second building 21,775 sq. ft.) that would contain a variety of equipment, pumps, electrical, control and storage rooms. Underground storage tanks (90,000 gallon feed tank, 163,000 gallon inter-process tank, and a 970,000 gallon product storage tank) are also included. Public environmental review commenced on March 8, 2016 and will conclude on April 6, 2016.  A Planning Commission hearing is tentatively scheduled for April 26, 2016. 
  • Wastewater Collections Yard ExpansionNo change from the following update reported last week: The project involves development of 1.8 acres of a larger, approximately 15.4-acre site for the construction of a new wastewater collections yard and maintenance facility for the City’s Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility (HARRF) at 1521 S. Hale Avenue. The proposed facilities will consist of three separate pre-fabricated metal buildings 3,735 sq. ft. - 5,670 sq. ft. for collections; work bays and workshops for regular maintenance of vehicles and equipment. The project would require the processing of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and rezone. Public environmental review commenced on March 22, 2016 and will conclude on April 20, 2016. Public hearings are anticipated in summer 2016.

Institutional

  • John Paul the Great Catholic UniversityNo change from the following update reported last week: A Conditional Use Permit to expand the campus and student enrollment at 155 W. Grand Avenue was approved by the Planning Commission on December 8, 2015. The proposal includes improvements to the former H. Johnson Building at 131 S. Broadway for studio and classroom space, and the former bank at 200 W. Grand Avenue for administrative offices and a student resource center. The proposed expansion would also increase the student enrollment from 300 to 1,200 students over the next several years. Staff has confirmed the availability of water and sewer connections. Staff had a conversation with the University President this week regarding potential future expansion plans beyond those previously approved. 
  • Calvin Christian Middle/High SchoolNo change from the following update reported last week: The project is an expansion involving a 15,500 SF auditorium, multi-use conference center, classrooms, terraces and walkways located at 2000 N. Broadway. Building plans have been submitted for review and comment that include revisions to the auditorium; the grading plans have been approved. 
  • Escondido United Reformed ChurchNo change from the following update reported last week: The project is an expansion for a phased, multi-year, master construction/development plan for a new 12,250 SF two-story sanctuary, conversion of existing buildings to a social hall, demolition of an existing social hall/classroom building (approx. 4,620 SF) and construction of approximately 5,250 SF for a nursery, multi-purpose room, classrooms for Sunday school and other associated activities, and bathrooms, and an enclosed 1,835 SF central Atrium/Narthex at 1864 N. Broadway. Building plans have been submitted for review and comment for portions of project, revised architectural designs for the sanctuary have been submitted for review; the grading plans have been approved. 

Residential 

  • Oak Creek (NUW)No change from the following update reported last week: This project is a 65-unit single family development located at the southeastern corner of Felicita Road and Hamilton Lane. The LAFCO Board unanimously approved the annexation on October 5, 2015. Staff has returned documents to LAFCO memorializing their action that included final paperwork to be completed prior to annexation recordation. 
  • Amanda Estates (NUW)No change from the following update reported last week: This project is a 22-unit single family development on Amanda Lane. The LAFCO Board approved the reorganization (annexation) at their meeting on August 3, 2015. Staff has returned documents to LAFCO memorializing their action that included final paperwork to be completed prior to annexation recordation. 
  • Pradera – This project consists of a 70-unit single family development located at the northeastern corner of Ash Street and Lehner Avenue. Grading and construction are underway. Staff is reviewing improvement plan and the final map submittals, as well as the precise grading plans and landscaping plans. Three, two-story model homes have been completed and the model complex opened to the public on January 30, 2016.  An additional two-story model (Plan 5) has been added to the unit mix and will soon be under construction.  A single-story unit will be marketed with this development, but no model home for the single-story unit will be constructed.  The developer obtained building permits on the first and second phases involving 16 units. Plans for a third and fourth phase have been submitted for review, bringing the total number of units built or under construction to 36. 
  • Zenner No change from the following update reported last week: The project is a 40-unit single family development at the northeastern corner of Lehner Avenue and Vista Avenue. Staff approved concept building elevations from the homebuilder, KB Homes. The annexation was approved by LAFCO on Sept. 14, 2015, and has been recorded by the County Recorder’s Office. Proposed street names have been submitted for Planning Division approval. Plans for constructing an off-site model complex on three separate parcels near the project are nearing completion for staff approval. Staff provided minor comments regarding the model home units. 
  • Stella Park CondominiumsNo change from the following update reported last week: This project is a 65-unit townhome Planned Development located at 2516 S. Escondido Blvd. A Mitigated Negative Declaration was issued on February 16, 2016 for a 20-day review period that concluded on March 8, 2016; no substantive comments were received. The Planning Commission recommended denial of the proposal on March 22, 2016. The City Council is tentatively scheduled to consider the project on April 27, 2016. 
  • Wohlford – This project is a 55-unit single family development located on Bear Valley Parkway east of Encino Drive. Staff has reviewed submittals and technical reports from the applicant. A Specific Alignment Plan for Bear Valley Parkway detailing the roadway is under review. Cultural field work has been completed. The consultant has reviewed the applicant’s technical reports and has provided comments for revisions and has commenced by-weekly status meetings as the document preparation gets underway. Preparation of the project EIR is on schedule. 
  • Latitude IINo change from the following update reported last week: This project is a 112-unit multi-family development, located at the northeastern corner of Centre City Parkway and Washington Avenue, and approved by the City Council on August 19, 2015. A Final Subdivision Map has been submitted for review. The applicant will be submitting a boundary adjustment for a property exchange with the adjacent motel owner.  Grading plans are nearing approval. Comments have been provided regarding the architectural plans that have been submitted for plan check. The CC&Rs and landscaping plans have been submitted for review. 
  • Canyon Grove Estates (Tract 932) – This project is a 179-lot single family residential development on the north side of Vista Avenue east of Conway Drive. Staff approved the substantial conformance determination for the revised tentative map and continues to coordinate with the applicant on the proposed grading plan. The applicant has concluded the purchase of mitigation credits at Daley Ranch, and is pursuing acquisitions needed for offsite improvements. A grading permit has been issued and contractors are clearing the site in areas slated for development. 
  • Safari Highlands No change from the following update reported last week: This project is a 550-unit single family development located east of the Rancho San Pasqual community and north of the San Diego Safari Park. The project involves 1,100 acres including annexation and Sphere of Influence update for a master planned community with parks, trails, recreation center, fire station, open space, on-site sewer facility for treating a portion of the on-site wastewater for irrigation purposes. Planning and Engineering extensions of staff have been funded by the applicant and retained to assist the City in processing the project. Staff met with a representative of the Fish and Wildlife Department to discuss the project. Other outreach efforts have included City of San Diego, San Diego Zoo Safari Park representatives, public agencies and surrounding residents. Interviews were held with three consulting firms bidding on preparing the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the project. City Council approved the consultant contract for preparing the EIR on March 23, 2016. More information about this project is on line at: http://www.escondido.org/safari-highlands-ranch-specific-plan.aspx 
  • High Pointe (Palos Vista Neighborhood 3) – No change from the following update reported last week: This project is a custom-home development with 39 estate lots accessed from Mesa Rock Road. Staff has prepared a bond and fee letter based on the proposed grading and landscape plans, and has sent it to the applicant. 
  • Paseo Escondido – This project is a mixed-use 122-unit multi-family planned development at the southeastern corner of Ash Street and Washington Ave. The proposed project consists of 26 one-bedroom and 96 two-bedroom apartments in three four-story buildings, and two 5,000 SF commercial buildings (10,000 SF total) oriented around an outdoor plaza. Additional submittals are required to complete the application and the applicant is conducting a soils analysis, coring and sampling as part of environmental analysis. 
  • Del Prado (former Woody’s site) – This project is a 113-unit Planned Development located at the southwestern corner of Brotherton Road and the Centre City Parkway frontage road. The project includes a recreational facility, pool, and open space areas. Staff met with the applicant to address sewer and emergency access and engineering issues. A revised set of plans was submitted responding to staff comments. The Fire Department met with the applicant regarding emergency access. Staff is working with the applicant and SDG&E to design around several underground electric transmission lines that are in close proximity to the project’s water and sewer lines. A Mitigated Negative Declaration was issued on March 4, 2016 for a 20-day review period that concluded on March 23, 2016; no substantive environmental comments were received. A Planning Commission public hearing has been scheduled for April 12, 2016. 
  • Solutions for ChangeNo change from the following update reported last week: This project is a Planned Development application for 33 affordable multi-family units. It was approved by the Planning Commission on October 13, 2015, and by the City Council November 18, 2015. Building plans have been submitted for review and a comment letter is being prepared. Staff authorized payment of Housing Division funds for reimbursement of applicant’s consultant invoices. Staff has preliminarily accepted minor redesign efforts to meet construction costs and is working with the applicant to ensure state financing remains available for the project. Building plan check comments have been forwarded to the applicant involving minor corrections and edits. The funding for the property acquisition has been completed 
  • 701 San Pasqual Valley RdNo change from the following update reported last week: This project is a 19-unit single family development located at 1201 E. 5th Avenue (formerly Tract 898) on 7.2 acres. The application is under review and a letter detailing additional comments and submittal requirements was forwarded to the applicant. 
  • Veterans Village of San DiegoNo change from the following update reported last week: This project is a mixed-use development involving a 54-unit affordable multi-family residential apartment project for military veterans and their families. It includes on-site administration office, business center, club house and other support spaces for the residents; and a small commercial component to support training opportunities offered at the facility at 1556 S. Escondido Boulevard. Building plans have been submitted for review and comment; the grading plans and landscaping plans have been approved. 
  • Escondido GatewayNo change from the following update reported last week: This project is a mixed-use development involving 122 residential units with a 3,000 sq. ft. commercial space on 2.6 acres (47 dwelling units/acre) located at 700 W. Grand Avenue (former Police Station) across the street from the North County Transit Station. Plans were submitted for the project involving a Specific Plan Amendment, Tentative Map, Planned Development and Development Agreement. Plans have been routed to various departments for comments. Correspondence has been mailed to the applicant regarding initial comments for revisions and the need for additional information to complete the application.

Building Division: 

  • The Building Department issued 71 permits with a total valuation of $298,924. 
  • 30 photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. Building has issued 359 solar permits this year compared to 212 issued for the same time last year. 
  • The Building Department staff had another busy week. Inspectors averaged 37 inspections per day with 42 inspections on Friday. 7 inspections were held over on Thursday due to inspector illness and 8 inspections held over on Friday. Our building counter staff was also busy, averaging 30 counter sign in’s per day and 28 on Friday. 
  • The Building Division has a current valuation of all issued permits through March of $9,056,997 compared with $4,751,243 for same time last year. Through March, the Building Division has processed 979 projects (permits or submittals) compared with 695 processed for the same time last year. A copy of the monthly report is attached
  • The 76 unit condominium complex at 2412 S Escondido Blvd is requesting final inspection and occupancy for one of the three buildings. 
  • The Building Division qualified 8 applicants for the Building Inspector II position and is scheduling interviews for April 21st
  • Permits were issued for parking lot improvements associated with an approved 36,000 square foot office building at 300 La Terraza. 
  • Plans were submitted for a new single family dwelling at 2969 Jacks Cove. 
  • Our senior inspector responded to an emergency damage assessment from the Fire Department on Saturday for a mobile home fire at 2700 E Valley Pkwy space 250. 

Code Enforcement: 

  • As of April 4, 2016, the total number of open code enforcement cases is 408 cases. During the prior week, 83 new cases were opened, and 25 cases were closed, with a backlog of an additional 27 cases not yet opened for assignment and investigation. 
  • There were 143 illegal signs confiscated during the weekend. 
  • Last week the Business License Division issued 19 new licenses and received 33 new applications, in addition to 211 renewals. 

Public Art: 

Weather permitting, Queen Califia’s Magical Circle in Kit Carson Park (3333 Bear Valley Parkway) will be open to the public on Sunday, April 9, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Docents will be on site to answer questions. 

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS           

Kit Carson Park D-75 Concrete Ditch Stabilization:
The concrete ditch has been restored and the project has been completed. 

Kit Carson Hockey Rink Improvements:
The vents that were delivered were manufactured to the wrong specification. The contractor and manufacturer are working to replace the units by next week. 

Washington Park Pool re-plastering:
The pool has been refilled in preparation for the County Health inspection which is Friday, April 8, 2016. 

Grape Day Park Playground:
Staff had a conference call on Thursday, May 31, 2016 with the manufacturers of the playground equipment and contractor to confirm that the order had been placed for the equipment. Delivery is expected in 12 weeks.  

Private Development 

Bear Valley Parkway between Boyle Avenue and San Pasqual Valley Road (County Project):
The irrigation systems are being installed this week along Bear Valley Parkway from Idaho Avenue to San Pasqual Valley Road (ALT 78). New traffic signal poles have been completed for the Idaho Avenue/ Bear Valley Parkway intersection and Idaho Avenue has been reopened to all traffic. The remaining section of roadway between Lloyd Place and Boyle Avenue intersection is having base material placed for the construction of the concrete improvement. The remaining work includes traffic signal conduit installation as well as completing the final storm drain boxes.    

2412 South Escondido Boulevard:
No changes from the following update reported last week: Work has started on the offsite street improvements. Curb and gutter along Escondido Blvd. has started. 

Pradera - Lennar Communities:
Ash Street between Lehner Avenue and Stanley Avenue was reopened in preparation for the return of school on April 4, 2016. The work now shifts to Stanley Avenue where the construction of curb gutter and sidewalk is expected to be completed this week. The Final Map for Street “C” was signed by the Mayor and City Clerk last Friday (4/01) and we received confirmation on April 4th that it had recorded.

  • The revision to the Precise grading plan for the Model Homes on Street “E” was approved last week adding a Plan 5 model home to the Model Home complex. 

Pacific Ranch- KB Homes:
The contractor had started the construction of the new sewer main for the model homes along Ash Street between Lehner Avenue and Vista Avenue this past week. Due to a problem with the sewer main tie in elevations, the contractor has had to halt construction. Pipe line installation will resume this week after the engineer has developed a solution. The 1st submittal of the grading plans for the Model Homes was made on Feb. 25th and will be returned to the engineer this week. 

Rincon del Diablo 8” & 12” Water Main Construction:
The contractor continues to construct the water main along North Avenue between Broadway and Laurashawn.  The roadway will remain closed this week to all traffic.    

Tract 932 - Canyon Grove Shea Homes Community:
The 4th submittal of the Onsite Improvement plans were returned to the Engineer on April 1st with very minor corrections and are expected to be submitted as mylars for approval. The 2nd submittal of the Plats and Legals for the Onsite Public Street Dedication were reviewed last week and a Public Street Easement deed document was prepared for Shea Homes’ signature on April 4th.  

Broadway and Washington Avenue ramp improvements:
The State of California (Caltrans) is reconstructing the northwest curb return to bring it into compliance with the mandated standards. The work includes the relocation of storm drain structures as well as relocating traffic signal pole foundations. Work is proceeding and is expected to be completed soon. The remaining two curb returns on the southeast and south- west corners will require the same attention. One curb return will be done at a time and it likely will be under construction for a two week period. 

PUBLIC SAFETY 

Police: 

Incidents 

  • On 3/27/2016, Officer Pugh stopped a subject riding a bicycle near the intersection of Valley Parkway and Hickory St.  During a search of the subject, Officer Pugh located approximately ten grams of methamphetamine. The suspect was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and booked into the county jail.   
  • On 3/29/2016, officers located a stolen U-Haul pickup truck. The driver and passenger were taken into custody for possession of a stolen vehicle.
  • On 3/31/2016, officers stopped a subject on a bicycle in the 600 block of Washington Ave. for a municipal code violation.  The subject had a baton affixed to his bicycle and was arrested for possession of a dangerous weapon. Evidence discovered after the arrest revealed the suspect was involved in a robbery earlier in the day.  The subject was booked into county jail for possession of the weapon and robbery.  

Events: 

On 3/29/2016, Captains Kogler and Skaja attended the Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD) luncheon to honor Officer Issac Buan as Escondido PD’s D.U.I. Officer of the Year.  During 2015, Officer Buan led the Department’s Patrol Division in D.U.I. arrests.  Over the course of a year, Officer Buan arrested 25 people for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Isaac accomplished this goal while assigned to patrol where he is also responsible for radio calls, crime reports and the many other tasks associated with a patrol assignment.