ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

  • In an effort to better position the cities along San Diego’s  78 Corridor for prosperity and innovation, the five North County cities – Carlsbad, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos and Vista – have launched Innovate78, a new branding initiative and website (www.innovate78.com ) to spur economic development.
  • This weekend, April 11 & 12, Ryan Park will have the Cal South State Cup Presidents Division for the Olders U15 – U19.  Teams will be traveling to Escondido from all over Southern California.  We will have 50 teams and 78 games played – Boys – U16, U17, & U19 – Girls – U15, U16, & U19.  We can expect around 1500 players and spectators during this tournament.  Teams will be lodging, dinning, and shopping in many of our area establishment.  Teams will each have at least three games over the weekend. 
  • New directional signage has been placed on northbound and southbound Centre City Parkway just before Grand Avenue, as well as at Tulip and West Valley Parkway, directing visitors to “Historic Downtown and Visitor Center”. 

SPECIAL EVENTS 

  • Wine & Craft Beer Tastings at Cruisin’ Grand
    Friday, April 10, 5-8 p.m.
    Maple Street Plaza
    City of Escondido in partnership with Cruisin’ Grand and Ubiquitous Music present a special wine and beer tasting on Maple Street Plaza featuring local wineries and craft breweries.
  • CicloVia Escondido
    Saturday, April 11, 2015, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    Downtown Escondido – Grand Ave closed from Escondido Blvd. to Juniper
    Car-free event focused on promoting healthy outdoor activities in our community
  • Queen Califia Magical Circle
    Saturday, April 11, Kit Carson Park, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • For information about other events taking place in Escondido, please visit visitescondido.com

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Planning: 

  • The consultant contract for preparation of the S. Escondido Blvd. Area Plan has been executed. Staff met with the consultant this week to kick off the project and conducted a tour of the area.
  • Per City Council direction regarding the Emergency Shelter Overlay Zone, a public meeting has been scheduled on Monday, April 13th at 6:00 PM in the Mitchell Room to discuss alternative or additional locations where a shelter may be allowed as a permitted use. Public notice has been sent to all property and business owners in the zones under consideration as well as to all interested parties on our mailing list, and published in the newspaper. The workshop will be an open house format.
  • The 30-day public review period for the draft Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Southwest Sewer Realignment Project ended on April 1st. Staff is reviewing comments received from the State Water Resources Control Board, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, County of San Diego, San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians, Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians, Escondido Neighbors United and a neighboring resident. The document is available at the following links:
    http://www.escondido.org/southwest-sewer.aspx
    http://www.escondido.org/Data/Sites/1/media/PDFs/Planning/MNDnoticeofNegDecforPosting.pdf 
  • Major Projects Update: 
    • Oak Creek (NUW) – The annexation application has been submitted and is under review by LAFCO.
    • Amanda Estates (NUW) – The project was unanimously recommended for approval by the Planning Commission on March 10th. The City Council hearing is scheduled for April 8th. Since the Planning Commission meeting, two additional abutting property owners have requested to be included in the annexation.
    • Centerpointe 78 Commercial – Preparation of the Draft EIR has been resumed and will include a third party analysis of the traffic study and alternative traffic mitigation measures proposed by the applicant.
    • North Broadway Deficiency Area Projects – Staff continues to work with the anticipated developer (Lennar) of the properties east of Ash Street regarding a comprehensive grading plan and associated design changes, with the goal of achieving substantial conformance with the approved tentative maps as anticipated in the development agreements. The developer is working towards commencement of grading activities in April; grading activities will need to avoid areas in close proximity to nesting bird sites. A vegetation removal permit has been issued which avoids the nesting sites. Revisions to the traffic analysis are still needed to address construction vehicle trips from the proposed mass grading and import of fill. The Zenner annexation, subdivision and development agreement is scheduled for City Council consideration on April 22nd. Staff is coordinating with the applicant regarding the offsite easements needed to construct traffic mitigation measures at the Ash/Vista intersection in the unincorporated area in order to avoid potential condemnation issues.
    • Kaen Planned Development (2516 S. Escondido Blvd.) – Staff has completed review of a revised conceptual plan which addresses some of the concerns previously identified by staff. Staff has provided comments recommending further revisions to address fire access and design issues; the applicant is evaluating response to these comments. The application is incomplete.
    • Wohlford – A letter has been sent for the proposed 55-unit residential subdivision and planned development at 661 Bear Valley Parkway advising the applicant that the application is incomplete and identifying the necessary submittals to continue processing the application. The applicant is coordinating with staff regarding a Specific Alignment Plan for Bear Valley Parkway.
    • Latitude II – The applicant submitted revised plans which are under review; the plans propose alternative design standards to be evaluated through the Planned Development process. A meeting has been set for next week to discuss outstanding issues regarding the internal turning radius and clearances for emergency access, design of the proposed deceleration lane at the Centre City Parkway entrance and associated storm water improvements, request to prepare a traffic study, type of CEQA document, parking dimensions and location, path of travel, and utility easements and improvements. The application is incomplete. 

Building Division: 

  • The monthly Building Activity Report for March is attached.
  • The Building Division issued 44 permits for the week with a total valuation of $130,735.
  • Only 6 photovoltaic permits were issued for the week; however 24 applications were submitted for new permits.  Building has issued 214 permits so far this year compared to 143 issued at the same time last year.
  • Inspections and counter contacts remain steady with inspections averaging 23 per day with 25 on Friday and counter contacts averaging 32 per day with 27 on Friday. 
  • The Building Division has approved the plans for a new 76-unit condominium project at 2412 S. Escondido Blvd.  Recordation of the Final Map is needed prior to permit issuance.
  • The new Monticello Assisted living facility is moving towards a final building inspection projected for the end of April. 

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS

FY2014-2015 Street Rehabilitation Project:
April 6, 2015 through April 10, 2015 the concrete subcontractor will be completing concrete for the pedestrian ramps, driveways and sidewalks along 5th Avenue between Centre City Parkway and Escondido Boulevard, 13th Avenue at Redwood Street and 3rd Avenue and Maple Street. Pavement resurfacing will be along Pennsylvania Avenue between Beech Street and Fig Street, 5th Avenue between Escondido Boulevard and Centre City Parkway.   

Elm Street between Washington Avenue and the Flood Control Channel: 
All concrete improvements were placed on Monday, April 6th. Fencing installation and street light activation are still remaining to be completed.

 Private Development 

Bear Valley Parkway between Boyle Avenue and San Pasqual Valley Road (County Project):
The contractor has placed concrete surface improvements between Idaho Avenue and Birch Street. Dry utilities are continuing between Idaho Avenue and Suburban Hills Drive. 

2412 South Escondido Boulevard:
The contractor is continuing to construct the onsite retaining walls. The new 48” storm drain system is being installed. The construction of the on-site sewer main has begun. 

Escondido Boulevard at 3rd Avenue Fiber Optic Project:
Pavement restoration has been completed; Parking stall striping and restoration of the colored concrete surface improvements at 2nd Avenue and Broadway have not been completed. 

SDG&E 16” Gas Main Inspection:
SDG&E crews started excavation on their pipeline this week; the line is located on Rocksprings Road @ Deodar Road. The pipe line has been exposed and preparation is being made to remove a section of the pipe line.

Transportation and Community Safety:
The Safety Commission will consider traffic calming and management projects at their April 9th meeting.  Seven projects were nominated for consideration by residents, the Police Department and Safe Streets for More Accessible Recreation and Transportation (S2MART) Streets, which is comprised of members from the Escondido School District, COMPACT, Bike Walk Escondido, the County Health and the Escondido Creek Conservancy.  The projects were ranked based on adopted scoring criteria.  The four top ranked projects recommended for further study include, Crosswalk Improvements, Lincoln & Ash Pedestrian Signage/Markings, Ash & Sheridan Crosswalk and Gamble St. Traffic Calming. 

Traffic Engineering staff will be monitoring the outcome of traffic calming and management projects completed this fiscal year.  Results show that stop signs and radar speed feedback signs added on Eucalyptus Avenue are very effective with 95% of vehicles driving below the speed limit of 35mph after passing the radar speed sign.  

Citracado Parkway Extension: Permits were submitted earlier this year for the extension of Citracado Parkway between Andreasen and Harmony Grove Village Parkway (Lariat).  Resource agencies are requiring that biological surveys originally completed in 2009 be updated.  It will require six months and approximately $45,000 to update the surveys.  The Federal Economic Development Administration has stated that the City’s $3M grant application would be more favored if resource agency permits are obtained.  

PUBLIC SAFETY 

Police 

UCR CRIME UPDATE (YTD through end of March)

  • Overall Crime is down11% as compared to the same time period in 2014.
  • Violent Crime is up47% as compared to the same time period in 2014.
  • Property Crime is down70% as compared to the same time period in 2014. 

*During last month’s report, violent crime was up 60% YTD.  January and February of this year showed huge spikes in violent crime; specifically aggravated assaults, which were mostly attributed to gang violence.  Preliminary data suggests that our aggressive proactive response to the spike in gang violence is starting to show positive results. 

Incidents:

  • On 03-31-15, SDSO deputies were involved in a vehicle pursuit in Valley Center. The suspect vehicle led them down the Lake Wohlford grade into Escondido.  Our officers were able to successfully deploy spike strips near the dog park.  The driver was taken into custody without further incident.  Due to the actions of our officers, the pursuit was prevented from traveling through our city and we assisted the SDSO in taking a dangerous suspect into custody.
  • On 04-01-15, EPD received information from the Kern County Sheriff’s Department of a felony warrant subject that was hiding out in Escondido. The subject was wanted for smuggling heroin and cell phones to gang members inside state prisons.  The suspect was located by EPD at an address on Fairdale Ave and was taken into custody without incident.
  • On 04-05-15, officers were conducting extra patrols at the Quality Inn (555 N. Centre City Pkwy) and the Escondido Inn (420 W. Washington Ave). During two separate incidents (one from each motel), multiple suspects were contacted and arrested on drug sales charges.  The investigations revealed that they were dealing methamphetamine and heroin.  It was learned that the suspects were affiliated with each another.
  • On 04-06-15, officers attempted a traffic stop on a Honda Civic for a vehicle code violation in the area of Boyle Ave and Bear Valley Pkwy. The driver failed to yield and a vehicle pursuit ensued.  The pursuit ended when the Civic collided with the curb at Washington Ave and Grape St.  The passenger fled the scene on foot and was apprehended a short distance away.  He was the subject of an information bulletin regarding a series of auto thefts in the Pala area.  The driver stayed in the Civic when officers approached with a police dog.  The driver was taken into custody without incident.  Officers determined that the Civic was stolen and both subjects were arrested. 

Events:

  • On Friday night, April 3rd, officers from the Escondido Police Department participated in a DUI Saturation Patrol. Officers assigned to this detail made 48 traffic stops and conducted 9 Field Sobriety Tests.  During the evening, 4 drivers were arrested for DUI.  Three drivers were cited for being unlicensed or having a suspended license.  Four vehicles were impounded. 
  • Owens and Ofc. Holtz attended an Easter Egg hunt for low income children at Aster St. and Begonia St. The event was sponsored by the North San Diego County Realtors Professional Group.  Approximately 30 children participated, with ages ranging from 8 months to 10 years old.  Lt. Owens and Ofc. Holtz handed out junior police stickers and Easter baskets.  The event was very popular with the kids.

Fire: 

  • Cal Fire advised us  that they will be staffing the Del Dios and Valley Center stations sometime during the week of April 9th. Chief Mecham also advised that Ramona Air Base is open and fully staffed with an Air Attack, Air Tankers, the County Copters and the USFS Type II Helicopter. The County Wildland Drill is still scheduled for April 22, 23, and 24.
  • In 2014, there were 101 total structure fires, 60 were residential. The total estimated structure fire loss was $1,944,735 of which $1,078,485 was from residential structure fire losses. The total number of all fires was 207 and the total estimated fire loss was $2,343,120. There were a total of 3 Fire Fighter or civilian injuries documented (1 of the civilians injured ended as a fatality). For comparison, in 2013 there were 105 total structure fires, 69 were residential. The total estimated structure fire loss was $1,695,222 of which $1,162,212 was residential structure fire loss. There were a total of 249 fires in 2013 and the total estimated fire loss was $2,003, 211. There were a total of 7 FF or civilian injuries in 2013. There were three fire apparatus involved in vehicles accidents while responding to or returning from incidents in both 2014 and 2013.