FEATURED THIS WEEK
Welcome to Escondido
This week our digital welcome sign went into rotation at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. This is in addition to our welcome messages running on the Westfield and Lexus digital marquees. Once the Auto Park’s new sign is up and running we will be featured there as well.
Staff Begins Work on Website Update
A team has been assembled and met for the first time this week to begin the overhaul of the City’s website. The majority of the work will be done in-house with our existing resources and staff. The updated website is expected to be launched by 2018.
Police Receive over $500K in Grant Funding
Our Police Department received a $510,000 OTS grant. This amount is $200,000 more than previous years. The large increase accounts for two approved DUI enforcement officers that will work during prime hours/days that most DUI collisions are occurring. The objective is to decrease DUI related injuries and deaths by increasing enforcement and education.
Intercession Neighborhood Appreciation Day 2017
10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Saturday August 12 – Grape Day Park
Come join Intercession Church for a time of outreach ministry. There will be arts and crats for children, back pack and school supplies given away, music and sharing our faith. If you are interested in having a booth or volunteering, please call 760-741-6331.
One Stop Systems, a tech company headquartered in Escondido, was recently ranked as one of the San Diego Business Journal’s top 100 fastest growing privately held companies in the region. Check out their news release here: https://www.onestopsystems.com/article/oss-named-one-san-diego%E2%80%99s-fastest-growing-companies
Major Projects Update
The following major projects are currently being reviewed and coordinated with Planning, Engineering, Fire, Building and Utilities staff. A complete description of each project can be viewed here. Updates provided below cover project milestones that occurred last week.
Commercial / Office:
- Escondido Research and Technology Center – East (ERTC) (Developer: James McCann) – A grading plan for a temporary parking lot to serve the hospital was approved June 13, 2016, and the parking lot is now under construction.
- Escondido Research and Technology Center – West (ERTC) (Developer: James McCann) – Construction is underway on the approximately 76,000 square foot medical office building with a linear accelerator. A plan for a new two-story, 57,000 SF, 52-bed Palomar Rehabilitation Institute was submitted on July 31, 2017 and is now being reviewed by staff. The facility is proposed in an existing parking lot south of the hospital.
- Springhill Suites (Developer: Raj Patel, San Bernardino Hospitality LLC) – Final interior design changes to meet Marriott’s current generation prototype were approved by Esgil and Planning on July 11, 2017. Final design is close for the traffic signal at the project driveway entry.
- Centre City Commercial Center (Developer: Todd Dwyer) – The Plot Plan has been approved and demolition has started. The applicant has submitted grading, building and landscape plans and the final parcel map. The expedited plan check process started on July 25, 2017.
- StorQuest 222 W. Mission Ave. (Developer: The William Warren Group, Inc.) – The grading plan has been approved and the mylars are in Engineering awaiting final posting of deposits and fees. Building plans have now been approved by Esgil, Planning and Fire. Landscape plans were submitted on June 7, 2017 and Planning reviews have been returned to the applicant.
- Escondido Self-Storage Facility (Developer: Brandywine Homes, Inc.) – Building plans grading plans, landscape plans and the final map have been submitted and comments have been provided by staff and Esgil. Revised grading, street and improvement plans were submitted by the applicant on July 14, 2017. Planning comments will be issued this week.
- Innovative Industrial Development (Developer: Scott Merry, Badiee Development) – Comments on the building permit application have been returned. Landscaping drawings were submitted on May 9, 2017. The second check of the grading plan is nearing approval.
- North American Self-Storage (Developer: Russ Colvin) – This project is participating in the expedited plan check program. The demo permit has been issued. Building plans were approved by Esgil, Planning and Fire the last week of June. The grading plan was approved on August 1, 2017. The applicant is finalizing the improvement plans in response to Utilities comments on the Metcalf water line.
- Micro-Filtration Reverse Osmosis (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) – No further updates to this item will be provided while litigation is in progress: The Planning Commission approved the proposed CUP on December 13, 2016. An appeal of that decision was filed and the City Council denied the appeal on January 11, and affirmed the Planning Commission’s decision to approve the project.
- Lake Wohlford Replacement Dam (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) – A Draft EIR was prepared and issued for a 45-day public review period that began on October 4, 2016 and closed on November 17, 2016. Staff and AECOM are now in the process of coordinating responses to the comments that were received during the public review period. A field visit with staff from the state and federal wildlife agencies took place on May 11, 2017, to review biological mitigation requirements. Staff sent a follow-up letter to the wildlife agencies on June 29, 2017, seeking clarification on the proposed biological mitigation requirements.
- Citron (formerly Stella Park) Condominiums (Developer: William Lyon Homes) – Building plans were submitted on April 6, 2017. Esgil and Planning have provided comments. Fire has approved the building plans. The rough grading has been completed on the site. The applicant resubmitted the precise grading plan on July 14, 2017.
- Wohlford (Developer: Jack Henthorne) – The Draft EIR has been posted on the city website and released for a 45-day public review period that ended on May 12, 2017. The EIR consultant provided the responses to public comments and Final EIR will be provided to Planning this week.
- Safari Highlands Ranch (SHR) (Developer: Jeb Hall, Concordia Homes) – A second revised tentative map depicting various minor changes and clarifications to roads, easements and drainage facilities was submitted on April 25, 2017. Revised technical engineering reports as well as responses to staff comments also have been submitted for review. The revised studies have been loaded on the City’s website at the following link: Safari Highlands Ranch Specific Plan - City of Escondido.
- 701 San Pasqual Valley Rd (Developer: Bob Stewart) – A three-year extension of time for the previously approved ten-lot subdivision (Tract 895) was approved by the City Council on June 7, 2017. Staff comments on the revised tentative map were issued the last week of July.
- Escondido Gateway (Developer: Carolyn Hillgren, Lyon Living) – Demolition of the former police building commenced on July 25, 2017 and should be completed soon. Building plans have been approved by Esgil and Fire. Grading plans have been approved by Utilities, Planning and Fire.
- The Villages at Escondido Country Club (Developer: Jason Han, New Urban West, Inc.) – Planning staff has provided a location on the city’s website for ECC project-related documents and plans. A 45-day public review period for the Draft EIR commenced on June 28, 2017 and will end on August 18, 2017. Staff and the EIR consultant hosted an open house on July 31, 2017, to provide information related to the Draft EIR and accept written comments. The Draft EIR and appendices have been placed on the city website. This information along with project status and other related information can be accessed at the following link: ECC - City of Escondido
- Ivy/Valley Parkway Mixed-Use Development (Developer: Abad Rahan Pars Inc./ Norm Wieme, Architect: The applicant has indicated that grading and building plans are expected to be submitted into plan check soon. The reimbursement agreement for new water infrastructure that will be installed by the project in the adjoining alley is being readied for City Council approval.
- North Avenue Estates (Developer: Casey Johnson) – An application to re-entitle aspects of the previously approved project that have expired and modify the project design to reflect new storm water requirements was submitted to the Planning Division on March 7, 2017. A revised tentative map was submitted last week and is currently being reviewed by staff. A new annexation survey of surrounding property owners was mailed out at the request of LAFCO. A neighborhood meeting hosted by staff and the project applicant occurred on August 9, 2017.
- Aspire and The Ivy (Developer: Addison Garza, Touchstone Communities) – The project consists of three separate downtown sites proposed for mixed-use, residential and parking garage project components on Parking Lot 1, Parking Lot 4 and the former Escondido Surgery Center property. Applications were submitted for entitlement processing on June 23, 2017. A project kick-off meeting with the applicant and city staff occurred on July 13, 2017. On July 24, 2017, staff sent a letter to the applicant indicating the project application submittal was incomplete.
- 17 solar permits were issued for the week. The Building Division has issued 564 solar permits this year compared to 759 issued for the same time last year.
- Our building inspectors responded to 173 inspection requests for the week.
- The total building valuation for all issued permits this year through August 5th is $78,126,906 compared with $42,305,684 for same time last year. Building has processed 1,984 projects to date compared with 2,237 projects in 2016.
- Building has issued 132 single family dwelling permits this year and 224 multi-family units. This compares with 46 single family dwelling and 88 multi- family dwellings for same time last year.
Projects nearing permit issuance are:
The construction of the City Plaza three-story mixed use building at 300 S. Escondido Blvd. has received partial approval of roof framing and rough framing inspections. Drywall is now being installed throughout the building.
Drywall is being installed in the second floor units at the Meadowbrook, three-story apartment building with underground garage at 2081 Garden Valley Glen.
Phase II of Escondido Disposal’s construction including scales and walls on the southern side of Washington Avenue is set to begin next week.
The medical office building at 2125 Citracado Pkwy has completed second and third floor concrete slabs and framing has commenced.
The medical office building at 1951 Citracado Pkwy has completed construction of the exterior masonry walls. Roof framing has commenced.
The Westminster Seminary at 1725 Bear Valley Pkwy is proceeding with the framing of all nine buildings.
The Emanuel Faith Church at 639 E 17th Ave and the Church of Resurrection at 1445 Conway have started framing of the roof structural steel.
The new Veterans Village project at 1540 S. Escondido Blvd. has received underground plumbing, partial foundation and masonry inspections for the residential buildings.
- 917 W Lincoln, three new apartment buildings, nine units.
- 700 W. Grand, 126-unit, five-story condo development on former Police Dept. site.
Public Works Operations
East Valley Pkwy/Valley Center Road Widening Project
This project will widen the bridge over Escondido Creek north of Lake Wohlford Road, widen Valley Center Road, add medians and landscaping, and construct sidewalk from Beven Drive to the northern City limit. This project bid on May 25, 2017, the project was award by the City Council at the July 12, 2017 meeting. The signed contract was received on August 8, 2017 which will set in motion the preconstruction meeting. At that meeting the Notice to Proceed will be issued.
Neighborhood Streetlight Project
This project will add new streetlights to meet current lighting standards, and retrofit existing streetlights with LED fixtures at five established communities throughout the City (Cedar-Cedar Brook, Mission Grove, Rose to Foxdale, Rustic Village, The Elms). Five bids were received, with the apparent low bid being $500,580.00. It is anticipated that award of the construction contract will be requested of the City Council at the August 16, 2017 meeting.
Encino Street Storm Drain Repair:
The final construction of the 42” storm drain replacement was started on Monday, August 7, 2017. All work is expected to be completed by August 18, 2017.
Annual Street Maintenance Project
Bid documents for the next annual street maintenance project are being prepared. The project will replace uplifted sidewalks and trees, apply pavement treatments, and restripe with bike lanes in compliance with the City’s Bike Master Plan. This year’s project will focus in the NE Maintenance Zone, which is bounded by Broadway on the West, Lincoln on the South, and the City limits on the North and East. In addition, resurfacing is planned on portions of Lincoln, El Norte, Broadway, Felicita and Andreasen. Staff expects to finalize bid documents later this summer, request City Council award of the contract, and begin construction in the Fall. The list of streets to be paved will be posted on the Engineering page of City’s website in August.
Pradera - Lennar Communities
No changes from that reported last week: Phase 6 homes are being released for occupancy this week.
Lexington Model Homes - KB Homes
The installation of the water main connection at Lehner Avenue and Ash Street intersection was performed on Tuesday, August 8, 2017. Lehner Avenue at Vista Avenue was permanently closed on Thursday, August 3, 2017. This will permit the developer to complete the new improvements which include water main, storm drain, streets lights and the new Lehner Avenue cul-de-sac improvements.
Citron Project by William Lyon Homes
The mass grading of the project has resumed this week; the project is located 2516 S. Escondido Boulevard.
Escondido Boulevard at 3rd Avenue
No changes from that reported last week: The contractor is continuing to place framing along the third floor, lane closures along 3rd Avenue will be ongoing to allow for the lifting of construction materials to the third floor roof.
Tract 932 - Canyon Grove Shea Homes Community
The final concrete improvements for the Ash/Vista intersection were placed on August 7, 2017. The final paving will be installed on Thursday, August 10th, with the final traffic striping and signage being installed August 14, 2017. All traffic signal poles have been installed and the activation of the signal is scheduled for Tuesday, August 15, 2017 in preparation of the school reopening on August 16, 2017.
Latitude II Condominiums by a Lyon Homes Partnership: Washington Avenue at Centre City Parkway
The construction of the offsite water main located on Centre City Parkway between Mission Avenue and the project is continuing this week with water quality testing being performed.
The project’s offsite water improvement is continuing this week.
Tract 877 – Bernardo Ave. by Ambient Communities
The onsite construction, which includes importing base material for the preparation of the concrete improvements has started this week.
Palomar Medical Center
The construction of the second new driveway approach is continuing this week. The contractor has completed the rough grading of the temporary parking lot pad across from the main entrance to the hospital. Streetlight are being stood this week, the lights for the parking lot are powered by a solar panel system.
Victory Industrial Park
No changes from that reported last week: The grading operation at this site, including the importing of material, will continue this week. The project is located at 2005 Harmony Grove Road and is 5.4 acres in size.
The offsite improvements have been started which include storm drain, water and sewer pipeline work. The first water line tie in is scheduled for Thursday of this week during a night time operation. The project is located at 999 Broadway.
Spring Hill Suites Hotel/ La Terraza Boulevard
The grading operation in continuing this week.
- Engineer Brad Bihun returned safely from the Detwiler Fire in Mariposa on Monday, July 31, 2017.
- The crew re-routed to the Jacksonville Fire in Tuolumne-Calaveras County on Saturday, July 29, 2017 was released and returned home safely on Tuesday, August 1, 2017.
- On Friday, August 4, 2017, The City of Escondido Fire Department sent a Brush Engine crew of four firefighters as part of an OES Strike Team to the Bryant Fire in San Bernardino County. The next day that strike team was redirected to the Parker 2 Fire near the town of Alturas in the Modoc National Forest (near the Oregon border). The crew returned on Sunday, August 6, 2017.
- On Saturday, August 5, 2017, The City of Escondido Fire Department sent a Battalion Chief, a Captain and Brush Engine 133 with 4 firefighters as part of a North Zone Strike Team to assist with the Parker 2 Fire (near the Oregon border). As of Sunday, August 6th, the Fire was approximately 7,900 acres and 15% contained. Updated information available here: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5462/
- On Monday, August 7, 2017, The City of Escondido Fire Department also sent a Captain as a “Line Medic” to help support the Parker 2 Fire.
- There is a new feature on the www.readysandiego.org website which allows San Diego County residents and visitors to search hazards by address. In other words, you can enter your home, work, or child’s school address and the map search feature will display the level of risk at that address for tsunami, wildfire, flooding and earthquakes. The search result will also display steps you can take to prepare for these emergencies. You can find and explore the new “Know Your Hazards Tool” here: http://www.readysandiego.org/know-your-hazards/
- On 7/30/17 at 04:30 hours, an officer conducted a traffic stop and later impounded the vehicle (driver had no license), taken by Allied Towing. At 08:30 hours the driver (a 17-year-old male juvenile) arrived at Allied Towing and requested to remove property from the vehicle. He was escorted by an employee to the vehicle (06 Pontiac G6 Silver). The male advised he was taking the vehicle and when the employee protested, the male punched him and then drove the vehicle through the tow yard gate and away from the property. The vehicle was located parked at 2525 Cranston Dr. with a note and phone number requesting the vehicle not be towed. Attempts to have the suspect return to the vehicle location were negative and the vehicle was recovered and impounded again. **Update: Suspect was later apprehended after another attempt to take back the vehicle from Allied Towing.
- On 7/30/17 at 05:32 hours, officers responded to a roll-over traffic collision at 1811 E. Grand Ave. The driver, a female adult, was uninjured and arrested for DUI.
- On 7/31/17 at 04:12 hours, officers responded to a 911 call made by a neighbor regarding a fight at 3283 Bevin Dr. A 20-year-old male had friends over to hangout and drink. Other (uninvited) males arrived and a fight ensued. The 20-year-old (victim) confronted the subjects as they were driving away and somehow got his arm stuck in the door, causing him to be dragged a short distance. The victim’s mother heard the commotion and stepped out with a shotgun. The suspects released the victim from the car door and drove off. The mom drove her son toward the hospital at a high rate of speed. Officers intercepted mom and son, not knowing at the time if they were suspects. Medics arrived on scene and transported the victim to a nearby hospital. The victim’s injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.
- On 8/1/17 at 13:56 hours, communications received phone calls of a two-vehicle collision involving a CHP vehicle. The CHP officer was going to a crash somewhere in the Del Dios area when he collided with another car in the intersection of Valley Pkwy/Auto Park Way, resulting in minor injuries. Because it involved a CHP vehicle, the traffic division responded to investigate. The entire intersection was closed for several hours, but rush-hour traffic was diverted successfully around the area thanks to the work of a team of patrol officers and volunteers.
- On 8/1/17 at 22:45 hours, officers respond to 301 W. Vermont Ave (Felicita Creek Apartments), regarding reports of a large fire in the middle of the complex. Officers arrived on scene and determined that the fire was in the brush area to the west of the complex. Police assisted fire with traffic and crowd control. Fire is believed to be arson. Possible suspect described as a homeless male, 60’s, long white hair and beard wearing a white shirt and blue jeans.
- On 8/2/17 at 03:21 hours, officers responded to a single vehicle collision into a tree on Mission Ave just east of Metcalf St. Vehicle was occupied by two people. Both occupants were transported to Palomar Medical Center. It was ultimately determined that the driver had a fractured femur. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor.
- On 8/2/17 at 12:15 hours, dispatch received calls of a robbery in progress at the CVS Pharmacy at 1655 S. Centre City Pkwy. A male jumped the counter and filled a backpack with narcotic-based cough syrup. He simulated having a handgun underneath the sleeve of his shirt, and had something wrapped around his face when he entered the store. Officers detained several subjects in the area and arrested one person of interest, but he was later released without being charged due to lack of evidence. The investigation is on-going.
- On 8/3/17 at 01:25 hours, an officer attempted to stop a Silver Ford Fusion with no plates in the area of Broadway/Washington. The vehicle failed to yield and a pursuit ensued. Shortly after the pursuit was initiated, the officer canceled it due to dangerously high speeds and unsafe driving by the suspect. A few minutes later the officer picked up the car south bound on Ash St/Grand Ave. The vehicle continued to flee for a few miles and was ultimately lost in the area of Spruce/5th. No arrests made.
- On 8/3/17 at 06:47 hours, reports of a subject face down near the bike path of the Flood Control Channel between Midway & Rose. Officers arrive and confirm the male adult is deceased. Detectives from Crimes of Violence responded with the Medical Examiner. All signs point to accidental overdose via inhalants.
- On 8/3/17 at 06:51 hours, Dispatch receives a call for service at 505 San Pasqual Rd, regarding (3) subjects passed out in a vehicle. Upon arrival, Officers observe a Glock 32 (.357 Sig Auto) with a 22 round extended capacity magazine in the front right pocket of the front passenger. Officers order all (3) subjects from the car and detain them without incident. A search of the vehicle yielded several bottles of liquid codeine. All (3) subjects were placed under arrest. Crimes of Violence Detectives responded to the scene and determined this to be related to the CVS robbery from the previous day (see above). Crime Lab personnel were also dispatched to assist with evidence collection from the vehicle.
- On 8/3/17 at 12:15 hours, the victim exited the bank at 1655 E. Valley Pkwy with $1040 cash in a wallet. While walking to Big Lots from the bank, a White Dodge Charger pulls up to victim and a light skin black male exited the passenger side. The suspect ran up to victim and grabs the wallet from the victim. The male suspect then fled from the scene in the Dodge Charger. Bank teller advised a matching suspect entered the bank minutes earlier and attempted to cash a check related to an account with Insufficient Funds and a fraud alert. The male was denied the money and the teller observed the male exit the bank and get into the passenger side of a white Dodge Charger. The bank teller also confirmed a black female tried to cash a similar check from the same account earlier today. All three cases appear to be related.
- On 8/4/17 at 17:54 hours, units responded to 1163 E. Ohio Ave in reference to a call where a vehicle left the roadway and struck an occupied dwelling. Two residents of the house, a 74 year old female and a 12 year old juvenile, suffered minor lacerations but were not transported to the hospital. The driver had to be chemically restrained by Escondido Fire Department medics at the scene, but was not charged pending further investigation.
- On 8/4/17 at 23:58 hours, an officer was on his way to 611 Boyle to contact the parents of a Runaway Juvenile. While en route, he noticed a vehicle driving recklessly nearby. The officer stopped the car with the intention of giving a quick advisement. As the officer approached the driver’s side door, he heard a loud metal “clunk” sound on the ground near the passenger’s side door. A second officer arrived to cover and approached on the passenger side, where he found a gun on the ground next to the car. The driver/suspect was arrested on several charges, including possession of a stolen firearm. The suspect is currently on bail for possession of narcotics for sales and possession of a loaded firearm (San Diego Sheriff’s Office case). Officers contacted the gun owner who confirmed the gun was stolen and there are still 2 more firearms outstanding.
- On 8/5/17 at 02:00 hours, an officer saw a white Ford Expedition he recognized as stolen in the area of 7th Ave/Orange St. After an enforcement stop, the driver and passenger were taken into custody without incident. Both were booked for Felony Auto Theft, Possession of Illegal Substances and the passenger also had 2 warrants for his arrest.
- On 8/5/17 at 23:59 hours, three suspects approached three victims in the area of Mission Ave/Fig St. The suspects demanded property from the victims and motioned toward their waistband as if they were armed. The suspects took a skateboard from one of the victims and ran to a nearby small blue SUV, and fled the scene. A short time later an Officer located the SUV and the suspects at 920 E. Mission Ave. Officers converged and three of the four suspects were arrested, and the skateboard was recovered. Suspects were charged with Robbery.
The Escondido Police Department COPPS (Community Oriented Policing and Problem-Solving) Unit is dedicated to increasing the quality of life for the residents of Escondido through pro-active responses to crime trends and community issues. Addressing crime and public nuisance in Grape Day Park is one project the Unit has been tasked with, along with patrolling the Downtown Business District and surrounding areas.
- 14 citations issued, including (9) for illegal camping
- Four arrests made: (2) for Drunk in Public, (1) Probation Violation and (1) for Drug Possession
- Meeting held with CHP-Cal Trans to address illegal camping issues in 800 block of Metcalf St
- Met with Code Enforcement and Rangers to coordinate observation/reporting/enforcement actions in/around Grape Day Park
- On August 1, 2017, the Escondido Police Department hosted the 2017 National Night Out event in Grape Day Park. This is an annual opportunity for law enforcement to enhance community relationships with the public by partnering with other City of Escondido divisions and non-profit organizations. Target is a major sponsor of the event, donating bikes for raffle and cooking over 450 hot dogs to give away to those in attendance. Approximately 500-1000 people attended the event, to include Mayor Sam Abed, Councilman Ed Gallo, City Manager Jeff Epp and Chief Craig Carter. There was even a dance-off!!
- On Saturday, August 5th, the police and Police Athletic League coaches could not get the Galindo Shield back. The day belonged to the PAL kids. It helped that we let 6'11" soon to be European Pro basketball player Ryan Smith play for the kids again. Ryan was 6'8" when he played with PAL four years ago. The kid keeps growing. However, the young kids did more damage. They were hitting all their 3 point shots and won by our first time ever blowout 57-42. Escondido High and Orange Glen are going to have some very good players this year! The kids now lead the series 6-2. The event raised $6,300.00 for PAL. Thank you Escondido Community for making this event a success. PAL also created a Public Service Announcement video to seek out more financial support for this great program that reaches over 700 youth per year!
- On Saturday, August 5, 2017, Chief Carter spoke with the Women’s Group at Resurrection Church regarding general Police Department activities and answered questions.
- Escondido Police Department and the City said good-bye to 36 year employee Frank Skelton, who was a Dispatcher and Records Clerk. Enjoy retirement, Frank! Thank you for your dedication and service.