PREPARATIONS FOR POTENTIAL WINTER STORMS 

A team of city employees representing Public Works, Police, Fire, Engineering, Utilities and the City Manager’s Office has been formed to ensure the City is properly prepared for potential heavy rains related to the El Niño phenomenon.  A public education effort is also being developed to inform the public about the City’s preparations, as well as what residents can do to be prepared also. 

DALEY RANCH RESTROOM CONSTRUCTION 

The restroom pad has been completed and the pre-fabricated restroom building will arrive on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 and likely will be put into place by a crane on Thursday, September 3.   Various site improvements including the connection to the septic system will take place over the following month.  It is anticipated the restrooms will be available for public use in October. 

KIT CARSON PARK CONCESSION STAND 

The City has been approached by the Escondido Girl Softball League (EGSL) to initiate repairs to the concession stand adjacent to the girls’ softball fields.  The repairs, required by the County Health Department, would allow for the sale of food and drink during games.  The information provided by the County to the City and to the EGSL differs.  City staff has completed some initial research on the condition of the concession stands and plans to meet with EGSL representative and County staff to verify what will be required.  Once staff fully understands the County’s requirements, staff will present several options to the City Council for consideration.  Attached is a memo providing background information regarding the matter. 

SPECIAL EVENTS 

  • No special events this week.
  • For information about activities taking place in Escondido, please visit www.visitescondido.com 

PUBLIC WORKS UPDATE 

  • The replacement pool filter installation project has been completed at the Washington Park pools. The system is operational and the pools have been in use since last Wednesday, August 19th.
  • The Drainage Crew has started cleaning the City’s channel system. The work has begun at the channel located in the vicinity of El Norte and I-15 adjacent to the two gas stations in the area.
  • A structural failure occurred last Wednesday to one of the pepper trees in Grape Day Park at the Veterans Memorial closest to Broadway. The tree ultimately required complete removal because of structural deficiencies. An inspection of the remaining pepper trees in the area revealed all the pepper trees in this area have structural damage. The trees will be removed and replacement trees planted. Public Works is working with the Planning Department staff to insure the replacement trees are complementary to the tree palette developed for the park.
  • Public Works Tree Crews have been tasked with the pruning and removal of the seed pods of the approximate 5,000 queen palms located in the City’s right-of-way. This work is expected to take approximately one month.  Maintenance activities associated with the Urban Forest will be discontinued, except for emergencies, during this time.
  • Moses Chairez, one of our Streets Maintenance Technicians, was recognized by Senator Joel Anderson for his work at the 32nd Annual National Night Out Against Crime. Moses has been employed with the City since Oct. 20, 2014. 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Planning:

  • The Planning Commission approved the modification to the Conditional Use Permit for Escondido Disposal, Inc. for the phased expansion of the solid waste Transfer Station (TS) and Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) located at 1044 W. Washington Ave. and 1021 W. Mission Ave.(5-1, Romo voted No). The CUP modification is final unless appealed.
  • Property owners along the north side of North Avenue have been soliciting neighborhood interest in a potential annexation. Owners are concerned about the adequacy of the septic systems serving these properties and potential problems which may be caused by predicted El Nino weather conditions. The City has no pending annexation application for this area and has advised residents that annexation would likely require formation of an assessment district since the majority of properties are already developed. At least one owner is experiencing a failing septic system which may trigger a request for an Out-of-Agency sewer agreement. 
  • Major Projects Update:
    • Oak Creek (NUW) – A LAFCO hearing date has been tentatively scheduled for October 5th.
    • Amanda Estates (NUW) – LAFCO approved the reorganization (annexation) at their August 3rd
    • Centerpointe 78 Commercial – The Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) has been released for a 45 day public review period ending Sept. 28th. The Draft is EIR is available at the following link:
    • http://www.escondido.org/centerpointe-78-commercial-project.aspx
    • Pradera - Grading is underway. Plan check comments have been provided on the building permit applications for the model homes. Staff is preparing a fee deferral agreement as requested by the applicant per City policy. A variance application to address setback issues relating to the location of the perimeter walls has been submitted and is tentatively scheduled for Planning Commission in September.
    • Zenner - LAFCO has tentatively scheduled the project for consideration on Sept. 14th.
    • Kaen Planned Development (2516 S. Escondido Blvd.) – Staff is reviewing a revised planned development submittal for “Stella Point Condominiums”, submitted on Aug. 5th. The applicant is pursuing selection of consultants for preparation of numerous technical studies and the CEQA document which is anticipated to be a mitigated negative declaration.
    • 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 and is conducting technical studies. Staff is preparing a Request for Qualifications for consultant preparation of an EIR. Tribal consultation has been requested by the Rincon Band pursuant to AB52.
    • Latitude II – The project was approved by the City Council on August 19th.
    • Shea Homes (Tract 932) – Staff approved the substantial conformance determination for the revised tentative map for the 179-lot residential subdivision known as Hidden Valley Ranch. Comments have been provided on the grading plan. The Final Map has been submitted and is under review. The Precise Plan application was submitted on Aug. 6th and is under review; the application will include review of proposed park amenities as well as setback issues on 9 lots where the proposed units do not meet the setback requirements of the planned development.
    • Safari Highlands – The tentative map and specific plan application have been routed to outside agencies for comment. Staff is reviewing qualifications for an extension of staff for engineering services. Discussions are underway regarding the need for consulting services to prepare the Municipal Services Review and Sphere of Influence (SOI) update. A status update is scheduled for City Council discussion on Aug. 26th regarding expanded boundaries for the SOI update.
    • Felicita Development, LLC - The proposed planned development includes the phased development of a 140-unit hotel, an 80-unit extended stay hotel, a 120-bed assisted living facility and a gas station and car wash located at the southeast corner of Felicita Rd. and Gamble Lane. 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. A letter addressing items and technical studies needed to complete the application has been sent. Staff is coordinating with the applicant regarding a date for a neighborhood meeting.
    • EDI – The CUP modification to expand the existing facility was approved by the Planning Commission on August 25th.
    • Westfield Theater – The Economic Development Subcommittee authorized expedited processing of the modification to the planned development for the proposed 10-auditorium movie theater. The project will bypass the Planning Commission and will be directly considered by the City Council at a future public hearing. A draft Mitigated Negative Declaration has been submitted and is under review.
    • Paseo Escondido – The Phair Company application for a mixed-use planned development for the property at the southwest corner of Ash Street and Washington Ave. (currently owned by the City) is under review. The proposed project consists of 26 one-bedroom and 96 two-bedroom apartments (122 units total) in three four-story buildings, and two 5,000 SF commercial buildings (10,000 SF total) oriented around an outdoor plaza. Staff is meeting with the applicant this week to discuss additional submittals required to complete the application.
    • Valiano (County project) - Staff met with County staff to discuss concerns regarding the EIR traffic analysis and need for offsite street improvements within the City to address significant traffic impacts for the proposed 326-unit residential project located in the unincorporated area of Eden Valley.
    • High Pointe (Palos Vista Neighborhood 3) – Staff is reviewing revised landscape and grading plans in order to prepare a bond letter.
    • Lopez Market - The demolition permit was issued yesterday for the former Lopez Market, located on the City-owned property at 201 S. Pine St. 

Housing Division:

Staff is expediting processing of two First Time Home Buyer FTHB) loans. FTHB loan activity has diminished since HUD issued a new rule in 2013 establishing a cap on the purchase price of eligible homes; the number of available homes on the market at or below this cap is limited. 

Building Division: 

  • The Building Division issued 86 permits for the week with a total valuation of $2,464,383. 
  • 36 photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. Building has issued 785 solar permits so far this year compared to 414 issued at the same time last year (an increase of nearly 90%). Staff is consulting with SDG&E regarding their forecast or projections for residential roof top solar permitting activity for 2016. We are also inquiring as to the status of any rebates or incentives that may be driving any current or future increase in activity. 
  • Building inspectors and counter staff had a very busy week with inspections averaging 31 inspections per day with 17 inspections on Friday and counter contacts averaging 40 per day with 26 on Friday. 
  • Due to the heavy inspection requests this week, the Building Division “held over” 2 inspections on Friday to be completed on Monday and the city’s Deputy Building Official was sent out to conduct inspections on Monday and Tuesday to keep up with the increased work load. Staff is exploring strategies to address the demand for inspection services, which is anticipated to increase through 2016. 
  • Permits were issued for the new 24 Hour Fitness at the Westfield North County Mall. 
  • The 76 unit apartments on 2412 S. Escondido Blvd has received underground plumbing and foundation inspections for all three buildings and is beginning to frame the buildings. 
  • The Black Angus restaurant at the Westfield North County Mall has received framing inspection approval and is beginning to wrap exterior of the building. 
  • The Habitat for Humanity residential project at 537 N. Elm St has 3 remaining buildings that need final occupancy approval. 
  • The Meadowbrook Village 3-story apartment building has received underground utility and partial foundation inspection approval. 

Code Enforcement: 

  • As of August 24th, the total number of open code enforcement case is 432 cases, with a backlog of an additional 22 cases not yet opened for assignment and investigation. During the prior week, 60 new cases were opened, and 61 cases were closed. A total of 84 PRRs have been processed this year to date. A total of 163 signs were pulled. Recruitment is underway for one full-time and two part-time vacant officer positions to assist with the backlog. 
  • Last week the Business License Division received 27 new applications and 175 renewals, and issued 32 new licenses. 

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS

FY 2014-2015 Maintenance Project:
Notice to Proceed for this project was issued on August 6, 2015. The project has 40 working days for completion which includes crack filing, slurry seal, ARAM and street restriping. The dig out operation started  on Tuesday, August 25th with approximately 400 tons of asphalt being replaced at the street failure location. The ARAM operation is set to begin on Wednesday, August 26th; this portion of the project will treat over 136,000 square feet of roadway. The striping subcontractor began striping removal on Monday, August 24; this item must be completed in advance of the ARAM application.  Included in this project is the Chip Seal of downtown alleys.                 

Private Development 

Bear Valley Parkway between Boyle Avenue and San Pasqual Valley Road (County Project):
The roadway widening of the southern portion of Bear Valley Parkway between Suburban Hills Drive and San Pasqual Valley Road (SR78) is continuing this week with base pavement being placed on the northbound lane on Wednesday, August 26th. The 16” gas main welding is continuing this week. The affected homes have been notified to expect noise and odor from the release of pressure associated with the 16” gas main tie in. The next phase of water tie-ins at the Boyle Avenue intersection is scheduled for later this week. 

2412 South Escondido Boulevard:
On site construction of new homes is continuing this week 

Pradera - Lennar Communities:
The grading contractor is actively grading phase 3 through 5 of the project. The import of dirt material has resumed this week with modified work times to provide safe passage during the school hours drop off and pick times. The offsite improvement for water line construction is proceeding to the testing phase this week with water quality testing. 

St. Mary’s Church:
The grading and work on the public water mains is ongoing. 

Taco Bell Restaurant on Escondido Boulevard:
The old structure has been removed and grading is underway for the new restaurant building which is expected to be reopened by the end of October of this year.   

PUBLIC SAFETY 

Police:

INCIDENTS 

  • On 8/16/2015, officers responded to a report of a structure fire in the 800 block of Pico Pl. Officers provided traffic and scene control for about an hour.
  • On 8/18/2015, officers responded to the 200 block of E. Via Rancho Parkway on a report of a burglary. Three males attempted to smash a jewelry case but were unsuccessful.
  • On 8/18/2015, officers responded to a report of a “Hot Prowl” burglary in the 400 block of E. Washington Ave. A “Hot Prowl” burglary occurs when the occupant is present at the time the burglary attempt is made. A female victim reported three subjects came to her door armed with a handgun. The suspects ransacked the residence and struck the victim in the head.
  • On 8/18/2015, officers responded to a report of a Hit & Run collision in the 700 block of Camellia St. Upon arrival, officers discovered the involved vehicle was reported stolen. An officer stopped two juveniles nearby and determined they were the suspects.
  • On 8/19/2015, responded to Palomar Medical Center on a report of a rape that had occurred at another location.
  • On 8/19/2015, officers responded to a burglary alarm in the 300 block of S. Juniper St. Upon arrival, officers found the front door kicked in. No suspects were located.
  • On 8/20/2015, officers responded to two burglary reports, one in the 200 block of S. Broadway and one in the 400 block of S. Juniper St. Unique property was taken in both burglaries. Approximately two hours later, officers located a subject in possession of some of the stolen property. The subject was arrested and the remaining property was recovered.
  • On 8/22/2015, approximately 300 people staged a protest at the Planned Parenthood office in the 300 block of W. Mission Ave. The protest was peaceful.
  • On 8/22/2015, officers responded to the 600 block of N. Broadway on a report of a shoplifter in custody. Officers took custody of the subject and transported him to the Police and Fire Headquarters. The subject became violent in the jail and an officer received minor injury.
  • On 8/22/2015, officers responded to the intersection of El Norte Pkwy. and Lincoln Ave. on a report of a vehicle collision. Upon arrival, officers discovered one of the drivers had fled on foot. The missing driver later called to report his vehicle as stolen and was subsequently arrested for felony Hit & Run. 

EVENTS 

  • On 8/21/2015, officers conducted a DUI saturation patrol, resulting in 4 arrests for driving under the influence and 7 vehicle impounds.
  • On 8/22/2015, a DUI checkpoint was conducted in the 700 block of W. Grand Ave. During the event, 2,368 vehicles drove through the checkpoint, 1060 vehicles were screened in primary, 81 vehicles were sent to secondary (drivers who could not provide a driver's license or who were suspected of DUI), 2 Field Sobriety Tests were administered resulting in 2 DUI arrest, 47 citations were issued (9 for suspended license, 30 for unlicensed driver, and 10 for no insurance), 15 vehicles were impounded and 18 vehicles were released to the owner or designated driver.