ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

  • Attached is the fiscal year report for Visit Escondido!  This covers activity from July 2013 through June 2014.  A copy of this will be placed on the City website.
  • Neighborhood Transformation Project (NTP) Business Meeting
    Representatives from the Police Department, Neighborhood Services, Economic Development and Escondido Education COMPACT held a lunch meeting at City Hall on July 30 for business owners in the current NTP area (South Escondido Boulevard from 2nd to 13th). This was the 2nd NTP meeting held; the first was targeted toward residents. 15 business owners attended. Chief Carter gave an overview of the NTP and successes PD has had to date in that area. Gary McCarthy gave an update on the dilapidated property at 3rd and S. Escondido Blvd as it has been a topic of concern for many businesses. Mayor Abed shared his personal experience regarding the success of organizing the East Valley Business Association. Bill de la Fuente, founder of Comerciantes Latinos Asociados, talked about the benefits of creating a business association. Michelle Geller shared City resources for businesses and the meeting wrapped up with COMPACT staff leading a discussion on next steps. The consensus by the businesses was that they wanted to organize in order to better effect positive change in their area as far as appearance and crime, and another meeting will be held in approximately one month to get them started.
  • Escondido Business Walk
    The City of Vista has held a “Business Walk” annually since 2011. It’s a one day event co-sponsored by the City and Chamber of Commerce at which dozens of trained volunteers from the community visit local businesses and collect information (i.e. number of employees, satisfaction level, etc.) Typically they’re able to gather information from 100 businesses which is synthesized into a report used to guide City business retention/expansion efforts. To capitalize on our regional collaboration, the cities of San Marcos, Oceanside and Escondido are planning to conduct similar events all on the same day as Vista’s: September 25. The Escondido Chamber of Commerce will be engaged as a partner, and the data collected from all four cities will be shared regionally. The event will be coordinated by City Economic Development staff, but City staff from all departments, especially those in leadership roles, are encouraged to participate as “volunteer” business liaisons for the day. More information will be forthcoming as details are worked out.
  • Transient Occupancy Tax Update
    Historically July and August are the highest grossing months for the City of Escondido Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) cash receipts.  July 2013 has increased from July 2012 by 7.2% and August 2013 has increased from August 2012 by 9.8%.  TOT revenue has increased steadily over the previous three fiscal years.  In Fiscal Year 2012/2013 revenue was up 9.0% compared to the previous fiscal year.  TOT revenue at the end of Fiscal Year 2013/2014 also increased by 9.0% compared to the prior fiscal year.
  • This weekend, August 9-10,  Ryan Park will be hosting Cal South Regional league games.  Teams will be traveling in from all over the western region of the United States to compete at the youth premier level for soccer.  They will be using all 8 fields from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.  We can expect a very high level of play out of the 65 teams.  It is estimated that we will have about 3,000 players and spectators in the Ryan Park area over the weekend.  

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT 

Planning:

  • The ACLU has filed an appeal on behalf of Southwest Key Programs challenging the Planning Commission’s decision to deny the proposed government services operation of a facility for unaccompanied minors at 1817 Avenida Del Diablo. Staff has also sent a letter to Southwest Key Programs responding to their letter advising the City of their intent to lease the Quality Inn Motel at 555 N. Centre City Parkway and the Howard Johnson Motel at 515 Washington for a similar facility. In the letter, staff has advised the applicant that the proposed use is not a type of government service that is currently allowable within the General Commercial zone.
  • Major Projects Update:
  • Oak Creek (NUW) – Staff continues to meet regularly with the applicant’s team to address issues as they arise. The Draft EIR is anticipated to be available for public review beginning August 15th.
  • Amanda Lane (NUW) – The application remains incomplete, pending submittal of the necessary letters of permission and easements for offsite improvements, to avoid potential condemnation issues.
  • Centerpointe 78 Commercial: – Staff continues to coordinate with the applicant’s traffic consultant regarding the traffic impacts and mitigation measures in order to finalize the traffic study for inclusion in the Draft EIR.
  • North Broadway Deficiency Area Projects: – The proposed Pickering annexation, 13-lot subdivision and associated MND are scheduled for Planning Commission hearing on August 12th. The application for the Zenner annexation and the associated 40-unit subdivision at Vista Ave. and Lehner Ave. remains incomplete, pending submittal of letters of permission for offsite improvements, to avoid condemnation issues.
  • San Diego Veterans Village: Staff has completed review of the initial submittal and provided comments of the proposed Planned Development application for a mixed-use project at 1556 S. Escondido Boulevard. The proposal involves 1.8 acres, 64 multi-family units and 1,690 SF for retail along Escondido Blvd, and includes retention of the adobe office (former offices of Weir Brothers Construction, which used adobe blocks as their signature building material) and demolition of the adobe residences. On August 5th, the Historic Preservation Commission conducted a preliminary review of the proposed project and the associated Historic Evaluation Report, and recommended redesign of the project to retain more of the historic adobe structures. 

Building Division:

  • The monthly Building Activity Report for July is attached.
  • The Building Department had busy week, issuing 59 permits for the week with a total valuation of $3,349,572. Inspections and counter contacts were steady with average daily inspections of 25 with 20 on Friday and average daily counter contacts of 32 with 22 on Friday.
  • 19 Photovoltaic permits were issued last week, with 367 so far this year. 94 photovoltaic permits were issued for the month of June.
  • Permits were issued for the San Diego County Health and Human Services tenant space at 649 W. Mission Ave.
  • Permits were issue for exterior modifications to the former Old Navy store at 385 N. Escondido Blvd. 

Code Enforcement: 

Transient have moved onto the property at 430 W. Washington (across from Latitude 33), and have occupied the abandoned structures, resulting in a lot of Police activity last night. Code Enforcement is working closely with the Police Department to have the owner of the property demolish the structures immediately. 

PUBLIC WORKS UPDATE 

Capital Improvement Projects: 

2013/2014 Street Maintenance Project:
The first day of construction was July 28, 2014 with the contractor having 40 days to complete the project. This week the contractor will be mobilizing to perform crack filling operation on selected streets. 

Red Flex Camera Removal:
The project has entered the punch list phase with project completion expected in two weeks. 

Maple Street Pedestrian Plaza Modifications:
The project bid opening is scheduled for Thursday August 28; the project consists of the modification of the water fountain to control system water from leaving the water feature area. Repair and replacement of 180 damaged paver tiles within the plaza and the modification of the 4 pedestrian ramps located at Grand Avenue and Valley Parkway.    

Private Development

Lincoln Avenue @ Goldenrod Street 16” Gas Main Inspection:
SDG&E has permits to start excavation of a launch pit on Goldenrod Street on Monday, August 11. The work will require a day time closure of Goldenrod Street between Lincoln Avenue and Iris Lane. The work involves the inspection of the interior portion of the 16” pipeline between Escondido and Carlsbad with the use of a robotic camera system. The work is expected to take 4 weeks to complete.   

Classical Academy: Westbound Valley Parkway roadway improvements
The roadway improvements along Valley Parkway between Juniper Street and Kalmia Street were completed this past Friday. All off site public improvements are scheduled for completion within two weeks.  

Rincon del Diablo Recycled Water Main Extension:
Construction of a 3300’ section of 4” recycled water main began on Monday, July 7 along Gary Lane at Nutmeg Street in the Country Club area. All pipeline material is installed and tested with the tie ins to the operating system by Tuesday, August 5. 

Operations:

  • There were 646 service requests generated in July for the removal of graffiti. 348 of those service requests originated from City employees (315 of the 348 from the Graffiti Eradication Team). 643 of the service requests received in July were closed in July. 
  • In the last week of July, 95 pothole repairs were completed. 
  • City owned underground utilities were located at 238 locations city wide as a result of Dig Alert requests. 
  • The Storm Water maintenance crew inspected 176 storm drain inlet boxes and cleaned 22 of the boxes of silt and debris. 
  • Sidewalks were cleaned on the north side of Grand Ave between Broadway and Maple Plaza and on the south side of Grand from Maple Plaza to approximately two-thirds the distance to Broadway. The total area cleaned is approximately 9,200 square feet. 
  • 4 dead trees were removed from the vicinity of 520 Ranch Lane. 
  • The Concrete Crew completed the removal and replacement of uneven sidewalk on the north side of Felicita between Juniper and Maple. This work also included sidewalk removal and replacement on the west side of Juniper north of the Felicita intersection. 
  • The Debris Crew removed 30 cubic yards of vegetation and 10 cubic yards of debris during the last week of July in various locations throughout the City. 

Recycling/Waste Management: 

San Diego County Fair
Recycling attended “Escondido Day,” organized by the Escondido Chamber, at the San Diego County Fair on June 21, from 9 am to 5 pm. They had a steady stream of participants throughout the day, many of whom were Escondido residents. They “participated” by spinning the recycling wheel and answering a question from the category the wheel lands on. The categories include composting, how to handle e-waste, water conservation and HHW. We have a selection of prizes for winners to choose. Magnets with “green” cleaning recipes, pens, flexible rulers, computer screen cleaners, jar openers and sponges. The final tally of participants was 150 people. 

Composting Workshop
A composting workshop was held on July 19, from 8:30 to 10 am at the Community Garden. Laura and Lori were joined by Lynn Russell, “The Worm Lady.” Lynn has a long history with the garden and Kathy Winn, so she prefaced her presentation on worm composting by recognizing Kathy’s pivotal role in establishing the garden and the composting workshop. In addition to worm composting, they discussed and demonstrated backyard composting at the Boy Scout-built composting center in the garden. About 20 people attended this quarterly event.  10 composting bins were sold to enthusiastic participants and each person left with a composting bucket filled with city information on composting and recycling, and a gallon baggie of city-produced compost. 

PUBLIC SAFETY 

Police:

  • Facebook is up to 3591 likes and Twitter is at 3393 followers
  • The San Diego Deputy Sheriff Association hosted a fundraiser BBQ Fundraiser for the daughter of Officer Perez at the San Marcos Station.
  • National Night Out was held on Tuesday, August 5.
  • Officer Perez’ memorial service was held on August 4 at Cal State San Marcos with over a thousand in attendance and representatives from law enforcement agencies from all over the state. 

Fire:

  • Last weekend proved to be fairly busy due to the vegetation fires throughout the State. We currently have 10 fire personnel assigned to fires in Central and Northern California. OES 8632 with (4) personnel was dispatched on Friday night to the French Fire in Madera County. It is over 13,700 acres and 40% contained. On Saturday, Fire Captain Dave Loop was sent to the Oregon Gulch Fire in Siskiyou County as a Staging Area Manager, that fire was 36,586 acres and 20% contained as of last night. On Sunday night, Brush 1363 with (3) personnel was sent to the Little Deer Fire in Siskiyou County which is 5,279 acres and 60% contained. Finally, BC Mike Bertrand and Captain Dennis Boyer were sent as Strike Team Leader and Trainee with an OES Type I Engine Strike Team on Sunday night to the Eiler Fire in Shasta County. The Eiler Fire was at 28,600 acres and 20% contained as of Tuesday morning.
  • On a Zone Chiefs conference call (Monday morning) with the other fire departments in the Zone, Chief Lowry informed the chiefs that Escondido could not send out any additional resources. We would only be able to help our neighboring departments if a fire occurs here locally. During the conference call we were informed that the resources that have been sent out of County could be gone for quite some time. We would not be surprised if some of our resources are committed for at least two weeks and go to other fires in the state. Of course, all of our units were sent out on the State Master Mutual Aid agreement, so we will be reimbursed for their time and travel. Currently all of our stations and units are fully covered for emergency responses.
  • PulsePoint is a smart phone application that alerts users that someone maybe having a heart attack nearby in a public location. The idea behind the app is to notify possible rescuers (CPR certified citizens) that may be nearby to where someone is having a heart attack at the same time Fire and EMS personnel are dispatched, so that CPR can be initiated early on. The app also notifies the rescuer of the closest Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) so that if indicated a shock mat be administered to the patient. PulsePoint was brought to the County by one of the County Supervisors who paid the initial startup and first year cost. All of the Fire Communication Centers have been able to roll out the program except for Escondido and CAL Fire. Escondido is waiting for Department of Justice (DOJ) approval because our dispatch system is combined Police and Fire. CAL Fire has been delayed for other reasons. Once we receive DOJ approval our IT department will update our system and make the app available here in Escondido as well.