City of Escondido


Frequently Asked Questions

What are Public Improvements?

Public improvements include all the improvements within public right-of-way and public easement, as specified and illustrated in the City's Design Standards and Standard Drawings. Public improvements are consist of but not limited to; curb and gutter, sidewalk, driveway, paving, base, alleys, street lights, traffic signal, signing, striping storm drainage facilities, sewer and water facilities, street trees, street landscaping undergrounding or relocation of overhead utilities and all necessary appurtenances thereto.

Public dedication means the dedication or irrevocable offer of dedication of all easements and rights-of-way to the City, in conformance with the circulation element of the general plan, any specific alignment plan, the City Design Standards, or other design studies, necessary for the construction of public improvements, to the satisfaction of the City Engineer.

If I want to build a new building on lot, what will the City require of the development?

Any new building project owner is required to design (by a registered civil engineer), bond and construct frontage public improvements and grant necessary easements and dedicate necessary public-right-of-way as required by the conditions of approval for the project, in accordance with the City's Design Standards and Standard Drawings and per Sec 23-119 of the Municipal Code.

If I am expanding a building on my lot, what will the engineering department require?

Any applicant who expands the usable floor area of any existing non single family residential building or dwelling construct frontage public improvements and shall grant necessary public right-of-way or easement dedication as required by the conditions of approval for the project, in accordance with the City's Design Standards and Standard Drawings. Public improvements requirement does not apply to expansion of single family dwellings or mobile homes as per Sec 23-120.

Will I need a grading plan?

No person shall do any grading without first having obtained a grading permit form the City Engineer except for the following, provided that the exempted activity does not affect sensitive biological species or habitats, mature or protected trees, and required landscaping, as defined in Section 33-1052. The following exempt activities are subject to implementing erosion control measures as defined in the City's storm water management requirements and may be subject to applicable storm water discharge permits:

Grading which:

  • Involves excavating less than two (2) feet in depth.
  • Does not create a cut slope greater that two (2) feet in height and steeper than two (2) horizontal to one (1) vertical. Involves fill slopes less than one (1) foot in depth.
  • Does not exceed two hundred (200) cubic yards on any one lot; or
  • Does not impact a natural drainage course. (Ord. No. 2001-21, 5, 8-22-01)
  • Does not create erosion and any potential impacts on any neighboring properties. Contact the Office Engineering for assistance, prior to begin any grading operation.
What is an erosion control plan and will I need one?

All construction activities are subject to implementation of best management practices as stated in the City of Escondido Storm Water Management requirements and the following:

Temporary erosion control system.

  • All Construction projects involving site grading shall include grading and erosion control plans prepared by a registered civil engineer and approved the City Engineer.
  • Prior to issuance of any construction permit, a refundable cash security shall be posted to pay for the costs incurred by the City of cleanup or damage caused by erosion resulting from project construction. Amount of cash security shall be ten percent (10%) of the total estimate cost of grading work, a minimum five thousand dollars ($5,000) and maximum thirty thousand dollars ($30,000). However, for the development of a single-family residence that does not require a grading permit, this cash security shall be in the amount of two thousand dollars ($2,000).
  • Temporary and permanent erosion control devices, in accordance with the storm water management requirements, shall be provided to control erosion at all times.
  • All public right-of-ways, including but not limited to paved streets, sidewalks, and parkway areas shall be maintained free of loose soil, mud, construction debris, and trash at all times.
  • Graded building pads shall be provided with on-site erosion control system designed by a registered civil engineer and approved by the City Engineer.
  • The project owner shall provide sufficient equipment and qualified personnel to conduct emergency erosion control methods at all times. A twenty-four (24) hour emergency contact person and telephone number shall be provided to the City Engineer or his authorized representative.

Temporary erosion control system maintenance.

  • The project owner shall be responsible for continual maintenance and inspection of the erosion control system. In the event of failure or refusal by the project owner to properly maintain the system, the City Engineer may cause emergency maintenance work to be done to protect public and private property. The cost shall be charged to the property owner.
  • In the event that the City Engineer authorizes emergency maintenance work to be done, he may revoke the grading permit by written notice to the property owner. The permit shall not be reissued until the amount used for the emergency work by the City Contractor is replaced.

Permanent erosion protection. The following requirements shall be installed prior to final inspection:

  • All manufactured slopes less than three (3) feet in vertical height, or existing slopes stripped of vegetation shall be landscaped to the satisfaction of the Planning Director.
  • All manufactured slopes over three (3) feet in vertical height shall be landscaped with ground covers, shrubs and trees and shall be provided, with permanent irrigation system, to the satisfaction of the Planning Director.
How long can I expect an Engineering review to take?

The engineering review time line is four to six weeks turn around for the first check and up to four weeks for the subsequent plan checks. Typical project plans go through three to four plan checks. This is dependent on the number of projects being processed, extent of the review, and the involvements by the other City departments and outside agencies reviewing the project.

Can my home be connected to the city sewer?

There are conditions that need to be satisfied prior to connection of sewer.

  • The parcel has to be within the City of Escondido
  • A sewer main needs to be across the frontage of the parcel or extended by the owner as per the City Engineer.
  • The sewer main must be designed and constructed at a depth to allow gravity flow to the public sewer main.
  • All repayments must be paid prior to connection.
I am putting in a pool.

Pools need to be reviewed by Building, Planning and Engineering. Please contact the Field Engineering Division for an encroachment permit. All excavated soil needs to be deposited in a legal disposal site with a grading permit.

I have trees that need to be taken out in the front of my property. Can I have them removed?

Planning will need to determine if the trees are protected and you will need to know if the trees are within the public right of way or on private property. Encroachment permits will be needed if the trees are within the right of way. Please contact the Field Engineering Division to obtain an encroachment permit.