December, 12 2012

December 12, 2012




  • The cities of Carlsbad, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos and Vista are collaborating to bring prosperity to the North County region through economic development. Part of that process is to develop a comprehensive brand identity that will define North County to appropriate economic development targets. which was released earlier this week. A Request for Proposals for a branding consultant was released yesterday and a copy has been posted on the city’s website:   For your convenience, a copy is attached to this email.


  • The food truck study informational meeting concerning the food truck study was attended by approximately 15 people plus staff.  The Planning Department will be developing some draft wording to amend the municipal code to allow food trucks only at special events.  This draft wording is tentatively planned to be presented to the Planning Commission at its February 12th meeting and to the City Council at the March 13th meeting.




On 12/11/12 the Planning Commission approved the Conditional Use Permit for the Faith Harbor Church, located at 422-444 S. Escondido Blvd. (5-0 vote, Commissioners Weber and Winton were absent). The Church operates with regular services and also operates as a food bank (distribution, no meal preparation on site). The only public testimony was from the church pastor and the church’s representative. Staff had recommended denial of the CUP due to the fact that it was doubtful that the church could make the needed improvements to the site and ultimately the site is viewed for mixed use (Downtown Residential/Retail).  In their review however, the Commission felt that having a tenant using the building was preferable to leaving the site vacant. This Planning Commission action is final unless the application is appealed by the public or a Councilmember.

 The Planning Commission also recommended approval of the annexation and prezoning (to Specific Plan for industrial/employment lands) associated with the Citracado Parkway extension. Representatives from the Elfin Forest/Harmony Grove Town Council submitted comments regarding the need for buffering, preservation of community character, and requested to play a more active role in the planning and development of the property. The project is tentatively scheduled for the City Council on 1/16/13.


The monthly report for November is attached.


Maple Street Plaza:

Security cameras are being installed this week to help monitor vandalism that has been occurring. The installation should be completed this week and the system in service by Friday. The fountain contractor returned this week to make further adjustments to the main drain, which collects the water from the fountain and recycles it to the pumping system.


Benton Burn Site Remediation:

A preconstruction meeting was held this week to set in motion the permanent repairs to the site, which include a soil cap to the identified area and rock rip rap. The contractor is committed to a start date of January 2, 2013 with anticipated construction to be completed within 27 working days. The property owners, HOA and the agencies will be notified of the schedule this week.


Oak Hill Drive Community Services Building:

A required prebid meeting was held on site last week with all potential contractors wishing to submit sealed bids. The bid opening is set for December 20, 2012.


Old Escondido Neighborhood Stop Sign Project:

The contractor has completed the installation of all 106 locations, identified as part of the project.


Citracado Parkway Extension 

City staff met with Mountain Shadow mobile home owners on December 10th to provide a brief project overview and solicit input and concerns about the upcoming project.  The meeting was very productive and staff recorded comments from the meeting which will be considered during on-going design efforts.  Recent reviews of 30% Alignment Plans and 30% Landscape Concept Plans by staff members have been performed and generated comments discussed with the City’s consultant, AECOM.  Currently the project is moving forward with design, and the next submittal (75% Plans) is anticipated in late January/early February.  Coordination with utilities, communities and other agencies will continue until all existing and encountered matters of concern are addressed.


E. Valley Pkwy/Valley Ctr. Rd.

 Shortly after staff brought a recommendation to City Council to enter into an agreement with Bureau Veritas for professional design services, Bureau Veritas notified the City that they are getting out of the civil engineering business.  In an effort to keep their commitment, they notified the City that key staff would be made available to the City at another firm (Nolte), that agreed upon sub-consultants would honor their timelines and pricing, and that Bureau Veritas would take needed steps to transition design services to the new firm.  On December 10th City staff met with the new firm and key staff to discuss transitioning design services from Bureau Veritas to Nolte.  Nolte will work directly with CALTRANS Local Assistance staff to see if this is possible, and if so, what steps need to be taken to meet all CALTRANS requirements.  City staff and consultant staff agreed to touch basis in the near term to determine the next step.   


Talk of the Town:

The project is nearing grading completion with the submittal of pad certifications for both the car wash building pad and the restaurant pad. The contractor is scheduled to perform the final two water service taps along the property frontage this Thursday.


SDG&E Steam Generator Heavy Haul:

The fourth and final element passed along city streets this past week.


Mission Avenue SDG&E 69 KV Electrical Line:

The contractor has added additional crews to expedite the construction along the busy school frontage along Mission Ave. The last vault is being constructed on Mission Avenue between Cedar Street and Beech Street with conduit construction continuing at Mission Avenue and Juniper Street. The third crew is installing conduit on the bridge crossing the flood control channel between Centre City Parkway and Quince Street.  The fourth and fifth crews are working on rocks blocking the conduit alignment between Andreasen Drive and Enterprise Street.





  • The Charger Camp at Del Dios Middle School was a huge success.  Over 80 kids participated and the great works of PAL and FIT were highlighted.  Many of the participants have made great strides in their academic careers.  One child was arrested a couple of years ago and now has a 3.5 GPA and is the captain of the JV football team.  Several other participants boast high GPA’s and perfect attendance records.  Great work by Sgt. Al Owens and his team of police volunteers.


  • On Sunday December 9, police officers and a dispatcher tried for a 3rd time to beat local teenagers in a soccer game. The game was held at Ryan Park.  After evaluating the age of the police teams, Sgt. Owens recruited some former PAL kids who are now students at CAL State San Marcos. It helped keep the game competitive but the teens were too organized and too fast. The teens won the game 2-1. The adults’ only score came from Sgt. Kevin Toth. On the brighter side, the adult team did not have anyone taken to the hospital.  The PD team consisted of Sergeants Skaja, Toth and Lick, Detectives Berreth and Stephens, Officers Duong, Whitaker, Solorio, La Rose and A. Martinez and Dispatcher Jorge De La Cruz.    


  • Grape Day Task Force Update

    Enforcement Efforts
    The Police Department continues its enforcement details several times a day in the park and surrounding areas.  Since the start of the increased focus, the police department has conducted 195 extra patrols in the park.  45 field interviews, 47 citations and made 31 arrests.  Park Ranger Mike Mendoza stated he is seeing more families and children using the park, and the criminal behavior and the blight has almost disappeared.  He mentioned that the area near the horse shoe pits on Broadway continues to be vacant of the narcotics users and homeless who had previously overtaken that portion of the park.    Due to the decrease in problems in the park, enforcement efforts have focused on the CCAE, Starbucks and Maple Plaza, which continues to attract criminal misconduct by Juggalo members and their associates.  Information Systems is having cameras installed in the Maple Plaza to help eliminate the criminal conduct.  Information Systems reported they hope to have the existing cameras fixed in Grape Day and the employee parking lot within the next few weeks.  They will then assess where additional cameras can be installed to provide additional surveillance of the park and surrounding areas. 

Boys and Girls Club

Public Works reduced the vegetation around the perimeter of the Boys and Girls Club where it was discovered a number of homeless persons were camping and using the bushes as a bathroom.  Boys and Girls Club will continue to monitor. 

Signature Theater

The outside music in the Starbucks patio continues to play 24-7 and appears to have reduced the amount of loitering in the area.  Eddie Goldberg, the property manager, continues to experience sleepers on the stairs that lead to the second story above Starbucks.  He is planning on gating the stairway to eliminate the problem. 


A committee consisting of Police, Public Works, and Building maintenance is researching various restroom configurations to determine which design and materials would provide the greatest security, and vandal resistance possible.  A design recommendation and cost is currently being generated. 

Special Events

The committee continues to brainstorm special events ideas and recreational equipment to bring in more park users. 


The next task force meeting will be on Tuesday, December 18th.