FEATURED THIS WEEK
Lilac Fire – THANK YOU Firefighters & First Responders
On 12/07/17 the Lilac Fire started in the Bonsall/Fallbrook area of North County. The City of Escondido was able to help support the fight against this very destructive fire, by allowing CAL FIRE Incident Management Team 1 to use Kit Carson Park as the Incident Command Post and Base Camp for all the fire resources until yesterday when they packed up. The fire is currently 95% contained and remains at 4,100 acres.
Escondido’s A-List Winners!
The San Diego A-List features more than 8,076 businesses competing for title of San Diego's best. This year Escondido showcased over 30 businesses entered for consumer voting in five categories: Museums/Arts, Foodies, Other Things To Do, Wineries, and Breweries. Escondido won big with seven First Place winners and eleven winners in the Top 5 of their respective categories, competing in some cases, with as many as 60 other businesses in one category. http://visitescondido.com/12393/san-diegos-a-list-vote-escondido/
City Employees Give Back in a BIG Way!
This year the City employees collected 365 “Souper Sacks” which were given to the Seniors at the Park Avenue Community Center AND donated over 530 pairs of pajamas for children who have been displaced by CPS, domestic violence, and homelessness at the Polinsky Center. The Fire Department coordinated a special drop off of their donation by the Big Guy himself!
Escondido would like to welcome the following new businesses to Grand Avenue:
Gaming on Grand – 237 W. Grand Ave.
Game shop, snacks and community space for tabletop gamers to come together and play.
Boxwood & Ivy – 233 E. Grand Ave.
Furniture, home décor and interior design boutique.
Major Projects Update
The following major projects are being reviewed and coordinated by Planning, Engineering, Fire, Building and Utilities . A complete description of each project can be viewed here. Below are project milestones from last week.
Commercial / Office:
- Escondido Research and Technology Center – West (ERTC) (Developer: James McCann) – A plan for a new two-story, 57,000 SF, 52-bed Palomar Rehabilitation Institute was submitted on July 31, 2017. Revised elevations were submitted to Planning on October 3, 2017. The applicant has been informed that civil plans are necessary.
- Centre City Commercial Center (Developer: Todd Dwyer) SE corner Centre City/Mission –Rrough grading is underway. Building permits are nearly ready to be issued for the commercial buildings. The carwash plans are tracking separately and comments on the carwash building plans were sent by Planning on October 2, 2017. Revised carwash plans have now been resubmitted back to Esgil. The precise grading plan and landscape plans for the carwash lot were submitted mid-November 2017. CC&R’s have recently been resubmitted back to Planning and Engineering.
- Downtown Parking Garage (Municipal Parking Lot No. 4 - NW Corner of 2nd/Kalmia) (Developer:, Touchstone Communities) – The project is a three/four-story parking garage that would recapture spaces relocated from the residential development of Parking Lot No. 1 (Aspire project). Revised plans are anticipated to be submitted this week.
- Escondido Self-Storage Facility (Developer: Brandywine Homes, Inc.) 2319 Cranston Dr. – The project plans are nearly ready for permit issuance. The applicant has recently notified staff that other issues unrelated to the project plans will delay their request for permits until March or April of 2018.
- Exeter Harmony Grove Industrial Development (Developer: John Couvillion, Badiee Development) 1925 and 2005 Harmony Grove Road – The Planning Commission approved the Exeter project on November 28, 2017. Grading plans were submitted for concurrent, expedited processing on October 11, 2017, and comments on the second plan check were sent out on November 28, 2017. Building plans were submitted for concurrent, expedited processing on October 23, 2017. Both Engineering and Building are now coordinating with the applicant on a phased grading and building approach that should help get the construction underway sooner.
- North American Self-Storage (Developer: Russ Colvin) 852 S. Metcalf – Building plans were approved by Esgil, Planning and Fire the last week of June. The grading permit was issued the end of September. The applicant has not started construction. On October 16, 2017, the applicant now wants to remove the basement level and increase the building height to five stories, and has been advised that a civil site plan is necessary.
- Micro-Filtration Reverse Osmosis (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) SE corner Ash/Washington – The lawsuit challenging the project approval has been settled and it is expected that a contract for engineering design will be considered soon.
- 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. 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. The Final EIR has been scheduled for certification by the City Council on December 20, 2017.
- Self-Realization Fellowship Center (Developer: John Pyjar, Domusstudio Architecture 1840 Del Dios Rd. – A revised project submittal was received on October 20, 2017. A Planning Commission hearing has tentatively been scheduled for January 23, 2018.
- Chalice Unitarian Universalist Congregation (Developer: Pete Bussett, Bussett Architecture) 2324 Miller Avenue – The applicant has been revising the project to respond to staff comments and meet the needs of the congregation. The Mitigated Negative Declaration completed a 20-day public review period on October 18, 2017. A Planning Commission hearing has tentatively been scheduled for January 9, 2018.
- Escondido Assisted Living (Developer: Tigg Mitchell, Mitchell Group) 1802 N. Centre City Parkway – This CUP application for a 71,300 SF three-story, assisted living and memory care facility with 90 total units was submitted on October 31, 2017. Revisions could be necessary to address fire vehicle access concerns and Engineering issues related to the existing retaining wall and a proposed extension of that wall. A letter indicating the application is incomplete was sent to the applicant on November 30, 2017.
- Epiphany Charter School (Architect: Andy Champion, MAA Architects) 713-725 N. Escondido Blvd. – A plot plan application to remove the six modular classroom buildings from the parking lot and complete the interior building renovations to accommodate full enrollment of 697 students was submitted on November 27, 2017. Plans have been routed to other departments for the initial review.
- Citron (formerly Stella Park) (Developer: William Lyon Homes) 63 condo units at 2516 S. Esc. Blvd. – Building plans were submitted on April 6, 2017. Esgil and Fire have approved the building plans. The rough grading has been completed on the site. The applicant submitted the latest versions of the grading and improvement plans on November 9, 2017, and Engineering sent out a bond and fee letter three weeks ago. Engineering and Building staff are working with the applicant to get construction of the model units underway. The City Council will consider approving the final map on December 20, 2017.
- Wohlford (Developer: Jack Henthorne) 55 lots at 661 Bear Valley Pkwy. –City staff is currently working to complete negotiations on the terms for the Development Agreement and schedule the item with the Planning Commission for review and consideration, most likely in January of 2018. Staff met this week with the applicant this week to review the draft conditions of approval for the project.
- Safari Highlands Ranch (SHR) (Developer: Jeb Hall, Concordia Homes) 550 lots east of Rancho San Pasqual – A Notice of Availability for the Draft EIR was issued on October 16, 2017. The Draft EIR was noticed for a 52-day public review period that started on October 16 and was scheduled to end on December 7, 2017. Additional agencies have since been notified and that review period has been extended to January 2, 2018. The Draft EIR and appendices have been posted on the City’s website at the following link: Safari Highlands Ranch Specific Plan - City of Escondido.
- 18 lots at 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. Staff met with the applicant recently regarding unresolved project design issues.
- Escondido Gateway (Developer: Carolyn Hillgren, Lyon Living) 126 condo units at 700 W. Grand – Building plans have been approved by Esgil, Planning and Fire. Grading plans have been approved by Utilities, Planning and Fire. A street vacation for right-of-way frontage along Grand Avenue has been completed. Demolition is complete and construction permits are ready to be issued once title to the site transfers to the builder.
- The Villages at Escondido Country Club (Developer: Jason Han, New Urban West, Inc.) 380 residences – The City Council voted 3-2 to approve the project on November 15, 2017. The approved tentative subdivision map, Final EIR and appendices, Specific Plan and other related information can be accessed on the City’s website at the following link: ECC - City of Escondido.
- North Avenue Estates (Developer: Casey Johnson) 34 lots at North Ave./Conway Dr. – 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. The Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of the project on November 28, 2017. A City Council hearing has tentatively been scheduled for January 10, 2018.
- Aspire (106 condo units on Municipal Lot 1) (Developer: Addison Garza, Touchstone Communities) – The proposal consists of a mixed-use development on Parking Lot 1. The project was initially 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. Subsequent meetings with the applicant and staff have been on-going.
- The Ivy (95 condo units at 343 E. 2nd) (Developer: Addison Garza, Touchstone Communities) - The project was initially 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. Subsequent meetings with the applicant and staff have been on-going. Demolition of the vacant surgery center building on The Ivy site started this week
- Grand Avenue Apartments (Developer: Norm LaCaze, Escondido Venture 99, LLC) 15 apt. units at 1316 E. Grand Ave. – A planned development application proposing 15 multi-family units in one three-story building on a vacant 0.51-acre lot was submitted for entitlement processing on September 22, 2017. A completeness review letter was sent to the applicant on October 20, 2017 indicating the application was incomplete. A meeting with the applicant team occurred on October 26, 2017 to discuss identified issues. The applicant submitted a Storm Water Management Plan on October 30, 2017.
- Quince Street Senior Housing (Developer: Matt Jumper, 220 Quince, L.P.) 145 apartment units at 220 N. Quince St.– Request for Amendment to Downtown Specific Plan and Planned Development (Master and Precise Plan) for five-story affordable senior housing apartment project was submitted on November 21, 2017. Plans have been routed to various departments for initial review.
12.Accessory Dwelling Units – Planning staff is currently working on four applications for accessory dwelling units with an additional three applications expected to be submitted
A total of 20 solar photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. The Building Division has issued 944 solar permits so far this year compared to 1,269 issued during the same time last year.
- Our building inspectors responded to 178 inspection requests for the week.
- Building has issued 220 single-family dwelling permits this year and 224 multi-family units. This compares with 66 single family dwellings and 88 multi-family dwellings for the same time last year.
- Projects nearing permit issuance are:
- 917 W Lincoln, 3 new apartment buildings, 9 units.
- 700 W Grand Ave Gateway project (former police building)
- The City Plaza three-story mixed use building at 300 S. Escondido Blvd. is requesting final inspection for specified units.
- The Meadowbrook, three-story apartment building with underground garage at 2081 Garden Valley Glen is preparing the building for final inspection.
- Escondido Disposal is requesting inspection for site walls and framing of the weigh station.
- The medical office building at 2125 Citracado Pkwy is preparing for final inspection of the shell building. Suspended ceiling is being installed.
- The medical office building at 1951 Citracado Pkwy is preparing for final inspection of the shell building with tenant improvement to follow.
- The Westminster Seminary at 1725 Bear Valley Pkwy has received framing inspection for four of the buildings and framing for Building 5 is in progress.
- The children’s building for Emanuel Faith Church at 639 E 17th Ave has received inspection approval for the framing of the building. The Church of Resurrection at 1445 Conway is progressing through 2nd floor framing and exterior lath.
- The Veterans Village project at 1540 S Escondido Blvd has received underground plumbing and foundation inspections for the residential buildings.
- The new supermarket shell building at 999 N. Broadway has completed the exterior masonry walls, parapets and roof ledgers.
- The Ford dealership at 1717 Auto Park Way has commenced on the second phase of construction which includes the interior remodel and new showroom addition.
- The Latitude II multi-family residential development at 650 N. Centre City Parkway has received foundation inspection approval for Buildings 3 and 4. Building 5 has received underground plumbing approval. Framing is in progress.
- The new, two-story church sanctuary building at 1864 North Broadway has completed the foundation.
- The new drive through Starbucks at 302 W. El Norte Parkway has received foundation inspection approval and framing is underway.
Public Works Operations
Valley Pkwy/Valley Center Road Widening Project
The bridge subcontractor completed the pier 2 casing installations in the channel bottom this past week. The next step in the construction phase is the footing for the pier 2 wall section. This operation requires the dewatering and construction of the footing to proceed around the clock until this item is complete. The dry utility contractor is continuing to install new conduit and vault structures along the east side of the project. Work on the west side of the project includes completing the pouring of the concrete pilaster for the construction of the 8’ sound walls along the dog park frontage.
Neighborhood Lighting Project
No changes from that previously reported. The contractor is working in three neighborhoods this week potholing utilities, installing conduits and constructing foundations for new street lights. The scope of work for the project includes the installation of 44 new street lights along with the replacement of 22 existing street light fixtures with the latest L.E.D. fixtures in 5 neighborhood areas.
2017 Street Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project
This week the City’s paving contractor is completing the application of the rubberized chip seal (ARAM) to approximately 80 city streets. The paving restoration this week included resurfacing portions of Lincoln Avenue between Broadway and Ash Street. This work is being performed during a night time operation to help maintain day time traffic volumes along this corridor. Work on replacing concrete improvement throughout this year’s program area is continuing this week.
Corrugated Metal Storm Drain Pipe Assessment Study
No changes from that previously reported. This project televises all City-maintained corrugated metal pipes (CMP) and assesses their condition to allow for proactive and efficient pipe maintenance. To date, approximately 99% of the CMP storm drains have been televised.
Pradera - Lennar Communities
Contractors are raising utility manholes to grade, setting center line monumentations in preparation of installing final signage and striping along the project frontages.
Lexington Model Homes - KB Homes
The contractor completed base pavement installation along all roadways this past week. Installation of concrete improvements as well as landscaping elements is the next order of work.
Citron Project by William Lyon Homes
No changes from that reported last week: The project is idled again this week. The project is located at 2516 S. Escondido Boulevard.
Tract 932 - Canyon Grove Shea Homes Community
On site roadways are being prepared for the installation of asphalt pavement this week.
Latitude II Condominiums by a Lyon Homes Partnership: Washington Avenue at Centre City Parkway
Onsite installation of the remaining storm drain system is being done this week. The remaining sections of the project are entering the framing phase of construction. The work is located adjacent to Centre City Parkway.
No changes from that reported last week. Storm Drain improvements have been suspended while a solution is found for a conflict with a dry utility package. A site meeting is scheduled for later this week.
Victory Industrial Park
The grading operation is continuing this week. The project is located at 2005 Harmony Grove Road and is 5.4 acres in size.
Escondido Innovation Center
No changes from that reported last week. The contractor has begun to import material to the site. The project requires the importing of 17,700 cubic yards of material. The project is located 1925 Harmony Grove Road.
No changes from that reported last week. The offsite construction of public improvement is continuing this week with the placement of new concrete improvements along Escondido Boulevard and 3rd Avenue. The project is located at 328 S Escondido Boulevard.
Spring Hill Suites Hotel/ La Terraza Boulevard
No changes from that reported last week: The grading operation is continuing this week with the construction of the block wall along the rear of the property.
Current Status of Fires throughout the State:
- Lilac Fire – currently 95% contained and remains at 4,100 acres
- Thomas Fire - currently 25% contained and 237,500 acres. 18,00 structures threatened and 921 structures destroyed
- Creek Fire – currently 98% contained and over 15,000 acres burned
On Tuesday, December 5th, OES was deployed to the Thomas Fire in Ventura county. Escondido sent Strike Team Leaders Battalion 133 & Brush Rig 133.
- On Wednesday, December 6th, Escondido deployed Battalion Chief Bertrand and Captain Miller to the Creek Fire as Base Camp Managers.
- On Thursday, December 7th, Escondido Fire sent Brush Rig 132 to the Lilac Fire.
- On Friday, December 8th, Escondido Fire sent Engineer Polito to the Lilac Fire as a Public Information Officer and Engineer Brad Bihun to the Thomas Fire as a Public Information Officer.
- On Friday, December 8th, Escondido Fire sent Engine 133 with Captain Beverly, Engineer Jenkins, and Firefighter/Paramedic Cagle to the Lilac Fire. On Sunday, December 10th, Engine 133 was reassigned from the Lilac Fire to the Thomas Fire with a North Zone Type 1 Strike Team.
- On 12/3/2017, an at risk, 84-year-old missing person was located at NCTD Transit Center by an officer working the area. The missing person had been missing for approximately a day and was the subject of an extensive search.
- On 12/5/2017, Officer Gimenez located stolen vehicle in the area of Wilson and Wabash. Officer Gimenez made contact with the suspect as the suspect is exited the stolen vehicle. The suspect was taken into custody without incident, and booked into the Vista Detention Facility for possession of a stolen vehicle.
- On 12/6/2017, an officer from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) was in pursuit of a vehicle that came into Escondido. Officers responded to the area of Park Hill and San Pasqual Valley Rd. to assist after the vehicle crashed and the occupant fled. The CHP is handling the investigation.
- On 12/7/2017, a Daytime Truancy Sweep was conducted which caught four students from various schools not in school in during school hours. Escondido Compact assisting with the sweep.
The EPD 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.
- 5 arrests were made
- 12 citations were issued
On 12/6/2017, COPPS officers teamed up with Mrs. Stewart and the Community Relations Team at Reidy Creek Elementary school to collect Souper Sacks for the Senior Citizen Center. Reidy Creek school donated 135 Souper Sacks that are to be passed out to senior citizens. The Souper Sacks contain soups, crackers, easily made meals, desserts and special Christmas surprises to brighten the day of the recipient