ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

  • The Grand Maple restaurant at 150 Grand Avenue has closed. The owners will still operate their other restaurant, Swami’s, which is located at 136 Grand Avenue.  Swami’s will continue to be open 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. serving breakfast and lunch.
  • This weekend at Ryan Park Cal South will host their annual Commissioners Cup soccer tournament.  The tournament is designed for youth recreational and All-Star teams.  There will be a total of 78 teams playing in both the boys and girls divisions.  The age groups will be from U8 to U19.  We anticipate approximately 1,200 families in the area on both Saturday, December 5th and Sunday, December 6th.  All teams are from San Diego County visiting our community. 

ESCONDIDO HISTORY CENTER HIRES NEW DIRECTOR 

Stacey Ellison has been hired as the new Executive Director of the Escondido History Center. Stacey previously was the Curator/Museum Specialist for the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians. 

SPECIAL EVENTS 

  • Community in Unity
    Thursday, December 3, 5:30 p.m., City Hall, sponsored by Escondido Chamber of Commerce 
  • Annual Holiday Tree Lighting and Winter Wonderland
    Saturday, December 5, 3:00-8:00 p.m. California Center for the Arts Escondido 
  • Christmas Party for Pug Rescue
    Saturday, December 5th 10am – 1pm, Grape Day Park

    Annual fundraiser for Pug Rescue San Diego County. Enjoy unique shopping, snacks and fun with 100 local pugs and their owners. All money raised will benefit the rescued animal’s veterinary and adoption costs.
  • For information about other activities taking place in Escondido, please visit www.visitescondido.com. 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Public Art:

A collection of obelisks named “Pillars of the Community” representing the Arts and Crafts era are installed along Escondido Boulevard between 6th and 15th Avenues. One of the obelisks (Escondido Blvd. at 11th Ave. pictured below) has been vandalized multiple times since installation involving costly repairs. Public Works crews have stabilized the site. Staff has contacted the artist to discuss options including eliminating the monument. This topic will be discussed at the next Public Art Commission meeting on January 11, 2016.

Planning:

Major Projects Update:

  • John Paul the Great Catholic University – A Conditional Use Permit application has been received to expand the campus and student enrollment at 155 W. Grand Avenue. The proposal includes improvements to the former H. Johnson Building at 131 S. Broadway for studio and classroom space, and the former bank at 200 W. Grand Avenue for administrative offices and a student resource center. The proposed expansion would also increase the student enrollment from 300 to 1,200 students over the next several years. Staff has confirmed the availability of water and sewer connections. Updated architectural and site plans have been submitted, and this item is scheduled for Planning Commission consideration on December 8, 2015.
  • Escondido Research Technology Center – A 72,000 square foot medical office building is proposed on the east side of Citracado Parkway across from Palomar Medical Center. A plot plan application has been approved, grading and landscaping plans has been submitted for review and comment. The City Council approved a 10-year extension to the previously adopted Development Agreement for ERTC that involves 20 lots in ERTC owned by JRMC on November 4, 2015.
  • Oak Creek (NUW)No change from the following update reported last week: A LAFCO hearing for the annexation of the property was held on October 5, 2015. Staff made a presentation at the meeting emphasizing the City’s support for the project and opposition to the potential expansion of the annexation boundary to include an additional segment of Hamilton Road. The LAFCO Board unanimously approved the annexation without including the Hamilton Road segment as requested by staff.
  • Amanda Estates (NUW) – LAFCO approved the reorganization (annexation) at their meeting on August 3, 2015. Staff received documents from LAFCO this week memorializing their action that included final paperwork to be completed by the City prior to annexation recordation.
  • Centerpointe 78 CommercialNo change from the following update reported last week: The project was approved by the Planning Commission on November 10, 2015. The project is scheduled for the City Council meeting on December 9, 2015.
  • Pradera – Grading is underway for this single-family subdivision involving 70 units. Staff is reviewing improvement plan and the final map submittals, as well as the precise grading plans and landscaping plans. Three, two-story model homes are currently under construction and have undergone building inspections. A fourth single-story unit will be marketed with this development, but no model home for the single story unit will be constructed.
  • Zenner – A Tentative Subdivision Map was previously approved for this single family project involving 40 units. The annexation was approved by LAFCO on Sept. 14, 2015. Staff received documents from LAFCO this week memorializing their action that included final paperwork to be completed by the City prior to annexation recordation.
  • Stella Park Condominiums – This Planned Development involving 65 townhome units is located at 2516 S. Escondido Blvd. The applicant is contracting with consultants for preparation of numerous technical studies (including a Water Quality Technical Report) and the CEQA document which is anticipated to be a mitigated negative declaration. Staff is providing information regarding existing conditions to include in the environmental review analysis. Updated plans for the project were submitted and staff is analyzing the revisions for compliance with prior city comments.
  • Wohlford – Staff is reviewing revised submittals and technical reports from the applicant regarding this single-family subdivision involving 55 units in response to the letter identifying necessary submittals to continue processing. A Specific Alignment Plan for Bear Valley Parkway detailing the roadway is under review. A Request for Qualifications for preparation of a consultant-prepared EIR has resulted in four (4) proposals submitted to the City for review. Staff is reviewing the submittals prior to scheduling consultant interviews. Tribal consultation meetings have been completed.
  • Latitude II – The project was approved by the City Council on August 19, 2015. Grading plans and a Final Subdivision Map have been submitted for review. Architectural plans are anticipated in the next several weeks.
  • Shea Homes (Tract 932)No change from the following update reported last week: Staff approved the substantial conformance determination for the revised tentative map for the 179-lot residential subdivision known as Canyon View Estates. Staff continues to coordinate with the applicant on the proposed grading plan. The Precise Plan application was submitted on Aug. 6, 2015; additional information is needed to complete the application. The applicant is pursuing purchase of mitigation credits at Daley Ranch, and pursuing acquisitions needed for offsite improvements.
  • Safari Highlands – Engineering has finalized a contract with a consultant to perform as an extension of staff for engineering services. The applicant has selected a consultant to prepare a draft Municipal Services Review and Sphere of Influence (SOI) update. Staff met with representatives from the City of San Diego to discuss their concerns regarding the proposed improvements to Zoo Road for emergency access. A public agency scoping meeting was held September 24th to discuss the scope of the EIR; attendees included school district representatives and members of the public. A community meeting was held on October 5, 2015, and attended by approximately 80 persons. A Request for Proposals was issued this week to solicit bids for the preparation of a consultant-prepared Environmental Impact Report (EIR). More information about this project is on line at: http://www.escondido.org/safari-highlands-ranch-specific-plan.aspx
  • 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 meeting with the applicant this week to discuss the project status and issues.
  • Escondido Disposal Inc. – The CUP modification to expand the existing facility was approved by the Planning Commission on August 25, 2015. The project has completed its second post-approval plan check and staff comments have been sent regarding the grading and landscape plans. The County has notified the City that the applicant has made their application to the State permitting agency. Staff is working with the applicant to resolve storm drain issues involving the subject site and adjacent properties.
  • Westfield TheaterNo change from the following update reported last week: The Economic Development Subcommittee authorized expedited processing of the modification to the planned development for the proposed 10-auditorium movie theater. The project was approved by the City Council on November 4, 2015.
  • Paseo EscondidoNo change from the following update reported last week: 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. Additional submittals required to complete the application.
  • High Pointe (Palos Vista Neighborhood 3) – No change from the following update reported last week: This project involves 39 custom estate lots accessed from Mesa Rock Road. Staff has prepared a bond and fee letter based on the proposed grading and landscape plans, and has sent it to the applicant.
  • Valiano (County Project) – The project is outside of the City’s limits and is being processed by the County. City staff and the developer are negotiating opportunities for mutually beneficial infrastructure and utility and circulation improvements in an agreement that will be considered by the City Council on December 9, 2015.
  • Springhill Suites – Building plans were submitted for this planned development at 300 La Terraza Drive involving 4 stories, 105 suites, a small conference room and an enlarged lobby for serving continental breakfast. A revised set of grading and landscaping plans were submitted involving the hotel site and the parking lot of the adjacent property for review, and department comments are being finalized.
  • Del Prado (former Woody’s site) – No change from the following update reported last week: The project involves a Planned Development containing 113 attached residential townhomes, recreational facility, pool, and open space areas located at the southwestern corner of Brotherton Road and the Centre City Parkway frontage road. Staff has met with the applicant met to address sewer and emergency access and engineering issues. A revised set of plans was submitted responding to staff comments.
  • BMW DealershipNo change from the following update reported last week: A Precise Plan application to expand the existing dealership showroom an additional approximately 4,000 square feet and enhance the building façade at 1557 Auto Park Way was approved by the Planning Commission on October 13, 2015. Building plans have been submitted and are in plan check process.
  • Solutions for Change – A Planned Development application for 33 affordable multi-family units was approved by the Planning Commission on October 13, 2015, and by the City Council November 18, 2015. Building plans have been submitted for review.
  • Escondido Auto Park Association – The association is proposing to upgrade the existing electronic message sign along I-15. On September 23, 2015, the Economic Development Subcommittee considered a request by the association to enter into an agreement with the City for reimbursement of a portion of the cost of the upgraded sign and expressed support for a five-year agreement based on anticipated public benefit of additional sales tax revenue. Staff is working with the applicant to facilitate the modified sign application and submittal process.
  • 701 San Pasqual Valley Rd – An application has been submitted for a 19-lot single family clustered residential subdivision and planned development on a 7.2 acres site also addressed as 1201 E. 5th (formerly Tract 898). The application is under review and a letter detailing additional comments and submittal requirements was forwarded to the applicant. Staff met with the applicant this week to discuss project issues.
  • Ford-Hyundai Dealership Expansion – An expansion involving approximately 13,000 sq. ft. of showroom buildings and 6,700 sq. ft. wash/detail building at 1717-1919 Auto Park Way was approved by the Planning Commission on June 23, 2015. Grading plans have been submitted and staff anticipates building plans to be submitted in the next several weeks.

Building Division: 

  • The Building Department issued a record 54 permits for this holiday 3-day work week with a total valuation of $93,345.
  • 36 photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. Building has issued 1,285 solar permits so far this year compared to 714 issued at the same time last year.
  • Building inspectors and counter staff had a very busy week with inspections averaging 40 inspections per day and counter contacts averaging 38 per day.
  • Due to the increase in inspection requests, 2 inspections were held over on Monday, 2 on Tuesday, 4 on Wednesday. Our Deputy Building Official (plans examiner) was sent out to conduct inspections on Monday and Tuesday. Plans waiting to be reviewed were on hold, waiting for his return.
  • A new guideline was created for graywater systems and is available at the building counter or on our website at escondido.org/city departments/community development/building/information guidelines/guideline # 27.
  • In addition to the expedited solar permitting now available, residential roof top solar projects that qualify to be expedited, can be accepted electronically through e-mail. More information is provided on the city’s website.
  • Plans were submitted for a new 33 unit, 3-story apartment building at 1560 S Escondido Blvd.
  • The 76 unit condominium complex at 2412 S Escondido Blvd has received exterior framing inspection on all 4 buildings.
  • The Meadowbrook Village 3-story apartment building has received underground utility and foundation inspection approval for the underground parking area and is preparing the podium slab.
  • The Pradera single-family tract has received roof sheathing inspections on all 3 of the models and rough framing inspection on 2 models.
  • The new Taco Bell restaurant and office building has received rough framing inspections and are wrapping the exterior of the building.
  • 2015 Business License Stats
  • 2015 November Monthly Permit Report

Code Enforcement: 

  • As of November 30th the total number of open code enforcement cases is 364 cases. During the prior week 50 new cases were opened, and 40 cases were closed, with a backlog of an additional 56 cases not yet opened for assignment and investigation.
  • There were no illegal signs confiscated in the field due to no staffing during the holiday weekend. Illegal sign removals will resume this weekend. Three Public Records Requests (PRR) were processed, for a total of 98 PRRs processed to date this year.
  • Last week the Business License Division issued 3 new licenses and received 20 new applications in addition to 94 renewals.

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS           

Storm Drain Inlet Filter Basket Project:
A second Public Service Agreement was approved on November 30, 2015 for 21 additional inlet filters to be installed within existing storm drain structures. The objective is to retain function and to allow ease of maintenance through the manhole opening. The first Public Service Agreement Project which included 21 inlet filter will be completed on December 3rd.    

Private Development 

Bear Valley Parkway between Boyle Avenue and San Pasqual Valley Road (County Project):
Construction of the new storm drain system has been completed on Bear Valley Parkway between Idaho Avenue and Birch Avenue along the old roadway alignment. Construction of the new roadway structural section was begun on Monday, November 30, 2015 

 2412 South Escondido Boulevard:
No change from the following update reported last week: On site construction of new homes is continuing this week. 

Pradera - Lennar Communities:
On site testing of new sewer and water mains for Street D was started this week. 

Private Development –Current Plan Review

Trafalgar Square Redevelopment – Aldi Supermarket
No change from the following update reported last week: This project is a redevelopment of an existing commercial center on E. Valley Pkwy. With 2 rear buildings being removed to make way for a new Aldi Supermarket. 

  • The 2nd submittal of the Grading and Improvement plans, and the WQTR was made on November 3rd and will be returned this week with a Bond and Fee Letter.
  • A CLOMR-F has been filed with FEMA and is awaiting approval. The property lies in a flood zone and the finish floor of the new Aldi Supermarket must be verified to be above base flood elevation. 

Escondido Disposal Inc. Expansion Master Plan:
No change from the following update reported last week: This project is a 4+ phase project to expand EDI’s current operations into the former Golfcraft property to the north fronting on Mission Ave.    The overall expansion will allow EDI to meet State recycling requirements and produce biogas for their own electricity or CNG use, but will not increase the daily or annual trash throughput capacity allowances.

  • The 2nd submittal of the Grading and Improvements plans and various studies came in on October 16th and was returned to their engineer on November 19th. 

Tract 951 – Jacks Creek Place:
This project is a 12-lot residential subdivision located near Eureka Ranch.

  • The 3rd submittal of the Final Map, Grading, Landscaping and Improvement plans, and the WQTR was made on November 18th and will be reviewed in the next week or so.
  • A Bond and Fee Letter is expected to be issued in the next day or so. 

Tract 932 – Canyon Grove (Hidden Valley Ranch):
No change from the following update reported last week: This project is a 179-lot residential subdivision located at the ends of Vista Ave. and Vista Verde Dr. and will connect them when developed.   Shea Homes has acquired this project and continues to process the final engineering.

  • The 2nd submittal review of the Rough Grading and Onsite Improvement plans were returned to the engineer on November 13th.
  • The 3rd submittal of the offsite Ash and Vista improvement plans was made on November 10th and was returned to the engineer last week. 

PUBLIC SAFETY           

Police: 

Incidents:

  • On Saturday, November 28, at about 7 p.m., officers were dispatched to Grand Ave & Broadway to investigate the report of serious injury vehicle collision involving a vehicle and a bicyclist. The driver of the vehicle fled the scene immediately without stopping to render aid to the bicyclist. The bicyclist sustained serious injuries and was transported to the hospital. The initial investigation reveals the vehicle may have run a red traffic signal striking the bicyclist.  The Traffic Division responded and assumed the investigation.  We have since found the suspect vehicle abandoned and are working on identifying the driver.  The victim in this case is still in critical condition.
  • On Friday, November 27, just after midnight, officers responded to a report of a fight in the area of the 300 block of S. Beech St.  Officers found a male with a large stab wound to his neck.  First aid was performed until medics arrive.  Victim was transported to the hospital.  Detectives responded to assume the investigation and are continually working on apprehending the suspect.  The victim is in stable condition.

Events:

  • The EPD Police Officers Association is currently revamping and updating their website.  PD Command assisted by participating in group and individual pictures taken by the hired POA photographer.   The release date for the website is not certain at this time.
  • Retired Dispatcher John Donohue passed away on November 29. John was a long time employee who retired several years ago.  He will be missed by his many friends in the Police and Fire Departments.