Burger Bench has now opened in downtown Escondido. The restaurant is located at 237 E. Grand Avenue. Initially they will be open from 11 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will be closed on Christmas Day. 


No major special events scheduled this weekend. 


Periodic odor issues have impacted south west Escondido for some time. We have known for some time that the odors come from the wastewater line that carries water from San Diego (Rancho Bernardo) to the Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility (HARRF). In the past, the solution had been for San Diego to replace the activated carbon in the odor control canisters attached to each air-relief valve along the line (because this line is owned by the City of San Diego it is responsible for this maintenance). The carbon replacement schedule had been missed before, so we stressed to San Diego the importance of sticking to that schedule. Over the last two years, the carbon has been replaced on a more aggressive schedule and the odor reports had decreased. Over the last two months, odor complaints spiked again. More frequent carbon replacement was not helping matters. We suspect that lower flow through the system due to water conservation is increasing the cycle time for pumping and therefore giving the wastewater more time to generate odor. When the pumps start, there is then more odorous gas than the carbon canisters can handle so the carbon is spent in weeks rather than months.

The agreed (and hopefully permanent) solution, which San Diego is working quickly to install, is a chemical treatment system at PS 77 that will prevent the production of odorous gas. This solution had always been an option, but the cost and potential risks to the treatment plant caused us to table the option until now. San Diego will pay the cost and HARRF staff have reviewed the chemical to be used for treatment.

The City of San Diego has notified us that they will begin odor treating at San Diego Pump Station 77 on December 24, 2015.  We hope to see an improvement in the air quality on Christmas. 


Public Art: 

Weather permitting, Queen Califia’s Magical Circle in Kit Carson Park (3333 Bear Valley Parkway) will be open to the public on December 27, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Queen Califia docents will be on site to answer questions. 


Major Projects Update:

  • John Paul the Great Catholic University No change from the following update reported last week: 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. The Planning Commission approved the project at its December 8, 2015 meeting. 
  • Escondido Research Technology Center No change from the following update reported last week: 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 are in plan check for approval. 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) – 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. Staff sent documents back to LAFCO this week memorializing their action that included final paperwork to be completed prior to annexation recordation. 
  • Amanda Estates (NUW) – LAFCO approved the reorganization (annexation) at their meeting on August 3, 2015. Staff sent documents back to LAFCO this week memorializing their action that included final paperwork to be completed 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 was approved by the City Council meeting on December 9, 2015 and filing fees were paid to the County for the EIR. 
  • PraderaNo change from the following update reported last week: 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. Building Plans for three, two-story model homes have been completed and the units 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 – Staff received concept building elevations from the homebuilder, KB Homes, and conducted Design Review evaluations with comments forwarded back to the architect. The annexation was approved by LAFCO on Sept. 14, 2015. Staff sent documents back to LAFCO this week memorializing their action that included final paperwork to be completed prior to annexation recordation. 
  • Stella Park CondominiumsNo change from the following update reported last week: 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 met with the applicant to discuss submittal requirements from prior city comments and is providing information regarding existing conditions to include in the environmental review analysis. 
  • Wohlford – Staff has reviewed 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. Staff concluded interviews with four consulting firms this week and has contacted the consultant selected for preparing the EIR to commence drafting a scope of work and budget for the EIR. 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 have been submitted for plan check and are under review. 
  • 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 No change from the following update reported last week: This project proposes 550 single-family units on 1,100 acres involving annexation and Sphere of Influence update for a master planned community with parks, trails, recreation center, fire station, open space, on-site sewer facility for treating a portion of the on-site wastewater for irrigation purposes. Planning and Engineering extensions of staff have been funded by the applicant and retained to assist the city in processing the project. Staff met with a representative of the Fish and Wildlife Department to discuss the project. Other outreach efforts have included City of San Diego, Safari Park representatives, public agencies and surrounding residents. A Request for Proposals was issued to solicit bids for the preparation of a consultant-prepared Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and a bidders meeting was held this week to answer consultant questions. Staff met with the Engineering Division extension of staff to review technical documents. More information about this project is on line at: 
  • Felicita Development, LLC – The applicant has submitted a revised concept plan involving development of a 140-unit hotel, and a gas station or office/residential care facility at the southeast corner of Felicita Rd. and Gamble Lane. Staff met with the architect this week to discuss building elevations, 5-story height limitations and site design issues given the existing wetland constraints on the property. 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. The applicant is responding to technical studies needed to complete the application. 
  • 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 post-approval plan check process. Staff has approved the grading and landscape plans. Demolition has commenced on a portion of the site where redevelopment will occur. The County has notified the City that the applicant has made their application to the State permitting agency. Staff has resolved 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. At the December 9th City Council meeting, the traffic mitigation funding agreement and sewer service MOU were approved. A letter was sent this week to the County confirming that no outstanding issues remain with the City regarding the project. 
  • Springhill SuitesNo change from the following update reported last week: 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) – 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 to address sewer and emergency access and engineering issues. A revised set of plans was submitted responding to staff comments. Staff is working with the applicant to develop street striping plans around the project’s frontages for ensuring safe traffic movement 
  • 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 and a comment letter is being prepared. Staff authorized payment of Housing Division funds for reimbursement of applicant’s consultant invoices. 
  • Escondido Auto Park AssociationNo change from the following update reported last week: 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 has confirmed with the applicant sign application and submittal process. 
  • 701 San Pasqual Valley RdNo change from the following update reported last week: 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. 
  • Ford-Hyundai Dealership ExpansionNo change from the following update reported last week: 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 80 permits for this week with a total valuation of $1,121,106. 
  • 28 photovoltaic permits were issued for the week.  Building has issued 1,394 solar permits so far this year compared to 774 issued at the same time last year. 
  • Building inspectors and counter staff had a very busy week with inspections averaging 42 inspections per day and counter contacts averaging 31 per day. 
  • Due to the increase in inspection requests, 6 inspections were held over on Friday. 
  • 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. 
  • The 76-unit condominium complex at 2412 S Escondido Blvd will be calling in for framing inspections this week. 
  • The Pradera single family tract has submitted plans for their first phase of construction for 8 new single family dwelling production units. 
  • Permits were issued for the new 24 HR Fitness building at the North County Mall. 
  • Plans were submitted for review for the new Latitude II, 112 unit apartments at Washington and Centre City Parkway. 
  • The new Taco Bell restaurant and office building are now applying interior and exterior finish to the buildings. 
  • Attached is the monthly permit activity report for November. 


Storm Drain Inlet Filter Basket Project:
No change from the following update reported last week: A second Public Service Agreement was approved on November 30, 2015 for an additional 21 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 filters was completed on December 3rd.    

Private Development 

Bear Valley Parkway between Boyle Avenue and San Pasqual Valley Road (County Project):
Construction of the new roadway section was began on Monday November 30, 2015 for the portion of new roadway between Idaho Avenue and Birch Avenue, the contractor has completed the import of base material in preparation to base paving this segment of roadway. The construction of new storm drain between Birch Avenue and Boyle Avenue is ongoing, the rain from last two week will cause a delay to let the material dry out before construction can resume. Staff members from the County, City and Contractor are meeting to develop a temporary solution to the traffic related complaints all parties are receiving regarding the alignment of the Bear Valley Parkway at Boyle Avenue intersection.    

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:
Street “D” of the project had new concrete curb and gutter installed this week, paving of the street is scheduled for next week. 

Future Capital Improvements 

FY 15/16 Street Maintenance Project:
Staff distributed a project street list to utilities and City departments for review and input.  Based on received feedback selected street treatments, staff will continue to trim the project street list to fit within the available budget.  Staff anticipates a finalized list in January. 

Washington Park Pool Re-surfacing
Staff completed the bid package to resurface the pools at Washington Park and advertised this project on December 16th.  Received bids will be opened January 7th.          



  • On December 16 officers responded to the 1500 block of E. Grand Avenue on a vehicle fire in the car port area. Officers arrived on scene to discover three vehicles engulfed in flames.  The Escondido Fire Department responded and extinguished the fire which had spread to a nearby tree. 


  • December 21 was the last day of work for Assistant Chief Robert Benton. He is retiring after 30 years of service to the City of Escondido. Assistant Chief Benton has left his indelible mark at the Escondido Police Department and will be greatly missed.