FEATURED THIS WEEK
Fishing Derby at Dixon Lake
Last week 6,000 pounds of rainbow trout were stocked at the lake for the annual Trout Derby, in addition the Hidden Valley Kiwanis provided approximately 300 bluegill to stock the “kiddy ponds.” Anglers 7 and under fished from the ponds with the assistance of the Senior Anglers of Escondido.
Tree Climbing Event Success!
Last week the United Tree Climbers Association held their annual Field Day in Grape Day Park in conjunction with our Public Works department. They successfully trimmed and climbed many trees in the park! Check out videos from the event on their official Facebook page:
Visit Escondido at the Transit Center
The combined efforts of our Real Property and Tourism staff have successfully completed the project of updating the VisitEscondido.com signage at the NCTD Transit Center.
Reindeer and Holiday Cheer at the Art Center
6,000 people attended the Winter Wonderland this past weekend at our Art Center. Attendees enjoyed visits with Santa, a light show, real snow and reindeer!
See Santa’s Reindeer in Escondido here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW0ItY5Y4ds
Students Weigh In on Escondido’s Future
On November 30th and December 1st, City staff conducted a visioning exercise and art lesson with 5th graders at Central Elementary. After a group discussion about planning and land use, the students envisioned and shared ideas on what they would like to see develop on some vacant lots around their school. The activity helped students learn more about government and recognize connections between government and a student’s everyday life. Over 100 students participated. This activity was possible by the South Centre City Specific Plan planning effort. The results of the art exercise will be incorporated into the final planning document, which will be presented to Planning Commission and City Council for approval in early 2018. For more information about the Project or the art lesson, please refer to the project website at https://www.escondido.org/south-centre-city-area-plan.aspx.
Major Projects Update
The following major projects are currently being reviewed and coordinated with Planning, Engineering, Fire, Building and Utilities staff. A complete description of each project can be viewed here. Updates provided below cover project milestones that occurred 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. The applicant submitted revised plans and a storm water management plan three weeks ago. 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 – The grading and improvement plans for the commercial buildings have been approved and rough grading is underway. Comments on the carwash building plans were sent by Planning on October 2, 2017, and revised plans have now been resubmitted back to Esgil. The precise grading plan for the carwash lot was submitted two weeks ago; and the landscape plan was submitted on November 13, 2017. CC&R’s have recently been resubmitted back to Planning and Engineering.
- Escondido Self-Storage Facility (Developer: Brandywine Homes, Inc.) 2319 Cranston Dr. – The applicant resubmitted revised grading, landscape, and street improvement plans on September 15, 2017. Another revised grading plan was submitted several weeks ago. Planning has approved the grading plan. Engineering has provided the bond and fee letter in advance of issuing a grading permit. The applicant has resolved the previous fire flow issues.
- 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 submitted a modified Plot Plan application to remove the basement level and increase the building height to five stories. The applicant has been informed 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 with additional revisions received several weeks ago. Fire flow issues are being coordinated with Fire and Utilities. Staff comments have recently been returned to the applicant with storm water shaping up as the final remaining issue before moving on to the Planning Commission.
- 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.
- 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 two weeks ago. Engineering and Building staff are working with the applicant to get construction of the model units underway. It is anticipated 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 is currently drafting conditions of approval for initial review this week.
- 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 is in process. Demolition is complete and permits are ready to be issued once title to the site transfers to the builder in mid-December.
- 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) and The Ivy (95 condo units at 343 E. 2nd) (Developer: Addison Garza, Touchstone Communities) – The proposal consists of three separate downtown project sites proposed for mixed-use, residential and parking garage components on Parking Lot 1, Parking Lot 4 and the former Escondido Surgery Center property. Applications were 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 is scheduled to commence 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.
- Accessory Dwelling Units – Planning staff is currently working on four applications for accessory dwelling units with an additional three applications expected to be submitted soon.
- A total of 21 solar photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. The Building Division has issued 940 solar permits this year, to date, compared to 1,240 issued during the same time last year.
- Our building inspectors responded to 210 inspection requests for the week.
- Building has issued 218 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 with tenant improvement to follow.
- 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 the framing phase of the building.
- 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 Starbucks at 302 W. El Norte Parkway has received foundation inspection approval and framing is underway.
- Two additional phases comprised of 13 single-family homes were issued permits last week in the Canyon Grove (Shea Homes) development.
Public Works Operations
Valley Pkwy/Valley Center Road Widening Project
The bridge subcontractor is continuing with the coring for the last pier foundations prior to the installation of the steel reinforcement located in the channel bottom. The dry utility contractor is installing new conduit and vault structures along the east side of the project this week. Work along the west side of the project includes completing the sound wall footing as well as the pouring 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 started work on the application of the rubberized chip seal (ARAM) to approximately 80 city streets. Making use of an awarded grant for using recycled tire rubber, approximately 1.7M square feet of pavement will be treated by the end of next week. The paving restoration this week included resurfacing portions of Felicita Avenue from Centre City Parkway to Brotherton Avenue. 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
Final paving restoration of the interior streets was completed this week, ahead of schedule.
Lexington Model Homes - KB Homes
The contractor is importing roadway base material this week with plans for paving the remaining project streets buy the close of work Friday.
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
No changes from that reported last week. Testing and videoing of the sewer system is ongoing. On site water lines are being tested and the final connection will be made 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 work is located adjacent to Centre City Parkway.
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.
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.
Saturday, December 2nd, Escondido Firefighter/Paramedic Tyler Wolf delivered toys collected by Escondido Fire Department Personnel for the Annual Burn Institute Toy Drive.
- On 12/1/2017, officers responded to the 900 block of N. Quince St. referencing a fight. It was reported that one of the suspect was armed with a gun. An excellent description of the suspect was given by the person reporting the crime. While en route to the call an officer saw the suspect enter a restaurant in the 500 block of W. Mission Ave. Officers arrived on scene and set up a perimeter. The suspect exited the restroom at the request of officers and was taken into custody without incident. A stolen handgun was recovered from the bathroom and a 9mm round was found in the suspect’s pocket. The suspect was booked into the Vista Detention Facility for possession of a stolen gun.
- On 12/2/2017, officers responded to a call of a theft in the 1300 block of E. Grand Ave. A suspect had entered the store and stole a bicycle inner tube. When confronted by employees the suspect threatened the employees and indicated he had a gun. The suspect fled the area on a bicycle. Officer Whitaker remained in the area and searched for the suspect. Later in the day, Officer Whitaker located and detained the suspect in the 1200 block of E. Valley Pkwy. The was arrested for robbery and booked into the Vista Detention Facility.
- 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.
- 7 arrests were made
- 10 citations were issued