FEATURED THIS WEEK

New Lighting at Kit Carson Park Girls Softball Fields
This project consists of lights throughout the park, from the adult softball fields at the south end, up through to the Girl Scout building parking lot and under the parking structure at the girls’ softball fields. Construction is expected to start during early summer.

Habitat for Humanity Gazebo Project at Kit Carson Park
Thank you volunteers! On Saturday, February 3, twenty volunteers worked on the gazebo that Habitat for Humanity previously built in the El Arroyo picnic area at Kit Carson Park. They worked from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. rebuilding picnic tables and washing and painting the gazebo.


ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Escondido Leads Home Sales in San Diego County

The eastern portion of Escondido led the County with 40 home sales during January, which is usually one of the slowest months for sales in the region. link here.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

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:

  1. 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 as a Plot Plan on July 31, 2017. The Plot Plan approval letter was issued on February 7, 2018. Construction plans are expected soon.
  1. Centre City Commercial Center (Developer: Todd Dwyer) SE corner Centre City/Mission – Construction on the two commercial buildings is underway. The carwash plans are tracking separately and revised carwash plans have now been approved by Esgil and Planning. Engineering is coordinating construction of street and off-site improvements with the developer.

Industrial

  1. 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.
  1. North American Self-Storage (Developer: Russ Colvin) 852 S. Metcalf – A revised plot plan has been approved and revised building plans were submitted into plan check on January 17, 2018. Planning and Esgil have issued comments on the building plans. Engineering has approved the grading plan for the revised project and is awaiting posting of the improvement bonds prior to authorizing issuance of the building permit.

City Projects

  1. Micro-Filtration Reverse Osmosis (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) SE corner Ash/Washington – The archaeological work plan has been submitted to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) for approval. Funding of the state loan for the project is contingent on completing the work plan to the satisfaction of SHPO.
  1. 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 including an agency request for full mitigation for emergent vegetation at the eastern end of the lake that came into existence since the lake level was reduced for safety reasons. Staff sent a follow-up letter to the wildlife agencies on June 29, 2017, seeking clarification on the proposed biological mitigation requirements. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife responded last month reiterating their earlier comments. Additional information is being compiled by the City’s biological consultants prior to scheduling a follow-up meeting with the agencies.

Institutional

  1. Self-Realization Fellowship Center (Developer: John Pyjar, Domusstudio Architecture 1840 Del Dios Rd. – The Planning Commission approved the proposed multi-phase expansion project on February 13, 2018.
  1. 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. A letter indicating the application is incomplete was sent to the applicant on November 30, 2017. The applicant has stayed engaged with Fire, Engineering and Planning staff and has provided several revisions intended to address identified issues.

Residential

  1. Citron (formerly Stella Park) (Developer: William Lyon Homes) 63 condo units at 2516 S. Esc. Blvd. – The City Council approved the final map on December 20, 2017. The rough grading has been completed on the site. Construction is commencing on the western building along S. Escondido Boulevard that includes the model units. Building permits for the remaining buildings are pending recordation of the final map.
  1. Wohlford (Developer: Jack Henthorne) 55 lots at 661 Bear Valley Pkwy. – Staff met with the applicant to review the draft conditions of approval for the project. Staff and the applicant have been working for some time to complete negotiations on final terms for the Development Agreement. On February 13, 2018, the Planning Commission continued the public hearing on this item at the applicant’s request to allow more time to finalize negotiations.
  1. 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 for public review and comment. The comment period ended on January 2, 2018. Staff transmitted all the comment letters and emails to the EIR consultant for review and to prepare a response to each comment. The Draft EIR and appendices have been posted on the City’s website at the following link:
    https://www.escondido.org/safari-highlands-ranch-specific-plan.aspx
  1. 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 several months ago regarding unresolved project design issues. The applicant has had one follow-up discussion with Utilities since then.
  1. 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 at the end of March 2018.
  1. 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 vacant clubhouse building was destroyed by fire several days later. A lawsuit challenging the project approval was filed in Superior Court on behalf of the Escondido Country Club Homeowners (ECCHO) on December 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: https://www.escondido.org/ecc.aspx
  1. North Avenue Estates (Developer: Casey Johnson) 34 lots at North Ave./Conway Dr. – The Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of the project on November 28, 2017. The City Council approved the project on January 10, 2018. The LAFCO application for annexation is being prepared and is expected to be submitted to LAFCO soon.
  1. Aspire (106 condo units on Municipal Lot 1) (Developer: Addison Garza, Touchstone Communities) – The proposal consists of a six-story mixed-use development on Parking Lot 1. The project was initially submitted for entitlement processing on June 23, 2017. Subsequent meetings with the applicant and staff have been on-going and a resubmittal of the project plans was received on December 12, 2017. Planning, Fire and Building sent comments on the revised project submittal on January 16, 2018. A meeting with the project applicant occurred last week to discuss the technical studies needed to complete the environmental review for the project.
  1. The Ivy (95 condo units at 343 E. 2nd) (Developer: Addison Garza, Touchstone Communities) - Demolition of the vacant surgery center building on The Ivy site started last month. The condo project was initially submitted for entitlement processing on June 23, 2017. The applicant submitted revised project plans on December 8, 2017. The City issued a comment letter on the revised application on January 8, 2018. A meeting with the project applicant occurred last week to discuss the technical studies needed to complete the environmental review for the project.
  1. 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 follow-up meeting with the Fire Department last week resolved some of the outstanding issues regarding the project design.
  1. Quince Street Senior Housing (Developer: Matt Jumper, 220 Quince, L.P.) 145 apartment units at 220 N. Quince St.– The five-story affordable senior housing apartment project was submitted on November 21, 2017. Planning staff sent a letter to the applicant on December 21, 2017, indicating the application was incomplete. Initiation of the proposed amendment to the Downtown Specific Plan to remove the ground-floor commercial requirement on the site has been scheduled for the February 14 City Council meeting. Two meetings with the applicant team and multiple city departments have occurred since the project submittal to discuss project design issues.
  1. Accessory Dwelling Units – Planning staff is currently working on five applications for accessory dwelling units with an additional two applications expected to be submitted soon. One accessory dwelling unit has been approved this year.

Building Division:

  1. The Building Division issued 75 permits with a total valuation of $1,019,797.
  1. 23 solar photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. The Building Division issued 100 solar permits for the year compared to 101 issued during the same time period for 2017.
  1. Our building inspectors responded to 187 inspection requests for the week.
  1. The total building valuation for all issued permits for the week ending February 10th is $10,681,588 compared with $6,033,709 for same time last year. Building processed 331 projects so far in 2018 compared with 349 projects in 2017.
  1. Projects nearing permit issuance are:
    • 917 W Lincoln, 3 new apartment buildings, 9 units.
    • 700 W Grand Ave Gateway project (previous police/fire building)
  1. The mixed use project at 300 S Escondido Blvd (City Plaza) has received a 30-day Temporary Certificate of Occupancy and residential units are now being leased to residents. No change from the previous.
  1. The Meadowbrook 3 story apartment building with underground garage at 2081 Garden Valley Glen is preparing the building for final inspection. No change from the previous.
  1. The medical office building at 2125 Citracado Pkwy is preparing for final inspection of the interior tenant improvements.
  1. The student apartment buildings at the Westminster Seminary (1725 Bear Valley Pkwy) are preparing the buildings for final inspection.
  1. The children’s building for the Emanuel Faith Church at 639 E 17th Ave is preparing for final inspection. No change from the previous.
  1. The Church of Resurrection at 1445 Conway is preparing for final inspection.
  1. The Veterans Village project at 1540 S Escondido Blvd has received second floor sheathing approval.
  1. The new drive-thru restaurant at 700 N. Centre City Parkway has approval to lath the exterior of the building. The new drive-thru restaurant at 720 N. Centre City Parkway and the new retail building at 730 N. Centre City Parkway have received foundation approval and final masonry lift and grout approval.
  1. The new market at the location of the former Toyota dealership at 151 W Lincoln received roof parapet inspection and roof sheathing approvals.
  1. The Ford dealership at 1717 Auto Parkway is preparing for final inspection. No change from the previous.
  1. The Latitude 2, apartment buildings at 650 N Center City Pkwy has received second floor sheathing approval for Buildings 1 through 5.
  1. The new two story church sanctuary building at 1864 N Broadway has inspection approval for the 4th grout lift of the masonry walls. No change from the previous.
  1. The new Starbucks at 302 W El Norte Pkwy is preparing for final inspection.

Code Enforcement

Graffiti Restitution

Business Licensing

 

ENGINEERING


Capital Improvements
Valley Pkwy/Valley Center Road Widening Project: Day 111

The prime contractor is continuing work on the preparation of the roadway subgrade along East Valley Parkway between Lake Wohlford Road and Beven Drive. The contractor has placed sample sections of concrete improvements that are required for the installation of the new transformers and vaults associated with the undergrounding of the overhead utilities. The dry utility contractor is completing the installation of the underground utility conversion this week. The 3 new utility poles required for the utility conversion project are set to be installed on Friday, March 2 during a night time operation. The remaining bridge elements were constructed this week, including the concrete barrier rails and the concrete sidewalk. The masonry subcontractor is continuing with the construction of the 8’ sound wall.


Neighborhood Lighting Project
All street light elements for the 44 new pole locations have been completed at this time. Six (6) new street light service points have been submitted to SDG&E, and the utility anticipates the services points will be energized this week. Twenty-two (22) existing street light fixtures have been replaced with the latest L.E.D. fixtures as part of this project. The installation of 6 bike path lights has been added to this project, the new lights will be installed along Centre City Parkway between Valley Parkway and the flood control channel.

2017 Street Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project
The striping for the section of roadway along Broadway between Valley Parkway and the channel has been realigned to incorporate the future Missing Link bicycle path, including changing the diagonal parking along Grape Day Park to parallel parking. Along Valley Parkway between Broadway and Centre City Parkway the new striping alignment will include an 8’ bike path along the north side of the road. The installation of permanent bike lane signs along with Yield to bicycles signs have been added to all driveways and intersections along the new bike path.


Corrugated Metal Storm Drain Pipe Assessment Study
This project televises all City-maintained corrugated metal pipes (CMP) and assesses their condition to allow for proactive and efficient pipe maintenance.  The first storm drain rehabilitation project has been completed by City crews. The next rehabilitation project, Midway Storm Drain Repair, closed on Thursday, January 25. Staff is taking the item to the February 14 council meeting for approval.

Rincon del Diablo Water Main Replacement
No changes rom that reported last week: The water district is replacing an existing water main along Nutmeg Street between Rockhoff Road and Centre City Parkway. The work is taking longer than expected and the day time closure will remain in effect until February 19, 2018. Detours signs are in place and emergency services have been notified.

Transit Center Pedestrian Bridge Project
Transit Center Pedestrian Bridge and Spruce Street Channel Improvement Project is moving forward with 100% design.

Missing Link Project
This project will complete improvements that will link riders from the channel bike path that currently ends at Broadway, to where the it re-starts at Quince Street.  Project bids were opened on January 18, and staff will take the project before City Council for approval to award on February 14.  Construction is anticipated to start late March to mid-April.

PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT
Centre City Shopping Center

No changes from that reported last week. The project grading is nearing completion. The offsite electrical and gas permits connections to existing services were issued this week. The project is located at 425 W. Mission Avenue.

Tract 932 - Canyon Grove Shea Homes Community
The developer is replacing concrete improvements along Century Way and Vista Avenue this week. This work is associated with the offsite water line improvements.     

Latitude II Condominiums by a Lyon Homes Partnership: Washington Avenue @ Centre City Parkway
The remaining sections of the project are entering the framing phase of construction.       

Veteran’s Village
The installation of storm drain pipe along Escondido Boulevard is continuing this week. The #1 north bound lane of Escondido Boulevard is being kept closed to traffic in response to noise complaints from local residents due to the placement of steel plate in the roadway.  

Exeter Industrial Park 
The grading operation is continuing this week with scheduled blasts for the rock obstructions encountered onsite. Storm drain installation is continuing this week. A portion of the first building had its concrete floor poured this week. The project is located at 2005 Harmony Grove Road and is 5.4 acres in size.

StorQuest
No changes from that reported last week: Work is concentrating on the construction of offsite utilities along Mission Avenue. The project is located at 222 W. Mission Avenue

Citron
The project completed the installation of a is continuing with the installation of sewer main onsite. The project is located at 2516 S. Escondido Boulevard.

Felicita Junction Starbucks Drive - Thru
No changes from that reported last week: The grading of the site is continuing this week for the new drive thru location being constructed at the north west corner of Centre City Parkway and Felicita Avenue.

FIRE

News:

  • Fire Department personnel will participate in The Annual Burn Institute Firefighter Boot Drive. The Boot Drive is set to take place the morning of Thursday, March 1, 2018. More information to follow in the coming weeks.
  • On Thursday, February 8, local fire investigators, including Escondido Fire Department Fire Prevention Specialist, Matthew Newberry and Escondido Fire Department Volunteer, Kenneth Kim, gathered in San Diego to learn the core principles of Fire Investigation from experts Matt Beals from ATF SACFI and Captain Pat Buckley from SDFD MAST.

 

POLICE

INCIDENTS:

  • On 2-9-2018, San Diego County Sheriff deputies from Valley Center attempted to stop a silver Dodge pick-up with paper plates for a vehicle code violation. The driver did not stop and the deputies pursued the vehicle into Escondido. At the request of the deputies, the pursuit was handed over to officers from the Escondido Police Department. During the pursuit, the suspect drove with disregard for the safety of others and caused a non-injury collision in the area of Bear Valley Pkwy and Oak Hill Dr. Due to the reckless driving of the suspect, the pursuit was terminated.  A few minutes after pursuit ended, deputies from located the abandoned truck on 1400 block of Taft St. officers from the Gang Enforcement Team located a person believed to be the driver.  The person had two felony warrants issued for is arrest and was booked into the Vista Detention Facility on the warrants. The identification of the driver is still under investigation.
  • On 2-9-2018, officers responded to the 1100 block of Delight Way in reference to a stolen vehicle.  During the investigation, it was determined the vehicle was taken by an acquaintance of the vehicle owner. The Escondido Police Department’s Communications Division broadcasted the vehicle description and crime to other police agencies.  Officers from the Murrieta Police Department located the vehicle within an hour of original call.  The suspect was taken into custody without incident. Officers from Escondido Police Department and Murrieta Police Department met at the halfway point to transfer the custody of the suspect.  The suspect was booked into the Vista Detention Facility for robbery and possession of a stolen car. 
  • On 2-10-2018, officers responded to the parking lot of Westfield North County regarding a male acting strangely.  Officers arrived on scene and contacted a person they believed to be the one described in the call.  The officers noticed the person concealed two large tote bags when he saw the officers drive into the parking lot.  The officers noticed there was a large amount of property from Victoria’s Secret inside the two bags.  The officers contacted Victoria’s Secret, and an employee at the store was able to pull video surveillance footage of the male inside the store.  The video showed the suspect had been in and out of the store numerous times over a two-hour period.  During that time, he staged the two bags and would conceal selected merchandise in the bags.  The suspect stole over $1000 in merchandise.  The suspect was booked into the Vista Detention Facility for burglary. 

COPPS:

The 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, quality of life issues, and addressing crime and public nuisance in Grape Day Park and at Maple Plaza.     

  • 7 arrests were made
  • 23 citations were issued

EVENTS:

Lieutenant Lick is currently attending the ten-week Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy - Class 271. He is one of 223 law enforcement leaders, representing 19 countries.