ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

  • On Wednesday, February 17, Escondido, along with the other four cities involved in the Innovate 78 initiative, participated in a roundtable for Information/Communication/ Technology companies in the region and related educational institutions (i.e. CSUSM, Palomar, Mira Costa). The intent of the roundtable was to hear challenges and opportunities faced by this industry, and identify how the Innovate 78 members could potentially assist in addressing challenges and seizing opportunities. The meeting took place at the ViaSat campus in Carlsbad. Companies from all five cities were present, including 3 Screen Studios, an integrated marketing/software firm that just moved into a newly renovated office space behind the former Light Gallery on the corner of Grand Ave and Kalmia in Downtown Escondido. Outcomes from the meeting included: new supply chain partnerships between the companies present and a working group that includes Mira Costa College, Palomar, CSUSM and local ICT companies to develop real world case studies to use in the educational institutions’ computer science curricula. 

SPECIAL EVENTS 

  • The San Diego Mountain Bike Association & APX Sports Drink will be hosting the 2nd Daley Ranch Trail Ride
    Sunday, February 21 from 7am – 2pm
    Riders will meet at Dixon Lake and ride an established trail through Daley Ranch.
  • For information about activities taking place in Escondido, please visit www.visitescondido.com 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Planning:

Major Projects Update:

  • John Paul the Great Catholic UniversityNo change from the following update reported last week: A Conditional Use Permit to expand the campus and student enrollment at 155 W. Grand Avenue was approved by the Planning Commission on December 8, 2015. 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. Staff had a conversation with the University President this week regarding potential future expansion plans beyond those previously approved. 
  • Escondido Research and Technology Center (ERTC) No change from the following update reported last week: This is a 72,000 square foot medical office building proposed on the east side of Citracado Parkway across from Palomar Medical Center. Building plans have been submitted for plan check. The Planning Division has approved a second set of corrected grading plans. On November 4, 2015 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. 
  • Oak Creek (NUW)No change from the following update reported last week: This project is a 65-unit single family development located at the southeastern corner of Felicita Road and Hamilton Lane. The LAFCO Board unanimously approved the annexation on October 5, 2015. Staff has returned documents to LAFCO memorializing their action that included final paperwork to be completed prior to annexation recordation. 
  • Amanda Estates (NUW)No change from the following update reported last week: This project is a 22-unit single family development on Amanda Lane. The LAFCO Board approved the reorganization (annexation) at their meeting on August 3, 2015. Staff has returned documents to LAFCO memorializing their action that included final paperwork to be completed prior to annexation recordation. 
  • Centerpointe 78 Commercial – This project is a 45,650 sq. ft. supermarket and restaurant located at 925 N. Broadway. 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. A set of street striping plans for the project’s frontage along North Broadway was submitted for staff review and approval. 
  • PraderaNo change from the following update reported last week: This project consists of a 70-unit single family development located at the northeastern corner of Ash Street and Lehner Avenue. Grading and construction are underway. 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 are undergoing 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. The developer obtained building permits for the first the first and second phases involving 16 units. Models opened on January 30, 2016. 
  • ZennerNo change from the following update reported last week: The project is a 40-unit single family development at the northeastern corner of Lehner Avenue and Vista Avenue. Staff approved concept building elevations from the homebuilder, KB Homes, who plans on constructing an off-site model complex on three separate parcels near the project. The annexation was approved by LAFCO on Sept. 14, 2015, and has been recorded by the County Recorder’s Office. 
  • Stella Park Condominiums – The project is a 65-unit townhome Planned Development located at 2516 S. Escondido Blvd. The applicant has prepared draft CEQA documentation that staff is reviewing prior to completion of the Mitigated Negative Declaration. Revised information and updated plans were received from the applicant for processing. Tribal mitigation measures have been finalized. Staff anticipates a Planning Commission public hearing in Spring 2016. 
  • Wohlford – The project is a 55-unit single family development located on Bear Valley Parkway east of Encino Drive. Staff has reviewed revised submittals and technical reports from the applicant. A Specific Alignment Plan for Bear Valley Parkway detailing the roadway is under review. Staff concluded interviews with four consulting firms and has contacted the consultant selected for preparing the EIR who has submitted a draft scope of work. Tribal consultation meetings have been completed. The City Council approved the EIR Consultant contract on February 3, 2016, consultant studies have commenced, which will garner information for inclusion in the EIR. 
  • Latitude II No change from the following update reported last week: The 112-unit multi-family development, located at the northeastern corner of Centre City Parkway and Washington Avenue, was approved by the City Council on August 19, 2015. A Final Subdivision Map has been submitted for review. Rough grading plans have been approved. Comments have been provided regarding the architectural plans that have been submitted for plan check. 
  • Westfield TheaterNo change from the following update reported last week: This project is a 10-auditorium movie theater totaling 57,600 sq. ft. located on the north side of the Westfield Mall. The project was approved by the City Council on November 4, 2015. 
  • Canyon Grove Estates (Tract 932) – This project is a 179-lot single family residential development on the north side of Vista Avenue east of Conway Drive. Staff approved the substantial conformance determination for the revised tentative map and continues to coordinate with the applicant on the proposed grading plan. The applicant has concluded the mitigation credits at Daley Ranch, and is pursuing acquisitions needed for offsite improvements. Grading plans were issued; all bonds and fees have been posted. Staff worked with the applicant to modify the sewer manhole spacing for the project to facilitate the project. Grading is anticipated to commence by late February. 
  • Safari Highlands – This is a 550-unit single family development located east of the Rancho San Pasqual community and north of the San Diego Safari Park. This project involves 1,100 acres including 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. Interviews were held with three consulting firms bidding on preparing the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the project. The top bidder is working with staff to refine the cost and scope of services. More information about this project is on line at: http://www.escondido.org/safari-highlands-ranch-specific-plan.aspx 
  • Felicita Development, LLCNo change from the following update reported last week: This project is a 140-unit hotel, and a gas station or office/residential care facility at the southeast corner of Felicita Rd. and Gamble Lane. The applicant and staff met with the architect 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 met with the wild life agencies and is responding to technical studies needed to complete the application. Tribal consultations are underway. 
  • 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 and construction has commenced on a portion of the site. The County has notified the City that the applicant has made its application to the State permitting agency. Staff has resolved storm drain issues involving the subject site and adjacent properties. Construction has commenced on other portions of the site 
  • High Pointe (Palos Vista Neighborhood 3) – No change from the following update reported last week: This project is a custom-home development with 39 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. 
  • Paseo EscondidoNo change from the following update reported last week: This project is a mixed-use 122-unit multi-family planned development at the southeastern corner of Ash Street and Washington Ave. The proposed project consists of 26 one-bedroom and 96 two-bedroom apartments 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. The applicant is in the process of scheduling a soils analysis to ensure there are no onsite contaminants. 
  • Springhill Suites – This project is a 105-suite hotel totaling 73,300 sq. ft. located at 300 La Terraza Drive involving 4 stories, a small conference room and an enlarged lobby for serving continental breakfast. The project is in its third building plan check for this planned development. A revised set of grading plans have been approved and permits issued. 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) –This project is a 113-unit Planned Development located at the southwestern corner of Brotherton Road and the Centre City Parkway frontage road. The project includes a recreational facility, pool, and open space areas Staff met with the applicant to address sewer and emergency access and engineering issues. A revised set of plans was submitted responding to staff comments. The Fire Department met with the applicant regarding emergency access. Staff is working with the applicant to develop street striping plans around the project’s frontages for ensuring safe traffic movement. The applicant is preparing a draft Mitigated Negative Declaration, and staff anticipates the document to be released by late February. 
  • 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. A demolition permit to remove portions of the existing structure has been issues. The project is under construction. 
  • Solutions for Change – The project is a Planned Development application for 33 affordable multi-family units. It 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. Staff has preliminarily accepted minor redesign efforts to meet construction costs and is working with the applicant to ensure state financing remains available for the project. 
  • 701 San Pasqual Valley RdNo change from the following update reported last week: A 19-unit single family development located at 1201 E. 5th Avenue (formerly Tract 898) on 7.2 acres. The application is under review and a letter detailing additional comments and submittal requirements was forwarded to the applicant. 
  • 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. 
  • 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 has commenced, the sign plans have been approved, and the building plans are under review. 
  • Calvin Christian Middle/High School – The project is an expansion involving a 15,500 SF auditorium, multi-use conference center, classrooms, terraces and walkways located at 2000 N. Broadway. Building plans have been submitted for review and comment; the grading plans have been approved. 
  • Escondido United Reformed Church – The project is an expansion for a phased, multi-year, master construction/development plan for a new 12,250 SF two-story sanctuary, conversion of existing buildings to a social hall, demolition of an existing social hall/classroom building (approx. 4,620 SF) and construction of approximately 5,250 SF for a nursery, multi-purpose room, classrooms for Sunday school and other associated activities, and bathrooms, and an enclosed 1,835 SF central Atrium/Narthex at 1864 N. Broadway. Building plans have been submitted for review and comment; the grading plans have been approved. 
  • Veterans Village of San Diego – This project is a mixed-use development involving a 54-unit affordable multi-family residential apartment project for military veterans and their families. It includes on-site administration office, business center, club house and other support spaces for the residents; and a small commercial component to support training opportunities offered at the facility at 1556 S. Escondido Boulevard. Building plans have been submitted for review and comment; the grading plans have been approved.

Building Division: 

  • The Building Division issued 54 permits for the week with a total valuation of $113,294. Permits were mostly miscellaneous type and plumbing, electrical and mechanical permits. 
  • 23 photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. The Building Division has issued 148 solar permits this year compared to 111 issued for the same time last year. 
  • Our building inspectors had a very busy week, averaging 37 inspections per day with 35 inspections on Friday. 48 inspections were requested on Tuesday. Our building counter was very busy this week averaging 33 counter sign in’s per day and 32 on Friday. 
  • No change from the following update reported last week: 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. 
  • No change from the following update reported last week: The 76-unit condominium complex at 2412 S Escondido Blvd has received framing inspections on all 3 buildings. 
  • No change from the following update reported last week: The new 24-Hour Fitness at the North County Mall is requesting rough framing inspection for their tenant improvement. 
  • No change from the following update reported last week: The new Taco Bell restaurant and office building on North Escondido Blvd are now preparing their project site for final inspection and occupancy. 
  • No change from the following update reported last week: The Meadowbrook assisted living facility at North Broadway has received inspection approval for their podium slab and are beginning framing on the first floor. 
  • Building Plans were submitted for a new 13,980 sf medical office building at 1951 Citracado Parkway.

Code Enforcement: 

  • As of February 15, 2016, the total number of open code enforcement cases is 349 cases. During the prior week, 87 new cases were opened, and 65 cases were closed, with a backlog of an additional 47 cases not yet opened for assignment and investigation. 
  • There were 340 illegal signs confiscated during the weekend. 
  • Last week the Business License Division issued 58 new licenses and received 29 new applications, in addition to 107 renewals. 

Public Art:

Weather permitting, Queen Califia’s Magical Circle in Kit Carson Park (3333 Bear Valley Parkway) will be open to the public on Sunday, February 28, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Docents will be on site to answer questions.

PUBLIC WORKS WEEKLY UPDATE 

Tree Crew Maintenance Activities Planned and Locations

  • Trees were maintained or removed from 29 locations City wide. The majority (75%) was related to storm damage. There still are storm-damaged trees remaining to be handled.

Storm Drain Inspection & Maintenance Crew Activity

  • Completed North Ave and Laurashawn silt removal.
  • Started inlet cleaning requested most recently by Helen Davies. Identified 10 new inlets, recently constructed, that were not entered into the inlet inventory.
  • Cleaned several storm drain pipes in Kit Carson Park (KCP) at Mary Lane. These storm drains were included and approved for cleaning in the current RGP. 

Drainage Crew Maintenance Activities Planned & Location

  • The earthen channel has been cleaned at KCP along the park frontage on Bear Valley Parkway totaling 840 linear feet
    • 183 cubic yards of vegetation was removed
    • 476 cubic yards of silt was removed 

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS           

Kit Carson Park D-75 Concrete Ditch Stabilization:
No change from the following update reported last week: The City staff met with the Army Corp representative at the project site on January 27 to finalize the needed permit, inquiries regarding the contractor’s means and methods were ask and answered on February 8, 2016. Staff anticipates processing of the approved permit later this week. 

Kit Carson Hockey Rink Improvements:
No change from the following update reported last week: On February 5, 2016 the City signed a Public Service Agreement for maintenance work on the roof structure on the two facilities.  The project calls for the installation of 10 roof ventilators along the ridge line of both structures, the ventilators are designed to release warm air along the high point of the two roofs. The units have an eight week lead time from the manufacturer with the total project cost for the twenty units coming in at $36,820.00. 

Washington Park Pool resurfacing:
The project preconstruction meeting was held on Wednesday February 17, 2016. The project’s Notice to Proceed will be issued for Tuesday, February 23, 2016.               

Private Development 

Bear Valley Parkway between Boyle Avenue and San Pasqual Valley Road (County Project):
On site storm drain construction along Bear Valley Parkway between Suburban Hills Drive and Viewmont Drive is continuing this week. The roadway structural section is being constructed along Bear Valley Parkway between Birch Avenue to Lloyd Place which includes the construction of curb and gutter improvements.. Access to Boyle Avenue west of Bear Valley Parkway continues to be closed for next few weeks for construction of dry utilities and new surface improvements; the detour route is clearly posted. The access to Birch Avenue west of Bear Valley Parkway has been reopened to all traffic.  

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:
No change from the following update reported last week: Off-site storm drain construction along Ash Street between Lehner and Sheridan is scheduled to begin  

Rincon del Diablo 8” & 12” Water main Construction:
No change from the following reported last week: The construction of the bore pit which is located on North Broadway between Jesmond Dene Drive and North Avenue is in place with the boring operation completing installation of the sleeve and pipe section this past Thursday, February 4, 2016. The 12” pipe line installation will now begin from this location proceeding south along North Broadway to Jack Rabbit Acres, were the pipeline enters the County of San Diego. 

Tract 932- Canyon Grove:
The project grading plans was approved last week.  The contractor has removed 80 percent of the grove located within the project after receiving the Grading Permit on Thursday, February 11, 2016. The required storm water preventive measures (SWPPP) are in place for the control of potential runoff during construction of the project.  

Future Capital Improvement: 

East Valley Parkway/Valley Center Road Widening Project:
SDG&E’s final design to underground existing overhead utilities was received on February 3 and returned with City comments on February 10th for revisions.  Staff held a preconstruction meeting on February 9 with AT&T to discuss upcoming work to temporarily relocate existing overhead cables in the area of the bridge north of Lake Wohlford Rd.  Operations to complete this work are anticipated to start this week.  

Grape Day Playground Equipment:
Project bids were opened on January 28 and City Council approval to authorize award of the project was received on February 10.  This project is funded by a Housing Related Park Grant. 

 PUBLIC SAFETY

 Police: 

Incidents

  • On 2/9/2016, Officer Buan located a stolen vehicle in the area of Escondido Blvd. and 13Th Ave.  Officer Buan initiated a felony traffic stop and the suspect was taken into custody without incident. The female suspect was booked into the Vista Detention Facility for possession of a stolen vehicle. 
  • On 2/9/2016 two administrative hearings occurred at the Escondido Union High School District office. Officer Beierly assisted with traffic/crowd control while other officers were inside the location monitoring the hearing.  Except for some minor traffic issues at the 0900 hearing, the event was calm and uneventful.
  • On 2/11/2016, the police department was notified by a mother that her 5-month old child was in her car when an unknown subject(s) took the vehicle. An extensive search was conducting utilizing the resources of the police department and other allied agencies.  Forty-five minutes after the call, the infant was found.  The infant was unharmed and returned to its mother. 

Events

  • Sgt. Mark Martin (retired) was recognized for 50 years of service to the Police Department on February 16.  Mark stayed at EPD after  he hung up his gun belt as a cop in 1997 and ever since then he has been working for the police department in several different capacities. We are fortunate to have Mark and proud to celebrate his half-century of making Escondido safe 

Fire:

 

On February 11, 2016 the Escondido Fire Department provided staff to support the San Diego county-wide “Love Your Heart 2016” event. This event partnered with local establishments to provide free blood pressure screening and pertinent health education to the public. This is our third year supporting this event and it was another great showing!   A flyer with more information is attached.