ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The opening of Queen Califia’s Magical Circle every second Saturday has been a huge success.   KPBS-TV did a short video segment on it last Friday evening and over 375 people came to the sculpture garden the next day. Here’s a link to the segment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CM8u8IYvpcg. The Planning Department continues to receive e-mails for special tours (approximately 2 per week) during intervening times when the sculpture garden is closed. Currently those working the exhibit during second Saturdays and special tours are volunteers. The Public Art Commission and Phyllis Savin have done an extraordinary job training these individuals. But additional volunteers are needed and we are developing a variety of outreach methods to increase our pool of docents. 

SOCIAL MEDIA OUTREACH RECOGNIZED BY HOMELAND SECURITY 

Teresa Collins met with John Valencia from the San Diego Office of Homeland Security regarding the City’s social media communication efforts. Mr. Valencia’s office was impressed with our social media presence during the May fires and wanted guidance on establishing protocols for their Public Information Officers (PIOs). Since Teresa was instrumental to the City’s social media success (along with Lisa Rodelo and Katherine Zimmer) she has been invited to talk to his PIOs and share what we learned and how we plan on growing our social media presence during both emergency and everyday situations. This is great opportunity to showcase Escondido’s social media efforts and to work collaboratively with other local agencies. 

SPECIAL EVENTS

The 16th annual Cruisin' Grand Escondido Champion Fundraiser will be held this Sunday, February 22 from 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. on Grand Avenue.  The event is free for spectators and will be held rain or shine.

The show and seasonal cruise night will feature pre-1974 vehicles. The fundraiser is free to view; $20 for show vehicles by Feb. 17, $25 after. Funds will support the free Friday evening Cruisin' Grand shows, which fires up April 3 and will run through September (5-9 p.m.).

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Planning:

  • Major Projects Update:
  • Oak Creek (NUW) – The project is scheduled for consideration by the City Council at the March 4th meeting and includes a new request by the applicant to consider conditions to allow site grading and permitting for model homes prior to recordation of the tentative map and completion of FEMA requirements.
  • Amanda Estates (NUW) – The 30-day public review period for the Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) ended on January 21, 2015; comments were received from the State Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC), County of San Diego, and San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians and are under review. The Planning Commission hearing is tentatively scheduled for March 10th, pending resubmittal of a revised Water Quality Technical Report to address offsite improvements.
  • Centerpointe 78 Commercial – The Draft EIR remains on hold at the applicant’s request pending resolution of traffic mitigation requirements. The applicant’s engineer is evaluating an alternative design at the El Norte Pkwy/Escondido Blvd. intersection that considers a raised median in El Norte Pkwy. and ‘right in / right out’ on Escondido Blvd., with longer left turn pockets for traffic turning south onto Center City Pkwy. from El Norte Pkwy, as well as U-turns at El Norte Parkway and CCP for travelers wishing to access Escondido Blvd.
  • North Broadway Deficiency Area Projects – Staff is working with the anticipated developer of the properties east of Ash Street regarding a comprehensive grading plan and associated design changes, with the goal of achieving substantial conformance with the approved tentative maps as anticipated in the development agreements. A traffic analysis has been requested to address construction vehicle trips from the proposed mass grading. The applicant for the Zenner annexation and 40-unit subdivision continues to pursue the acquisition of offsite right-of-way on the monastery property at the Ash/Vista intersection to avoid potential condemnation issues. Staff is coordinating with the developer regarding cost estimates for offsite improvements to enable evaluation of proposed development agreement terms. The Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Zenner project was issued for a 20-day public review period which ends on February 18th, and is available at the following link:

http://www.escondido.org/Data/Sites/1/media/PDFs/Planning/AmandaEstates/DraftMitigatedNegativeDeclaration.pdf

  • Kaen Planned Development (2516 S. Escondido Blvd.) – Revised plans have been submitted in response to staff comments regarding guest parking and storm water compliance; the proposed number of units has been reduced from 70 to 68 units. The project remains incomplete. Staff is conducting design review to formalize comments regarding the quality and design of the revised project.
  • Latitude II (382 W. Washington) - Completeness review is underway for “Latitude II”, a proposed 112-unit residential planned development project at 382 W. Washington Ave.

Building Division:

  • The Building Division issued 41 permits for the week with a total valuation of $201,234. The majority of the permits were minor type permits including plumbing, electrical and mechanical permits.
  • 13 photovoltaic permits were issued this week with 112 permits issued so far this year compared to 69 issued at the same time last year.
  • Inspections and counter contacts remain steady with inspections averaging 25 per day with 22 on Friday and counter contacts averaging 30 per day with 27 on Friday.
  • The Building Division has approved the plans for a new 76 unit condominium project at 2412 S Escondido Blvd. Engineering approval needed prior to permit issuance.
  • Construction activity has resumed at the Talk of the Town carwash and restaurant at 444 Brotherton Rd.
  • The new 3 story HARRF administration building at 1521 S. Hale Ave is progressing through drywall inspections.
  • The new Monticello Assistive living facility is moving towards a final building inspection projected for the end of March. 

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS

The Jesmond Dene Ball Field Lights:
The contractor is working on Punch List items in preparation to closing out the project. The lights are operational now, except for a pedestrian light that is missing one fixture 

2014/2015 Street Rehabilitation Project:
Starting Monday, February 17 through Thursday, February 26 the paving contractor will be working along the following streets at night between the hours of 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Corporate Drive-Meyers Avenue to Progress Place
Executive Place – Corporate Drive to the Cul-de-Sac
Meyers Avenue – Auto Parkway to Barham Drive
Progress Place – Country Club Drive to the Cul-de-Sac
Broadway – Lincoln Avenue to El Norte Parkway
Mission Avenue – Fig Street to Ash Street
Centre City Parkway – Hwy 78 to Grand Avenue 

Old Escondido Neighborhood Tree Removal
Tree removal will begin in a few weeks in the Old Escondido Neighborhood as part of the Pavement Rehabilitation Project. Staff has gone to great lengths to engage the property owners to lessen the visual impact, as well as to discuss protecting trees wherever possible.

Elm Street between Washington Avenue and the Flood Control Channel:
Construction of the new water main on Elm Street is ongoing with water quality testing starting on Tuesday, February 17. 

Private Development 

Bear Valley Parkway between Boyle Avenue and San Pasqual Road, County Project:
The City’s new 24” water main between Idaho Avenue and San Pasqual Valley Road is continuing. Storm Drain and Dry Utility installation is complete along the newly constructed eastern bound lanes of Bear Valley Parkway between Boyle Avenue and Idaho Avenue. The grading of the new roadway section is continuing between Idaho Avenue and HWY 78 / San Pasqual Valley Road. 

2412 South Escondido Boulevard:
Grading started on February 9 for this 76-unit condo project now under construction. 

COMMUNITY SERVICES 

Last Friday evening into Saturday morning persons unknown broke into the electrical switch gear room at the Adult Softball Field complex at Kit Carson Park. They attempted to remove wiring which powers the ball field lighting. In the process large wires were cut and ground wires were removed from the system. We have had to ask the leagues to cancel practices until the damage can be repaired. City electricians are working on the system review and inspection to determine what was taken, what was damaged, and which lights do not work. We hope to have a report today once the system troubleshooting has been completed. 

PUBLIC SAFETY

Police

  • Overall Crime has decreased 22%.  Attached is a copy of our crime statistics
  • The Lieutenants and Sergeants from EPD met for a half day workshop to discuss current organizational topics and departmental efficiency
  • Chief Carter and Ashley Bartolome swore in our two newest police officers, Ryan Alderman and Trent Aronson.  Alderman and Aronson will be attending the 103rd San Diego Regional Police Academy starting next week