Maintenance of Vinehenge Play Structure in Grape Day Park Complete
The Vinehenge play area in Grape Day Park has been fully restored using a high strength polymer to fill in cracks and sculpt the areas to blend in with the existing vines. An industrial epoxy coating was then used to seal to structure, which increases the longevity of the piece while restoring the structures beautiful vibrant color. The structure will reopen on Friday, February 19.
Library Board of Trustees Volunteer Opportunity
There is still time to apply! The City is seeking a volunteer to apply to serve on the Escondido Public Library Board of Trustees. For information on qualifications and an application form visit: https://www.escondido.org/boards-commissions
The deadline to apply is February 26, 2021.
BY THE NUMBERS
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT & ENGINEERING
Building Permits and Inspections:
- This week the counter staff conducted in person meetings with 142 applicants and were able to process 103 applications and issue 61 permits.
- The total permit valuation for the week was $687,759.00.
- This week there were 305 building inspections completed.
Development and Capital Projects Update:
Curious what’s happening with development projects around the city? See below for milestone activities that have happened since last week. Skip to the bottom of this section for a list of projects that are in progress but do not have an update this week. To learn about previous applications for residential and commercial development permits, please visit the Development Project Information Archive page or contact the Planning Division.
County of San Diego Projects:
- The County of San Diego (“County”) has been processing a land use application for a new recycling facility, just north of the City of Escondido. The project site is located west of Interstate 15 (I-15) along Mesa Rock Road. The project, called "North County Environmental Resources," includes a 12,000-square-foot steel building, a 100,000-gallon water tank, and a recycling facility for wood, construction debris, and concrete and asphalt. The City of Escondido (“City”) previously submitted comments to County staff on October 14, 2019 expressing some concerns about the project, its operation, and its potential impact on the environment. A second letter was sent on June 24, 2020. Despite project opposition, the City was notified that the County approved the project on November 3, 2020, which started the 10-day appeal period. The City filed an appeal of that decision to the County of San Diego Planning and Development Services Department on November 12, 2020. The County of San Diego Planning Commission upheld the decision of the Planning and Development Services Department on February 5, 2021. The City filed an appeal of that decision on February 16, 2021.
Commercial / Office / Industrial:
- Carvana – (Developer: Jo Ryan, Carvana) 559 N. Hale Avenue – An approved vending machine car dealership. The project consists of an approximately 5,800 square feet, eight-(8) tier glass and steel tower structure up to 75 feet in height. Demolition of the old Talone’s Meat Market has been completed. It is anticipated that grading permits and building permits will be issued soon and construction will begin within the next couple of weeks.
- Raising Cane’s Restaurant – (Developer: Ada Fermin, PM Design Group) 1280 W. Valley Parkway – An approved 3,744 square foot drive-through restaurant located on the east side of the southbound off-ramp on W. Valley Parkway. The former Coco’s restaurant has been demolished and the contractor is beginning site preparation work.
- Burros and Fries - (MPA Architects) 1107 E. Valley Parkway – An approved 5,224 square foot commercial building, with associated landscaping and parking. The building includes a 1,850 square foot drive-through restaurant (Burros and Fries) and 3,374 square feet of additional retail space. The contractor has placed new curb and gutter along with a new turn lane on Valley Parkway and is currently working on the final grading for the road improvements.
- Medical Office Building West (MOB-West, Developer Palomar Pomerado Health) – A building permit was issued for the development of a three-story medical office/outpatient facility of approximately 72,000 square feet. The majority of the parking will be centrally located in the center of the site. The proposed project is located in Planning Area 4 of the Escondido Resource & Technology Center (ERTC) Specific Plan.
- Canterbury Gardens Apartment Project (Developer: Kensington Canterbury Gardens, LLC) - A Plot Plan application was submitted on January 26, 2021, for the development of an apartment project at 2402 South Escondido Boulevard (the site of the Canterbury Gardens retail store). The project proposes to demolish the existing structures on the site, and construct 44 townhome-style, market-rate rental units. Units will range in size from 1,028 to 1,254 square feet, will be three stories in height, and will have two to three bedrooms. Each unit will have a private two-car garage, and 11 guest parking spaces will be provided. An amenity area with barbeque and outdoor seating will also be included. City staff is currently reviewing the application.
- Del Prado (Developer: Kerry Garza, Touchstone Communities) – An approved 113-unit townhome-style Planned Development located at the southwestern corner of Brotherton Road and the Centre City Parkway frontage road. Grading started last week.
- Oak Creek (Builder: KB Homes) – This is an approved residential project for 65 single-family residential lots on approximately 44 acres at Felicita Road and Hamilton Lane. KB Homes has started the road widening improvements for the section of Hamilton Rd between Felicita and Miller along with a section of Hamilton east of Miller. The scope of work will include new sidewalk, curb and gutter along with road widening improvements. Work will be completed in two phases. KB Homes has started the road widening improvements for the section of Hamilton Rd between Felicita and Miller along with a section of Hamilton east of Miller. Last week the contractor completed the rough grading, placed concrete for the new curb and gutter and paved one half of Hamilton Road. Phase I of the asphalt placement is complete. Phase II will focus the south side of Hamilton. Concrete is scheduled to be placed next week, with paving to follow. Hamilton will be restricted to a single lane east bound travel with west bound traffic detoured. Work is schedule be completed by mid-February. Message boards have been placed notifying residents of the road work, closure and detours.
- Henry Ranch (Builder: Joe Martin, Trumark Homes) - An approved development of 97 single-family residential homes on 74.35 acres at the eastern terminus of Lincoln Avenue. The developer, Trumark, has nearly completed onsite water, storm drain and sewer utilities and is working on pedestrian ramps and sidewalks. The contractor has completed the video detection camera installation at the intersection of El Norte and Lincoln Avenue. The contractor is now focusing on new home construction.
- Jack’s Creek TR 951 and SUB 17-0026 – (Developer New Pointe Development). A 12-lot, single-family residential subdivision on 3.31 acres. The site is located at the westerly terminus of Jack’s Creek Road, north of El Norte Parkway, addressed as 640 Oakwood Creek Glen, formally 2888 E. Washington Avenue. The contractor has completed the grading for 11 of the 12 new home pads. Framing has started for six of the homes.
- The Villages at Escondido Country Club (Builder: Lennar Homes) 380 residences located on the former golf course off of Country Club Lane, north of El Norte Parkway. In Village I, Lennar has opened the model homes to the public and there is a lot of vertical construction. Many of the homes built are now under contract.
The Plot Plan for the new commercial center was approved on January 5, 2021 and the builder is finalizing the landscape plans. New construction at the commercial center, branded “Basecamp,” should commence in the next couple of weeks. All Plot Plan approvals have been provided for the three neighborhood parks, and when developed, the parks will be open to the public. Curb and gutter was placed last week on the east side of Country Club, east of the traffic circle to Lorraine Place. In Village II, final clearing and grubbing, along with rough grading has been completed. The contractor is working with the Vista Irrigation District to complete the realignment of their water main that crosses the project site. In Village III, rough grading is nearing completion and the contractor is installing the storm drain, private water, and sewer lines.
City Projects or Other Capital Improvement Projects:
- SDG&E 16” Gas Main Replacement – In January 2019, the CPUC’s Safety Enforcement Division approved SDG&E’s test or replace plan for Line 1600, a 16-inch natural gas transmission pipeline which was not strength tested in 1949 when it was constructed. This next phase of PSEP projects will include 19 separate projects that will take place in the cities of San Diego, Escondido and Poway, as well as the County of San Diego. As part of these projects, approximately 37 miles of existing pipe in more populated areas will be replaced and approximately 13 miles of existing pipe in less populated areas will be strength tested. Approximately 5.4 miles of replacement and 2.7 miles of strength testing is expected to occur in Escondido from 2020-2024. Phase 1 is complete. SDG&E initiated Phase 2. Construction is scheduled to conclude in July 2021. Potholing for the new gas main is ongoing in both the County and City section of the project.
- Spruce Street/Transit Center Pedestrian Bridge Project – The contractor, Palm Engineering, has completed two of the three channel reaches with planting remaining in one reach. The project has entered the final punch list phase for completion and is scheduled to be presented to the City Council on February 10, 2021, for a Partial Notice of Completion for areas 2 and 3.
- Storm Drain Pipe Lining and Rehabilitation Project Phase II - This project consists of storm drain cleaning, inspection, CCTV, repairing and grouting of voids, point repairs, grouting of existing flow line, cured in place piping lining, storm drain structure floor repairs, post CCTV and inspection, overall rehabilitation of existing corrugated metal pipe storm drain systems. The contractor has completed the cleaning of the corrugated metal pipe storm drains prior to making repairs; and is now verifying field dimensions.
- Multi Neighborhood Street Light L.E.D. retrofit Project Phase II - This project generally consists of the removal of approximately 725 non-LED street light fixtures and safety light fixtures, and the replacement with specified LED street light fixtures and LED safety light fixtures at various locations within the City of Escondido. Material delivery dates have been confirmed. The Notice to Proceed has been issued for March 1, 2021.
- Creek Trail Crossing - At the January 14, 2021 Transportation & Community Safety Commission meeting, the final design for the Creek Trail Crossings project that improves all seven Creek Trail intersections between Juniper and Citrus was approved. Improvements include a signal at Midway and rapid flashing beacons with bulb-outs, where the roadway width permits, at other locations. The project also fills in sidewalk gaps along Citrus and Midway. Final plans will be reviewed by the granting agency in February construction funding will be programmed by the California Transportation Commission in May with construction to begin by late summer.
- School and Traffic Safety Projects - Each year the Traffic Commission prioritizes and funds traffic safety projects focused on improving pedestrian and vehicle safety. Projects are nominated by each School District, COMPACT, residents and staff. This year four priority projects were completed, including crosswalk improvements at Oak Hill and Citrus, crosswalk improvements on Lincoln Avenue near Pioneer Elementary, pedestrian countdown timers at five intersections and an Audible Pedestrian Signal at El Norte and Centre City Parkway that serves the sight impaired.
- State Route 78 - Caltrans, in association with Hazard Construction will be making improvements to State Route 78 over the coming months. Crews will work between Broadway to Flora Vista Street on State Route 78. At the conclusion of the work later this fall, residents and motorists will see and feel an improvement in ride quality and the extension of the service life of the roadway. Pedestrians and cyclists will benefit from the reconstruction of 83 curb ramps to be ADA compliant, modifying seven traffic signals with vehicle 2 infrastructure (V2I), traffic signal upgrades, upgraded crosswalks and pedestrian signals, and a Class III bike route. The majority of the work will occur during the night with working hours from 8:30 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. For additional information contact Caltrans Public Information officer, Stephen Welborn at 619-913-9452.
Ongoing Projects - No Updates This Week:
Projects that do not have any changes or updates this week will be listed here to indicate that they’re still in progress. When an update occurs, the project will appear above in the Development and Capital Projects section.
Commercial / Office / Industrial:
- Mercedes Benz Expansion – (Developer: Jody Stout, Integrity Design and Construction) 1101 W. 9th Avenue – A Master and Precise Plan modification to demo the existing dealership showroom and construct a new showroom, office, parts storage and service building.
- ERTC/Palomar Health Parking Structure (Developer: McCarthur Construction). An application request was received on October 21, 2020 to build 1,906 parking spaces at the new hospital campus. The proposed parking garage is six stories.
- 7-Eleven Gas and Convenience Store – (Developer: Golcheh Group) 900 W. Mission Ave. – An approved 4,000 square foot convenience store with eight (8) fuel dispenser pumps on the northeastern corner of Mission/Rock Springs.
- Palomar Heights (Developer: Ninia Hammond, Integral Communities) – As approved land use development application consisting of the demolition and redevelopment of the old Palomar Hospital site with 510 multi-family units with 10,000 square feet of commercial.
- Villa Portofino – (Developer: Chris Post, ATC Design Group) 15 apartment units in a three-story building with parking garage at 2690 S. Escondido Blvd.
- Hacienda De Vega Redevelopment – (Developer: Tony Cassolato) An approved proposed residential condominium development consisting of 42 three-story attached townhomes on 1.75 acres.
- Harvest Hills, formerly called Safari Highlands Ranch (Developer: Jeb Hall, Concordia Homes) - 550 residential subdivision, east of Rancho San Pasqual. A project webpage containing draft documents and plans can be accessed at the following link:
- North Avenue Estates (Developer: Casey Johnson) – This is an approved residential project for 34 lots at North Avenue/Conway Drive.
- Sager Ranch/Daley Ranch Resort Specific Plan (Developer: J. Whalen Associates, Inc., Sager Ranch Partners) - 203 housing units and 225-room resort hotel on 1,783-acres, just north and east of Daley Ranch. A project webpage containing draft documents and plans can be accessed at the following link:
- Pradera (Developer: Moses Kim, Lennar Homes) – This is approved project consists of a 70-unit single-family development located at the northeastern corner of Ash Street and Lehner Avenue.
- Casa Mercado Apartments (Developer: Paul Mayer, Pemcor) – A four-story, 120-unit apartment complex on 2.31 acres on Second Avenue and Pine Street.
- Fig Apartments (Developer Claude Marengo) – A 15-unit, three-story, multi-family residential apartment complex consisting of three stories on 0.59 acres.
- Reed Road Assisted Living Facility (2525 Reed LLC) – A new residential care facility is proposed on a 4.2-acre site on 2525 Reed Road.
- Iwashita Apartments (Developer: Iwashita Development) – A seven-story, mixed-use project at 322 S. Escondido Boulevard for 172 units.
- Interfaith Recuperative Care Facility/Hotel – (Developer: Interfaith) 555 North Center City Parkway – Conversion of the existing lodging facility (America’s Best Value Inn) and construction of new residential care facility designed to provide quality emergency housing, services, and supervision to at-risk individuals, homeless, etc. The application proposes to conduct this service, and be permitted, as a hotel.
- Apollo Residential Care (NOAA Group) – An approved Conditional Use Permit for an assisted living and memory care facility, with 78 units accommodating 99 beds at 3141 East Valley Parkway.
- East Valley Parkway Apartments (Developer: John Wurster) – A 50-unit mixed use affordable apartment complex consisting of four stories situated on a 21,000 square foot vacant parcel in the historic District of the Downtown.
- Habitat for Humanity 10-Unit Condominium Development (Developer: San Diego Habitat for Humanity) – An approved residential project involving 10 condominium units at 245 E. El Norte Parkway. All units will be for sale to low-income households.
- Nutmeg Condo General Plan Amendment (Developer: Jim Simmons, CCI) – An approved 137 townhome condo unit project, located on both sides of Nutmeg between I-15 and Centre City Parkway.
- Membrane-Filtration Reverse Osmosis Facility/MFRO (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) 901 W. Washington.
- Lake Wohlford Replacement Dam – the project involves a new dam downstream (west) of the existing dam and partial deconstruction of the existing dam. The replacement dam would feature an outlet tower that is integrated into the dam’s upstream face; the top of the existing outlet tower would be demolished, and the bottom of the existing outlet tower and the outlet pipe would be filled with sand and abandoned in place. The project would entail improvement and extension of an existing unpaved access road located west of the Lake Wohlford Marina, extending it to the right (north) abutment of the replacement dam.
POLICE DEPARTMENT UPDATES:
On February 12, a 13-year-old girl from Vista took her family’s car without permission and picked up a friend. While driving in Escondido, she was stopped by a police officer for traffic violations. She initially stopped, but then fled in the car as the officer was walking up to make contact. As the teens fled from the traffic stop, the driver lost control of the car while making a left turn from Mission Ave to Ash St. The car slid into the bushes next to the SDG&E transfer facility. Tragically, two men who were asleep in the bushes were struck by the car. They both died from their injuries. The girls were ultimately released to their parents, but the Escondido Police Department is currently coordinating with the Juvenile Branch of the District Attorney’s office on filing potential criminal charges.
The Police Department has received inquiries and observed conversations happening on social media about justice for the victims and how the teen girl will be held accountable for her actions. The Police Department and the DA’s office will always seek justice for the victims of crime and attempt to hold the perpetrators accountable. Sometimes that process can take a long time, especially the more involved or complex the case is. The next of kin for both victims of this tragic incident have been notified and they are working closely with the department to seek justice for their family members.
On February 13, three men entered the 7-Eleven at 9th Ave and Pine St and pointed a shotgun at the clerk. After ordering the clerk to the ground, the suspects stole several packs of cigarettes. This crime is possibly linked to a similar robbery series in San Diego.
Police Conduct DUI Saturation Patrol Detail
On February 7, officers conducted a DUI Saturation Patrol detail throughout the city looking for DUI drivers. The following results were achieved:
- 27 Traffic Stops Made
- 4 DUI Arrests
- 17 Traffic Citations Issued
- 9 Vehicles Impounded for Arrested, Suspended, or Unlicensed Drivers
FIRE DEPARTMENT UPDATES:
On Sunday, February 7 at approximately 9:43 a.m., the Escondido Fire Department was dispatched to a reported fall injury near Kit Carson Park. Due to the location of the patient who was well off any road or path accessible by vehicles, City Park Rangers assistance was requested and the teamwork between the Firefighters and Park Ranger’s drastically reduced the time to transport the patient.
On February 11 at approximately 12:42 p.m., the Escondido Police and Fire Communication Center received a report of fire in a bedroom at 1817 E. Grand Ave at the Pepperwood Meadows Condominiums. The first arriving engine Captain reported a large amount of black smoke and fire coming from a second-floor unit of a two-story condominium building. Due to the life safety hazards and potential for increased fire spread to adjacent condominium units, a second alarm response was requested. Firefighters ensured all occupants of the adjacent condominiums were evacuated, and the fire was contained to the occupancy of origin. The affected condominium sustained major fire damage throughout the interior. The condominium below suffered major water damage from the suppression efforts necessary to extinguish the fire. Several neighboring occupancies incurred additional water damage and minor smoke damage. Approximately eight residents from three condominiums were displaced and received assistance from the Red Cross. Eight fire engines, two ladder trucks, two rescue ambulances, two Battalion Chief’s, and a fire investigator responded to the fire. Escondido Police officers provided road closures. There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Fire Department Submits FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Applications:
The Escondido Fire Department has applied for three grants through the Federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program to replace aging equipment that is at or near end of lifespan.
Cardiac Monitors: A $1,056,000 collaborative regional grant project hosted by San Marcos Fire Department, and includes Escondido and Valley Center, that would provide funding for 25 new upgraded Cardiac Monitors/Defibrillators for front line fire engines and ambulances staffed with paramedics. The three fire departments’ current equipment is very near the end of lifespan and must be replaced within 12-18 months. Escondido’s portion of the grant includes approximately $507,000 for 12 cardiac monitors. If the grant is awarded, AFG will pay for 90% of the costs for the new cardiac monitors.
VHF Portable Radios: A $705,000 collaborative regional grant project hosted by Encinitas Fire Department that includes eight north county fire departments including Escondido, Valley Center, North County Fire, Oceanside, Solana Beach, Del Mar and Carlsbad that would provide upgraded digital hand held VHF radios that are needed to meet new standards and enhance communications capabilities during wildfires. Escondido Fire’s portion of the grant application includes approximately $108,000 for 63 radios, batteries, chargers and other radio components. If the grant is awarded, AFG will pay for 90% of the cost for new radios.
Fire Hose: A $49,600 grant project to replace some of Escondido Fire’s aging and worn out large diameter water supply fire hose. The fire department uses 50 and 100 foot sections of 4” fire hose to connect to hydrants and supply a large volume of water to the fire engines that pump attack lines. New hose is need due to the age and deteriorating condition of hose currently in use. If the grant is awarded, AFG will pay for 90% of the costs for replacement fire hose.