FEATURED THIS WEEK
Girl Scouts Help Navigate Kit Carson Park Trails
Local Girl Scout Troop #4034 has been working with the Community Services Department to achieve the goal of helping people easily navigate the trails of Kit Carson Park. The purpose of the project is to develop trail names, distances, and a new trail map system in order to enhance trail users of the amazing terrain located in Escondido. This sustainable community idea came from the Girl Scouts who will be awarded their Silver Award when it is complete.
The first phase of the project included the trail signs and were just installed last week. A total of thirteen trail signs complete with names and directional arrows are now posted on the trail system. The second phase of the project is to develop an overall park map including the trails, which will be unveiled in Spring 2018.
New Use for the ReportIt! App
Residents and employees can now use the ReportIt! App to notify staff about water use violations and improper storm drain discharges. Reports generated in these new categories will go directly to the appropriate staff and addressed efficiently.
Download the ReportIt! App from your smartphones app store today to report issues such as graffiti, potholes, streetlights, abandoned shopping carts and other code violations.
City Receives Award for 2017/18 Budget Document
The City received national recognition for its 2017/18 Annual Operating Budget document and was awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). The City also submitted its budget document for the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers (CSMFO) Budget Awards Program, which is designed to recognize those agencies whose budget document meet certain statewide standards and requirements. This program has two levels of awards. The first level is the “Meritorious Budget Award”, which requires the entity to meet a very specific list of criteria defined by CSMFO. The second level is the “Operating Budget Excellence Award”, which requires that the organization meet even higher criteria that effectively enhances the usability of the document. We are pleased to announce that the City has received the “Operating Budget Excellence Award” for fiscal year 2017/18.
Love your Heart Blood Pressure Screenings
The 2018 Love Your Heart Event was held in Escondido on Wednesday, February 14 at multiple locations throughout the City. The Park Avenue Community Center performed 66 screenings total! During the duration of the event 169 people were screened across the City. Thank you to all that volunteered their time!
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:
- 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.
- 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. A portion of the internal driveway has just been completed.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. The grading permit was issued on December 29, 2017, and the building permit was issued on January 19, 2018. Grading and associated blasting is underway. Blasting and rock-crushing activities are expected to be completed this week.
- 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.
- 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, which will occur this week.
- 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. Construction plans for the first phase of the project are expected soon.
- 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 engaged with Fire, Engineering and Planning staff and has provided several revisions intended to address identified issues.
- 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 of model units are nearly complete on the western building along S. Escondido Boulevard. Building permits for the remaining buildings are pending recordation of the final map. Completion of the CC&Rs are expected soon.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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 two weeks ago to discuss the technical studies needed to complete the environmental review for the project. A meeting to discuss engineering-related issues is expected to occur this week.
- 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 two weeks ago to discuss the technical studies needed to complete the environmental review for the project.
- 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.
- 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. Two meetings with the applicant team and multiple city departments have occurred since the project submittal to discuss project design issues.
- 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. Another unit is expected to be approved this week.
- The Building Division issued 57 permits with a total valuation of $1,565,127.
- 22 solar photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. The Building Division has issued 122 solar permits for the year compared to 133 issued for 2017.
- Our building inspectors responded to 141 inspection requests for the week.
- The total building valuation for all issued permits for the week ending Feb 17th is $12,246,716 compared with $6,616,263 for same time last year. Building has processed 382 projects so far in 2018 compared with 424 projects in 2017.
- Projects nearing permit issuance are:
- 917 W Lincoln, 3 new apartment buildings, 9 units.
- 700 W Grand Ave Gateway project (previous police/fire building)
- 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 out.
- The 8 residential buildings at the Westminster Seminary at 1725 Bear Valley Pkwy are preparing the buildings for final inspection.
- The Church of Resurrection at 1445 Conway is preparing for final inspection.
- The new Veterans Village project at 1540 S Escondido Blvd has received exterior framing approval.
- The new drive thru restaurant at 720 N Center City Pkwy and the new retail building at 730 N Center City Pkwy have received final masonry grout lift approval. The new drive thru restaurant at 700 N Center City Pkwy has received exterior shear inspection approval.
- The new market at the location of the former Toyota dealership at 151 W Lincoln is requesting exterior lath inspection.
- The Latitude 2, apartment buildings at 650 N Center City Pkwy has received exterior frame and exterior lath on 2 of the buildings.
- The new two story church sanctuary building at 1864 N Broadway has inspection approval for the 4th grout lift of the masonry walls.
- The new Starbucks at 302 W El Norte Pkwy is preparing for final inspection.
- Permits were issued for a new drive thru retail space at 121 W Lincoln Ave.
- Permits were issued for the existing Smart and Final retail store to expand into the adjacent space at 395 N Escondido Blvd.
- The 212,000 SF industrial shell building at 2005 Harmony Grove received partial foundation inspection approval.
Escondido Creek Hydromodification Exemption
The Regional Water Quality Control Board is currently reviewing an update to the Carlsbad Watershed Water Quality Improvement Plan, which would exempt certain development projects from designing for hydromodification (erosion) impacts on Escondido Creek. The update is based on an analysis commissioned by the City of Escondido Utilities Department, which demonstrates that the Creek downstream of the flood control channel is not susceptible to erosion impacts. The report considers feedback from the public and regulators, and includes supplemental modeling of potential impacts to the San Elijo Lagoon. If approved, the exemption may reduce storm water compliance costs for developments discharging via concrete pipe/channel directly to the Escondido Creek flood control channel. Comments are due from the Regional Water Board on April 30, 2018.
Neighborhood Lighting Project
The Neighborhood Street light project is nearing completion with street lights energized in four of the five neighborhoods on February 14. The project features the installation of 44 new street lights with L.E.D. Luminaries in five neighborhoods: The Elms, Rustic Village, Mission Grove, Cedar-Cedar Brook, and Rose to Foxdale. Additionally, 22 existing street light fixtures were retrofitted with L.E.D. The new L.E.D. Luminaries shine a clean white light on the surrounding area, in contrast with the yellow light given off by the existing fixtures. The photo, below, shows one of the six new street lights installed along the west side of Beech Street. These new street lights will replace three existing low sodium fixtures located on wooden utility poles along the east side of Beech Street. The second photo shows a new street light (left) installed on Rustic Road that will replace the fixture seen on the wooden utility pole (right). SDG&E will remove the existing fixtures from the wooden poles at the completion of the project.
Valley Pkwy/Valley Center Road Widening Project: Day 115
The prime contractor is continuing work on the preparation of the roadway subgrade along Valley Center Road north of Lake Wohlford Road. The dry utility contractor is adjusting vaults and transformer pad locations in advance of pulling new conductors. The 3 new utility poles required for the utility conversion project are scheduled to be installed on Friday, March 2 during a night time operation. The masonry subcontractor will complete the installation of block for the sound wall located along the west side of Valley Parkway this week. The excavation of the sound wall footing is continuing this week along the east side of Valley Parkway between Beven Drive and Lake Wohlford Road. The steel reinforcement and concrete placement are scheduled for later this week.
2017 Street Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project
The striping contractor is continuing with the installation of signage and striping throughout the project limits. The traffic signal subcontractor is reinstalling traffic loops along the effected streets this week.
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, 99% of the inventory has been televised. The Midway Storm Drain Repair has been awarded and a preconstruction meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 28. With pipe delivery lead time the contractor will be completed the pipe line replacement in 60 days from Notice to Proceed.
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 moving forward with 100% design.
Missing Link Project
This project will complete improvements to link riders from the channel bike path that ends at Broadway, to where the it re-starts at Quince. Project bids were opened on January 18th, and were awarded on February 14th. Construction is anticipated to start late March to mid-April with construction being completed in 120 working days from Notice to Proceed.
Centre City Shopping Center
The project grading is complete. The offsite electrical and gas permits connections to existing services have been issued. The project is located at 425 W. Mission Avenue.
Tract 932 - Canyon Grove Shea Homes Community
The developer is completing the installation and testing of the last remaining section of water main that is located along Vista Verde Way.
Latitude II Condominiums by a Lyon Homes Partnership: Washington Avenue @ Centre City Parkway
No changes from that reported last week: The remaining sections of the project are entering the framing phase of construction.
No changes from that reported last week: The installation of storm drain pipe along Escondido Boulevard has 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 nearing completion this week. Storm drain installation is continuing this week. Another portion of the building pad is scheduled for its concrete floor poured this week. The project is located at 2005 Harmony Grove Road and is 5.4 acres in size.
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.
Felicita Junction Star Bucks Drive - Thru
The grading of the site is complete. The new drive thru location is being constructed at the north west corner of Centre City Parkway and Felicita Avenue.
- On 2-13-2018, officers responded to the area of Rose St. and Oakhill Dr. in reference to a male, with tattoos on his face, jumping over fences into numerous backyards. One person called the police to report the male was attempting to open her sliding glass door. Officers arrived and saw the male fleeing east through the neighborhood. A perimeter was set up and Officer Whitaker chased the suspect down and caught him a few blocks away from the original call. The suspect was on parole and arrested for attempted burglary and a parole violation.
- On 2-13-2018, Officer Thornton observed a stolen Porsche being driven in the area of Mission Ave. and Fig St. The driver was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Vista Detention Facility for possession of a stolen vehicle.
- On 2-15-2018, officers responded to the 1800 block of N. Broadway reference a person causing a disturbance. The officers arrived on scene and contacted the person described in the call. The suspect was arrested for a probation violation. During the contact, the suspect made several threatening remarks to both officers. While being placed in a patrol vehicle, the suspect spit on one of the officers. The suspect was booked into the Vista Detention Facility for assaulting a police officer and a probation violation.
- On 2-15-2018, officers responded to the area of El Norte Pkwy. and Date St. in reference to a suspicious vehicle. Upon arrival, officers located the vehicle, which had been reported stolen, with someone sitting inside. The suspect was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Vista Detention Facility for possession of a stolen vehicle. The vehicle was returned to the registered owner.
- On 2-16-2018, officers from the Gang Enforcement Team attempted to stop a vehicle in the area of Ash St. and 3rd Ave. The driver of the vehicle refused to stop and after a short traffic pursuit, got out of the vehicle and ran. The suspect was taken into custody after a brief foot pursuit. The suspect had three felony warrants issued for his arrest. The vehicle the suspect was driving was stolen and had license plates attached to it that belonging to another vehicle. The suspect was booked into the Vista Detention Facility for possession of a stolen vehicle and the three felony warrants.
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.
- 2 arrests were made
- 19 citations were issued
- On 2-13, 2018, Sergeant Sainz received completed probation and received his numbered badge from Captain Murphy.
- On 2-14-2018, Officers Brittany Palmore and Anthony Lay graduated from the regional police academy.
- On 2-17-2018, the Escondido Police Department’s Police Officer’s Association participated in this year’s Guacamole Bowl Challenge at Balboa Park. Captain Murphy was a guest judge in this year’s competition.