FEATURED THIS WEEK 

Storm Update
During heavy rains the Public Works department assembles a crew called “Rain Patrol” to address issues that arise due to the weather. Rain Patrol monitors known hot spots for flooding/drainage problems, drives main thoroughfares, and responds to weather related problems. Our Rain Patrol crew consists of a 2-person tree crew, 2 on a Vactor truck, 4 driving main thoroughfares, and one Supervisor coordinating with Police dispatch. The Rain Patrol was kept busy during this past week’s storm clearing downed trees, improving drainage and removing debris. 

Students Artwork Featured in City Report
As previously reported, City Planning staff conducted a visioning exercise and art lesson with 5th graders at Central Elementary.  After a group discussion about planning and land use, the students envisioned and shared ideas on what they would like to see develop on some vacant lots around their school.  Their artwork can now be seen in the draft plan here: https://www.escondido.org/south-centre-city-area-plan.aspx 

Finance Earns Prestigious Award!
Beginning this past fiscal year, the City revamped the Annual Operating Budget (AOB) to improve its use for all interested parties.  We are excited that that the City’s 2017-18 AOB document was awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).  In order to receive this award, the AOB had to meet several nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation, which are designed to assess how well an entity’s budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device.  This award is the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting and reflects the City’s ongoing goal of providing a document that is useful both internally and externally.  

SPECIAL EVENTS
Crusin Grand Fundraiser
Downtown Escondido 

Cruisin' Grand Escondido is excited to get the 2018 season underway with "The 2018 Grand Champion Fundraiser," their first event of the year, this Sunday January 14th from 8:00am to 1:00pm. This is a rain or shine event, free to the public attendees, but a paid event for showing a car.  Opening night of the regular season for Cruisin' Grand Escondido is Friday April 6th.

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 on July 31, 2017. Revised elevations were submitted to Planning on October 3, 2017. The applicant has been informed the lack of civil engineering plans is affecting project review times. 
  1. Centre City Commercial Center (Developer: Todd Dwyer) SE corner Centre City/Mission – Rough grading is underway. Building permits are nearly ready to be issued for the commercial buildings. The street improvement plans were approved on December 18, 2017. The carwash plans are tracking separately and revised carwash plans have now been resubmitted back to Esgil. The precise grading plan and landscape plans for the carwash lot were submitted mid-November 2017. 
  1. Downtown Parking Garage (Municipal Parking Lot No. 4 - NW Corner of 2nd/Kalmia) (Developer: Touchstone Communities) – The project is a three/four-story parking garage that would provide new parking spaces and recapture parking spaces relocated from the residential development of Parking Lot No. 1 (Aspire project). Revised plans were submitted on December 14, 2017. 

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. 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 drilling and blasting occurred this week. It is expected the building permit will be issued soon. Both Engineering and Building are now coordinating with the applicant on a phased grading and building approach that should help get the construction underway. A press release announcing Veritiv as the tenant was released last month. 
  1. North American Self-Storage (Developer: Russ Colvin) 852 S. Metcalf – Building plans were approved by Esgil, Planning and Fire the last week of June. The grading permit was issued the end of September. The applicant has not started construction because he now wants to remove the basement level and increase the building height to five stories. The applicant has been advised that the lack of a revised site plan prepared by a civil engineer is affecting staff’s ability to review his proposal.

City Projects 

  1. Micro-Filtration Reverse Osmosis (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) SE corner Ash/Washington – The archaeological work plan is being finalized by staff and consultants in preparation for submittal 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. Additional discussions with the agencies are being scheduled. 

Institutional

  1. Self-Realization Fellowship Center (Developer: John Pyjar, Domusstudio Architecture 1840 Del Dios Rd. – A revised project submittal was received on October 20, 2017. A Planning Commission hearing has tentatively been scheduled for February 13, 2018. 
  1. Chalice Unitarian Universalist Congregation (Developer: Pete Bussett, Bussett Architecture) 2324 Miller Avenue – The Mitigated Negative Declaration completed a 20-day public review period on October 18, 2017. The Planning Commission approved the item with a 6-0 vote on January 9, 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. Revisions could be necessary to address fire vehicle access concerns and Engineering issues related to the existing retaining wall and a proposed extension of that wall. A letter indicating the application is incomplete was sent to the applicant on November 30, 2017. 
  1. Epiphany Charter School (Architect: Andy Champion, MAA Architects) 713-725 N. Escondido Blvd. – A plot plan application to remove the six modular classroom buildings from the parking lot and complete the interior building renovations to accommodate full enrollment of 697 students was submitted on November 27, 2017. Planning comments have been sent to the applicant and a resubmittal of revised plans is expected this week. 

Residential 

  1. Citron (formerly Stella Park) (Developer: William Lyon Homes) 63 condo units at 2516 S. Esc. Blvd. – Esgil and Fire have approved the building plans. The rough grading has been completed on the site. The grading and improvement plans are ready to approve and Engineering sent out a bond and fee letter last month. Engineering and Building staff are working with the applicant to get construction of the model units underway. The City Council approved the final map on December 20, 2017. 
  1. Wohlford (Developer: Jack Henthorne) 55 lots at 661 Bear Valley Pkwy. – Staff provided a draft set of project conditions to the applicant last month fulfilling an agreed upon timeframe. Staff also met with the applicant to review the draft conditions of approval for the project. Staff is currently working to complete negotiations on the terms for the Development Agreement and the item has been tentatively scheduled with the Planning Commission. 
  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. There has been no further response from the applicant. 
  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.
  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. – A new annexation survey of surrounding property owners was mailed out at the request of LAFCO. A neighborhood meeting hosted by staff and the project applicant occurred on August 9, 2017. The Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of the project on November 28, 2017. A City Council hearing has been scheduled for January 10, 2018. 
  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. On July 24, 2017, staff sent a letter to the applicant indicating the project application submittal was incomplete. Subsequent meetings with the applicant and staff have been on-going and a resubmittal of the project plans was received on December 12, 2017. 
  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. On July 24, 2017, staff sent a letter to the applicant indicating the project application submittal was incomplete. The applicant submitted revised project plans on December 8, 2017. The City issued a comment letter on the revised application on January 8, 2018. 
  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 and that Fire and Engineering design issues would likely require a redesign of the project. A meeting with the applicant team occurred on October 26, 2017 to discuss the identified issues and there has been minimal contact since. 
  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. A meeting to discuss project issues with the applicant has been scheduled for next week.
  1. Accessory Dwelling Units – Planning staff is currently working on four applications for accessory dwelling units with an additional three applications expected to be submitted soon.

Building Division: 

  1. On this short New Year’s week, the Building Division issued 34 permits with a total valuation of $321,134. 
  1. 8 solar photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. The Building Division issued 8 solar permits for the year compared to 10 issued during the same time period for 2017. 
  1. Our building inspectors responded to 121 inspection requests for the week. 
  1. The total building valuation for all issued permits for the week ending Jan 6th is $321,134 compared with $270,516 for same time last year. Building processed 35 projects so far in 2018 compared with 38 projects in 2016. 
  • Projects nearing permit issuance are:
  • 917 W Lincoln, 3 new apartment buildings, 9 units.
  • 700 W Grand Ave Gateway project (previous police/fire building)
  • 2319 Cranston Dr., self storage.
  • 852 Metcalf, self storage
  • 2516 S Escondido Blvd, 66-unit condo project.
  • 2005 Harmony Grove, 212,000 sf industrial warehouse building. 
  1. The mixed use project at 300 S Escondido Blvd (City Plaza) are requesting final inspection for specified units. 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. The nursey care facility is now open. No change from the previous. 
  1. Escondido Disposal is requesting inspection of the site walls and framing of the weigh station. No change from the previous. 
  1. The medical office building at 2125 Citracado Pkwy has received final inspection approval for the shell building. The tenant improvement is in process. 
  1. The medical office building at 1951 Citracado Pkwy has received final inspection approval. 
  1. The Westminster Seminary at 1725 Bear Valley Pkwy has received drywall inspection. 
  1. The Emanuel Faith Church at 639 E 17th Ave has received inspection approval for the framing of the building, and the Church of Resurrection at 1445 Conway is progressing through 2nd floor framing and exterior lath and drywall. 
  1. The new Veterans Village project at 1540 S Escondido Blvd is requesting floor sheathing inspection. 
  1. The new market at the location of the former Toyota dealership at 151 W Lincoln is requesting roof sheathing inspection. No change from the previous. 
  1. The Ford dealership at 1717 Auto Parkway has begun the 2nd phase of construction which includes the interior remodel and new showroom addition. No change from the previous. 
  1. The Latitude 2, apartment buildings at 650 N Center City Pkwy is requesting floor sheathing for building 1. No change from the previous. 
  1. The new two story church sanctuary building at 1864 N Broadway has inspection approval for the 2nd grout lift of the masonry walls. No change from previous. 
  1. The new Starbucks at 302 W El Norte Pkwy received roof sheathing inspection approval. 

Code Enforcement

Graffiti Restitution

 

Business Licensing

 

ENGINEERING 

Capital Improvements
Valley Pkwy/Valley Center Road Widening Project: Day 87
As scheduled, the bridge subcontractor completed the delivery and installation of the prefabricated concrete deck panels on Thursday, January 4, 2018.  Each of the 10 panels weighed 42,000 lbs. and was set in place by a single crane pick. The entire installation took just under 4 hours to complete. The prime contractor completed the last of the concrete placement within the flood control channel with the replacement of the channel floor on Friday of last week. The dry utility contractor is continuing to install new conduit and vault structures for the overhead/underground utility conversion along the east side of the project this week. Work along the west side of the project continues with the construction of the 8’ sound wall along the dog park frontage. Work along Valley Center Road includes dry utility conduit installation for telecommunications, street light foundation excavation and preparing for water line construction which includes a fire hydrant and service connection for future landscaping.       

Neighborhood Lighting Project
No changes from that reported last week: The contractor is working in three neighborhoods this week, installing conduits and standing new street lights. The scope of work for the project includes the installation of 44 new street lights along with the replacement of 22 existing street light fixtures with the latest L.E.D. fixtures in 5 neighborhood areas. 

2017 Street Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project
The contractor will resume operation this week once the storm clears out. The main areas of concentration are along Broadway between Valley Parkway and Washington Avenue, which will receive a new asphalt surface.  Broadway between El Norte Parkway and Rincon Avenue will be receiving an application of Emulsion Aggregate Slurry (EAS) on top of the previously repaired street surface.  The EAS product provides a uniform appearance by filling all cracks and has a skid-resistant surface. Work on replacing concrete improvement throughout this year’s program area is continuing this week along North Broadway.       

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 Midway Storm Drain repair project was solicited for bid this past week, bidding closes on January 26. The project is located between Grand Avenue and East Valley Parkway. 

Rincon del Diablo Water Main Replacement
No changes from 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 requires a 30-day daytime closure of Nutmeg Street between Gary Lane and Centre City Parkway beginning on January 3, 2018. Detours signs are in place and emergency services have been notified. 

PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT 

Lexington Model Homes - KB Homes
The public improvements along Ash Street between Vista Avenue and Lehner Avenue were completed over the school recess period. Day time closures between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. may be in effect in the coming weeks while final placement of landscaping and stripping elements are completed. 

Citron Project by William Lyon Homes
No changes from that reported last week: The project is idled again this week. The project is located at 2516 S. Escondido Boulevard. 

Tract 932 - Canyon Grove Shea Homes Community
One of the last onsite streets was paved this past week. This leaves Vista Verde Way at the top of the project as the only remaining public improvement needing completion.    

Latitude II Condominiums by a Lyon Homes Partnership: Washington Avenue at Centre City Parkway
Final revisions were made to the onsite storm drain system design; construction should resume next week.  The remaining sections of the project are entering the framing phase of construction.  The work is located adjacent to Centre City Parkway.      

Veteran’s Village
No changes from that reported last week: Existing utility conflicts will be lowered this week in preparation for the installation of the storm drain along Escondido Boulevard.  

Exeter Industrial Park 
The grading operation is continuing this week with scheduled blasts for the rock portion encountered onsite. Blasting activities are monitored by the Fire Department The project is located at 2005 Harmony Grove Road and is 5.4 acres in size. 

City Plaza
No changes rom that reported last week: The offsite construction of public improvement is continuing this week with the reconstruction of the public alley between Escondido Boulevard and Maple Street.  The project is located at 328 S Escondido Boulevard.    

StorQuest
The grading permit has been issued for the project. Work is concentrating on the construction of offsite utilities along Mission Avenue. The project is located at 222 Mission Avenue 

FIRE

 

NEWS:

  • The City of Escondido Fire Department, The American Red Cross, and The Burn Institute are hosting a free smoke alarm installation for all Lake Bernardo Mobile Estates Residents on Tuesday, February 6th. This will be the 5th mobile home smoke alarm install date since beginning the Smoke Alarms Save Lives project!  
  • The City of Escondido Fire Department has completed renovation of the Fire Station 6 landscape project. The new landscape uses significantly less water, has a much cleaner look and requires less maintenance. Next station to be renovated is Station 5.             

  • In December, Captain Ty Lindberg attended the San Diego County Fire Chiefs Association Administrative Section meeting and accepted the Sections Community Outreach Award on behalf of Escondido Fire Engineer Shaun Skelton.  Each year the Administration Section awards a $400.00 donation to families or individuals who are experiencing hardship.  Engineer Skelton’s daughter, Sloane, is currently battling a rare illness and is receiving treatment out of state.  

POLICE 

INCIDENTS:

  • On 12-31-2018, Officer Jabro was searching for a stolen vehicle in the area of Picket Glen and Turnbridge Glen.  Through an investigation it was determined the stolen vehicle was parked inside of a garage.  Officers surrounded the house and called for the suspect to come outside.  The suspect intimately exited the house.  The stolen vehicle was located inside of the garage and was released to the owner.  The suspect was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle and booked into the Vista Detention Facility.    
  • On 1-4-2018, officers responded to the area of Quince St. and the flood control channel reference a report of a person down.  Officers arrived on scene and made contact with the person described in the call.  During the call, the suspect became uncooperative and actively resisted the officers. The suspect attempted several times to kick officers during the struggle.  The suspect was ultimately placed into handcuffs.  The suspect was arrested for assault on a police officer.  None of the officers were injured during the encounter.  
  • On 1-5-2018, the members of the Gang Enforcement Team attempted to stop a vehicle in the area of 2nd Ave. and Beech St. The driver of the vehicle failed to stop and fled from the officers.  At one point during the pursuit, the suspect intentionally tried to ram the pursuing police vehicle.   The pursuit ultimately ended near 3rd Ave. and Beech St.  The suspect was arrested for a felony warrant and assault on a police officer.
  • On 1-6-2018, A Lyft driver gave the suspect a ride arranged through the Lyft app. The suspect intentionally over-tipped the driver through the electronic application and then intimidated the Lyft driver by demanding some of the tip back in the form of cash.  The victim, fearing for his safety, gave the suspect some cash.  Officer Rouse located the suspect in the rear store room of a restaurant in the 2400 block of E. Valley Pkwy.  The suspect was arrested and booked into the vista Detention Facility for robbery.  

COPPS:

The EPD 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 and community issues.  Addressing crime and public nuisance in Grape Day Park is one project the Unit has been tasked with, along with patrolling the Downtown Business District and surrounding areas.  

  • 7 arrests were made
  • 20 citations were issued
  • Maple Street Plaza has required some special attention regarding various law violations. A special operation was conducted on Friday, January 4th where we made contact with 11 subjects with the following results:
    Two subjects were arrested
    Eight subjects were cited 

EVENTS: 

Girl Scout Troop 2180 were sworn in as junior police officers on January 6th by Sergeant Mike Garcia. The Troop received badges as a part of their swearing in ceremony.