January 13, 2016


WE ALL COUNT is an annual single-day event that provides an estimate of the number of homeless persons living in San Diego County. Interfaith Community Services is looking for 57 more volunteers to help count homeless individuals living in Escondido on Friday, January 29.  Information about the count and a registration are attached.  Participation in this event is part of the current City Council Action Plan. 


No major special events scheduled this weekend. 



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. 
  • Escondido Research Technology Center – A 72,000 square foot medical office building is proposed on the east side of Citracado Parkway across from Palomar Medical Center. Building plans have been submitted for plan check. Grading and landscaping plans are in plan check for approval. 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: 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: 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 CommercialNo change from the following update reported last week: 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. 
  • Pradera – This project consists of a 70-unit single family development located at the northeastern corner of Ash Street and Lehner Avenue. Grading is 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. Conversations with the developer indicate the project will begin construction of production units in early 2016. 
  • Zenner – The project is a 40-unit single family development at the northeastern corner of Lehner Avenue and Vista Avenue. Staff received concept building elevations from the homebuilder, KB Homes, and conducted Design Review evaluations with comments forwarded back to the architect. 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. Staff is reviewing information prior to completion of the Mitigated Negative Declaration.
  •  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.
  •  Latitude IINo change from the following update reported last week: The 112-unit multi-family development, located at the northeastern corner of Centre City Parkway and Mission Avenue, was approved by the City Council on August 19, 2015. Grading plans and a Final Subdivision Map have been submitted for review. Architectural plans have been submitted for plan check and are under review.
  •  Canyon View Estates (Tract 932)No change from the following update reported last week: 179-lot single family residential development. Staff approved the substantial conformance determination for the revised tentative map and continues to coordinate with the applicant on the proposed grading plan. The Precise Plan application was submitted on Aug. 6, 2015; additional information is needed to complete the application. The applicant is pursuing purchase of mitigation credits at Daley Ranch, and pursuing acquisitions needed for offsite improvements.
  •  Safari HighlandsNo change from the following update reported last week: 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. A Request for Proposals was issued to solicit bids for the preparation of a consultant-prepared Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and submittals are due on January 8th. 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: 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 this week 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 is responding to technical studies needed to complete the application.
  •  Escondido Disposal Inc.No change from the following update reported last week: 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 has commenced on a portion of the site where redevelopment will occur. The County has notified the City that the applicant has made their application to the State permitting agency. Staff has resolved storm drain issues involving the subject site and adjacent properties.
  •  Westfield TheaterNo change from the following update reported last week: A 10-auditorium movie theater totaling 57,600 sq. ft. located on the north side Westfield Shoppingtown. The project was approved by the City Council on November 4, 2015.
  •  Paseo EscondidoNo change from the following update reported last week: A mixed-use 122-unit multi-family planned development at the southwestern 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.
  •  High Pointe (Palos Vista Neighborhood 3) – No change from the following update reported last week: 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.
  •  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 has undergone two building plan checks for this planned development. A revised set of grading and 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) – No change from the following update reported last week: 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 has met with the applicant to address sewer and emergency access and engineering issues. A revised set of plans was submitted responding to staff comments. Staff is working with the applicant to develop street striping plans around the project’s frontages for ensuring safe traffic movement.
  •  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. Building plans have been submitted and are in plan check process.
  •  Solutions for Change – The project is a Planned Development application for 33 affordable multi-family units 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 met with the applicant to discuss engineering plan corrections.
  •  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.
  • 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.
  • 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 plans have been submitted and staff anticipates building plans to be submitted in the next several weeks.

Building Division: 

  • The Building Department issued 65 permits for the week with a total valuation of $309,598.
  •  Twenty-seven photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. Building has issued 27 solar permits this year compared to 20 issued for the same time last year.
  • Building inspectors and counter contacts are picking up after the holidays with inspections averaging 25 inspections per day and counter contacts averaging 33 per day. Two inspections were held over on Wednesday and 6 on Friday due to low staffing levels.
  • 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. 
  • The 76-unit condominium complex at 2412 S Escondido Blvd will be calling for framing inspections this week for building #2. 
  • The new 24-Hour Fitness at the North County Mall is requesting rough framing inspection for their tenant improvement. 
  • The Pradera single family tract has submitted plans for their second phase of construction for 8 new single family dwelling production units. The 3 models are preparing for final inspection. 
  • The new Taco Bell restaurant and office building are now preparing for final inspection. 

Code Enforcement: 

  • As of January 11, the total number of open code enforcement cases is 361 cases. During the prior week, 46 new cases were opened, and 47 cases were closed, with a backlog of an additional 15 cases not yet opened for assignment and investigation. 
  • There were 39 illegal signs confiscated during the weekend. One Public Records Request (PRR) was processed, for a total of 1 PRRs processed during 2016 to date. 
  • Last week the Business License Division issued 47 new licenses and received 37 new applications in addition to 156 renewals. 


Storm Drain Inlet Filter Basket Project:
No change from the following update reported last week: A second Public Service Agreement was approved on November 30, 2015 for an additional 21 inlet filters to be installed within existing storm drain structures. The unit installations began on January 4, 2016 with a completion date set for January 15, 2016. The objective is to retain function and to allow ease of maintenance through the manhole opening. 

Encino /El Dorado 60” Emergency Storm Drain Replacement (2013/2014)
Engineering staff revisited this project site after last week’s heavy rain fall to document the success of the project. The site visit concluded that all design elements functioned as required. Before leaving the engineer spoke with a resident to hear firsthand what they experienced during the heavy rain fall. The homeowner indicated the water could be heard rushing through the newly constructed pipe, but no water entered their property, which was a welcome relief. He thanked everyone involved at the City for the help they had given.

Private Development 

Bear Valley Parkway between Boyle Avenue and San Pasqual Valley Road (County Project):
The project poured sidewalk as well as the concrete cross gutter from Idaho Avenue to Birch Avenue this week. 

 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:
The paving of street “D” was completed on Tuesday, January 12. The project is actively constructing concrete surface improvements along the model home street. 


Streets Division

  • The “Gap Vax” unit was extremely busy last week during the storms. There were numerous drains that had previously been inspected and cleaned this past summer that had somehow become clogged with lumber, beer cans and other debris between the summer and now. This will be an ongoing maintenance issue and the recent storms helped identify these areas more precisely. This will allow more effective maintenance scheduling.
  • The Tree Crew was tasked with the removal of several large tree and limb failures as a result of the storms. One limb failure in the area of Rincon Middle School (Lehner Ave) struck a vehicle causing considerable damage. Trees fell at Kit Carson Park, Felicita Avenue and Dog Park. The tree failure at Dog Park caused damage to the main flood control channel’s chain link fence. The damage will be repaired this week.

Drainage Division

  • The rain water runoff in the channel adjacent to Mission pools between 2nd & Valley was exceeding the capacity of the channel. During “storm patrol” staff discovered a large volume of trash and dead vegetation had blocked the storm drain entrances to pipes at Spruce and at W. Valley Parkway. Crews responded with a backhoe and removed the vegetation several times during the rain to keep the water from flooding the adjacent area and flowing through the storm drain.

Parks Division

  • Members of the Parks Division staffed the sandbag distribution station at Kit Carson Park for the duration of the rain event. Their presence ensured that residents of Escondido were able to obtain sand bags to protect their properties. The presence of the Park Staff completely eliminated the sand and sandbag theft we had been experiencing previously. Between Monday and Thursday of last week approximately 4,500 sand bags were distributed. Sand was purchased ($1,659 total) from various sources within the City and two truckloads of sand were also donated by George Weir Sand & Gravel.

Signs & Paint Division

  • With the forecast of last week’s storm crews intensified street sweeping efforts in the area known as the “flower streets”, Washington Park perimeter, and Country Club (most notably the side streets). These areas have heavy leaf litter and presented a serious threat to compromising the storm water inlets. There was also a work order generated for the intersection of Jean Ave and Ardath Ave. for heavy debris and foliage in the curb and gutter. This area is not posted to allow sweeping on certain days; therefore we used blowers to push the debris into the street, followed by the street sweeper to collect and remove the debris. Both measures were a pro-active approach to maintain clean curb and gutters with anticipation of the forecasted heavy rains. 


  • On Thursday, January 7, craftsmen with Water Dept. personnel responded to an accident that took out both the fire suppression system and the building’s water supply system for Reidy Creek golf course. The Water Dept. restored the fire suppression system and the craftsmen restored the service to the building by midday the same day of the accident.
  • The craftsmen group has installed the first of two Central Command irrigation controllers at the CCAE complex that will control the campus irrigation system using "Smart technology" helping to maximize efficiency and conservation.
  • On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings of last week Maintenance and Operations personnel worked after hours to respond to emergency calls of flooding around the city. Calls were routed to crews assigned to predetermined quadrants who responded as available.  Additional crews worked to unplug blocked culverts while others responded to homes that were flooding.                      



  • On January 6, officers responded to a vehicle that had collided with a fire hydrant in the area of Reidy Creek Golf Course.  Officers located an unoccupied black pickup truck that had severed the fire hydrant.  The driver, who had a felony warrant and was considered armed and dangerous, was found hiding in a nearby line of trees and was taken into custody without incident.


  • On January 8, Marilyn Brittan, a Division Coordinator at the Public Works Yard, sent Captain Mike Loarie an email regarding an unknown officer’s good deed. Below is her email: 

    “Somebody from PD in a black and white Explorer bought my lunch for me last week @ Chick Fil-A .  I was in the drive through line and when I got to the window, the lady told me my lunch was covered by the Police Officer in front of me.  I wish I knew who to thank!  Not only did he pay for my lunch, he paid for Joe’s and Jer’s lunch as well because I was picking up for 3 people!  I may never know who bought our lunch, but I wanted to let you know that I appreciate the gesture and it made my day.   If you know who may have done this generous deed, please thank him for me.  I know it was a male because I saw a “male looking” arm!” 
  • On Friday, January 8, 190 people took the written test for the position of police officer trainee. The picture below depicts the potential officers taking the test, which is the first step in the hiring process.               



  • 2015 crushed 2014 regarding our call volume. In 2015, we ran a total call volume of approximately 15,536 incidents. That is 1,147 more incidents than we ran in 2014 when we responded 13,389 incidents. From the statistics pulled from FirePoint, 11,696 calls were EMS or 75.28% of our call volume. Of the EMS calls, 738 were from MVA. The department had a total of 256 fire related incidents, 43 were structure fires, 65 were vehicle fires, and 37 were vegetation fires. There were 554 calls in the Rincon Del Diablo Fire Protection District compared to 496 in 2014.
  • The County Fire Station in Harmony Grove Village is now staffed by Rancho Santa Fe (RSF) personnel. RSF was awarded the contract last month and took over the service on December 30th.