Dine Out Escondido
In conjunction with Visit California’s annual “California Restaurant Month” during the month of January, Escondido will be hosting its second “Dine Out Escondido!” culinary tourism program promoting local restaurants. From January 25-31, Escondido restaurants including Stone World Bistro and Gardens, Intertwined and Bellamy’s will be offering special wine/food pairings and prix fixe menus. For details of participating restaurants and their specials, go to www.VisitEscondido.com
The Planning Commission reviewed the proposed Grape Day Park Master Plan and expressed general support for the plan. Their comments focused on improving connectivity to Grand Avenue, renovating and enlarging the existing pool rather than relocating (to minimize loss of parking), concern about the number of splash pads, and other minor design suggestions. The commission also unanimously denied a modification to a CUP for a minor expansion to an auto repair building at 557 S. Escondido Blvd. due to parking issues caused by the multiple businesses on the site; and approved a CUP to allow a new Verizon wireless communication facility and backup generator at the Escondido Lumber Company at 310 S. Quince St.
Vilicus Management, the group that produced the Oktoberfest/ Craft Beer Garden at the Escondido World Market (Swap Meet) last October, indicates they will be submitting a Temporary Use Permit (TUP) application soon for another craft beer festival in May, called “Springtime in Hopstown - A Craft Beer and Music Fest”.
The Lake Wohlford Road Utility Annexation project will be considered by LAFCO on February 2, 2015. Recordation is anticipated to be completed by mid-March.
Escondido’s monthly ‘Second Saturday ArtWalk’ held on January 10th included Queen Califia’s Magical Circle and was well attended. Approximately 200 visitors from all over the United States and other countries, including Belgium, Canada and Italy took time to visit the sculpture garden. The Queen Califia Magical Circle will continue to be opened to the general public monthly every second Saturday between 10 AM – 2 PM. Next Month’s Queen Califia opening to the public will be on Saturday, February 14th (Valentine’s Day).
Major Projects Update:
Oak Creek (NUW) – Notices have been sent for the Planning Commission hearing date on January 27th. The Final EIR is available at the following link:
Amanda Lane (NUW) – The Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) has been released for a 30-day public review period which ends on January 21, 2015; it can be reviewed at:
http://www.escondido.org/Data/Sites/1/media/PDFs/Planning/AmandaEstates/DraftMitigatedNegativeDeclaration.pdf. The Planning Commission hearing is tentatively scheduled for February 24th.
Centerpointe 78 Commercial – The Draft EIR remains on hold at the applicant’s request pending resolution of traffic mitigation requirements. The applicant is evaluating potential improvements negotiated with Caltrans regarding redesign of the Broadway/SR 78 intersection (within Caltrans jurisdiction) to avoid relocation of underground utility vaults along with improvements to accommodate pedestrian and bicycle movements. The applicant intends to submit a concept design prior to the end of the week for Planning and Engineering staff to review.
North Broadway Deficiency Area Projects – The Pickering annexation is anticipated to be considered by LAFCO on March 2nd. The application for the Zenner annexation and 40-unit subdivision remains incomplete pending resolution of potential condemnation issues, and the design of on and offsite utility improvements which need to be evaluated as part of the development agreement negotiations and associated environmental review. Acquisition of offsite right-of-way is anticipated at the Ash/Vista intersection. Staff is also working with the anticipated developer regarding a comprehensive grading plan and associated design changes with the goal of achieving substantial conformance with the approved tentative maps for the properties east of Ash Street, as anticipated in the development agreements. Staff design review comments have been provided for the proposed production homes.
Zak Planned Development (2412 S. Escondido) – Revised improvement plans have been submitted for the approved 76-unit condominium project; the plans are under review. The fee estimate has been provided. The Final Map is tentatively scheduled for the February 4th City Council meeting.
Kaen Planned Development – The proposed application for 70-unit planned development at 2516 S. Escondido Blvd. remains incomplete pending resolution of design issues regarding fire standpipes, storm water, and utility improvements; a specific concern is the applicant’s proposal to provide private onsite water and sewer lines to be maintained by an HOA (instead of public utilities). Other issues under discussion include the proposed relaxation of code standards through the PD process; area plan amendment to allow all residential use; quality of the architectural design and unit type; and adequacy of guest parking.
- Permit activity has increased after the holidays with 59 building permits issued for the week with a valuation of $334,302. Of the 59 permits issued, 20 were solar photovoltaic permits.
- There was an increase in inspections and counter contacts this week with average daily inspections of 36 and average daily counter contacts of 30.
- The Building Division has approved the plans for a new 76 unit condominium project at 2412 S. Escondido Blvd. Planning, Engineering and Fire approval needed prior to permit issuance.
- The new Chick-Fil-A at 1290 Auto Park Way has received approval for Temporary Occupancy and anticipates the grand opening on Thursday 1/15/2015.
- Construction activity and inspections are continuing at the Monticello assisted living facilities at 930 Monticello Dr.
Business license activity remains strong, with an average of 9,536 active licenses producing an annual revenue of $1,756,861. Code Enforcement officers conducted 4,677 inspections and closed 2,766 cases.
Jesmond Dene Ball Field Lights:
The Notice to Proceed is set for Tuesday November 25th; the contractor will have 70 working days to complete the project. All of the product submittals have been completed and approved by the design engineer. The contractor confirmed the light poles are scheduled for a Monday January 19 delivery.
2014/2015 Street Rehabilitation Project:
The City received 5 sealed bids for the project on Thursday December 18; the contractor will have 55 days from the date specified in the Notice to Proceed. Contract documents have been sent to the contractor and will be reviewed once return to the city. A preconstruction meeting will be scheduled for later this month.
Elm Street between Washington Avenue and the Flood Control Channel:
The project has begun with the construction of the temporary highline which is needed to be in place prior to the removal and reconstruction of the existing water main. Testing and installation should take approximately two weeks.
Bear Valley Parkway between Boyle Avenue and San Pasqual Road, County Project:
The rains of last weekend did not slow the construction of the Cities new 24” water main between Idaho Avenue and San Pasqual Valley Road. Storm Drain and Dry Utility installation is continuing along Bear Valley Parkway between Boyle Avenue and Idaho Avenue. Idaho Avenue and Birch are subject to day time closures this week to construct utility crossing. Detours are in place directing vehicle travel to San Pasqual Valley Road and Glenridge Road.
The City’s increased graffiti removal and prevention efforts during 2014 have resulted in a 30% reduction in incidents of graffiti as compared to the prior year. More than 60% of graffiti was proactively reported by City staff.
Chief Carter attended the South Escondido Blvd block party
Officers Britany Sheats and Nate Visconti received their Basic POST Certificates
Officer Mike Nelson was released from the hospital and is doing ok. He is a little sore but on his way to recovery.
Captain Loarie gave a presentation on crime trends and statistics to a local Masonic Lodge last night
CAL FIRE has moved into winter staffing levels. 15 of CAL FIRE’s 18 State funded Fire Stations will continue to be staffed. The stations that will be unstaffed for the winter include Valley Center, Del Dios in Escondido and Flinn Springs in Lakeside. All handcrews, two bulldozers and one helicopter for air rescue will be covered and available each day, along with two airtankers located at Ramona Air Attack Base that are on call back if needed.