January 14, 2021

Stay Safe, Escondido
With COVID-19 cases surging across the County and State, the City of Escondido would like to remind our residents and visitors to please stay safe, mask up, and respect all County Health Orders. Together we can make a difference! More information can be found below:

 

January Business Newsletter
The first Economic Development newsletter of 2021 is out now! This issue highlights two new restaurants in Escondido, a coffee roasting company, small business resources and more. Read and subscribe here.

Winter/Spring Recreation Classes
The Winter/Spring Escondido Recreation Guide is out now. It is full of activities for the whole family to take advantage of in the new year!

If you looking for an activity that promotes a healthy lifestyle and gets you outdoors, the lap swim program at James Stone pool is expanding hours and creating more opportunities for individuals to have a place to swim starting on January 19.
View all the offerings at: recreation.escondido.org

Online Composting Workshop
The City’s Recycling Division usually holds regular composting workshops at the Escondido Community Garden. Since activities this year look a little different, they have moved the workshop online in the form of a YouTube video. The informational video will teach you various ways to recycle your home’s waste. With everyone spending more time at home, why not check it out by clicking on the video below. 

POLICE DEPARTMENT UPDATES:

Man Wearing Clown Mask Attempts to Rob Bank
On January 6, a man wearing a neon clown mask entered the First Citizen’s Bank at 360 W. Grand Ave in Escondido.  The man approached the bank teller and demanded money.  When the teller informed the man that she did not have access to the money and that he would have to wait for her manager to return, he angrily stormed out of the bank.  This attempted bank robbery may be linked to others in the County.  The FBI responded to assist with the investigation, which is standard protocol involving bank robberies.

Man Arrested After Stabbing Incident
On January 6, two men became embroiled in an argument near the intersection of Broadway and Park Ave.  It is unclear what started the argument, but one of the men stabbed the other in the hand with a sharp object.  The suspect fled the area on foot as the police were called.  The suspect was located by the police a short distance away and was ultimately taken into custody.  The victim sustained a non-life-threatening injury and the suspect was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon.

Felon Arrested with a Loaded Gun
On January 8, an officer was patrolling in the area of El Norte Pkwy and Sungold Way when they observed a car with a reported lost or missing license plate.  The officer stopped the car in order to investigate if the plate belonged to the car.  The driver was determined to be a convicted felon and officers located a loaded handgun inside the car with him.  He was arrested for being a convicted felon while possessing a firearm.

Community Tools

Events:

Escondido Police Host Traffic Enforcement Detail

On January 8, officers from San Diego PD and Oceanside PD joined our officers for a traffic enforcement detail in Escondido.  The goal of the detail was to focus on those traffic violations that are the cause for most traffic collisions, known as Primary Collision Factors (PCF).  Funding for this detail was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS).  The following results were generated from the detail:

  • 107 traffic stops
  • 73 citations for PCF violations (speeding, right of way violations, improper turns)
  • 8 citations for using cell phones not in “hands free” mode
  • 1 citation for texting while driving

Tip of the Week:
Are you struggling with drug or alcohol addiction?  Did you know that the County of San Diego has a variety of services that can help?  Click on the link to find out more:
https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/hhsa/programs/bhs/alcohol_drug_services/

FIRE DEPARTMENT UPDATES:

On January 5, at 9:17 a.m., the Escondido Police and Fire Communication Center received a service call request for an uninjured arborist stuck under the weight of a palm tree frond skirt; and a male was found near the top of a 70-foot-tall palm tree. Additional resources from multiple agencies were requested to assist with this high angle technical rescue. A rescue group was established with assistance from San Marcos Fire and CAL FIRE/San Diego County Fire’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team from Deer Springs.

 

Escondido PD, San Diego County Sheriff, and CHP provided scene safety and traffic management. Due to the distance of the palm tree from the roadway, fire crews were unable to utilize an aerial ladder truck to reach the tree. Escondido Public Works and SDG&E were requested to assist with alternative aerial equipment options, but these were also unable to get close enough to the tree.

The landscape company’s highly trained arborists, specializing in palm tree rescue, worked with emergency responders to establish several rescue rope lines by using a “shot line” launcher to loop rope over the tree. Rescuers were able to access the trapped arborist, remove the palm fronds that were on him, attach the rescue rope, and safely lower him to the ground. The arborist was transported to Palomar Medical Center with minor injuries.

BY THE NUMBERS

Fire:

Police:

Public Works:

Code Enforcement:

Business Licenses:

Graffiti Restitution:

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT & ENGINEERING

Building Permits and Inspections:

  1. During the week that marked the end of 2020, the counter staff conducted in person meetings with 93 applicants and was able to process 141 applications and issue 179 permits.
  2. The total permit valuation for the week was $3,518,753.00
  3. The inspection staff completed 248 inspections, which is the highest weekly total of inspections completed in several years.

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.

Commercial / Office / Industrial:

  1. 7-Eleven Gas and Convenience Store – (Developer: Golcheh Group) 900 W. Mission Ave. – A proposal to relocate a 7-Eleven from the northeastern corner of Mission/Rock Springs to the northwestern corner and add a gas station. The request includes a new 4,000 square foot convenience store with eight (8) fuel dispenser pumps that can accommodate up to sixteen (16) vehicles.  The Planning Commission reviewed the application on December 16, 2020 and voted to recommend approval to the City Council.  The City Council approved the project on January 13, 2021.  City staff is working with the applicant to bring in grading, landscaping, street improvement, and building permits.      
  1. 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 started.  It is anticipated that building permits will be issued next week.  After it is completed, site improvements will be made to implement the project. 
  1. Raising Cane’s Restaurant – (Developer: Ada Fermin, PM Design Group) 1280 W. Valley Parkway – An approved demolition of vacant, former Coco’s restaurant building and construction of new 3,744 square foot drive-through restaurant for Raising Cane’s.  The applicant is looking to pull demolition permits and will likely be able to do so within the next couple of weeks. 

Housing:

  1. 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. Phase I will focus the south side of Hamilton. Hamilton will be restricted to a single lane west bound travel with east bound traffic detoured. Phase II will compete the north side of Hamilton. Work is schedule to start the first week in January and be completed by mid-February. This week the contractor completed the rough grading for the new road section and placed concrete for the new curb and gutter along the south side of Hamilton between Felicita and Miller ave. Phase I of the asphalt placement is schedule for later this week. 
  1. 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.  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.
  1. Habitat for Humanity 10-Unit Condominium Development (Developer: San Diego Habitat for Humanity) – This is a Tentative Subdivision Map and Condominium Permit for a residential project involving 10 condominium units at 245 E. El Norte Parkway.  All units will be for sale to low-income households.  The project was taken to the Planning Commission hearing on November 10, 2020.  The Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of the project, with the addition of a condition requiring the unit garages to be sized to accommodate individual trash bins in addition to vehicles (as an alternative to a common trash enclosure at the center of the site).  The project was reviewed and considered by the City Council on December 16, 2020. The project was unanimously approved.  The next step is to process and approve engineering and building plans before construction can begin.
  1. Nutmeg Condo General Plan Amendment (Developer: Jim Simmons, CCI) - 137 townhome condo units on both sides of Nutmeg between I-15 and Centre City Parkway. The northern portion of the project was approved by the City Council in November 2019.  The applicant is now requesting plan approvals for the southern portion.  The southern portion was reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission at their meeting on October 13, 2020.  The City Council conducted the public hearing for this project on November 18, 2020 and approved the project.  The second reading of the ordinance was approved on December 16, 2020.  The next step is to process and approve engineering and building plans before construction can begin.
  1. 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 10 of the 12 new home pads.  Framing has started for six of the homes. 

 

  1. Palomar Heights (Developer: Ninia Hammond, Integral Communities) – Demolition and redevelopment of the old Palomar Hospital site with 510 multi-family units with 10,000 square feet of commercial. The project was reviewed and considered by the Planning Commission at their meeting on September 22, 2020.  With a 4-2 vote, the Planning Commission is recommending City Council approval of the project, with the added condition that inclusionary housing be considered as part of the project.  City Council is the final decision-maker for this project.  As of this writing, it is anticipated that the City Council will review and consider the project on January 27, 2021.  A project webpage containing draft documents and plans can be accessed at the following link: 
    https://www.escondido.org/palomarheights.aspx
  1. 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. Many of the homes built are now under contract.  The Plot Plan for the new commercial center was approved on January 5, 2021 and new construction should commence in the next couple of weeks.  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:

  1. 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 is looking to initiate Phase 2.  Construction is scheduled to conclude in July 2021.  Potholing for the new gas main has started in the County section of the project along Bear Valley Parkway.
  1. 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. project has entered the final punch list phase for completion.
  1. Storm Drain Pipe Lining and Rehabilitation Project Phase II - This project was awarded at the September 16th, 2020 City Council meeting. The work consists of construction including: 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 pre-construction meeting for this project has been held. The Notice to Proceed was issued for work to commence on January 25, 2021.
  1. 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. A pre-construction meeting take place in the upcoming weeks.

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:

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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. 

Housing:

  1. Villa Portofino – (Developer: Chris Post, ATC Design Group) 15 apartment units in a three-story building with parking garage at 2690 S. Escondido Blvd.
  1. Hacienda De Vega Redevelopment – (Developer: Tony Cassolato) An approved proposed residential condominium development consisting of 42 three-story attached townhomes on 1.75 acres.
  1. 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:
    https://www.escondido.org/safari-highlands-ranch-specific-plan.aspx
  1. North Avenue Estates (Developer: Casey Johnson) – This is an approved residential project for 34 lots at North Avenue/Conway Drive.
  1. 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:
    https://www.escondido.org/daley-ranch-resort-specific-plan.aspx
  1. 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.
  1. 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. 
  1. Casa Mercado Apartments (Developer: Paul Mayer, Pemcor) – A four-story, 120-unit apartment complex on 2.31 acres on Second Avenue and Pine Street.
  1. Fig Apartments (Developer Claude Marengo) – A 15-unit, three-story, multi-family residential apartment complex consisting of three stories on 0.59 acres.
  1. 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.
  1. Iwashita Apartments (Developer: Iwashita Development) – A seven-story, mixed-use project at 322 S. Escondido Boulevard for 172 units.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Membrane-Filtration Reverse Osmosis Facility/MFRO (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) 901 W. Washington.
  1. 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.