FEATURED THIS WEEK
Safe & Clean Restrooms for Grape Day Park
The City is pleased to partner with Joseph Marca, the founder of Escondido architectural firm “Marcatects” to design new restroom facilities for Grape Day Park. The firm has experience with hundreds of projects across the country. This breadth of experience will be combined with City staff from the Police, Community Services, Public Works and other city departments to design a safe, functional, and aesthetically pleasing facility for the park. And, because Mr. Marca is a long time Escondido resident who wants to contribute to his community and be part of this exciting improvement, he has offered to significantly discounted the design work.

Certificate of Occupancy Nearing Completion for the new City Plaza project on Escondido Blvd. & Third Avenue
Many thanks go to our Planning, Engineering, and Building staff who are working with the new owner to complete this project. There are many code complications in constructing a project that has experienced years of inactivity. Our staff has been flexible while ensuring a high quality project. This is the first of many more exciting projects envisioned for our downtown!

Escondido Mutual Aid Returns from Santa Barbara
The Fire Department team that was deployed to the Santa Barbara mudslides has returned home safely. Take a look at their deployment by visiting the link below.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuY1oJ81wtw

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. Engineering provided comments to the applicant last week and is in the process of drafting conditions of approval. Planning completed a staff-level review of the revised design last week with a recommendation for minor changes.

  2. Centre City Commercial Center (Developer: Todd Dwyer) SE corner Centre City/Mission – Rough grading is underway. Building permits have been 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 approved by Esgil and Planning. The precise grading plan and landscape plans for the carwash lot are nearing approval.

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.

  2. 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. A press release announcing Veritiv as the tenant was released last month.

  3. North American Self-Storage (Developer: Russ Colvin) 852 S. Metcalf – A grading permit was issued the end of September 2017. The applicant did not start construction, but instead proposed to remove the basement level and increase the building height from four floors to five floors. A revised plot plan has been approved and revised building plans were submitted into plan check this week. Engineering provided comments last week on the grading plan for the revised project.

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.

  2. 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 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.

  2. 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 provided a revised design to address Fire and Engineering issues. Department comments on the revised design will be provided back to the applicant this week.

  3. 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 approved on January 24, 2018.

Residential

  1. 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. A building permit was issued last week for the western building along S. Escondido Boulevard that includes the model units. Building permits for the remaining buildings are pending recordation of the final map.

  2. 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 for the Planning Commission for February 13, 2018.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. Initiation of the proposed amendment to the Downtown Specific Plan to remove the ground-floor commercial requirement on the site has been scheduled for the February 14 City Council meeting. A post-submittal meeting to discuss project issues with the applicant has taken place. At the applicant’s request, a follow-up meeting to include other city departments has been scheduled.

  12. 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. The Building Division issued 46 permits with a total valuation of $7,426,677.

  2. Six solar photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. The Building Division issued 27 solar permits for the year compared to 42 issued during the same time period for 2017.

  3. Our building inspectors responded to 191 inspection requests for the week.

  4. The total building valuation for all issued permits for the week ending Jan 20th is $8,181,588 compared with $2,232,710 for same time last year. Building processed 131 projects so far in 2018 compared with 148 projects in 2017.

  5. Projects nearing permit issuance are:
    • 917 W Lincoln, 3 new apartment buildings, 9 units.
    • 700 W Grand Ave Gateway project (previous police/fire building)
    • 852 Metcalf, self-storage
  6. The mixed use project at 300 S Escondido Blvd (City Plaza) is nearing completion and has requested gas meter release in preparation for certificate of occupancy.

  7. The Meadowbrook 3 story apartment building with underground garage at 2081 Garden Valley Glen is preparing the building for final inspection. No change from the previous.

  8. The medical office building at 2125 Citracado Pkwy has received framing and drywall approval for the interior tenant improvement.

  9. The medical office building at 1951 Citracado Pkwy has received final inspection approval. No change from the previous.

  10. The student apartment buildings at the Westminster Seminary (1725 Bear Valley Pkwy) has received drywall inspection.

  11. The children’s building for the Emanuel Faith Church at 639 E 17th Ave has received inspection approval for the framing of the building. No change from the previous.

  12. The Church of Resurrection at 1445 Conway is progressing through 2nd floor framing and exterior lath and drywall. No change from the previous.

  13. The Veterans Village project at 1540 S Escondido Blvd has received inspection approval for the floor sheathing.

  14. The new market at the location of the former Toyota dealership at 151 W Lincoln has received inspection approval for the roof sheathing.

  15. 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.

  16. The Latitude 2, apartment buildings at 650 N Center City Pkwy has received inspection approval for the roof sheathing for building 1.

  17. The new two story church sanctuary building at 1864 N Broadway has inspection approval for the 3rd grout lift of the masonry walls. No change from the previous.

  18. The new Starbucks at 302 W El Norte Pkwy has received exterior lath inspection approval.

  19. Permits were issued this week for the new 212,000 square foot Exeter storage and distribution building at 2005 Harmony Grove Road.

  20. Permits were issued this week for the model building at the new “Citron” townhome condominium project at 2516 S. Escondido Blvd.

  21. Permits were issued this week for two new single-family custom residences on Stoneybrae Place.

Code Enforcement


Graffiti Restitution

Business Licensing

ENGINEERING

Capital Improvements
Valley Pkwy/Valley Center Road Widening Project: Day 96
The prime contractor is continuing work on the construction of the storm drain and roadway subgrade along Valley Center Road north of Lake Wohlford Road this week. The street light subcontractor is working on street light foundations along Valley Center Road this week. The prime contractor has completed preparation of the roadway subgrade along the Dog Park frontage on Valley Parkway between Bevin Drive and Lake Wohlford Road. The masonry subcontractor is continuing with the construction of the 8’ sound wall. The dry utility contractor has completed installation of 90% of the underground utility conversion, the remaining crossing of Lake Wohlford Road is being scheduled. The new utility poles are being assembled this week and are scheduled to be set during a night time operation on January 27, 2018

Neighborhood Lighting Project
The contractor is nearing completion of all street light installation in the neighborhoods this week. 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
This week, the following streets will be receiving slurry treatment: Broadway between Washington Avenue and Woodward Avenue, Felicita Road between Centre City Parkway and I-15, Lincoln Avenue from Ash Street to Broadway, Centre City Parkway between 2nd Avenue and Grand Avenue, Valley Parkway between Broadway and Centre City Parkway, El Norte Parkway from Iris Lane to Seven Oaks, El Norte Parkway between Ash Street and Rose Street and Ash Street between El Norte Parkway and Madison Avenue. The 2017 Street Rehabilitation and Maintenance program will be completed on Saturday with the application of slurry to final streets. Recently completed work on Broadway included the use of fiber products added to the asphalt mix. The fiber is integrated to the mix with the intention of adhering to mix aggregate, and helping reduce cracking and premature breakdown of the pavement. The City placed two competing fiber products adjacent to roadway sections where a standard asphalt mix without the fiber was applied to allow for a side by side comparison. Staff will monitor the results over the next several years to determine whether or not there is added value to the use of the fiber product.

Transit Center Pedestrian Bridge Project
Transit Center Pedestrian Bridge and Spruce Street Channel Improvement Project plans have been combined to one 90% completion plan set. The 90% plans and specifications are being reviewed by City staff.

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 first storm drain rehabilitation project was completed by City crews this week. City staff replaced a damaged portion of storm drain pipe that ran along a property line between Rustic Road and Mission Avenue. The next rehabilitation project, Midway Storm Drain Repair, closes on Thursday, January 25, 2018. Staff is preparing a project to begin lining of the highest priority corrugated metal pipe in the City’s inventory.

Grape Day Park restroom
Design for a new restroom for Grape Day Park is underway. Local Architect, Joseph Marca, has been selected to design the new restroom facility. Joseph Marca is founder of Marcatects, an Escondido Architectural firm. Over the last four decades, he and his team of ‘Marcatects’ have completed hundreds of projects across the country. The proposal provided by Marcatects not only demonstrated the firm’s breadth of experience, it was significantly discounted. When interviewed, Joseph stated that he has been a member of the Escondido community for decades and wanted to be a part of this exciting opportunity to improve Grape Day Park.

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 the model home street have now been completed.

Citron Project by William Lyon Homes
The project grading is nearing completion. The offsite water and sewer connections to City services are being scheduled for later this month along Mission Avenue and Centre City Parkway. The project is located at 425 W Mission Avenue.

Tract 932 - Canyon Grove Shea Homes Community
The project is cleaning up from last week’s rain event.

Centre City Shopping Center
The project grading is nearing completion. The offsite electrical and gas permits connections to existing services were issued this week. The project is located at 425 W. Mission Avenue.

Tract 932 - Canyon Grove Shea Homes Community:
No changes from that reported last week: The project is cleaning up from last week rain event.

Latitude II Condominiums by a Lyon Homes Partnership: Washington Avenue at Centre City Parkway
No changes from that reported last week: 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. The lowering will require the reduction to a single lane of travel to both north and south bound traffic.

Exeter Industrial Park
No changes from that reported last week: The grading operation is continuing this week with scheduled blasts for the rock obstructions 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
The offsite construction of public improvement is continuing this week with the installation of street lighting along Escondido Boulevard and 3rd Avenue. The project is located at 328 S Escondido Boulevard.

StorQuest
No changes from that reported last week: The grading permit has been issued for the project. Work is concentrating on the construction of offsite utilities along Mission Avenue which includes a Thursday night tie in to the Cities water system. The project is located at 222 Mission Avenue

FIRE

News:

  • On Monday, January 15th, 2018 at approximately 9:08 a.m., the Escondido Police and Fire Communication Center received a report of a tree on fire in the area of Borden Rd. A fire engine was dispatched to the location. The engine arrived and reported a vegetation fire near Borden Rd with a second fire a short distance away in the back yard of a single family home. Due to the potential for the fire to spread and the threat to property, a full structure alarm response was requested and dispatched. Aggressive action by the firefighters contained and controlled the vegetation fire and the fire in an out building near a home in approximately 10 minutes. There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians. In all 3 fire engines, 1 truck, 1 rescue ambulances and 1 Battalion Chief responded to the fire. Escondido Police Units provided road closures. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

POLICE
INCIDENTS:

  •  On 1-16-2018, officers assisted deputies from Valley Center in the search of a suspect who fled to Escondido. The suspect was wanted for an assault with a deadly weapon. Officer Herrmann located the suspect driving in a vehicle in the area of Valley Pkwy and Citrus Ave. Officers took the suspect into custody without incident and turned him over to deputies.

  • On 1-19-2018, Officer C. Naranjo made a traffic stop on a vehicle for a traffic violation. The driver of the vehicle was on parole for transportation of drugs. A trained narcotics detection police service dog was used to search the vehicle. The police service dog indicated the presence of narcotics. Approximately 90 grams of cocaine was located inside the vehicle. The suspect was booked into the Vista detention Facility for possession of a controlled substance.

  • On 1-19-2018, officers from the gang Enforcement Team conducted traffic stop in the area of 1200 N. Gamble. The driver of the vehicle fled from the officers and was detained after a brief foot pursuit. During the investigation it was discovered the vehicle had been reported stolen by the National City Police Department. The suspect was booked into the Vista detention Facility for possession of a stolen vehicle.

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.

  • 6 arrests were made
  • 15 citations were issued