ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

  • This weekend, January 30 and 31, Cal South will host a youth All-Star soccer tournament at Ryan Park.  There will be 48 teams from all over Southern California attending the tournament.  We can expect about 800 families in the area over the weekend.  We will see teams in the Boys & Girls u14, u12, and u10 divisions.  Cal South will be using 7 of the 8 fields. 
  • Triple Crown Sports will be in Kit Carson Park this weekend, January 30 and 31, for a youth girls fast pitch tournament.  Teams will be traveling in from all over California, Nevada, and Arizona.  They will host girls 14u, 16u, & 18u divisions on all 8 fields in Kit Carson Park.  We expect about 600 families in the area. 

RECRUITMENT AND HIRING: 2015 IN REVIEW 

Human Resource recognizes how important employees are to the success of any organization.  So, when vacancies occur, it is understandable that departments make their recruitments a top priority and request to fill them as swiftly as possible.  To that end, the Personnel Services Division has been working very hard to open recruitments, administer exams, proctor practical tests, schedule interviews, and process new hires quickly.  As a matter of fact, 2015 was a record-breaking recruitment year for Personnel, with 114 recruitments (that’s about 9.5 per month) and over 6,400 applications processed.  The average number of days from the time the recruitment opened to the hiring of a new employee was approximately 60 days.  Of course, for internal promotions and closed-competitive opportunities, the average length of time was much shorter; 30 days or less. 

Here is a summary of 2015 for recruitments and hiring: 

  • 114 recruitments opened; 93 full-time and 21 part-time
  • 6,413 job applications received and screened
  • 27 written exams administered
  • 36 oral interviews scheduled with over 100 panel members
  • 8 practical test proctored
  • 2 assessment centers developed and administered
  • 222 employees hired/promoted; 107 full-time and 115 part-time
  • 2 City-wide new employee orientations held
  • 12 City tours with 60 new employees 

The departments with the highest percentage of recruitments in 2015 were as follows: 

Police and Fire (Sworn/Safety):                26.31%

Library/Comm. Services:                23.68%

Utilities:                                             17.54% 

SPECIAL EVENTS 

No major special events scheduled this weekend. 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Planning:

Major Projects Update:

  • John Paul the Great Catholic University – 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. Staff had a conversation with the University President this week regarding potential future expansion plans beyond those previously approved. 
  • Escondido Research and Technology Center – This is 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: This project is 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: This project is 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: This project is 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. The developer will be obtaining building permits in the few days for the first the first and second phase involving 16 units. Models will be open on January 30, 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. Final comments have been provided to the applicant regarding his submittal documentation. Staff anticipates revised information from the applicant within the next few weeks. 
  • 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. The EIR Consultant Contract is scheduled for the February 3, 2016 City Council meeting. 
  • Latitude II – 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. A Final Subdivision Map has been submitted for review. Rough grading plans have been approved. Comments have been provided regarding the architectural plans that have been submitted for plan check. 
  • Canyon Grove Estates (Tract 932) – This project is a 179-lot single family residential development on the north side of Vista Avenue east of Conway Drive. Staff approved the substantial conformance determination for the revised tentative map and continues to coordinate with the applicant on the proposed grading plan. The applicant has concluded the mitigation credits at Daley Ranch, and pursuing acquisitions needed for offsite improvements. The project is in its third grading plan check review; all bonds and fees have been posted. Staff worked with the applicant to modify the sewer manhole spacing for the project to facilitate the project. 
  • Safari Highlands – This is 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). Proposals were received on January 8 and consultant interviews are scheduled for February 4, 2016. More information about this project is on line at: http://www.escondido.org/safari-highlands-ranch-specific-plan.aspx 
  • Felicita Development, LLC – This project is 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 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 met with the wild life agencies and is responding to technical studies needed to complete the application. Tribal consultations are underway. 
  • Escondido Disposal Inc. – 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. Revised site plans have been submitted reflecting previously unknown constraints, which do not affect the approved CUP. The County has notified the City that the applicant has made its 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: This project is a 10-auditorium movie theater totaling 57,600 sq. ft. located on the north side of the Westfield Mall. The project was approved by the City Council on November 4, 2015. 
  • Paseo Escondido – This project is 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. The applicant is in the process of scheduling a soils analysis to ensure there are no onsite contaminants. 
  • High Pointe (Palos Vista Neighborhood 3) – No change from the following update reported last week: This project is 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) – This project is 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. The Fire Department met with the applicant regarding emergency access. Staff is working with the applicant to develop street striping plans around the project’s frontages for ensuring safe traffic movement. Additional environmental documentation has been requested, which is being conducted by the applicant. 
  • BMW Dealership – 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. A demolition permit to remove portions of the existing structure has been issues. The project is under construction. 
  • 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 potential redesign efforts to meet construction costs. 
  • 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 Expansion – 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 and building plans have been submitted; staff anticipates revisions to be submitted in the next several weeks.

Building Division: 

  • On this short holiday week, the Building Department issued 58 permits for the week with a total valuation of $642,940. 
  • 24 photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. Building has issued 70 solar permits this year compared to 56 issued for the same time last year. 
  • Our building inspectors had a very busy week, averaging 43 inspections per day with 34 inspections on Friday. 53 inspections were requested on Tuesday after the holiday. 14 inspections were held over on Tuesday, 7 on Thursday and 16 on Friday. Our building counter was very busy this week averaging 45 counter sign in’s per day with 59 sign in’s on Tuesday and 28 on Friday. 
  • 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. has received framing inspections on all 3 buildings. 
  • The new 24 Hr. 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 on North Escondido Blvd. are now preparing their project sites for final inspection and occupancy. 

Code Enforcement: 

  • As of January 25, the total number of open code enforcement cases is 350 cases. During the prior week, 35 new cases were opened, and 39 cases were closed, with a backlog of an additional 28 cases not yet opened for assignment and investigation. 
  • There were 128 illegal signs confiscated during the weekend. One Public Records Request (PRR) was processed, for a total of 4 PRRs processed during 2016 to date. 
  • Last week the Business License Division issued 10 new licenses and received 18 new applications in addition to 121 renewals.

PUBLIC WORKS UPDATE 

  • Sierra Linda area tree work continues. Crews are performing crown reductions on trees in the area. Removals have been stopped as the remaining trees are not in serious enough decline at this time. The trees will be re-inspected in approximately one year to determine their condition and if necessary, removals will be scheduled.
  • The Tree Crew has been occupied with the repair of storm-damaged trees, primarily eucalyptus trees. There have been significant numbers of trees damaged citywide, requiring pruning of broken limbs. Twenty trees were affected in Rincon Creek in the area of Pleasantwood
  • The tree work on Citracado in the area of the future widening project has been delayed due to the need to handle the storm-related tree damage.
  • The MS4 Storm Drain crew has been clearing storm drain pipe in the Country Club area and surrounding streets.
  • The silt removal on North Avenue started on January 27.
  • We are resolving blocked twin storm drains at 2431 Oak Canyon Place. Apparently an adjacent lot is discharging silt during rain storms and has done so for some time. The two storm drains are three-quarters filled with silt.
  • The Channel Crew has made significant progress cleaning those channels permitted in the RGP. To date they have removed 2,779 cubic yards of vegetation, 122.5 tons of trash and 933 cubic yards of silt. In all 24,235 linear feet of lined and unlined channels have been cleaned since then issuance of the RGP in late August 2015. The work completed to date accounts for approximately 68% of the channels cleaned that were permitted with this RGP.
  • The Legend Crew has been busy painting red curb at various locations requested by Traffic Engineering. They also are installing new signs to replace existing signs that have lost reflectivity and installing thermoplastic stop bars.
  • The thermoplastic preheater is being sent out for installation on one of the Paint Crew vehicles and should be operational within several weeks.
  • The Graffiti Crew is currently staffed by 6 temporary employees. The crew has also assisted with litter and debris removal on the Bike Trail. Some of the part-time temporary employees are approaching the time of service limits. Their hours will be verified to determine remaining time and the budget for PT employees will be reviewed and new hires will be brought on staff to replace them based on available budget.
  • Park staff is continuing the cleaning of the storm drain inlets within the City parks to ensure proper drainage during rainy weather. 

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS 

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 22, 2016. The objective is to retain function and to allow ease of maintenance through the manhole opening. 

Kit Carson Park D-75 Concrete Ditch Stabilization:
The City received three completive bids for the repair work on January 19, 2016. The bids ranged from $45,928.00 to $72,750.00. The low bidder will enter into a Public Service Agreement with the City once the Army Corps permit is finalized. 

Private Development 

Bear Valley Parkway between Boyle Avenue and San Pasqual Valley Road (County Project):
On site storm drain construction along Bear Valley Parkway between Suburban Hills Drive and Viewmont Drive is continuing this week. The roadway structural section is being constructed along Bear Valley Parkway between Lloyd Place and Boyle Avenue. Access to Boyle Avenue west of Bear Valley Parkway is closed for next few weeks for construction of dry utilities and new surface improvements.  The detour route is clearly posted. The access to Birch Avenue west of Bear Valley Parkway has been reopened to all traffic. 

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 water main for street “D” was connected to the City system on Tuesday, January 26. The model homes are having finishing touches placed this week in anticipation of a soft opening scheduled for this weekend. 

  • The Final Maps for Street “D” and “E” were approved by City Council on January 13 and were recorded on January 26.
  • The Perimeter Improvement plans for Ash St. and Stanley Ave. were approved on January 11.
  • The 2nd submittal of the Landscape plans for the perimeter frontage, basin, and production slopes were returned to the Landscape Architect on January 20 with minor corrections. 

Rincon del Diablo 8” & 12” Water Main Construction:
The construction of the new water main began on January 26, 2016 with the construction of a bore pit which is located on North Broadway between Jesmond Dene Drive and North Avenue. The bore pit operation will be in place for the next 3 weeks while a sub-contractor is employed to install a section of new 12” water main below an existing storm drain structure, approximately 12 feet below the roadway surface. Staff is working closely with both the utility and the school district to ensure work hours and safety measures are in place to provide safe access to the school during peak travel times.     

Private Development –Current Plan Review 

Ford and Hyundai Dealership Reconstruction:
This project is a multi-phase reconstruction of the Ford and Hyundai dealerships under same ownership and includes the addition of a car washing building/facility.

  • The Grading plan mylars were approved on January 22 and the Grading Permit should be pulled this week.

 

PPH Medical Office Building - East:
This 3-story, 71,600 SF Medical Office Building and future Cancer Center building will be constructed on Lots 2-5 of the Escondido Research & Technology Center.  It is a joint partnership project between the Palomar Hospital District and JRMC Real Estate, the developer of the ERTC.    It is also proposed to be subdivided as commercial space condominiums with a Parcel Map yet to be submitted.

  • The second review of the Grading plans, WQTR were returned to the Engineer on January 19.

 Escondido Disposal Inc. (EDI) Expansion Master Plan:
This project is a 4+ phase project to expand EDI’s current operations into the former Golfcraft property to the north fronting on Mission Ave.    The overall expansion will allow EDI to meet State recycling requirements and produce biogas for their own electricity or CNG use, but will not increase the daily or annual trash throughput capacity allowances.

  • The Grading plan mylars were approved on December 21 and the Grading Permit has been pulled and grading commenced.
  • The Improvement plan mylars were submitted on January 21 and should be approved today. 

Tract 932 – Canyon Grove (Hidden Valley Ranch):
This project is a 179-lot residential subdivision located at the ends of Vista Ave. and Vista Verde Dr. and will connect them when developed.   Shea Homes has acquired this project and continues to process the final engineering.

  • The third submittal review of the Rough Grading plans were returned to the engineer on January 11 with fairly minor corrections.
  • The Grading Bonds and Rough Grading plan fee balances were paid on January 8.
  • The second submittal of the Final Map was made on January 22 and should be reviewed in the second week of February.   

PUBLIC SAFETY 

Police: 

Incidents
On 01/22/2016 the Police Department’s Gang Enforcement Team, comprised of both officers and detectives, conducted a vehicle stop on three known gang members in the area of Ash St. and Mission Ave.  Searches of the three subjects and the vehicle revealed a loaded and stolen .38 caliber handgun, methamphetamine for sale and drug paraphernalia.  This excellent police work resulted in all three gang members being arrested and charged with multiple felonies and the recovery of a stolen gun.  

Events

  • On 1/17/16 Chief Carter, Captain Skaja and other members of the department participated in the Martin Luther King Day Parade in Downtown San Diego.
  • 1/19/16 Captain Skaja, Lieutenant Owens and other members of the Escondido Police Department assisted Star-PAL.  Star-PAL was conducting a NFL PLAY 60 Camp at Pioneer School.  Approximately 100 students participated in various football-related activities.  

 

Lieutenant Owens showing students proper tackling techniques.