FEATURED THIS WEEK
Progress on East Valley Parkway Widening
The bridge foundation has now been completed. If all goes as planned, the contractor will place all three sections of the precast bridge deck via crane this week. This milestone which has been months in the making will change the look of the bridge in a single day.
Congratulations to Our Art Center!
Recent state law regarding commercial cannabis/marijuana businesses enacted by voters with the passage of Proposition 64 (Adult Use of Marijuana Act) in 2016 is now effective with the start of the new year. The law requires commercial cannabis businesses to obtain both state and local licenses or permits prior to commencing retail, manufacturing or cultivation operations. While several local cities are considering establishing cannabis manufacturing or cultivation regulations, retail cannabis sales are only permitted in the City of San Diego. The City of Escondido already has an ordinance prohibiting all medical-related cannabis businesses. The City Council will consider an amendment to the Zoning Code in February to expand that prohibition to all cannabis-related businesses, including those authorized under Proposition 64.
The City Welcome’s our New City Libraian!
Patricia Crosby strives for excellent customer service, community engagement, and "getting to yes” with extensive experience partnering with local governments, community organizations, and private businesses.
Patricia’s background includes over 20 years of public library service with varied and innovative experience from the private sector and volunteer activities. Welcome to Escondido, Patricia!
A Successful 2017 at the Library
Volunteers Needed to Serve on All Boards and Commissions
Applications are being accepted for the following: Building Advisory & Appeals Board, Community Services Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, Library Board of Trustees, Personnel Board of Review, Planning Commission, Public Art Commission, and Transportation & Community Safety Commission. For information on qualifications or to apply, please contact the Escondido City Clerk’s Office at City Hall, 201 N. Broadway, by calling 760-839-4617 or visiting http://www.escondido.org/city-clerks-office.aspx
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:
- 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. The applicant has been informed the lack of civil engineering plans is affecting project review times.
- Centre City Commercial Center (Developer: Todd Dwyer) SE corner Centre City/Mission – Rough grading is underway. Building permits are nearly ready to be 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 resubmitted back to Esgil. The precise grading plan and landscape plans for the carwash lot were submitted mid-November 2017.
- Downtown Parking Garage (Municipal Parking Lot No. 4 - NW Corner of 2nd/Kalmia) (Developer: Touchstone Communities) – The project is a three/four-story parking garage that would provide new parking spaces and recapture parking spaces relocated from the residential development of Parking Lot No. 1 (Aspire project). Revised plans were submitted on December 14, 2017.
- 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.
- 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 it is expected the building permit will be issued soon. Both Engineering and Building are now coordinating with the applicant on a phased grading and building approach that should help get the construction underway. A press release announcing Veritiv as the tenant was released last month.
- North American Self-Storage (Developer: Russ Colvin) 852 S. Metcalf – Building plans were approved by Esgil, Planning and Fire the last week of June. The grading permit was issued the end of September. The applicant has not started construction because he now wants to remove the basement level and increase the building height to five stories. The applicant has been advised that the lack of a revised site plan prepared by a civil engineer is affecting staff’s ability to review his proposal.
- 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.
- 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. Subsequent discussions led Planning staff to believe the issue could be resolved during the permitting phase of the project. The Final EIR had been scheduled for certification by the City Council on December 20, 2017, until another letter was received from California Fish and Wildlife that restated their original mitigation request. Additional discussions with the agencies are being scheduled.
- 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.
- Chalice Unitarian Universalist Congregation (Developer: Pete Bussett, Bussett Architecture) 2324 Miller Avenue – The Mitigated Negative Declaration completed a 20-day public review period on October 18, 2017. A Planning Commission hearing has been scheduled for January 9, 2018.
- 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. Revisions could be necessary to address fire vehicle access concerns and Engineering issues related to the existing retaining wall and a proposed extension of that wall. A letter indicating the application is incomplete was sent to the applicant on November 30, 2017.
- 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 submitted on November 27, 2017. Planning comments have been sent to the applicant and a resubmittal of revised plans is expected this week.
- Citron (formerly Stella Park) (Developer: William Lyon Homes) 63 condo units at 2516 S. Esc. Blvd. – Esgil and Fire have approved the building plans. The rough grading has been completed on the site. The grading and improvement plans are ready to approve and Engineering sent out a bond and fee letter last month. Engineering and Building staff are working with the applicant to get construction of the model units underway. The City Council approved the final map on December 20, 2017.
- 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 schedule the item with the Planning Commission as soon as January 23, 2018.
- 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. The Draft EIR was noticed for a 52-day public review period that started on October 16 and was originally scheduled to end on December 7, 2017, but was extended and ended on January 2, 2018. Staff is transmitting the comment letters and emails to the EIR consultant for preparation of responses to comments. The Draft EIR and appendices have been posted on the City’s website at the following link: Safari Highlands Ranch Specific Plan - City of Escondido.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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: ECC - City of Escondido.
- 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. A City Council hearing has been scheduled for January 10, 2018.
- 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. On July 24, 2017, staff sent a letter to the applicant indicating the project application submittal was incomplete. Subsequent meetings with the applicant and staff have been on-going and a resubmittal of the project plans was received on December 12, 2017.
- 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. On July 24, 2017, staff sent a letter to the applicant indicating the project application submittal was incomplete. The applicant submitted revised project plans on December 8, 2017.
- 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.
- 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. A meeting to discuss project issues with the applicant has been scheduled for next week.
- 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.
2017 Year End Summary
- The Building Division processed 3,377 permits in 2017 compared to 3,953 permits in 2016. However, permit valuations were significantly higher than the previous year. The total building valuation for all issued permits in 2017 was $122,767,601 compared to $70,171,601 for 2016.
- The Building Division issued 236 single-family dwelling permits and 224 multi-family units in 2017. This compares with 81 single family dwellings and 88 multi-family dwellings for 2016.
- The Building Division issued 989 solar permits during 2017 compared with 1,317 solar permits issued for 2016.
- Building inspectors responded to 8,273 inspection requests in 2017.
- Projects nearing permit issuance are:
- 917 W Lincoln, 3 new apartment buildings, 9 units.
- 700 W Grand Ave Gateway project (former police building)
- 2005 Harmony Grove Road, 212,000 square foot industrial warehouse/distribution building
- The City Plaza three-story mixed use building at 300 S. Escondido Blvd. is requesting final inspection for specified units.
- The Meadowbrook, three-story apartment building with underground garage at 2081 Garden Valley Glen is preparing the building for final inspection.
- Escondido Disposal is requesting inspection for site walls and framing of the weigh station as part of their multi-phase expansion project.
- The medical office building at 2125 Citracado Pkwy has received final inspection approval.
- The medical office building at 1951 Citracado Pkwy is preparing for final inspection of the shell building with tenant improvement to follow.
- The Westminster Seminary at 1725 Bear Valley Pkwy has received exterior lath inspection.
- The children’s building for Emanuel Faith Church at 639 E 17th Ave has received inspection approval for the framing of the building.
- The Church of Resurrection at 1445 Conway is progressing through 2nd floor framing and exterior lath.
- The Veterans Village project at 1540 S Escondido Blvd is proceeding with the framing of the building.
- The new supermarket building shell at 999 N. Broadway is requesting roof sheathing inspection.
- The Ford dealership at 1717 Auto Park Way has commenced on the second phase of construction which includes the interior remodel and new showroom addition.
- The Latitude II multi-family residential development at 650 N. Centre City Parkway has requested floor sheathing inspection for Building 1. Framing continues on the other buildings.
- The new, two-story church sanctuary building at 1864 North Broadway has completed the foundation and has inspection approval for the second lift of the masonry walls.
- Exterior wall framing has been inspected and approved at the Starbucks at 302 W. El Norte Parkway.
Valley Pkwy/Valley Center Road Widening Project: Day 73
The bridge subcontractor completed the pier 2 concrete wall pour on Wednesday, December 27, 2017. The delivery and installation of the prefabricated concrete deck panels is scheduled for Thursday, January 4, 2018. The dry utility contractor is continuing to install new conduit and vault structures for the overhead/underground utility conversion along the east side of the project this week. Work along the west side of the project continues with the forming and pouring of the final 6 concrete pilaster for the construction of the 8’ sound wall along the dog park frontage. The installation of the masonry wall units will resume this week.
Neighborhood Lighting Project
The contractor is working in three neighborhoods this week, installing conduits and standing new street lights. 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
The contractor resumed operation on the second phase of the resurfacing program. During this phase, approximately 80 city streets will receive an application of Emulsion Aggregate Slurry (EAS) on top of the previously installed ARAM product. The EAS product provides a uniform appearance by filling all cracks and has a skid- resistant surface. Work on replacing concrete improvement throughout this year’s program area is continuing this week along North Broadway.
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 Midway Storm Drain repair project was solicited for bid this past week. The project is located between Grand Avenue and East Valley Parkway. Bid results will be opened on January 29 with construction expected to begin after the contract is signed and the pipe line material is ordered.
Rincon del Diablo Water Main Replacement
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.
Pradera - Lennar Communities
Striping of the new roadways along Ash Street and Stanley was completed this week.
Lexington Model Homes - KB Homes
The construction is continuing this week along Ash Street between Vista Avenue and Lehner Avenue. The roadway is closed during daytime hours for the final construction of the public improvement associated with the project.
Citron Project by William Lyon Homes
No changes from that reported last week: The project is idled again this week. The project is located at 2516 S. Escondido Boulevard.
Tract 932 - Canyon Grove Shea Homes Community
Onsite roadways are continuing to be prepared for the base course asphalt to the remaining section of Vista Verde Way this week.
Latitude II Condominiums by a Lyon Homes Partnership: Washington Avenue at Centre City Parkway
No changes from that previously reported: Onsite installation of the remaining storm drain system is being done this week. The remaining sections of the project are entering the framing phase of construction. The work is located adjacent to Centre City Parkway.
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.
Victory Industrial Park
No changes from that reported last week: The grading operation is being joined with Escondido Innovation Center and will be issued a new grading permit under the name Exeter for the remainder of the project. The project is located at 2005 Harmony Grove Road and is 5.4 acres in size.
The offsite construction of public improvement is continuing this week with the reconstruction of the public alley between Escondido Boulevard and Maple Street. The project is located at 328 S Escondido Boulevard.
Spring Hill Suites Hotel/ La Terraza Boulevard
The grading operation is continuing this week along with the construction of sewer improvements.
- On Monday, December 18th, The City of Escondido Fire Department deployed OES 8632 to the Thomas Incident in Ventura. They returned home safely on Friday, December 22nd.
- On Friday, December 8th, The City of Escondido Fire Department deployed Engineer Brad Bihun to the Thomas Fire as a Public Information Officer. Engineer Bihun returned home safely from his deployment as PIO for the Thomas Fire on Friday, December 22nd and covered the funeral of Cory Iverson on Saturday, December 23rd.
- On December 22, 2017 at approximately 11:00 a.m., the Escondido Police and Fire Communication Center received a report of a fire in an apartment located at 342 W 15TH Ave. A structure fire response was dispatched to the location. The first arriving engine reported a moderate amount of smoke coming from a second floor unit of a two-story building. Due to the potential for the fire to spread and the threat to life and property, a working fire upgrade was requested and dispatched. Aggressive action by the firefighters contained and controlled the fire in approximately 15 minutes. The apartment sustained moderate damage to the upstairs family room with minor to moderate smoke damage throughout the dwelling. There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians. In all 5 fire engines, 2 trucks, 1 rescue ambulance and 2 Battalion Chiefs responded to the fire. Escondido Police Units provided road closures. A gift card from California Fire Foundation was provided for immediate emergency aid to the family. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
- On 12-17-2017, Officer St. John conducted a traffic stop for an equipment violation. The driver was found to have a felony warrant issued for his arrest. Inside the vehicle officers located multiple items believed to be stolen. The property included purses, shoes, electronics, cash, books and gift cards. Most of the items were in torn up Amazon boxes and envelopes. It is estimated there are approximately 30 separate victims.
- On 12-17-2017, officers responded to a traffic collision in the area of Country Club Lane and Eveningside Glen. Officers arrived on scene and found a car had collided with the rear of a parked truck. The truck was pushed into another parked vehicle. The gas tank of the truck ruptured and leaked a large amount of gasoline. The driver of the car was arrested for driving under the influence and possession of heroin. The driver was transported to Palomar Medical Center for medical clearance before being booked into the Vista jail. The Fire Department was called to the scene to mitigated the gas leak.
- On 12-17-17, officers responded to a single vehicle collision in the 200 Block of E. El Norte Pkwy. Officers arrived on scene and found a vehicle had collided into a retaining wall. The driver was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
- On 12-20-2017, officer from the Gang Enforcement Team conducted an enforcement stop on a vehicle for a vehicle code violation in the area of Ash St. and Hubbard. Before the vehicle came to a complete stop, a rear passenger got out of the vehicle and fled on foot. As the suspect was running from the vehicle, he was seen throwing and unknown object. After a brief foot chase the suspect was detained. Officers searched the area were the item was thrown and located a loaded 9mm handgun. The suspect, a documented gang member, was arrested for felon in possession of a handgun and booked into the Vista Detention Facility.
- On 12-20-2017, an officer contacted a subject passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle in the 2100 block of E. Valley Pkwy. During a consent search of the vehicle, the officer located a loaded high capacity magazine in the vehicle and an assault rifle in the trunk. The suspect was listed as the restrained person in a domestic violence restraining order and was placed under arrest for felon in possession of a firearm and possession of an assault weapon.
- On 12-21-2017, officers responded to the 2100 block of Mountain View reference a person seen breaking the front window of a residence. The call was placed by a neighbor who witnessed the break in. Officers arrived on scene and set up a perimeter. A breaching tool was used to gain entry and a K9 was used to search the residence. A suspect was located inside the residence and arrested for burglary.
- On 10-23-2017, an officer was flagged down on the Broadway side of Grape Day park by a subject reporting a group of people were trying to take his property. A review of cameras revealed three suspects stopped the victim as he was in his wheelchair towing another cart of belongings. The suspects proceeded to block his travel and pull on the cart in an attempt to take his property. The victim got out of his wheelchair and swung a knife at the suspects. The suspects let the victim go after taking his wheelchair and pushing it into the street. All suspects were arrested for attempted robbery.
- On 12-23-17, an officer conducted a traffic stop in the area of 5th Ave and Escondido Blvd. The officer conducted a search of the vehicle and located over 100 grams of methamphetamine, a firearm and other contraband. The driver was arrested for possession of drugs and multiple firearm related charges. A passenger in the vehicle was arrest for multiple drug related charges.
- In the early morning hours of 12-23-17, a female victim was approached by a male suspect as she was in your vehicle preparing to drive to work. The suspect threatened the victim and ordered her to get out of her vehicle. The victim complied with the suspect’s demands and the suspect drove off in the victim’s vehicle. A few hours later, a person called 911 to report that someone had crashed into her house. Officers arrived on scene and detained the driver. The driver was identified as the suspect of the earlier theft and was arrested for carjacking and a DUI warrant.
- On 12-30-17, officers responded to the 700 block of Park Place reference a domestic violence call. The had threatened his girlfriend with sword. suspect threatened his girlfriend. Officers entered the residence and located the suspect in the hallway. The suspect was given multiple command by officers to show his hands and to lie on the ground. The suspect refused to comply and attempted to flee into a hallway bathroom. As the suspect attempted to flee into the bathroom, he was struck with a less lethal munition. The suspect was taken into custody without further incident and booked into the Vista Detention Facility for assault with a deadly weapon, threats and resisting a peace officer.
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.
- 4 arrests were made
- 4 citations were issued