January 7, 2021

LED Street Light Conversions
Escondido’s Public Works Department is in the process of retrofitting City sidewalk streetlights to a newer, more efficient LED version. These new LED’s provide directional lighting, are 50% more efficient and significantly lower maintenance and operation costs.  They will result in fewer outages and reflect the true color of objects, resulting a safer Escondido.

Escondido’s Graffiti Program Highlighted by APWA
The American Public Works Association has highlighted Escondido's use of technology to help combat graffiti in the City. By combining mapping technology, a mobile app for employees and the Report It! application, the graffiti eradication program now reports tags being removed within 24 hours or less. Read more about how we are using this technology to keep Escondido clean and safe here, and make sure to download the ReportIt! app from your smartphone’s app store today to help out.

Small Business COVID Relief Grants
The State of California has launched the website for small business and nonprofit COVID-19 Relief Grants. The application period opened on December 30, 2020 and will end on January 13.
This grant provides micro grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to eligible small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19 and the related health and safety restrictions.
Visit www.CaReliefGrant.com for more information and to apply.

Survey – Futsal Courts in Washington Park
The City has an exciting opportunity to provide more space to play soccer in our community by installing two futsal courts, otherwise known as Mini-Pitch Systems, in Washington Park. Mini-Pitches are essentially hard surface soccer arenas that are typically installed on underutilized tennis and basketball courts. Washington Park is being considered for this opportunity because of the existing infrastructure that would lend itself to this project at no cost to the City.
Let us know what you think here: https://recreation.escondido.org/survey

POLICE DEPARTMENT UPDATES:

Stabbing Incident Linked to Escondido
On December 27, 2020, California Highway Patrol responded to a call for help in the area of I-8 and Sunrise Hwy.  They discovered an adult male victim who had been stabbed multiple times in the chest and stomach.  The victim stated that he had been picked up in Escondido where the stabbing was believed to have occurred.  Escondido detectives began investigating but quickly learned that there was more to the story.  Although the victim lives in Escondido and was picked up in the city, the stabbing did not occur in the city and the suspects are believed to be acquainted with the victim.  Escondido detectives are assisting the Sheriff’s Department who are now the lead agency on the investigation.

Suspects Arrested in Two Separate Burglaries
On January 1, officers responded to the parking lot of Daley Ranch regarding three subjects seen breaking into a parked car.  Officers detained all three suspects and determined that they were responsible for breaking into two cars.  Less than an hour later, officers responded to a residence in the 1900 block of Sunset Dr. regarding a suspect who had just broken into an occupied house.  Responding officers observed the suspect running away from the area and tracked him down to a nearby apartment where he was taken into custody.  Officers discovered that he was on parole for burglary.  Police were able to book all four suspects into jail for burglary related charges.

Community Engagement:

Secret Santa Brings Much Needed Holiday Cheer
For several years now, an anonymous donor has gifted the Escondido Police Department with generous cash donations for officers to pass out to residents in need over the holidays.  This holiday tradition has been such a blessing for our officers and the community.  As patrol officers encounter folks in need throughout their shift, they are able to bring a little joy to what otherwise may be a depressing encounter.  Most of the recipients are victims of a crime and the money is able to restore some of their loss or uplift their spirits.  We are so thankful to have the opportunity to participate in this truly charitable program that exemplifies the traditional holiday spirit.

Community Tools:

Tip of the Week:
As we begin a new year, let’s all do our part to help keep Escondido safe.  Please drive sober and obey traffic laws, report graffiti on the Report-It App, don’t fall prey to online or phone scams, and don’t leave valuables in your parked cars.  Together, we can make a difference in our community.

FIRE DEPARTMENT UPDATES:

On December 29, 2020, crews from Fire Stations 1, 2 and 7 conducted joint advanced rescue training along with City Park Ranger staff at Lake Dixon in a rock-climbing area. This training helped Firefighters and Rangers practice and improve skills together.

On December 29, 2020, at approximately 1:57 a.m., Firefighters responded to a two-story home on Jeffery Avenue that had a fire in the garage that extended into the living area. The home sustained extensive smoke damage to both the first and second stories. Fire damage was limited to the area directly adjacent to the garage, but the home required an extensive overhaul to ensure the fire had not entered any void spaces. No civilians or firefighters were injured.

On January 1, at approximately 2:15 p.m., the Escondido Fire Department was dispatched to a reported fire at an apartment complex on Rock Springs Road. Firefighters reported smoke from a distance and upon arrival found an apartment on the second floor fully involved in fire that was threatening adjoining units. Aggressive firefighting contained fire damage to a single apartment, however, a second apartment sustained significant water damage. One apartment resident was evaluated for a minor injury that did not require treatment. A Building Inspector evaluated the damaged apartments and deemed both uninhabitable. SDG&E restored electrical service to the adjacent apartments that were not damaged by the fire.

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 62 applicants and was able to process 92 applications and issue 87 permits.
  2. The total permit valuation for the week was $671,361.00
  3. The inspection staff completed 160 building inspections.

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 is the final decision-maker for this project.  As of this writing, the project is tentatively scheduled to be reviewed and considered by the City Council on January 13, 2021.    
  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.  After it is completed, site improvements will be made to implement the project.

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. Message boards have been placed notifying residents of the road work, closure and detours.
  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 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.  A public hearing date has not been set, however it is anticipated that the City Council will review and consider the project in early 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.  Eighteen homes are under contract.  The Building Department issued the first 36 Photovoltaic permits (each home will have solar).  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.   
    Final striping and signage have been installed at the Country Club/Golden Circle Traffic Circle.

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. The 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 16, 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.
  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 will 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. 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.
  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 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.