ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

  • Officials with John Paul the Great Catholic University report they are making great progress on improvements to the former Mingei building. They hope to get their occupancy permit by early August. 
  • Escondido is hosting a very large youth softball tournament this week in Kit Carson Park from July 9 to July 14.  All games will be played on the Adult fields and the Girls EGSL fields.  There will be many families in the area for a 10 under and 12 under fast pitch softball tournament.  There will be a total of 135 teams playing at various softball facilities throughout San Diego County.   A good amount of games will be at Kit Carson Park including playoff and final rounds.  We are expecting 5,000 to 6,000 players and spectators over the course of the week in Escondido. 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT UPDATES

Planning:

  • The peaker plant proposed by Escondido Energy Center, LLC at 1968 Don Lee Place is under construction. They have made sufficient progress on the grading and foundation inspections to warrant utilization of the CUP, and therefore will be withdrawing their request for an extension of time for their CUP.
  • Planning and Field Engineering staff responded to a report of unauthorized grading and habitat removal at 1300 Rincon Avenue. The site includes both City and County properties, and was previously approved for annexation and a residential subdivision (Tract 892), however the annexation was not completed. The property is under new ownership and the new owner intends to use the site for a nursery. The disturbances included removal of wetlands under jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Regional Water Quality Control Board. A Stop Work order was issued and the activities have been reported to the agencies and County. Staff is working with the owner to implement appropriate BMPs and will continue to work with the wildlife agencies regarding mitigation measures and corrective actions.
  • The Planning Commission considered the proposed amendments to the Downtown Specific Plan and unanimously recommended approval with some revisions. The PC recommended revisions to establish a 45-foot, three story building height limit between Centre City Parkway, Valley Boulevard, Valley Parkway and Second Avenue and a 60-foot, four story building height limit between Escondido Boulevard, Fifth Avenue, Second Avenue, Maple Street, and Broadway; to allow convenience stores as a Conditional Use in the Parkview, Gateway Transit, and Centre City Urban Districts in response to public testimony; and to maintain the 300 square foot open space requirement per residential unit, with the opportunity to reduce the requirement through the Planned Development process.
  • The proposed Oak Creek annexation and tentative map on the duck pond property have been submitted by New Urban West, Inc. The County has submitted preliminary comments recommending preparation of an EIR, and recommends that all street frontages (Felicita, Hamilton and Miller) be included in the annexation.

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS

Juniper Street Traffic Calming Plan:

The contractor has completed all sign and striping elements on the plan. This project is now complete.

Oak Hill Drive Frontage Improvements:

The gate contractor was able to provide an offset hinge which allows the gate to open completely while not having to trim any of the fencing elements. The project is now complete.  

Private Development

Wal-Mart:

There is no progress to report regarding the median island redesign within the Caltrans right of way at Ash Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. As of Tuesday of this week, the project engineer has not submitted any plans to Caltrans for review. On site the Utilities Department is setting water meters and the landscaper is continuing with the balance of his work.

Lincoln Avenue @ Midway Drive Gas Main Replacement and Testing Station:

The contractor is replacing damaged concrete improvements this week in preparation to the final pavement restoration.

Cox Communication Downtown System Upgrade: Phase 2, 3 and 4

Phase 2 and 3 are idled this week. Phase 4 has trenching and conduit construction ongoing in the alley between Grand Avenue and 2nd Avenue, then Broadway Avenue to Maple Street.

Contempo Townhomes-Tract 921

The model units are receiving the finishing touches of paint and landscaping this week. Onsite the underground contractor has been idled due to site conditions that require design changes for the water distribution system.   

Mission Avenue 69 kv Electrical Line:

SDG&E crews have returned to complete the splicing of the conductors. They are working on Mission Avenue at Dan Way. The underground contractor has returned to complete more items from the punch list. Starting next Monday, a construction crew will be working on the Reidy Creek bridge crossing on Mission Avenue. Due to thefts of copper wire along the outside span of the bridge, SDG&E has decided to enclose the 10 conduit packages in a metal shroud. This work will be done during normal business hours and will take up to two weeks to complete.

Resurrection Church: Storm Drain and Sewer Main Replacement

The church has a major underground project which will affect commuter travel along El Norte Parkway between Ash Street to Conway Drive. The work for this area will require the day time closure on one lane of west bound traffic to construct a new storm drain extension. On Conway Drive the contractor will be reconstructing 350’ of existing sewer main between Hollyhock Avenue and Esperanza Way. The construction is set to begin this week and must be completed before the start of the new school year in August.  

PUBLIC SAFETY

Police:

  • The Police Facebook page continues to increase in “likes”.  Most recent count is 829.
  • With the hot days of summer upon us, PD has  posted a News Release on its website:  EPD Crime Prevention Summer Safety Tips
  • Grape Day Task Force:
    The Police Department continues its enforcement details several times a day in the park and surrounding areas.  Since the start of the increased focus, the police department has conducted 751 extra patrols in the park, 135 field interviews, 73 citations and 74 arrests.

The task force enjoyed another peaceful week at the park as far as enforcement and problems are concerned.  Only one arrest was made at Signature plaza for an individual with a bench warrant. 

City staff spent much of the week preparing for the annual 4th of July Fireworks last Thursday.  This event was the first major event in the park since the transformation, and showcased much of the improvements of the park and surrounding areas.  Task Force members received numerous compliments on how nice the park, city hall and CCAE campuses appeared. 

EPD officers continue to focus their enforcement at the Signature Plaza based on the increased reports of teens violating the no skateboarding and bicycling signage as well as Maple Plaza.  Officers are working with the Signature Plaza management team to once again evaluate the security officers’ shifts. 

Officers continue to test the new phone application to view the Grape Day and Maple Plaza videos. The application has been useful for officers to view the video from nearby locations.  At this time there have been no citations or arrests made in connection with the new technology.

No updates from CCAE but Captain Benton made contact with Jerry VanLeeuwen to meet regarding the Grape Day Task Force and CCAE.   A meeting is scheduled to meet for this week.

No updates from  the History Center, Boys and Girls Club or San Diego Children’s Museum. 

Keith Callison and his group continue the clean-up efforts on the bike path and Grand Ave. and other areas they come across. 

The next Task Force Meeting will be Tuesday July 16, 2013. 

Fire:

  • On late Saturday night the Fire Department responded to a brush fire at the end of Cloverdale Rd. near Rancho San Pasqual. The fire burned more than 5 acres of vegetation just west of the golf course. There was no damage to any structures. The terrain was very steep which made access and fighting the fire very difficult. The fire went to a 3rd alarm with crews assisting from San Marcos, the North Zone, and Cal Fire. We also utilized two Cal Fire hand crews which assisted by placing a fire line completely around the fire. The fire was within the State Responsibility Area of the County but was a threat to Rancho San Pasqual and the homes on Mountain View Drive. The cause of the fire was people shooting off fireworks. Two firework casings were found on the golf course and confiscated as evidence. Fire investigators are working with Cal Fire as the investigation continues.
  • The Fire Department has two crews assigned to the Chariot Fire near Mt. Laguna. The fire has burned more than 7,000 acres and more than 120 structures. A three person crew on the brush engine from fire station 3 (1363) was sent as part of a North Zone Strike Team to the fire on Monday morning. Later that same day a four person crew was sent on the OES brush engine (8632) from fire station 6. All 7 of our fire stations and apparatus are currently staffed and ready to take care of our daily needs here in Escondido.

NEIGHBORHOOD GROUP QUATERLY MEETING

Assembly member Marie Waldron will speak at the next Neighborhood Leadership Forum (NLF) on July 18 at 6:30 pm, in the Mitchell Room. Marie’s 20 minute talk will include  an outline of the California state budget, discussion on AB 39 and other pending legislation and a brief Q&A period.

The NLF is a quarterly meeting where all of our neighborhood group board members come together and discuss accomplishments, obstacles, group events, etc.  We generally have a key speaker at every meeting and have recently incorporated a workshop/training piece that will relate to the work they do in their neighborhoods as well as to help them become successful leaders.