FEATURED THIS WEEK 

Downtown Median Beautification Partnership:
Escondido’s Downtown Business Association has received a community enhancement grant from the County to fund additional landscaping in the Grand Avenue medians. They will be working in partnership with our Public Works Department and maintenance contractor to purchase, install, and maintain landscaping to enhance the beauty of our Downtown. 

Traffic Signal Coordination Project:
The traffic signals along Valley Parkway between Juniper and Centre City Parkway were recently coordinated to improve the flow of traffic and reduce travel times. New signal timing plans were implemented and has reduced travel times by 12%-28%. This results in an average time savings of 75-hours per day for Escondido commuters. 

Art Center Improvements:
Several years ago the City Council allocated $300K for various maintenance and repairs for the Conference Center at the California Center for the Arts, and only a portion were used for capital improvements. Since funds are available from the previous allocation, and repairs are needed to bring the event space back to its original condition, the City will move forward with repairing the walls of the Conference Center. 

Neighborhood Leadership Training:
The City is offering a free Neighborhood Leadership Training course to Escondido residents. Classes will be held on Mondays, from September 1, 2017 through October 30, 2017 from 6 - 8 p.m. The Neighborhood Leadership Training program offers opportunities for participants to build and strengthen leadership skills, provides networking and skill which can assist in building stronger communities. To enroll, contact Dulce Salazar at 760-839-4057 or dsalazar@scondido.org. 

SPECIAL EVENTS
Movies in the Park – Grape Day Park – 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday July 22
Bring your family to the 10th season of Movies in the Park and watch a great movie on an inflatable 40’ screen. Activities start at 7:00 p.m., movie airs at dusk. Bring low backed chairs or blanket, sweater and cash for the snack bar. Free entrance. For more information call 760-743-8207 or visit escondidohistory.com. 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

  • Escondido Brewing Company opened this past weekend at 649 Rock Springs Road. To read more about the brewery and their community-oriented approach, click here.
  • On Friday, July 14, 2017, Badiee Development held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Escondido Victory Industrial Park located at 2005 Harmony Grove Road. The project will provide approximately 100,000 SF of new, high-end industrial space on 4.9 acres, and is slated for completion in the spring of 2018.

  • The July 10, 2017 issue of the San Diego Business Journal included this center spread piece showcasing the large number of industrial projects underway in North County, the majority of them clustered along the 78 Corridor. The Escondido Victory Industrial Park, which celebrated its groundbreaking on July 13, 2017 and the Escondido Innovation Park, are prominently featured in the piece. 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Major Projects Update
The following major projects are currently being reviewed and coordinated with Planning, Engineering, Fire, Building and Utilities staff. A complete description of each project can be viewed here. Updates provided below cover project milestones that occurred last week.

Commercial / Office:

  1. Escondido Research and Technology Center – East (ERTC) (Developer: James McCann) – A grading plan for a temporary parking lot to serve the hospital was approved June 13, 2016, and the parking lot is now under construction. 
  1. Escondido Research and Technology Center – West (ERTC) (Developer: James McCann) – Construction is underway on the approximately 76,000 square foot medical office building with a linear accelerator. Tenant improvement plans for a 7,000 SF radiation oncology area were submitted on June 23, 2017. Engineering will be sending comments on the office condo parcel map this week. 
  1. Centerpointe 78 Commercial (Developer: Lars Andersen, Pacific Development) – Grading of the site has commenced while final details of the building plans are still being reviewed. The architectural details for the stand-alone pad building on the east side of the property (i.e. Starbucks) filed for design review on June 6, 2017 and staff has notified the applicant that additional information will be needed to complete the process. 
  1. Springhill Suites (Developer: Raj Patel, San Bernardino Hospitality LLC) – Final interior design changes to meet Marriott’s current generation prototype were approved by Esgil and Planning on July 11, 2017. Construction is expected to commence within the next two weeks.
  1. Centre City Commercial Center (Developer: Todd Dwyer) – The Plot Plan has been approved and demolition is expected to start soon now that asbestos abatement has been completed. The applicant intends to submit construction plans on July 18 to start the expedited plan check program. 
  1. Westfield Theater (Developer: Kim Brewer, Westfield)This project has been placed on hold by Westfield while they finalize lease negotiations so there is no change from the following update reported last week: No grading, building or improvement plans have been submitted by the developer at this time. 
  1. Felicita Development, LLC (Developer: Katherine Park, Creative Design Associates) This project is on hold pending further direction and submittal of information from the applicant: Follow-up meetings conducted by the applicant with staff and the wildlife agencies lead staff to believe a revised project is forthcoming. 
  1. Springhill Suites (Developer: Raj Patel, San Bernardino Hospitality LLC) – Final interior design changes to meet Marriott’s current generation prototype were approved by Esgil and Planning on July 11, 2017. Construction is expected to commence within the next two weeks. 
  1. Centre City Commercial Center (Developer: Todd Dwyer) – The Zoning Administrator adopted the environmental document on June 28, 2017 leading to approval of the plot plan application that same day. A demolition plan for the existing motel and restaurant buildings on the site was submitted the third week of May and demolition is expected to start soon now that asbestos abatement has been completed. The applicant has notified staff that he intends to submit construction plans on July 18 to start the expedited plan check program. 

Industrial 

  1. StorQuest 222 W. Mission Ave. (Developer: The William Warren Group, Inc.) – Engineering sent comments on the 3rd plan check for the grading plan on July 17, 2017. Building plans have now been approved by Esgil, Planning and Fire. Landscape plans were submitted on June 7, 2017 and Planning reviews have been returned to the applicant. 
  1. Victory Industrial Development (Developer: Scott Merry, Badiee Development) – The applicant held a groundbreaking event on July 13, 2017 and the project is under construction. 
  1. Escondido Self-Storage Facility (Developer: Brandywine Homes, Inc.) – Building plans grading plans, landscape plans and the final map have been submitted and comments have been provided by staff and Esgil. Revised grading, street and improvement plans were submitted by the applicant on July 14, 2017. 
  1. Innovative Industrial Development (Developer: Scott Merry, Badiee Development) – Comments on the building permit application have been returned. Landscaping drawings were submitted on May 9, 2017. The second check of the grading plan is nearing approval.  
  1. North American Self-Storage (Developer: Russ Colvin) – This project is participating in the expedited plan check program. The demo permit has been issued. Mylars have been submitted to Engineering for approval of grading and improvement plans. Building plans were approved by Esgil and Fire the last week of June.

City Projects 

  1. Micro-Filtration Reverse Osmosis (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department)No further updates to this item will be provided while litigation is in progress: The Planning Commission approved the proposed CUP on December 13, 2016. An appeal of that decision was filed and the City Council denied the appeal on January 11, and affirmed the Planning Commission’s decision to approve the project. 
  1. 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. Staff and AECOM are now in the process of coordinating responses to the comments that were received during the public review period. A field visit with staff from the state and federal wildlife agencies took place on May 11, 2017, to review biological mitigation requirements. Staff sent a follow-up letter to the wildlife agencies on June 29, 2017, seeking clarification on the proposed biological mitigation requirements.

Institutional

  1. Escondido United Reformed Church (Developer: Brent Cooper) – The applicant submitted a CUP modification application on May 25, 2017, to increase the size of the sanctuary and classroom buildings and delete Phase 4. That modification was approved by the Planning Commission on June 27, 2017. Plan check has been underway during the CUP modification process with the building plans already in third plan check and the grading plan in second plan check. 
  1. Self-Realization Fellowship Center (Developer: John Pyjar, Domusstudio Architecture – The CUP application was submitted on November 14, 2016. Staff reviewed the initial submittal and sent a letter to the applicant on December 14, 2016, indicating that the application was incomplete. The applicant resubmitted revised plans and technical studies on May 19, 2017, and staff has been issuing comments on the various documents.

Residential 

  1. Citron (formerly Stella Park) Condominiums (Developer: William Lyon Homes) – The rough grading permit was issued on May 22, 2017 allowing grading to start on the project, while building, landscape, and improvement plans continue in the review process. The applicant resubmitted the precise grading plan on July 14, 2017. 
  1. Wohlford (Developer: Jack Henthorne) – The Draft EIR has been posted on the city website and released for a 45-day public review period that ended on May 12, 2017. The EIR consultant has indicated the responses to public comments and Final EIR will be provided to Planning this week. 
  1. Safari Highlands Ranch (SHR) (Developer: Jeb Hall, Concordia Homes) – A second revised tentative map depicting various minor changes and clarifications to roads, easements and drainage facilities was submitted on April 25, 2017. Revised technical engineering reports as well as responses to staff comments also have been submitted for review. The revised studies have been loaded on the City’s website at the following link: Safari Highlands Ranch Specific Plan - City of Escondido
  1. 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 will be issued this week. 
  1. Escondido Gateway (Developer: Greg Waite, Integral Communities) – The applicant has indicated that demo plans will be submitted on July 19 with demo expected to occur the following week. Building and grading permits are nearing approval. 
  1. The Villages at Escondido Country Club (Developer: Jason Han, New Urban West, Inc.) – Planning staff has provided a location on the city’s website for ECC project-related documents and plans. A 45-day public review period for the Draft EIR commenced on June 28, 2017 and will end on August 11, 2017. Staff and the EIR consultant will host an open house on July 31, 2017, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. to provide information related to the Draft EIR and accept written comments. The Draft EIR and appendices have been placed on the city website. This information along with project status and other related information can be accessed at the following link: ECC - City of Escondido 
  1. Ivy/Valley Parkway Mixed-Use Development (Developer: Abad Rahan Pars Inc./ Norm Wieme, Architect: The applicant has indicated that grading and building plans are expected to be submitted into plan check soon. The reimbursement agreement for new water infrastructure that will be installed by the project in the adjoining alley has been approved. 
  1. North Avenue Estates (Developer: Casey Johnson) – An application to re-entitle aspects of the previously approved project that have expired and modify the project design to reflect new storm water requirements was submitted to the Planning Division on March 7, 2017. A revised tentative map was submitted last week and is currently being reviewed by staff. 
  1. Aspire and The Ivy (Developer: Addison Garza, Touchstone Communities) – The project consists of three separate downtown sites proposed for mixed-use, residential and parking garage project components on Parking Lot 1, Parking Lot 4 and the former Escondido Surgery Center property. Applications were submitted for entitlement processing on June 23, 2017. A project kick-off meeting with the applicant and city staff occurred on July 13, 2017.

Building Division

  1. 17 solar permits were issued for the week. The Building Division has issued 493 solar permits this year compared to 701 issued for the same time last year. 
  1. Our building inspectors responded to 166 inspection requests for the week. 
  1. Building has issued 125 single family dwelling permits this year and 224 multi-family units. This compares with 46 single family dwelling and 88 multi- family dwellings for same time last year. 
  1. Projects nearing permit issuance are:
    • 917 W Lincoln, three new apartment buildings, nine units.The construction of the City Plaza three-story mixed use building at 300 S. Escondido Blvd. has received partial approval of roof framing and rough framing inspections. 
  1. Drywall is being installed in the second floor units at the Meadowbrook, three-story apartment building with underground garage at 2081 Garden Valley Glen. The nursing care facility is now open. 
  1. The medical office building at 2125 Citracado Pkwy is progressing with the erection of the building structural steel. 
  1. The medical office building at 1951 Citracado Pkwy has completed construction of the exterior masonry walls. Roof framing has commenced. 
  1. The Westminster Seminary at 1725 Bear Valley Pkwy is proceeding with the framing of all nine buildings. 
  1. The Emanuel Faith Church at 639 E 17th Ave and the Church of Resurrection at 1445 Conway have started framing of the roof structural steel. 
  1. Permits were issued last week for eight new single-family homes in the Canyon Grove development (Shea Homes). 
  1. The Ford auto dealership at 1717 Auto Pkwy has received temporary certificate of occupancy for the sales area and showroom. 
  1. The new Veterans Village project at 1540 S. Escondido Blvd. has received underground plumbing inspection for the residential buildings. 

Code Enforcement


Before & After:

Code Enforcement was called to assist the Police Department at the property show above. The police had arrested several residents during a narcotics search warrant. Code Enforcement found that people were living in multiple sheds and RVs on the property. There were numerous electrical hazards throughout the house and out buildings. The floor was rotted out and the rear of the house was at risk of collapse. The Code Enforcement officer called for a Building Inspector. The Building Inspector determined that the house was unsafe to occupy and the house was vacated.  The property went through probate proceedings and was awarded to a third party. The inhabitants were evicted and the property has since been cleaned up. The structure is still uninhabitable and the new owner is selling the property.

Business Licensing 

Public Works Operations  

  

Graffiti Restitution

ENGINEERING

Capital Improvements 

East Valley Pkwy/Valley Center Road Widening Project
This project will widen the bridge over Escondido Creek north of Lake Wohlford Road, widen Valley Center Road, add medians and landscaping, and construct sidewalk from Beven Drive to the northern City limit.  This project bid on May 25, 2017. City staff has received Caltran’s approval of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise goals for this federally funded project.  The project was award by the City Council at the July 12, 2017 meeting.  Construction is anticipated to begin in September.  

Neighborhood Streetlight Project
No changes from that previously reported: This project will add new streetlights to meet current lighting standards, and retrofit existing streetlights with LED fixtures at five established communities throughout the City (Cedar-Cedar Brook, Mission Grove, RTF, Rustic Village, The Elms).  Staff advertised for bids on June 22, 2017 with bid opening on August 3, 2017.  It is anticipated that award of the construction contract will be requested of the City Council 

Annual Street Maintenance Project
Bid documents for the next annual street maintenance project are being prepared.  The project will replace uplifted sidewalks and trees, apply pavement treatments, and restripe with bike lanes in compliance with the City’s Bike Master Plan.  This year’s project will focus in the NE Maintenance Zone, which is bounded by Broadway on the West, Lincoln on the South, and the City limits on the North and East.  In addition, resurfacing is planned on portions of Lincoln, El Norte, Broadway, Felicita and Andreasen.  Staff expects to finalize bid documents later this summer, request City Council award of the contract, and begin construction in the Fall.  The list of streets to be paved will be posted on the Engineering page of City’s website in August. 

Private Development

Pradera - Lennar Communities
No changes from that reported last week: Phase 6 homes are being released for occupancy this week. 

Lexington Model Homes - KB Homes
The installation of the protective concrete cover for the San Diego County Water Authority line has begun this week. The work zone is located along Ash Street between Vista Avenue and Lehner Avenue.  

Citron Project by William Lyon Homes
The mass grading of the project is idled at this time, the project is located 2516 S. Escondido Boulevard 

Escondido Boulevard at 3rd Avenue
No changes from that reported last week: The contractor is continuing to place framing along the 3rd floor, lane closures along 3rd Avenue will be ongoing to allow for the lifting of construction materials to the third floor roof.  

Tract 932 - Canyon Grove Shea Homes Community
The County of San Diego offsite improvements are continuing this week at the Ash Street / Vista Avenue intersection. The drilling of the traffic signal foundations was interrupted due to the discovery of rock; a rock drill will be onsite this week to complete the excavation. The offsite traffic signal located at Sheridan/Ash will be activated on July 25, 2017. The traffic signal for the El Norte Parkway / Vista Verde Way intersection will be activated the following day. Onsite construction is concentrated on the testing of the new water line so that the construction of homes may resume.  

Latitude II Condominiums by a Lyon Homes Partnership: Washington Avenue at Centre City Parkway
The construction of the offsite water main located on Centre City Parkway between Mission Avenue and the project began this week with the excavation of the tie in point to the existing 8” water main. The work requires the closure of one lane of traffic along Centre City Parkway and Mission Avenue. Electronic message boards are in place in advance of the work to inform the motorist of the closure, no detours are expected as part of the construction. The contractor is continuing to construct the onsite cistern storm drain system.      

Veterans Village
The project’s offsite water improvement plans, showing the multiple utility crossings, have been submitted and approved.  Work along Escondido Boulevard for the construction of the water main crossing is scheduled for later this week. 

Tract 877 – Bernardo Ave. by Ambient Communities
The onsite construction, which includes sewer main, water main and storm drain improvements, will continue this week. 

Palomar Medical Center
The construction of the new driveway approach is continuing this week.  The contractor has completed the rough grading of the temporary parking lot pad across from the main entrance to the hospital.  Streetlight foundations as well as surface improvements are continuing this week.   

Victory Industrial Park
The grading operation at this site, including the importing of material, will continue this week. The project is located at 2005 Harmony Grove Road and is 5.4 acres in size. 

Centerpoint Project
The grading of the main onsite store pad had been completed with the submittal of the compaction and pad certification. The improvement plans as well as the traffic signal plans for the three surrounding intersections have been approved for construction. The project is located on the old Toyota car dealership at 999 Broadway. 

FIRE

Inspections:

 

 

News:

  • On 7/14/14 the crew assigned to Escondido Brush Unit #1363 (attached to an OES strike team) was released from the Alamo Fire in San Luis Obispo after six days and was reassigned to the Whittier Fire near Santa Barbara. The photo was taken by a Firefighter as they headed to their new assignment.

 

  • On 7/15/17 at 03:42 AM, the Escondido Police and Fire Communication Center received a report of smoke coming from a home located in the area of Harding St and Jefferson Ave. A structure fire response was dispatched to the location. The first arriving engine reported a single story home with smoke coming from rear of home. Aggressive action by the firefighters contained and controlled the fire in approximately 15 minutes. The home was undergoing renovation and was vacant at the time of the fire. There were no injuries to firefighter’s or civilians. In all, four fire engines, one truck, one rescue ambulance and one Battalion Chief responded to the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Safety message: Always place oily rags in approved containers.
  • Escondido Fire and Police personnel are displaying a memorial band or shroud on their badges to honor a CAL FIRE inmate hand crew firefighter who lost his life while battling a wildfire near Lakeside earlier this month. In addition, flags at our fire station and at Police and Fire Headquarters will be flown at half-staff through sunset on July 18, 2017. CAL FIRE Inmate Firefighter Frank Anaya was critically injured during firefighting operations at a wildland fire in Lakeside on June 5, 2017. Tragically, Anaya succumbed to his injuries on July 11, 2017. CAL FIRE inmate hand crews do the tough, hard and back breaking work of cutting fire lines. Regardless of the circumstances that led Inmate Firefighter Anaya to his position on an CAL FIRE hand crew, he made the noble choice to serve the citizens of our State by putting himself in harm’s way fighting wildfires. 

POLICE

INCIDENTS:

  • On 7/9/17 at 01:17 hours, a victim was confronted by four Hispanic males in the area of 725 N. Fig St. who tried to rob him. The suspects, who claimed Diablos, pushed the victim and he fell into a glass table on a patio.  There was no loss but the victim suffered minor cuts to his hands and a leg.  The suspects were not located.
  • On 7/9/17 at 03:44 hours, an officer took a stolen vehicle report from the Quality Inn.  At 03:51 hours, officers received a LoJack hit and subsequently recover the vehicle at Danica Pl/Miller Ave. The suspect, a San Marcos South Los Gang member, was asleep in another vehicle next to the recovered stolen. The suspect was connected to the vehicle by video surveillance and his clothing, which was found in the vehicle. He was arrested for Felony Auto Theft.
  • On 7/10/17 a City employee had just entered his city work truck, when a transient male walked up to the truck, swung a backpack and dented the front driver’s side corner panel. The suspect was stopped and arrested a block away and charged with Felony Vandalism. 
  • On 7/10/17 at 23:54 hours, multiple callers report gunshots heard at 701 W. 7th Ave.  Officers arrived on scene and see one subject running in the back yard.  A perimeter was set up.  Officers confirmed that there were multiple shots heard from the above address and they see shell casings in the back yard.  It was also determined that there were known gang ties to the residence with prior gun charges. The Bearcat was brought out to the scene and there were several attempts to call the residents out. One male exits with his child in his arms and is uncooperative. SWAT was activated and responded. The first male was eventually arrested for Delaying a Peace Officer and Child Endangerment, and a second male was arrested for an AB 109 probation violation warrant.
  • On 7/11/17 at 10:05 hours, the reporting party said she was home alone in the 900 block of E. Beech St when a male with a mask on his face entered the home through an open side door.  The male immediately fled when the woman screamed. The male was described as 5’11’’-6’ wearing a black hoodie, black combat boots and black pants.  The caller believed male was either a White Male Adult or a light skin Hispanic Male Adult. 
  • Overnight on 7/13-14/17 a tagging crew did a large amount of tagging in the n/alley of 100 east to 100 W. Grand Ave. They also tagged the entire eastern wall of 337 E. Valley Parkway.  All areas were reported to the city for clean-up. Additionally, an email was sent requesting to get the area cleaned asap in the morning due to the high visibility to downtown merchants.
  • On 7/14/17 at 20:12 hours, Gang Enforcement Team officers initiate a traffic stop and contact four documented gang members. While speaking to the driver they notice objective symptoms of alcohol intoxication. The driver and passengers are asked to exit the vehicle.  During a pat down of one of the passengers, a loaded .22 caliber handgun is located; he was placed under arrest for multiple gun related charges and the driver was arrested for DUI.
  • On 7/15/17 at 08:27 hours, officers responded to the 500 block of Begonia St. regarding calls of gunshots in the area. Officers located eight .40 caliber casings in the roadway and obtained witness statements and a photo of the suspect vehicle (White Ford F-150).  The Gang Sergeant was contacted and provided further possible suspect info. While officers processed the scene, another officer was checking the area and located the suspect vehicle driving on Citrus Ave.  A high-risk stop of the vehicle was conducted and both suspects were taken into custody without incident. The firearm and additional evidence was located in the vehicle.  A Gang detective responded in to assist.  Both subjects were booked into the Vista jail on multiple felony charges.
  •  On 7/1517 at 20:20 hours, CHP called and advised dispatch of a crash at Woodland Heights west of Mesa Rock involving a motorcycle and a truck. The motorcyclist was transported and suffered a compound break of his left femur. Traffic was notified and responded for the investigation.