ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

  • On Tuesday, June 23 at 9 a.m., 16 individuals representing 14 businesses along the East Valley Parkway business corridor met at Escondido Charter High School to discuss the possibility of reconstituting the East Valley Parkway business association, which disbanded last year. Acting Sergeant Jeff Valdivia was there to provide information about phase two of the Neighborhood Transformation Project (NTP) which is currently focused on the East Valley Parkway business corridor. Additionally, three members of the original East Valley Association were there to share their experiences of building and maintaining the association. The attendees unanimously decided to continue to meet, and will do so again in two weeks. Escondido Charter High School has offered to provide free meeting space to the group on an ongoing basis.
  • On Tuesday, June 23 at 6 p.m., a meeting was held in the Mitchell Room to educate businesses about the newest drought regulations. 14 individuals attended, including representatives from Westfield North County, the Escondido Union High School District and the SD Zoo Safari Park. Chris McKinney, Utilities Director, provided an overview of the state’s water shortage situation and specific local restrictions, and Elisa Marrone and Kim Silva from Water Conservation provided information on rebate programs and enforcement. 

CERTIFICATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT FOR EXCELLENCE IN FINANCIAL REPORTING 

The Certificate for Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting has been awarded to the City of Escondido by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) for the year ending June 30, 2014.  The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.  The CAFR has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.  This was the 24th year that the City of Escondido has achieved this prestigious award.  

SPECIAL EVENTS 

  • Escondido Shines will hold the first of its free summer concerts at the Kit Carson Park Amphitheater this Saturday, June 27 6:30 to 7:30. The San Pasqual High School Band will be performing.  For more information about the concert series,  please visit http://www.escondidoshines.org/?page_id=74 
  • For information about activities taking place in Escondido, please visit www.visitescondido.com 

DALEY RANCH HOUSE UPDATE 

Work on the pad for the new restroom at Daley Ranch will begin on July 8.  The pre-fabricated restroom has been constructed and will be delivered and installed once the pad work has been completed. 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Planning:

  • The Planning Commission unanimously approved the Master and Precise Development Plan modifications for the Ford and Hyundai dealerships at 1717 and 1919 Auto Park Way, to construct new showrooms; and unanimously approved a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for a clean energy server behind Home Depot at 1475 E. Valley Parkway, intended to fulfill the majority of the store’s operational power need.
  • Staff continues to monitor major development applications that are currently being processed to assess their entitlement status in light of pending and more restrictive storm water requirements that the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) requires be adopted by the City on or before December 24, 2015. Staff anticipates an extremely heavy workflow from developers who have expressed an interest in starting grading of their projects prior to December 24th in order to be subject to current requirements.  Staff is taking a proactive approach to discuss processing timelines with existing applicants and providing guidance to applicants on what they can do to meet their desired goals. The RWQCB workshop on “prior lawful approval” (to define what projects can proceed under the existing permit) and “alternative compliance pathways” is on June 30th.  
  • Major Projects Update:
    • Oak Creek (NUW) – The applicants are in discussion with the Army Corps of Engineers regarding permit requirements for mitigation of wetland impacts. LAFCO staff has recommended that the proposed annexation boundary be expanded to include a roadway segment of Hamilton Lane between Bernardo and Felicita Avenues. This road segment does not meet City standards. Staff has sent a letter to LAFCO providing justification to support City’s staff’s recommendation to eliminate the proposed expansion of the annexation boundary. A LAFCO hearing date has not yet been scheduled. Staff met to with the developer to discuss the permit submittal and plan check process, particularly regarding their timing expectations in anticipation of the new storm water requirements.
    • Amanda Estates (NUW) – The applicant has provided additional information to LAFCO staff addressing the additional information requested to process the Amanda Estates annexation and the associated annexation for the “Disadvantaged Unincorporated Community” (DUC) properties. No further action is anticipated for the DUC annexation. A LAFCO hearing date has not yet been scheduled. Staff has met with the developers regarding their expectations and timing of submittals in anticipation of the new storm water requirements.
    • Centerpointe 78 Commercial – Staff is reviewing sections of the screen check EIR as they become available. The EIR traffic consultant additional is evaluating alternative traffic mitigation measures to address significant traffic impacts.
    • North Broadway Deficiency Area Projects – Staff continues to coordinate with the various development teams regarding the design of infrastructure improvements and has taken a proactive approach with County staff on review of required improvements within the unincorporated area. Street improvement plans for Lehner Ave. are being prioritized to allow construction to occur this summer while school is not in session. A grading permit has been issued for Lennar’s “Pradera” project and building permit applications for the model homes are under review. Staff is coordinating with the applicant on a variance application to resolve setback issues relating to the location of the perimeter walls. Staff and the applicant are coordinating with the San Diego County Water Authority which has raised concerns regarding the construction of the waterline improvements (required by the development agreement) within the SDCWA easement on Conway. The Zenner annexation application is under review by LAFCO.
    • Kaen Planned Development (2516 S. Escondido Blvd.) – Revised plans were submitted on June 4th and are under review for completeness. The redesign eliminates 3 units (total number of units is now 65 units) to provide improved emergency access and provide additional opportunity for landscaping along the long entry drive. Refinements are needed for the Water Quality Technical Report and other site features affected by the redesign. A letter addressing items needed to complete the application for processing will be sent by the end of the week.
    • Wohlford – A letter has been sent for the proposed 55-unit residential subdivision and planned development at 661 Bear Valley Parkway advising the applicant that the application is incomplete and identifying the necessary submittals to continue processing the application. The applicant is coordinating with staff regarding a Specific Alignment Plan for Bear Valley Parkway and is conducting technical studies which are anticipated to be submitted in three weeks. The applicant indicates their preference to prepare an EIR, which will be determined upon submittal of the complete application and review of the technical studies, and has offered to prepare a draft Request for Proposals for preparation of an EIR, to help expedite the EIR consultant selection process.
    • Latitude II – Staff continues to work diligently with the applicant’s design team to identify and evaluate solutions on site planning issues. The applicant continues to negotiate with the owners of adjacent properties regarding several issues that affect their proposed site plan, parking and sewer improvements. An alternative site plan has been provided to demonstrate a feasible plan if the negotiations regarding the motel sign along CCP are not successful. However, the proposed plan relies upon the relinquishment and/or relocation of access and sewer easements across the property’s southeast perimeter to construct the proposed project; these private party negotiations are still underway. A revised Water Quality Technical Report has been submitted. The applicant recognizes that these issues must be resolved in order to the project to proceed through the hearing process. The draft Mitigated Negative Declaration is scheduled for release this week for a 20-day public review period in anticipation of a Planning Commission hearing tentatively scheduled for July 22nd.
    • Shea Homes has submitted a revised map for substantial conformance review and determination for the 179-lot residential subdivision known as Hidden Valley Ranch (Tract 923). Revisions to the Water Quality Technical Report and documentation from Vista Irrigation District (VID) concurring with the proposed relocation of the water line are needed to make this determination. A revised plan for the internal park acreage is under review, with specific amenities to be review as part of a future Precise Plan submittal; the applicant is exploring mechanisms to address setback issues anticipated on 9 lots where the proposed units do not meet setback requirements of the planned development. Staff has sent a letter confirming discussions held with the developer regarding the schedule and timeline for submittals needed for issuance of grading permits. Rough grading plan submittal is anticipated by the end of June.
    • Concordia Homes submitted a draft Specific Plan and tentative subdivision map for the Safari Highlands project for conceptual review prior to their formal application submittal. The project includes annexation and Sphere of Influence update for the 1,098 acres site and a subdivision to create 550 residential lots in seven neighborhoods, with lot sizes ranging from 7,663 SF to 4.76 acres. A consultant agreement for an extension of Planning staff is anticipated to be executed this week; discussions regarding similar staff assistance for Engineering staff is underway. Staff met with LAFCO regarding submittal requirements and study area for a Sphere of Influence Update and Municipal Services Review.
    • Felicita Development, LLC has submitted a Planned Development application for the vacant 6.9 acre property at the southeast corner of Felicita Rd. and Gamble Lane. The proposed project includes the phased development of a 140-unit hotel, an 80-unit extended stay hotel, a 120-bed assisted living facility and a gas station. Additional technical analysis will be needed to address traffic, biology, water and sewer service and a health risk assessment. A letter addressing items and technical studies needed to complete the application will be sent next week.
    • Revised plans submitted for EDI’s proposed CUP expansion are under review. The draft Mitigated Negative Declaration will be released on June 24th for a 30-day public review period. The project is tentatively scheduled for Planning Commission hearing on August 11th

Building Division: 

  • The Building Division issued 57 permits for the week with a total valuation of $519,460.
  • 22 photovoltaic permits were issued for the week.  Building has issued 515 permits so far this year compared to 256 issued at the same time last year.
  • Inspections and counter contacts remain steady with inspections averaging 31 per day with 34 on Friday and counter contacts averaging 31 per day with 24 on Friday.
  • In addition to the expedited solar permitting now available, residential roof top solar projects that qualify to be expedited, will soon be accepted electronically through e-mail. More information will be provided on the city’s web site regarding the expedited electronic submittals.
  • The 76 unit apartments on 2412 S. Escondido Blvd have received underground plumbing and foundation inspections on the first of 3 buildings.
  • The tenant improvement at 649 W. Mission Ave for the County Department of Health and Human Services offices has received a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy. 
  • The Black Angus restaurant at the North County Mall has received foundation inspection approval and is now in the process of framing the building. 

Code Enforcement: 

  • As of June 22nd, the total number of open code enforcement case is 351 cases, with a backlog of an additional 63 cases not yet opened for assignment and investigation. During the prior week, 78 new cases were opened, 84 cases were closed and a total of 119 signs were removed. Staff processed 5 public records requests (PRR) last week, bringing the year-to-date total to 73 requests. Recruitment is underway for one full-time and three part-time vacant officer positions to assist with the backlog.
  • Last week the Business License Division received 37 new applications and 99 renewals, and issued 65 new licenses. 

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS 

FY 2014-2015 Street Rehabilitation Project:

           June 22nd, 2015 through June 26th, 2015 the striping subcontractor is placing the remaining legends and roadway signs throughout the project limits which include the new pedestrian crossing at Hickory/2nd/Grand Avenue intersection.                         

Private Development 

Bear Valley Parkway between Boyle Avenue and San Pasqual Valley Road (County Project):
The contractor has closed the intersection at Idaho Avenue and Bear Valley Parkway to through traffic. The work is proceeding for paving the base section of asphalt on the new Bear Valley Parkway between Birch Avenue and Viewmont Drive. The wall contractor has begun to stack block for the new retaining wall at Boyle Avenue. 

2412 South Escondido Boulevard:
The construction of the new onsite water main has passed its first water quality tests. 

Pradera - Lennar Communities:
The demolition of existing structures is ongoing. The truck haul route has been approved, the project calls for importing 140,000 cubic yards of dirt which will equal 450 truck trips along the approved route daily. The permit and traffic control plans for the import operation were received this week. The grading contractor is preconditioning the soil by placing large rain bird sprinklers on the site to obtain the correct moisture content for compaction of the dirt material. 

Future Capital Projects 

FY14/15 Street Maintenance Project – Bids for this project will be opened on Thursday.  Staff is taking the project to City Council on 7/8 to award the project.  

El Norte Parkway – Consultant design of the signalized Bike Path crossing is underway, and is expected to be completed later this summer. 

PUBLIC SAFETY

Police 

Incidents:

  • On 06-13-15, officers responded to the Valley Thrift store regarding a male suspect filming under women’s clothing with his cell phone. The suspect was detained and arrested for the illegal filming.  Later examination of his phone revealed that he was taking photographs and molesting small children at his ex-wife’s in home day care.  He was arrested on numerous other charges and Chief Carter gave a press conference last week regarding the investigation.
  • On 06-18-15, a newspaper delivery driver parked his vehicle at the AM PM Market at Valley Parkway and La Terraza. The driver left his vehicle running while he went inside the store to deliver the papers.  A suspect stole the victim’s vehicle while he was in the store.  Officers quickly located the stolen vehicle traveling north on the I-15.  The driver was stopped and arrested without incident.
  • On 06-18-15, EPD Gang Unit officers observed several subjects sitting in a parked vehicle in the 500 block of Aster St. The subjects were detained and one subject had an outstanding arrest warrant.  A loaded handgun was found next to the driver’s seat and the driver was arrested on numerous weapons violations.
  • On 06-19-15, two residential hot prowl burglaries occurred in the area of 7th Ave and Orange St. The suspect in both cases fled on a bike.  Officers located a subject matching the description of the suspect in the area.  After a short pursuit, the suspect was detained and positively identified by both victims.  He was arrested on burglary and resisting arrest charges.
  • On 06-21-15, officers responded to a residence regarding a male with a gunshot wound to the head. It was determined that the male resident had committed suicide with the gun. 

Events:

  • The North San Diego County Real Estate Professionals Group held a golf tournament to raise money for the Escondido Police Athletic League (PAL). Several EPD officers participated in the event and approximately $5,000 was raised for PAL.
  • Toran Gaal is in Kansas and doing well. He is averaging about 70-85 miles a day. He will be on the Sports Illustrated television show in July. Toran will be given a nice welcome back at PAL’s annual fundraising game (see attached flyer). 

Fire

  • On Thursday morning, June 18th Escondido Brush Engine 1363 was dispatched as part of a strike team to assist on the “Wildcat” Fire near Barona. The crew of four included Captain Bill Atkins, Engineer Craig Domingue, FF/PMs Jason Berg and Matt Smith. The crew worked all day mopping up the section of fire they were assigned. The fire burned approximately 170 acres and is now 100% contained. Brush 1363 returned to Escondido later that night, after they completed their assignment.
  • Also, on Thursday morning June 18th Battalion Chief Mike Bertrand and Captain Dennis Boyer lead an CAL OES Brush Engine Strike Team to the “Lake” Fire in San Bernardino. The “Lake” Fire burned 17,400 acres and threatened the Big Bear Community. The fire is now 30% contained, most of the local government resources are being released as the fire transitions to the care of US Forest Service and CAL Fire personnel. Chief Bertrand and Captain Boyer should be back in Escondido by the night of June 23rd.
  • Finally, Chief Lowry was hesitant about sharing this information because he worried that the FD could become the “butt” of many jokes. It seems that Charmin toilet paper ran a special Charmin Relief Campaign back in February and March. The campaign was titled “Butts That Save Our Butts”.  Charmin would donate a year’s worth of toilet paper to 100 fire stations nationwide. The stations had to be nominated and then selected by Charmin. Someone nominated Escondido Fire Station One and it was selected as a recipient of a year’s supply of Charmin toilet paper. The firefighters are very thankful to both Charmin and the person that nominated their “butts”… they definitely appreciate the nicer toilet paper. The year’s supply was distributed to all seven fire station for all to enjoy. The campaign commercial for this Relief Project can be viewed at this Youtube site:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FTgcirdSoU