FEATURED THIS WEEK
Community Leader Honored
The Larry Himmel Foundation and Neighborhood services celebrated Robert Barrientos Day in Escondido on Saturday! In 12 years, Robert has transformed one of Escondido's toughest neighborhoods and made it a peaceful place to live. Ed Gallo presented Robert with a proclamation announcing June 23rd, Robert Barrientos Day. The foundation also presented Robert with the Good Neighbor Award! As the San Diego Union Tribune said, "The area is now a community in the truest sense of the word. People watch out for one another and, if there is a problem, they come to Robert with their concerns. He takes care of it."
Community Recycling Event is Bigger Than Ever!
The City’s Recycling Division co-hosted a free e-waste and shred event at Escondido High School on Saturday, June 23. Citizens brought e-waste (TVs, computer monitors, laptops, radios, phones, electronic accessories, etc.) and up to two bankers’ boxes of documents to be shredded on-site. Escondido Disposal collected the e-waste, while certified shredding trucks did their work. 225 people participated; that’s 65 more attendees than last year's event. They used the Police Department’s new signboard to advertise the event to passersby!
Major Projects Update
The following major projects are being reviewed and coordinated by Planning, Engineering, Fire, Building and Utilities. The list of projects below encompasses recent project updates and/or milestones from last week. A more complete list and description of active or pending projects can be viewed here.
Commercial / Office:
- Escondido Research and Technology Center (ERTC) – West (Developer: James McCann) 2181 Citracado Parkway – A plan for a new two-story, 57,000 SF, 52-bed Palomar Rehabilitation Institute was submitted as a Plot Plan on July 31, 2017. The Plot Plan approval letter was issued on February 7, 2018. A second grading plan check was submitted by the applicant on April 16, 2018, and the grading permit is ready to be issued once bonds are posted and fees paid.
- Talk of the Town Gas Station/Convenience Store (Developer: Munthar Ghazal) 400 Brotherton Road – A proposed CUP modification to add a gas station next to the carwash and use part of the vacant restaurant building for a related convenience store was submitted on March 7, 2018. The applicant submitted revised plans on May 24, 2018, and has had a follow-up meeting with Fire. Comments were sent back to the applicant on June 22, 2018.
- Ritz Theater “The Grand” (Developer: New Venture Church) 301, 309 E. Grand Avenue – A proposed CUP to renovate the existing Ritz Theater and adjacent commercial building to provide for a variety of assembly uses including performing arts and religious services. A café, offices and classroom studios are also included. The application was submitted on May 17, 2018. Planning met with the applicant on June 13, 2018 to discuss specific plan, historic resource and project schedule issues. The applicant anticipates filing a revised application the first week of July to address project-related issues.
- Felicita Development, LLC (Developer: Katherine Park, Creative Design Associates) –This project proposal started over a year ago as a 140-unit hotel, and a gas station with an office/residential care facility at the southeast corner of Felicita Rd. and Gamble Lane. The applicant met with the wildlife agencies to discuss project impacts and then halted processing. It now appears the property has changed ownership and a revised site design with two hotels and a medical building is expected to be submitted soon to restart processing. It is anticipated additional technical analysis and coordination will be needed to address traffic, biology, water and sewer service, geotechnical and storm water concerns, along with a market study for the proposed uses.
- Blue Night Banquet Hall (Developer: Trevino Architects) 130 E. Lincoln – A proposed CUP modification to add a 4,800 SF Zumba/Yoga building in the existing parking lot and enter into a joint-use agreement with an adjacent property for parking. The application was submitted on May 15, 2018. Plans have been distributed to all departments for comment. Potential parking issues are being assessed.
- Escondido Self-Storage Facility (Developer: Brandywine Homes, Inc.) 2319 Cranston Dr. – The applicant has not recorded a final map; and the building plan check has expired after 18 months (including extension). Updated plans in conformance with current code requirements will be required prior to building permit issuance.
- North American Self-Storage (Developer: Russ Colvin) 852 S. Metcalf – A revised plot plan was approved and revised building plans were submitted into plan check on January 17, 2018. Esgil and Fire have approved the building plans. Engineering has approved the grading plan for the revised project and has been awaiting posting of the improvement bonds prior to authorizing issuance of the building permit. The applicant has indicated that they will post bonds, pay fees and pull building permits this week.
- Micro-Filtration Reverse Osmosis (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) SE corner Ash/Washington – The City Council approved a contractual agreement with Black and Veatch for design-build engineering services on April 4, 2018. The design-build engineer will complete final design and help select and manage a design-build contractor for construction of the project. A project design kick-off meeting occurred on June 13, 2018.
- 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. Additional information is being compiled by the City’s biological consultants based on recent conversations with the agencies.
- 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. The City Council authorized review of a General Plan Amendment request on March 21, 2018, which was necessary to review the request to allow a third floor for the building. The applicant has been actively engaged with Fire, Engineering and Planning staff and has provided several revisions intended to address identified issues with the most recent project revision received on June 25, 2018. The applicant had agreed to modify the vehicular access at the building entry and realign the walkway on the eastern side of the building.
- Wohlford Subdivision (Developer: Jack Henthorne) 55 lots at 661 Bear Valley Pkwy. – Staff and the applicant have been working for some time to complete negotiations on final terms for the Development Agreement. On February 13, 2018, the Planning Commission continued the public hearing on this item at the applicant’s request to allow more time to finalize negotiations. Negotiations have concluded and a Planning Commission hearing has been scheduled for June 26, 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 for public review and comment. The comment period ended on January 2, 2018. Staff transmitted all the comment letters and emails to the Draft EIR consultant for review and to prepare a response to each comment. The Draft EIR and appendices have been posted on the City’s website at the following link:
It is expected the responses to comments will generate related revisions to the project design. The applicant’s engineer is currently working to incorporate those revisions into the proposed tentative map.
- 18 lots at 701 San Pasqual Valley Rd (Developer: Bob Stewart) – Staff comments on the revised tentative map were issued the last week of July 2017. Staff is currently reviewing revised plans submitted by the applicant on April 5, 2018. Planning staff met with the applicant on June 27, 2018 to discuss remaining issues.
- Escondido Gateway (Developer: Carolyn Hillgren, Lyon Living) 126 condo units at 700 W. Grand – A street vacation for right-of-way frontage along Grand Avenue has been completed. Engineering approved the grading plan on May 22, 2018. The final map was approved by the City Council on June 6, 2018. The Building Division issued building permits for all buildings on June 27, 2018. Construction is expected to start soon.
- 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 City issued a demo permit for the clubhouse building on March 30, 2018, and demolition has been completed. The City has agreed to review construction plans for the project while the lawsuit is pending, but not issue any construction permits. The applicant submitted rough grading plans, drainage improvement plans and utility relocation plans for all three villages on May 7, 2018. Engineering plan check comments were issued on June 5, 2018. Planning comments also were issued the second week of June. Landscape plans were submitted on June 5, 2018.
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:
- North Avenue Estates (Developer: Casey Johnson) 34 lots at North Ave./Conway Dr. – The Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of the project on November 28, 2017. The City Council approved the project on January 10, 2018. The LAFCO application for annexation was submitted to LAFCO on February 20, 2018. LAFCO has prepared and distributed a draft staff report and a LAFCO hearing could occur in August. Final engineering plans were submitted on May 24, 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. Subsequent meetings with the applicant and staff have been on-going, and the most recent resubmittal of the project plans was received on May 10, 2018. Fire is awaiting confirmation that Maple Street will support the weight of their apparatus. A Traffic Impact Analysis has been provided and Planning is awaiting submittal of the rest of the environmental documentation for review.
- The Ivy (95 condo units at 343 E. 2nd) (Developer: Addison Garza, Touchstone Communities) - The condo project was initially submitted for entitlement processing on June 23, 2017. Subsequent meetings with the applicant and staff have been on-going, and the most recent resubmittal of the project plans was received on May 10, 2018. The applicant has proposed changing circulation through the adjacent alley to one-way southbound; and a field demonstration of fire truck turning radii at the site occurred on May 2, 2018. Fire has now indicated they support the project design. An environmental initial study and Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration were submitted for review on June 11, 2018.
- 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. Several follow-up meetings with staff were held to discuss the outstanding issues regarding the project design and revised plans were submitted in early April. Planning Fire, Engineering and Utilities comments on the revised plans were sent to the applicant on April 25, 2018. Planning and Engineering met with the applicant on May 31, 2018 to discuss the comments. Utilities met with the applicant on June 12, 2018, and resolved that no hydrants or water main extensions will be required on the site.
- 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. Three meetings with the applicant team and multiple city departments have occurred since the project submittal to discuss project design issues, with the most recent meeting occurring on April 11, 2018. The applicant has since provided a constraints drawing showing proposed access and utility easements for review. Staff reviewed the constraints drawing and sent mark-up comments back to the applicant several weeks ago. Utilities conducted a fire flow test at the site on June 26, 2018.
- 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 Dailey Ranch – This proposed residential and resort hotel annexation and specific plan project was received on March 2, 2018. The project submittal has been deemed incomplete and a letter from staff requesting additional project related information was sent to the applicant on April 4, 2018. Requested information includes annexation exhibits, proposed general plan amendment text, a proposed Transfer of Development Rights Program, environmental initial study, and a fiscal impact analysis. Planning met with the applicant on May 17, 2018 to discuss items listed in the letter. A follow-up meeting to discuss engineering issues occurred on June 27, 2018. A project webpage containing draft documents and plans has been added to the Planning Division’s website at the following link:
Daley Ranch Resort Specific Plan - City of Escondido
- Accessory Dwelling Units – Planning staff is currently working on 11 applications for accessory dwelling units. Seven accessory dwelling units have been approved so far this year. Three accessory dwelling units were approved last year.
- The Building Division issued 59 permits last week with a total valuation of $130,840.
- 20 solar photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. The Building Division has issued 519 solar permits for the year compared to 460 issued for 2017.
- Our building inspectors responded to 194 inspection requests for the week.
- The total building valuation for all issued permits through June 23rd is $34,435,800 compared with $65,406,005 for same time last year. Building has processed 1,502 projects so far in 2018 compared with 1,643 projects in 2017.
- Projects nearing permit issuance are:
- 700 W Grand Ave Gateway project (previous police building).
- 2516 S. Escondido Blvd. “Citron” a 63-unit condominium project (three buildings already issued).
- 852 Metcalf. Five-story self-storage facility.
- The Meadowbrook three-story apartment building with underground garage at 2081 Garden Valley Glen is preparing the building for final inspection. No change from the previous.
- The Westminster Seminary at 1725 Bear Valley Pkwy has received final inspection approval for Buildings A, D and G. Four residential buildings remain for final inspection.
- The Emanuel Faith Church education building at 639 E 17th Ave is preparing for final inspection and temporary electrical service has been released. No change from the previous.
- The new Veterans Village residential project at 1540 S Escondido Blvd has received complete framing and drywall inspection approval for Building 2; and drywall inspection approval for the third floor of Building 1.
- The new drive-thru restaurant at 720 N. Center City Pkwy, the new retail building at 730 N. Centre City Pkwy and the new drive-thru restaurant at 700 N. Centre City Pkwy have received underground water service piping inspection and are preparing for a final inspection of the exterior shell buildings. Construction of the interior tenant improvements has started. No change from the previous.
- The new Starbucks at 121 W. Lincoln is preparing for final inspection.
- The Latitude 2, apartment buildings at 610, 620, 630 and 640 N. Center City Pkwy have received second floor sheathing approval. The 650 building has received roof sheathing approval.
- The new two story church sanctuary building at 1864 N Broadway has partial roof sheathing inspection approval. No change from the previous.
- The 212,000 SF industrial shell building at 2005 Harmony Grove has received inspection approval for the T-bar ceiling.
- The new 63-unit condominium project, Citron, at 2516 S Escondido Blvd has received foundation inspection approvals for Buildings 2 and 3. No change from the previous.
- The new 105-room Springhill Suites hotel at 200 La Terraza has received fourth floor sheathing inspection. No change from the previous.
- The new Starbucks at 1645 S. Centre City Parkway is preparing for final inspection. No change from the previous.
- The new four-story Storquest self-storage facility at 222 W. Mission Avenue has received second floor “pan deck” inspection and is ready to receive concrete. Framing of the structure is on-going.
- Public works is increasing staff presence along the bike path to aid in eradicating graffiti. This presence has been successful and within the last week the team removed 659 tags.
- The parks team moved 3,530 sq. ft. of vegetation this week.
Valley Pkwy/Valley Center Road Widening Project: Calendar Day 230
The prime contractor has started to remove the remainder of the roadway subgrade along Valley Center Road north of Lake Wohlford Road. The landscape contractor is continuing the installation of the new irrigation systems along both the east and west side of the project.
Transit Center Pedestrian Bridge Project
No changes from that reported last week: Transit Center Pedestrian Bridge and Spruce Street Channel Improvement Project is moving forward with 100% design. Resource agency permits from the Regional Water Board and Fish & Wildlife have been obtained and the City is now pursuing final Permit from Army Corps. Negotiations of drainage/wall easements and TCEs with property owners are underway.
Missing Link Project
The contractor is removing existing public improvements in preparation for the placement of new improvement on Monday, July 2 along Valley Parkway at Centre City Parkway. The signal contractor is laying out the new signal foundations at Woodward Avenue/Broadway intersection. The Centre City Parkway at Valley Parkway signal foundations are also being readied this week.
The developer has requested a punch list walk for later this week.
Centre City Shopping Center
The onsite construction of the new water main has been delayed due to a second conflict discovered last week. A design solution is being developed by the project engineer. New traffic signals have been placed at three corners of the intersection. The project is located at 425 W. Mission Avenue.
Tract 932 - Canyon Grove Shea Homes Community
No changes to report this week: The final sewer main has been laid and tested for the project limits.
Latitude II Condominiums by a Lyon Homes Partnership: Washington Avenue @ Centre City Parkway
No changes from that reported last week: The developer is planning on restarting the storm drain construction along Washington No changes from Avenue between Centre City Parkway and Escondido Boulevard. The construction will require the closure of the #2 west bound lane on Washington Avenue between the hours of 5 A.M. 3:30 P.M. Electronic message boards will be placed in advance of the work zone to reroute vehicle traffic to alternate routes.
Exeter Industrial Park
The contractor is importing material for the construction of the onsite parking lot this week. The project is located at 2005 Harmony Grove Road and is 5.4 acres in size.
Offsite pavement restoration associated with the recent storm drain construction is being performed this week. This is a 65-unit condo project located at 2516 S. Escondido Boulevard.
The contractor is continuing to grade the onsite soil in preparation for the placement of the new foundation. The project is located at 700 W. Grand Avenue, the previous site of Escondido Police Department.
Emanuel Faith Church
The contractor is placing landscaping elements on site this week. The roadway contractor is preparing the parking lot for final pavement.
StorQuest Self Storage
No changes from that reported last week: The second floor deck will be poured during a 14-hour operation starting at 2 A.M. on Tuesday of this week. The project is located at 222 W Mission Avenue.
Lincoln Rock Apartments
No changes from that reported last week: The contractor is continuing with the grading of the lot. The project is located at the southwest corner of Rock Springs Road and Lincoln Avenue.
- Many Escondido Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members are Amateur radio operators (also called “hams”) ready to provide emergency communications to support the City of Escondido in the event of an emergency. Over the weekend, Escondido CERT members participated and practice their emergency communications skills at Dixon Lake with the Escondido Amateur Radio Society (EARS) at the annual Field Day event. Field Day is an amateur radio on-the-air event held annually in the US and Canada. During Field Day, Amateur Radio operators practice the skills needed to provide emergency communications during a disaster. Emergency antennas, powers systems (both solar and generator) and radios are taken to a remote sites, such as Dixon Lake, and tested to ensure operation and the ability to communicate with others throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. They are often able to communicate with Amateurs on other continents as well. Hams are well known for communications support in real disaster and post-disaster situations and have been called into action again and again to provide communications in crises when it really matters. In the event of a major disaster in Escondido, Escondido CERT hams will be ready to provide emergency communications under almost any conditions.
- Both OES862 and Brush 133 were requested the evening of Sunday, June 24th for the Pawnee Fire in Lake County, CA. OES8632 was manned by Captain Portman, Engineer Aubele, and Firefighter/Paramedics Kettl and Ward while Brush133 was manned by Captain Teague, Engineer Ratliff and Firefighter/Paramedic C. Smith. The fire has grown in size to over 11,500 acres band is 5% contained.
- On June 20, 2018 at approximately 08:39 a.m., the Escondido Police and Fire Communication Center received a report of smoke in an occupied mobile home at 1530 E El Norte Pkwy. The first arriving engine reported a light smoke coming from the mobile home and an elderly female attempting to evacuate with a walker. The crew was able to safely evacuate the resident, who suffered minor injuries and was transported to Palomar Medical Center, and then attempted to locate the source of the fire. Aggressive action by the firefighters contained and controlled the fire in approximately 40 minutes. The mobile home sustained fire and smoke damage. There were no firefighter injuries. 4 fire engines, 1 truck, 2 rescue ambulances, 2 Battalion Chiefs, and 1 Investigator responded to the fire. Escondido Police Units provided crowd and traffic control. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
- The City of Escondido Fire Department has launched its annual fireworks collection campaign. Escondido residents can turn in their fireworks, no questions asked, from 9 am on Friday, June 18 until 5:00 p.m., Monday, July 9 at any Escondido Fire Station. The purpose of the Fireworks Collection Campaign is to reduce the number of fires and injuries caused by illegal fireworks. The Escondido Fire Department reminds residents that all consumer fireworks are illegal in the City of Escondido and throughout San Diego County. That includes sparklers, firecrackers, cherry bombs, bottle rockets and even poppers. This year was the second driest year on record so the brush and fuels are extremely dry and easy to ignite.
- On 6-19-2018, police responded to a traffic collision in the 100 block of E. 9th Ave. Officers arrived on scene and found a construction truck had collided into a house. The truck had been traveling westbound on 9th Ave. when the driver failed to maintain control of the truck and drove off of the road through the front yard of one residence - plowing through two fences, running over hedges and destroying two retaining walls. The vehicle came to rest partially inside the garage of another residence. Building inspectors responded to the scene to assess the residence. No one was injured in the collision.
- On 6-20-2018, officers responded to a call of a vehicle burglary in the 800 block of W. Washington Ave. Officers arrived on scene and attempted to detain the suspect. The suspect fled from the officers. During the foot pursuit, the suspect climbed over the fence and entered the public works yard. One officer, who was inside the public works yard at the time of the call, attempted to detain the suspect. The suspect picked up a piece of concrete that was laying on the ground and threw it at the officer, barely missing the officer. Ultimately, the suspect was taken into custody with a minor use of force. The suspect was booked into the Vista Detention Facility for vehicle burglary, assault on a police officer and a warrant.
- On 6-23-2018, officers responded to the area of Rolando Court and El Cajon Blvd. regarding a call for assistance by the San Diego Police Department. Two officers from the San Diego Police Department had been shot while handling a disturbance call. Eventually, the Escondido Police contingency, along with several other police agencies, were released from the incident due to scene being controlled and stabilized by San Diego Police Department personnel. For more information about the incident see the local media piece: https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Heavily-Police-Presence-486379131.html
The 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, quality of life issues, and addressing crime and public nuisance in Grape Day Park and at Maple Plaza.
- 7 arrests were made
- 18 citations were issued
- 15 radio calls