Zoning Administrator Public Hearing
- The City held its first Zoning Administrator public hearing. The Zoning Administrator along with a modified minor Conditional Use Permit were created by the City Council to enhance the City’s project streamlining program. This first hearing went extremely well and the minor Conditional Use Permit was completed in 6 weeks total, much less than 3-5 months at the prior Planning Commission level.
Utility Billing Payment Provider
- We are now in the final phase of choosing a new online payment provider for Utility Billing. The Request for Proposals closed on April 28 with seven companies responding. A committee of City staff worked on ranking the respondents and this week we are interviewing the companies from both a customer service and technical perspective.
Downtown Grand Avenue Median Rehabilitation
- Public Works staff has trimmed all live plants and removed over 600 dead plants along the Grand Avenue medians. Over the next two Sundays, they will continue to replant and remove, as well as installing drought tolerant landscaping to restore the medians. All pruning will occur early on Sunday mornings before businesses open to minimize disruption. In addition, problem areas along Center City Parkway are being improved.
- Touchstone Communities has presented an exciting development proposal that would enhance residential living opportunities downtown. The project consists of a six-story mixed-use development with 106 residential units on the municipal parking lot (Parking Lot 1) on Valley Parkway adjacent to Maple Street Plaza with commercial opportunities available on the ground floor. A four-story parking garage would be constructed on Parking Lot 4 (Second/Kalmia) to add to the overall number of public parking spaces in the downtown area. The third component would be a complete redevelopment of the long-vacant Escondido Surgery Center site (2nd/South Ivy) with a four-story residential development offering 95 condominium units. All of these proposals were submitted on June 23, 2017, and are currently being reviewed by staff.
Digital Plan Review
- Last month at the invitation of the Building Industry Association, Planning and Information Systems staff attended a joint presentation with the City of San Marcos to view opportunities to upgrade our current Trakit project tracking systems by integrating Bluebeam’s digital mark-up technology. Bluebeam allows digital editing and mark-up of PDF construction drawings which can be quickly sent back and forth from design professionals to plan checkers enhancing collaboration and reducing plan check time frames.
Escondido Country Club Project Proposal and Information
- The City is currently reviewing an application to redevelop the Escondido Country Club and golf course. Throughout this process, we would like to provide as much information as possible to the public. The draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed “Villages” project was released and the 45-day public review and comment period began on June 28, 2017. All available information, the Draft EIR, and a periodic E-Newsletter providing updates are available using the following link: https://www.escondido.org/ecc.aspx
- The Freedom Tournament, an annual youth girls fast pitch event, will be held in Kit Carson Park from June 29 – July 2, 2017. Over 1500 families from outside of Escondido will be coming to the area for the event.
Independence Day Festival and Fireworks – Grape Day Park – Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Join 20,000 patriotic festival-goers for Escondido’s 54th Annual Independence Day Festival & Fireworks. This free community event features live music, food vendors, and a wealth of children’s activities and games for everyone to enjoy. The day’s festivities will conclude with a fireworks display starting at 9:00 pm. You won’t want to miss this annual North County tradition! For more information, click here.
On Saturday, June 24, EDI hosted an electronic waste collection event at Escondido High School. Along with E-waste collection, individuals could bring personal documents and have them shredded. The event was free for all City residents, school employees, and City employees. Our Recycling staff co-hosted the event with the high school, and approximately 200 vehicles went through the drop off line. This is the third year this event has been held, and it occurs twice a year.
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:
- Escondido Research and Technology Center – East (ERTC) (Developer: James McCann) – Project review and communications with the applicant are on-going but there are no new milestones to report this week: 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.
- Escondido Research and Technology Center – West (ERTC) (Developer: James McCann) – Project review and communications with the applicant are on-going but there are no new milestones to report this week: Construction is underway on the approximately 76,000 square foot medical office building with a linear accelerator. Palomar Health also will be constructing their new outpatient center adjacent to the site at 2185 Citracado Parkway.
- Centerpointe 78 Commercial (Developer: Lars Andersen, Pacific Development) – Project review and communications with the applicant are on-going but there are no new milestones to report this week: The grading plan was approved on May 10, 2017. Planning has approved a modified front elevation that would eliminate the second set of entry/exit doors. A building permit for the supermarket shell building was issued last week. Building plans for the tenant improvement of the market were submitted into plan check on May 9, 2017. 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 is currently being reviewed by staff.
- 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.
- 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.
- Springhill Suites (Developer: Raj Patel, San Bernardino Hospitality LLC) – Final interior design changes to meet Marriott’s current generation prototype are being reviewed by Esgil. Construction is expected to commence within the next month.
- Centre City Commercial Center (Developer: Todd Dwyer) – The public review period for the Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration ended on June 8, 2017, and the Zoning Administrator will consider adopting the environmental document on June 28, 2017. A demolition plan for the existing motel and restaurant buildings on the site was submitted the third week of May. The right of access to Centre City Parkway was approved by City Council on June 7, 2017. Based on Council discussion on June 7, 2017, City staff will require the project to record an irrevocable offer to dedicate for future pedestrian access to the future residential project to the south, Latitude II. Draft Engineering conditions were provided to the applicant last week. The applicant has notified staff that he is interested in participating in the expedited plan check program once the project is approved.
- StorQuest (Developer: The William Warren Group, Inc.) – The second check of grading plans was received by Engineering the week of April 30 and returned back to the applicant with comments three weeks ago. Building plans have now been approved by Esgil. Landscape plans were submitted on June 7, 2017 and are being reviewed by staff.
- Victory Industrial Development (Developer: Scott Merry, Badiee Development) – Project review and communications with the applicant are on-going but there are no new milestones to report this week: The applicant has secured his permits from the Army Corps, Regional Board, and CA Fish and Wildlife. The grading plan has been approved, BMP’s are installed and the permit has been issued. Signal plans and street improvement plans have been approved. A pre-construction conference was held at the site last week and construction is ready to commence. Initial site grubbing started last week.
- 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. Engineering sent comments on the third check of the grading plan in mid-June. Staff is awaiting revised plans from the applicant.
- Innovative Industrial Development (Developer: Scott Merry, Badiee Development) – Project review and communications with the applicant are on-going but there are no new milestones to report this week: 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.
- North American Self-Storage (Developer: Russ Colvin) – This project is participating in the expedited plan check program. The demo permit has been issued. The applicant submitted a 2nd plan check for the grading plan on April 13, 2017, and comments from all departments were provided back within 13 days. A boundary adjustment to combine the two lots on the site has recorded. The applicant is coordinating construction timing for an off-site water line with multiple departments. The applicant submitted for a 3rd plan check on June 2, 2017, and a request for final, minor corrections was sent back on June 15, 2017.
- 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, 2017 and affirmed the Planning Commission’s decision to approve the project.
- Wastewater Collections Yard Expansion (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) – Project review is on-going but there are no new milestones to report this week: Grading, building and landscape plans are now being reviewed by staff. Utilities staff is assessing value engineering options in an effort to reduce the cost of the facility. The most likely option will be to build the project in phases starting with two of the three approved buildings.
- HARRF Biogas to Energy Project (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) – Communications with the applicant are on-going but no construction plans have been submitted since the project was approved and there are no new milestones to report this week: A Conditional Use Permit for the project was approved by the Planning Commission December 13, 2016.
- Lake Wohlford Replacement Dam (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) – Project review is on-going but there are no new milestones to report this week: 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.
- 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.
- Self-Realization Fellowship Center (Developer: John Pyjar, Domusstudio Architecture – – Project review and communications with the applicant are on-going but there are no new milestones to report this week: 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 and specifying the additional information that was necessary to complete the application. The applicant resubmitted revised plans and technical studies on May 19, 2017, and staff comments will be issued by the end of next week.
- Oak Creek (Developer: Jason Han, New Urban West) – This project has been placed on hold by the developer while the City completes construction of the Southwest Sewer Project so there is no change from the following update reported last week: No grading or improvement plans have been submitted by the developer at this time.
- Amanda Estates (Developer: Jason Han, New Urban West) – This project has been placed on hold by the developer while the City completes construction of the Southwest Sewer Project so there is no change from the following update reported last week: No grading or improvement plans have been submitted by the developer at this time.
- Lexington (Zenner) (Developer: Eric Johnston, KB Homes) – The applicant received building permits for 10 new homes on April 18, 2017. Building permits for 15 additional homes were issued on May 4, 2017, and eight more homes were issued on May 9. The County Water Authority has now approved a necessary utility crossing through a short section of their easement. The new traffic signal at the corner of Ash and Vista should be operational before school starts back up.
- Stella Park Condominiums (Developer: Edward Kaen, ETP, LLC) – Lyon Homes submitted a precise grading plan on March 28, 2017. A final map, street improvement plans and landscape plans were also submitted on April 17, 2017. Building plans were submitted into plan check on April 6 and landscape plans on May 1. Comments were returned in the beginning of June. The rough grading permit was issued on May 22, 2017 allowing construction to start on the project. Engineering comments on the precise grading plan were sent out on June 16, 2017.
- Wohlford (Developer: Jack Henthorne) – Project review and communications with the applicant are on-going but there are no new milestones to report this week: 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 forwarded draft responses to comments to staff for review. Potential Development Agreement terms are now being considered.
- Latitude II (Developer: Peter Zak, Lyon/NCA) – A grading permit has been issued and grading is underway. The final map was approved by City Council on June 7, 2017. Utilities approved the off-site water line plans two weeks ago. Building permits for all six residential buildings (112 units) were issued on June 22, 2017.
- Canyon Grove Estates Tract 932 (Developer: John Vance, Shea Homes) – The model homes have been completed and are now open. Construction of the phases is underway with three more phases receiving building permits in early June. The precise grading plan for the remainder of the development has been approved.
- Safari Highlands Ranch (SHR) (Developer: Jeb Hall, Concordia Homes) – Project review and communications with the applicant are on-going but there are no new milestones to report this week: 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. Staff anticipates that the Draft EIR will be out for public review in June or July of 2017.
- High Pointe Tract 693-J (Developer: Russell Schaeffer, True Life Communities) – The applicant continues to actively market the property and there is no change from the following update reported last week: Staff has prepared a bond and fee letter based on the proposed grading and landscape plans, and has sent it to the applicant.
- Del Prado (Developer: Kerry Garza, Touchstone Communities) – Communications with the applicant are on-going but there are no new milestones to report this week: No grading or improvement plans have been submitted by the developer at this time.
- 701 San Pasqual Valley Rd (Developer: Bob Stewart) – Staff has met several times with the applicant to help work through project design and storm water issues. A Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration has been submitted and staff has provided comments to the applicant on the draft and technical studies. 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 is currently reviewing revisions to the tentative map that were submitted in early June.
- Escondido Gateway (Developer: Greg Waite, Integral Communities) – The builder (Lyon Homes) is coordinating with city staff to resolve ownership and title issues regarding three strips of land under existing excess right-of way that is proposed to be vacated for the applicant’s use. It is expected that those title issues will be resolved through a combination of quitclaims and eminent domain. Building and grading permits are nearing approval. Asbestos and lead-based paint abatement has been completed in preparation for demolition of the vacant building on the site, which should occur in July.
- 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. 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
- Ivy/Valley Parkway Mixed-Use Development (Developer: Abad Rahan Pars Inc./ Norm Wieme, Architect – Project review and communications with the applicant are on-going but there are no new milestones to report this week: 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.
- 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 first round of comments was provided back to the applicant and the applicant submitted revised plans on June 1, 2017. The applicant will be coordinating easement and utility crossing issues with the County Water Authority, whose main underground water transmission lines cross the site. Staff is preparing final comments for inclusion into the plans before scheduling the public hearings.
- 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. Distribution to other departments and agencies is underway. Staff and the applicant are working on an agreement that will provide contract planner services to expedite project review times.
- Twenty-nine solar permits were issued for the week. The Building Division has issued 460 solar permits this year compared to 661 issued for the same time last year.
- Our building inspectors responded to 222 inspection requests for the week.
- Building has issued 110 single family dwelling permit this year and 224 multi-family units. This compares with 45 single family dwelling and 33 multi- family dwellings for same time last year.
- Projects nearing permit issuance are:
- 917 W Lincoln, three new apartment buildings, nine units.
- Building permits for Latitude II, consisting of six buildings and 112 residential units at the northeast corner of the intersection of Centre City Parkway and West Washington Avenue were issued on June 22, 2017.
- 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. No change from previous.
- 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.
- Escondido Disposal is proceeding with finish work for the remodel of the existing administration building. Occupancy expected within 2 to 3 weeks. Preliminary inspections have been performed on the recycling equipment.
- Demolition of the previous bank building at 444 S. Escondido Blvd is nearing completion. No change from the previous.
- The medical office building at 2125 Citracado Pkwy is progressing with the erection of the building structural steel. No change from the previous.
- The medical office building at 1951 Citracado Pkwy has completed construction of the exterior masonry walls.
- The Westminster Seminary at 1725 Bear Valley Pkwy is proceeding with the framing on two of the buildings. All but one of the nine building foundations have been completed.
- The Emanuel Faith Church at 639 E. 17th Ave and the Church of Resurrection at 1445 Conway have received partial foundation inspections and underground plumbing inspections. Construction of the exterior masonry walls is progressing. No change from the previous.
- The new Popeye’s restaurant at 1541 E. Valley Pkwy has received suspended ceiling, drywall and hood inspection approvals. Final inspection and occupancy is expected soon. No change from the previous.
- The Ford auto dealership at 1717 Auto Pkwy is setting the finish in the office showroom as part of their extensive remodel. Final finish and site work is in progress.
- The new Veterans Village project at 1540 S. Escondido Blvd. has received partial foundation inspection and inspections of the masonry walls at Building 1. No change from the previous.
Building Maintenance & Operations
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, and City staff has received Caltran’s approval of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise goals for this federally funded project. It is anticipated that award by the City Council will be requested on July 12. Construction is anticipated to begin later this summer.
Neighborhood Streetlight Project
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, and the bid opening will be on August 3. It is anticipated that award of the construction contract will be requested of the City Council in August. Construction is anticipated to begin by early fall.
Lomas Serenas Storm Drain Basin Repair
Staff is soliciting bids for the restoration of a drainage basin located on Lomas Serenas Drive and Via Rancho Parkway. Project bidding closes on July 27, with construction beginning in August 2017.
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
No changes from that reported last week: The installation of the roadway base material has begun for the construction of the new roadway improvements for the two onsite streets.
Citron Project by William Lyon Homes
The mass grading of the project is continuing; the project is located at 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
Offsite traffic signal construction is continuing at Sheridan/Ash and El Norte/Vista Verde intersections. The County of San Diego offsite improvements are continuing this week along Ash Street between Vista Avenue and Hubbard Avenue. The full roadway closure is set for Wednesday, June 21 and continuing through July 7. Electronic message boards have been in place since June 16 notifying the local residences of the roadway construction activity, and a detour route will be in place along Sheridan Avenue to Broadway. Onsite construction is concentrated on installation of roadway base material in advance of placing new asphalt roadway material.
Latitude II Condominiums by a Lyon Homes Partnership: Washington Avenue at Centre City Parkway
The preconstruction meeting for the construction of the offsite water main along the easterly edge of Centre City Parkway, beginning at the Mission Avenue/Centre City Parkway intersection, will be held Thursday June 29. The work will require the closure of one lane of traffic along Centre City Parkway. Electronic message boards will be placed in advance of the work to inform motorists of the closure. No detours are expected as part of the construction.
Solutions Housing 1560 S. Escondido Boulevard
The project has been issued its final punch list and is anticipated to be completed later this week. This will conclude the reporting of this project.
No changes from that previously reported: The projects off site water improvements are idled this week while the developers design engineer determines the best solution for installing the project water mains around the multiple utility crossings along this projects frontage.
Tract 877 – Bernardo Ave. by Ambient Communities
No changes from that previously reported: The onsite construction, which includes constructing wall footing, sewer main and storm drain improvements, will continue this week.
Palomar Medical Center
No changes from that previously reported: The contractor has completed the rough grading of the temporary parking lot pad across from the main entrance to the hospital. Street light foundations as well as surface improvements are being installed this week.
Victory Industrial Park
The contractor is continuing to grade the site this week which includes the importing of material. The project is located at 2005 Harmony Grove Road and is 5.4 acres in size.
Center Point Project
The demolition of the existing concrete slabs is continuing this week; the project is located on the old Toyota car dealership at 999 Broadway.
- On 6/18/17, Officers responded to El Norte Parkway and Midway Dr. regarding a reported stolen vehicle in the area. Officers located the vehicle and took the driver into custody via a high risk stop. The adult male driver was booked into the Vista Detention Facility on related felony charges.
- On 6/18/17 at 19:47 hours, officers responded to a radio call referencing several subjects involved in drug activity in the parking lot of 1280 W. Valley Pkwy. An off duty Barstow Police Sergeant witnessed 3 suspects inside a vehicle dealing drugs. Officers arrived and determined the vehicle was stolen. Officers removed all suspects from the vehicle placed them under arrest for Felony Auto Theft.
- On 6/18/17 at 18:55 hours, a stolen vehicle was seen at El Norte Parkway and Kaile and was later located at Ash and El Norte. The driver pulled over on his own into an unrelated driveway. He was taken into custody during the Hot Stop and was the only occupant. The suspect is an adult male and was in possession of a small amount of methamphetamine. He was later booked into the Vista Detention Facility on drug and auto theft charges.
- On 6/19/17, a large concrete pump truck was stolen from Rick’s Concrete Pumping. A San Diego Sheriff deputy located the vehicle in San Marcos and was involved in a slow speed pursuit. The vehicle stopped at the Cal State Police Station, where the suspect was taken into custody without incident. The suspect was booked into the Vista Detention Facility for auto theft and felony evading. The vehicle was not damaged and was released to owner.
- On Monday, June 19, members from the Escondido Police Department, including Chief Carter and Captain Skaja, participated in a Police Athletic League charitable golf tournament. Retired Lieutenant Al Owens, in conjunction with long-standing PAL supporters North San Diego County Association of Realtors, facilitated the event which raised over $8,000 for PAL. The funds help support programs such as PAL summer basketball, which had over 200 kids sign up this year! Since half require scholarships, and there are associated costs with uniforms and other fees, this fundraiser was crucial in maintaining the PAL program and serving our community’s children. Well done!