FEATURED THIS WEEK 

New Utility Billing Program!
The new user-friendly utility billing payment system is live and already garnering significant participation. The new step-by-step how-to video provides instruction on registering and paying bills to make the process even easier. View the video on the City’s social media sites, Channel 19, and on the monitors throughout City Hall.

Fire Department Receives Grant for New Jackets!
Escondido Fire Department was awarded a grant from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation that will improve the safety and effectiveness of our Firefighters. The generous donation of $14,888.65 paid for the cost of 91 new wildland firefighting jackets. On Thursday, June 6th the new jackets were showcased at our local Firehouse Subs store.

Escondido Police and Fire Departments Participate in Wildlife Summit
On May 30 and 31, 2018, the San Diego Safari Park hosted a Wildfire Preparedness Summit for zoos and aquariums from the western United States. The event provided a forum for large and small institutions that care for animals to learn, share and discuss how they should be prepared for wildfires. During the seminar, a panel of emergency agencies fielded questions from the participants. Fire Chief Rick Vogt and Police Lieutenant Scott Walker were joined by representatives from San Diego City Police and Fire, CAL FIRE, and CHP. One theme that emerged from the event is the power of collaboration between all agencies.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT 

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: 

  1. 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 is now being reviewed by staff. Fire has approved the hydrant locations; and Engineering is reviewing the storm water basin design. 
  1. 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 project submittal has been deemed incomplete and a letter from staff requesting additional project related information was sent to the applicant on April 5, 2018. The applicant submitted revised plans on May 24, 2018, and has had a follow-up meeting with Fire. 

Industrial 

  1. Escondido Self-Storage Facility (Developer: Brandywine Homes, Inc.) 2319 Cranston Dr. – Engineering and Planning have notified the applicant that the project conditions of approval require a final map to be approved prior to building permit issuance. 
  1. North American Self-Storage (Developer: Russ Colvin) 852 S. Metcalf – A revised plot plan has been approved and revised building plans were submitted into plan check on January 17, 2018. Esgil and Fire have approved the building plans. Planning has very minor corrections remaining. Engineering has approved the grading plan for the revised project and is awaiting posting of the improvement bonds prior to authorizing issuance of the building permit. 

City Projects 

  1. 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. 
  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. 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. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife responded last month reiterating their earlier comments. Additional information is being compiled by the City’s biological consultants based on recent conversations with the agencies. 

Institutional

  1. 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 May 3, 2018. The applicant provided a revised biological study on April 23, 2018, and a revised storm water management plan on May 3, 2018. A follow-up meeting with Fire occurred on May 22, 2018. The applicant agreed to modify the vehicular access at the building entry and realign the walkway on the eastern side of the building.

Residential 

  1. 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 now appear to be concluding. A Planning Commission hearing has tentatively been scheduled for June 26, 2018. 
  1. 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: 
    https://www.escondido.org/safari-highlands-ranch-specific-plan.aspx 
  1. 18 lots at 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 were issued the last week of July 2017. Staff is currently reviewing revised plans submitted by the applicant on April 5, 2018, and comments are expected to be issued soon. 
  1. Escondido Gateway (Developer: Carolyn Hillgren, Lyon Living) 126 condo units at 700 W. Grand – Building plans have been approved by Esgil, Planning and Fire. Grading plans have been approved by Utilities, Planning and Fire. A street vacation for right-of-way frontage along Grand Avenue has been completed. Final demolition of the building foundation is now underway. Engineering approved the grading plan on May 22, 2018. The final map will be considered by the City Council for approval on June 6, 2018. The Building Division has issued a permit ready letter; and the bonds and fees have been posted with the Engineering Division. It is expected the construction permits will be issued this month.
  1. 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 with some cleanup remaining. 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 are expected to go out this week.  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:  https://www.escondido.org/ecc.aspx
  1. 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. On March 22, 2018, LAFCO staff provided a letter requesting additional information to support the annexation request. Staff provided the requested information to LAFCO on April 4, 2018. The applicant has recently proposed a revision to the storm drain alignment. That proposal is currently being reviewed by staff.  Final engineering plans were submitted on May 24, 2018. 
  1. 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. Planning is awaiting the first submittal of the environmental documentation for review. 
  1. 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. Planning is awaiting the first submittal of the environmental documentation for review. 
  1. 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. A completeness review letter was sent to the applicant on October 20, 2017, indicating the application was incomplete. 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. 
  1. 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. Planning staff sent a letter to the applicant on December 21, 2017, indicating the application was incomplete. 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 has reviewed the constraints drawing and will send a mark-up back to the applicant soon.
  1. 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. Planning met with the applicant on May 17, 2018 to discuss items listed in the letter. 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 
  1. Accessory Dwelling Units – Planning staff is currently working on nine applications for accessory dwelling units. Seven accessory dwelling units have been approved so far this year. Three accessory dwelling units were approved last year.

Building Division: 

  1. The Building Division issued 51 permits last week with a total valuation of $120,449. 
  1. 21 solar photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. The Building Division has issued 436 solar permits for the year compared to 393 issued for 2017. 
  1. Our building inspectors responded to 170 inspection requests for the week. 
  1. The total building valuation for all issued permits through June 2nd is $33,258,203 compared with $54,242,235 for same time last year. Building has processed 1,293 projects so far in 2018 compared with 1,326 projects in 2017. 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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. 
  1. Three of the residential buildings at the Westminster Seminary at 1725 Bear Valley Pkwy have received final inspection approval. Four residential buildings remain for final inspection. 
  1. The Emanuel Faith Church at 639 E 17th Ave is preparing for final inspection and temporary electrical service has been released. No change from the previous. 
  1. The Church of Resurrection at 1445 Conway received final inspection approval and a certificate of occupancy on June 4, 2018. 
  1. The new Veterans Village residential project at 1540 S Escondido Blvd has received drywall and lath inspection approval for Building 2 and the start of framing inspections at Building 1. 
  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 are preparing for a final inspection of the exterior shell buildings. Construction of the interior tenant improvements has started. 
  1. The new Starbucks at 121 W. Lincoln has received framing and drywall inspection approvals. Permits were issued last week for the interior tenant improvements. 
  1. 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. No change from the previous. 
  1. The new two story church sanctuary building at 1864 N Broadway has inspection approval for the final grout lift of the masonry walls as well as partial roof and slab inspection approval. 
  1. The 212,000 SF industrial shell building at 2005 Harmony Grove has received inspection approval for the tenant improvement portion of the project for underground plumbing and framing at the south end. No change from the previous. 
  1. The new 63-unit condominium project, Citron, at 2516 S Escondido Blvd has received foundation inspection approval for Building 2 and 3. 
  1. The new 105-room Springhill Suites hotel at 200 La Terraza has received second floor sheathing inspection wall approval. 
  1. The new Starbucks at 1645 S. Centre City Parkway is preparing for final inspection. 
  1. The new four-story Storquest self-storage facility at 222 W. Mission Avenue has received foundation and slab approval. Steel beams and supports are being erected. No change from the previous.

Code Enforcement

Graffiti Restitution 

 

Business Licensing

 

ENGINEERING 

Capital Improvements 

Valley Pkwy/Valley Center Road Widening Project: Day 217
The shift of north and south bound traffic was completed this past Tuesday with the final installation of K-rail along Valley Center Road. Staff is monitoring and adjusting signal timing to achieve the maximum traffic flow through the construction corridor. This week’s major activities consist of the removal of the remaining section of old roadway. The asphalt material is removed by means of an asphalt grinder. This material is then sent to a local recycling yard were the material will be processed into new hot mix asphalt for use throughout the county. The landscaper is continuing with the installation of the new irrigation systems along the west side of the project.  

Neighborhood Lighting Project
The Notice of Completion for the project will be presented at the June 6th council meeting for final acceptance of the public improvements.  

Transit Center Pedestrian Bridge Project
No changes from that reported last week: Transit Center Ped 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 has begun construction along Quince Street at the flood control channel. The first item of work is the construction of the pedestrian ramps along the bus facility frontage. The new crossing will allow for access to the bike path from the mass transit facility. City staff will begin to install glue down delineators along the Broadway and Valley Parkway bike path this Wednesday.  The new glue down delineators will help alleviate some of the maintenance required by the temporary traffic control currently in place along this portion of the project.  

PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT 

Centerpointe 78
The new striping alignment for the Fig Street and Lincoln Avenue intersection has been installed.  Final placement of the pedestrian ramp will be completed once the traffic signal modification is completed.   

Centre City Shopping Center
The onsite construction of new water main is continuing this week; the traffic signal contractor is pot holing utilities in the intersection this week.  The project is located at 425 W. Mission Avenue. 

Tract 932 - Canyon Grove Shea Homes Community
No changes from that reported last week: The developer completed pavement restorations at the project entrance on Vista Avenue this past week. 

Exeter Industrial Park
The contractor has placed concrete for the new sidewalk and spandrel along the project frontage. The SDG&E portion of the project along Harmony Grove Road is ongoing this week. The project is located at 2005 Harmony Grove Road and is 5.4 acres in size. 

Citron Project
Water improvements are being tested along both Escondido Boulevard and Cranston Drive this week. This is a 65-unit condo project located at 2516 S. Escondido Boulevard. 

Gateway Project
The contractor is continuing the process of removing the building slab and asphalt parking lot. The project is located at 700 W. Grand Avenue, the previous site of Escondido Police Department. 

Emanuel Faith Church
The contractor is grading and forming for the new driveway access along Felicita Avenue this week. 

StorQuest Self Storage
The onsite water line failed its first water quality tests, retesting is the order of work this week. The project is located at 222 W Mission Avenue. 

Lincoln Rock Apartments
The contractor has begun to pot hole utilities; the early indications are that the project will need to redesign some elements due to conflicts encountered.  The project is located at the southwest corner of Rock Springs Road and Lincoln Avenue. When completed, this location will offer 9 new apartment units. 

FIRE

News:

  • On Saturday, May 26th, Fire Prevention Specialists Bauer and Modglin spoke at an EMMPAC Meeting (Escondido Mobile Home Positive Action Committee). This committee was formed in 1986 and currently has 19 parks that are active in this committee and 21 parks total in Escondido. This was a very positive and successful event that focused on Fire and Life safety in these parks, including smoke alarm placement and testing.  Information was given about securing a Vile of Live for each senior mobile home to be located on their refrigerators to have important information for Emergency Service crews that could be responding to their home for an emergency.  This information should include, medications, family phone numbers, any DNR information.

  • In the early morning hours of Sunday, June 3rd, The City of Escondido Fire Department deployed Brush 131 (Battalion Chief Bertrand, Captain Duralde) and OES 8632 (Captain Worden, Engineer Schmeiser, Firefighter Paramedics Frasca and Tlapala) to the Aliso Incident in Laguna Niguel. 

POLICE

INCIDENTS:

  • On 5-30-2018, officers located a reported stolen vehicle in the area of El Norte Pkwy and Valley Pkwy.  Officers attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver refuses to stop and evades with wonton disregard for the safety of others.  The vehicle was pursued into Valley Center and spike stripes were successfully deployed with the assistance of deputies from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.  After driving over the spike strips, the driver of the vehicle pulled over and all four occupants were detained without further incident.  The driver was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle, and the other occupants were released to their parents. 
  • On 5-31-2018, officer located a stolen vehicle in the area of Lincoln Ave. and Broadway St.  The driver yielded to police and was taken into custody without incident. The driver was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of a controlled substances. He was later booked into the Vista Detention Facility. 

COPPS:

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.     

  • 12 arrests were made
  • 36 citations were issued
  • 39 radio calls