ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

  • In an effort to showcase local wineries and Stone Brewing, tickets are now on sale for this season’s Wine & Craft Beer Tasting at Cruisin’ Grand. The event will take place Friday, April 8 from 5-8 p.m. on Maple Street Plaza (the second week of Cruisin’ Grand). Seven local wineries, plus Stone Brewing, will be offering tastes and local wine and craft beer expertise. The participating wineries are: 
    • BK Cellars Urban Winery & Tasting Lounge
    • Forgotten Barrel
    • Highland Valley Vineyards
    • Hungry Hawk Vineyards
    • Keys Creek Winery
    • Manzanita Ridge Winery
    • Vesper Vineyards 

Proceeds to benefit the Escondido Arts Partnership. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to https://www.escondido.org/cruisin-grand.aspx 

  • “Dine Out Escondido!”, coordinated by “Visit Escondido”, continued its momentum and growth with a successful third year; partnering once again with Visit California’s statewide California Restaurant Month program. Nine restaurants were added to the diverse list of 28 participants representing all facets of Escondido eateries.  A copy of the report is attached.
  • Sports Authority filed for bankruptcy and will close 140 stores, nearly a third of its total. The Escondido store at 1352 West Valley Parkway is one of the stores that will close within the next three months. 

SPECIAL EVENTS 

Saturday, March 12th 

  • Peace Begins with Me!
    Noon – 3pm
    Grape Day Park
    Escondido Education COMPACT’s annual community event promoting peace in our city.

Sunday, March 13th 

  • Grand Champion Cruise (Fundraiser for Cruisin’ Grand)
    8am – 2pm
    Downtown Escondido
    Annual fundraiser for Cruisin’ Grand produced and sponsored by SoCal Productions.
  • Spring Forward Festival
    10am – 5pm
    Grape Day Park
    The Kids of America are back with this free event featuring activates for the entire family, electronic recycling, entertainment and more!
  • For information about activities taking place in Escondido, please visit www.visitescondido.com 

PUBLIC WORKS UPDATE 

Crews have responded to an increase in calls for service for potholes and tree damage following the recent rains. 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Planning:

Major Projects Update:

Commercial / Office:

  • Escondido Research and Technology Center – East (ERTC) No change from the following update reported last week: This is a 72,000 square foot medical office building proposed on the east side of Citracado Parkway across from Palomar Medical Center located at 2130 Citracado Parkway. Building plans have been submitted for plan check. The Planning Division has approved a second set of corrected grading plans. On November 4, 2015 the City Council approved a 10-year extension to the previously adopted Development Agreement for ERTC that involves 20 lots in ERTC owned by JRMC. 
  • Escondido Research and Technology Center – West (ERTC) No change from the following update reported last week: This is a 144,000 sq. ft. development involving two medical office buildings proposed on the west side of Citracado Parkway across from Palomar Medical Center located at 2097 – 2175 Citracado Parkway. Building plans have been submitted for plan check.
  • Centerpointe 78 Commercial – This project is a 45,650 sq. ft. supermarket and restaurant located at 925 N. Broadway. The project was approved by the Planning Commission on November 10, 2015. The project was approved by the City Council meeting on December 9, 2015 and filing fees were paid to the County for the EIR. Street striping plans for the project’s frontage along North Broadway were approved. A revised site plan was submitted to shift parking away from the grocery store. Staff is waiting for submittal of a revised storm water plan that incorporates recent changes in regulations. 
  • Westfield TheaterNo change from the following update reported last week: This project is a 10-auditorium movie theater totaling 57,600 sq. ft. located on the north side of the Westfield Mall. The project was approved by the City Council on November 4, 2015. 
  • Felicita Development, LLCNo change from the following update reported last week: This project is a 140-unit hotel, and a gas station or office/residential care facility at the southeast corner of Felicita Rd. and Gamble Lane. The applicant and staff met with the architect to discuss building elevations, 5-story height limitations and site design issues given the existing wetland constraints on the property. Additional technical analysis and coordination is needed to address traffic, biology, water and sewer service, geotechnical and storm water concerns, along with a market study for the proposed uses. The applicant met with the wild life agencies and is responding to technical studies needed to complete the application. Tribal consultations are underway. 
  • Springhill SuitesNo change from the following update reported last week: This project is a 105-suite hotel totaling 73,300 sq. ft. located at 300 La Terraza Drive involving 4 stories, a small conference room and an enlarged lobby for serving continental breakfast. The project is in its third building plan check for this planned development. A revised set of grading plans have been approved and permits issued. Landscaping plans were submitted involving the hotel site and the parking lot of the adjacent property for review, and department comments are being finalized.
  • BMW DealershipNo change from the following update reported last week: A Precise Plan application to expand the existing dealership showroom an additional approximately 4,000 square feet and enhance the building façade at 1557 Auto Park Way was approved by the Planning Commission on October 13, 2015. A demolition permit to remove portions of the existing structure has been issues. The project is under construction. 
  • Escondido Auto Park Association – The association is proposing to upgrade the existing electronic message sign along I-15. On September 23, 2015, the Economic Development Subcommittee considered a request by the association to enter into an agreement with the City for reimbursement of a portion of the cost of the upgraded sign and expressed support for a five-year agreement based on anticipated public benefit of additional sales tax revenue. Staff met with the applicant regarding items to submit for the formal application and is awaiting additional information. 
  • Ford-Hyundai Dealership ExpansionNo change from the following update reported last week: An expansion involving approximately 13,000 sq. ft. of showroom buildings and 6,700 sq. ft. wash/detail building at 1717-1919 Auto Park Way was approved by the Planning Commission on June 23, 2015. Grading has commenced, the sign plans have been approved, and the Planning Division has signed off on the building plans.

Industrial 

  • Escondido Disposal Inc. – The CUP modification to expand the existing facility was approved by the Planning Commission on August 25, 2015. The project has completed its post-approval plan check process; staff has approved the grading and landscape plans. The County has notified the City that the applicant has made its application to the State permitting agency. Storm drain issues improvements that extend through the site are under construction. A revised site plan with updated parking and circulation has been submitted for staff review. Staff is determining the adequacy of the storm water basins. Building plans were received for Phases I and III. 
  • StorQuestNo change from the following update reported last week: This proposed project at 220 W. Mission Avenue involves a 102,500 sq. ft. development with 4-stories, 3 in-line shops and a small office in conjunction with a public storage facility. The application involving a General Plan Amendment, zone change and Planned Development was submitted for processing and routed to departments for comment.

Institutional

  • John Paul the Great Catholic UniversityNo change from the following update reported last week: A Conditional Use Permit to expand the campus and student enrollment at 155 W. Grand Avenue was approved by the Planning Commission on December 8, 2015. The proposal includes improvements to the former H. Johnson Building at 131 S. Broadway for studio and classroom space, and the former bank at 200 W. Grand Avenue for administrative offices and a student resource center. The proposed expansion would also increase the student enrollment from 300 to 1,200 students over the next several years. Staff has confirmed the availability of water and sewer connections. Staff had a conversation with the University President this week regarding potential future expansion plans beyond those previously approved. 
  • Calvin Christian Middle/High SchoolNo change from the following update reported last week: The project is an expansion involving a 15,500 SF auditorium, multi-use conference center, classrooms, terraces and walkways located at 2000 N. Broadway. Building plans have been submitted for review and comment; the grading plans have been approved. 
  • Escondido United Reformed ChurchNo change from the following update reported last week: The project is an expansion for a phased, multi-year, master construction/development plan for a new 12,250 SF two-story sanctuary, conversion of existing buildings to a social hall, demolition of an existing social hall/classroom building (approx. 4,620 SF) and construction of approximately 5,250 SF for a nursery, multi-purpose room, classrooms for Sunday school and other associated activities, and bathrooms, and an enclosed 1,835 SF central Atrium/Narthex at 1864 N. Broadway. Building plans have been submitted for review and comment for portions of project, revised architectural designs for the sanctuary have been submitted for review; the grading plans have been approved. 

Residential 

  • Oak Creek (NUW)No change from the following update reported last week: This project is a 65-unit single family development located at the southeastern corner of Felicita Road and Hamilton Lane. The LAFCO Board unanimously approved the annexation on October 5, 2015. Staff has returned documents to LAFCO memorializing their action that included final paperwork to be completed prior to annexation recordation. 
  • Amanda Estates (NUW)No change from the following update reported last week: This project is a 22-unit single family development on Amanda Lane. The LAFCO Board approved the reorganization (annexation) at their meeting on August 3, 2015. Staff has returned documents to LAFCO memorializing their action that included final paperwork to be completed prior to annexation recordation. 
  • PraderaNo change from the following update reported last week: This project consists of a 70-unit single family development located at the northeastern corner of Ash Street and Lehner Avenue. Grading and construction are underway. Staff is reviewing improvement plan and the final map submittals, as well as the precise grading plans and landscaping plans. Building Plans for three, two-story model homes have been completed and the units are currently under construction and are undergoing building inspections. A fourth single-story unit will be marketed with this development, but no model home for the single-story unit will be constructed. The developer obtained building permits for the first the first and second phases involving 16 units. Models opened on January 30, 2016. 
  • Zenner – The project is a 40-unit single family development at the northeastern corner of Lehner Avenue and Vista Avenue. Staff approved concept building elevations from the homebuilder, KB Homes, The annexation was approved by LAFCO on Sept. 14, 2015, and has been recorded by the County Recorder’s Office. Proposed street names have been submitted for Planning Division approval. Plans for constructing an off-site model complex on three separate parcels near the project has been submitted for staff review. 
  • Stella Park Condominiums – This project is a 65-unit townhome Planned Development located at 2516 S. Escondido Blvd. A Mitigated Negative Declaration was issued on February 16, 2016 for a 20-day review period that concluded on March 8, 2016; no substantive comments were received. Staff anticipates a Planning Commission public hearing on March 22, 2016. 
  • Wohlford – This project is a 55-unit single family development located on Bear Valley Parkway east of Encino Drive. Staff has reviewed submittals and technical reports from the applicant. A Specific Alignment Plan for Bear Valley Parkway detailing the roadway is under review. Tribal consultation meetings have been completed. The EIR Consultant and staff held a kick off meeting to commence preparation of the EIR. The consultant has reviewed the applicant’s technical reports and has provided comments for revisions. 
  • Latitude II – This project is a 112-unit multi-family development, located at the northeastern corner of Centre City Parkway and Washington Avenue, and approved by the City Council on August 19, 2015. A Final Subdivision Map has been submitted for review. Rough grading plans have been approved. Comments have been provided regarding the architectural plans that have been submitted for plan check. The CC&Rs and landscaping plans have been submitted for review. 
  • Canyon Grove Estates (Tract 932)No change from the following update reported last week: This project is a 179-lot single family residential development on the north side of Vista Avenue east of Conway Drive. Staff approved the substantial conformance determination for the revised tentative map and continues to coordinate with the applicant on the proposed grading plan. The applicant has concluded the mitigation credits at Daley Ranch, and is pursuing acquisitions needed for offsite improvements. Grading plans were issued; all bonds and fees have been posted. Staff worked with the applicant to modify the sewer manhole spacing for the project to facilitate the project. Removal of portions of the groves slated for development has commenced. 
  • Safari Highlands –This project is a 550-unit single family development located east of the Rancho San Pasqual community and north of the San Diego Safari Park. The project involves 1,100 acres including annexation and Sphere of Influence update for a master planned community with parks, trails, recreation center, fire station, open space, on-site sewer facility for treating a portion of the on-site wastewater for irrigation purposes. Planning and Engineering extensions of staff have been funded by the applicant and retained to assist the City in processing the project. Staff met with a representative of the Fish and Wildlife Department to discuss the project. Other outreach efforts have included City of San Diego, San Diego Zoo Safari Park representatives, public agencies and surrounding residents. Interviews were held with three consulting firms bidding on preparing the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the project. City Council consideration of the consultant contract for preparing the EIR is scheduled for March 23, 2016. More information about this project is on line at: http://www.escondido.org/safari-highlands-ranch-specific-plan.aspx 
  • High Pointe (Palos Vista Neighborhood 3) – No change from the following update reported last week: This project is a custom-home development with 39 estate lots accessed from Mesa Rock Road. Staff has prepared a bond and fee letter based on the proposed grading and landscape plans, and has sent it to the applicant. 
  • Paseo Escondido –This project is a mixed-use 122-unit multi-family planned development at the southeastern corner of Ash Street and Washington Ave. The proposed project consists of 26 one-bedroom and 96 two-bedroom apartments in three four-story buildings, and two 5,000 SF commercial buildings (10,000 SF total) oriented around an outdoor plaza. Additional submittals are required to complete the application and the applicant is conducting a soils analysis to ensure there are no onsite contaminants. 
  • Del Prado (former Woody’s site) –This project is a 113-unit Planned Development located at the southwestern corner of Brotherton Road and the Centre City Parkway frontage road. The project includes a recreational facility, pool, and open space areas Staff met with the applicant to address sewer and emergency access and engineering issues. A revised set of plans was submitted responding to staff comments. The Fire Department met with the applicant regarding emergency access. Staff is working with the applicant to develop street striping plans around the project’s frontages to ensure safe traffic movement. A Mitigated Negative Declaration will be issued on March 4, 2016 for a 20-day review period that will conclude on March 23, 2016. A Planning Commission public hearing has been tentatively scheduled for April 12, 2016. 
  • Solutions for Change – This project is a Planned Development application for 33 affordable multi-family units. It was approved by the Planning Commission on October 13, 2015, and by the City Council November 18, 2015. Building plans have been submitted for review and a comment letter is being prepared. Staff authorized payment of Housing Division funds for reimbursement of applicant’s consultant invoices. Staff has preliminarily accepted minor redesign efforts to meet construction costs and is working with the applicant to ensure state financing remains available for the project. Changes to the architecture and site plan were submitted for review and comment. 
  • 701 San Pasqual Valley RdNo change from the following update reported last week: This project is a 19-unit single family development located at 1201 E. 5th Avenue (formerly Tract 898) on 7.2 acres. The application is under review and a letter detailing additional comments and submittal requirements was forwarded to the applicant. 
  • Veterans Village of San Diego – This project is a mixed-use development involving a 54-unit affordable multi-family residential apartment project for military veterans and their families. It includes on-site administration office, business center, club house and other support spaces for the residents; and a small commercial component to support training opportunities offered at the facility at 1556 S. Escondido Boulevard. Building plans have been submitted for review and comment; the grading plans and landscaping plans have been approved. 
  • Escondido Gateway – This project is a mixed-use development involving 122 residential units with a 3,000 sq. ft. commercial space on 2.6 acres (47 dwelling units/acre) located at 700 W. Grand Avenue (former Police Station) across the street from the North County Transit Station. Plans were submitted for the project involving a Specific Plan Amendment, Tentative Map, Planned Development and Development Agreement. Plans have been routed to various departments for comments. A letter identifying additional items to complete the submittal package was forwarded to the applicant.

Building Division: 

  • The Building Division issued 80 permits for the week with a total valuation of $569,633. 
  • 31 photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. Building has issued 232 solar permits this year compared to 157 issued for the same time last year. 
  • Our building inspectors had a very busy week, averaging 32 inspections per day with 26 inspections on Friday. Our building counter was very busy this week averaging 40 counter sign-ins per day and 34 on Friday. On Thursday 51 customers signed in seeking assistance. 
  • No change from the following update reported last week: The 33 unit apartment complex for Solutions for Change has submitted plans to address the second round of plan review comments. 
  • The 76 unit condominium complex at 2412 S Escondido Blvd has received drywall and lath inspections on all 3 buildings and are proceeding with the interior and exterior finish work. 
  • The new 24 Hr. Fitness at the North County Mall is proceeding with the pool excavation and getting ready for a pre-plaster inspection. 
  • The new Taco Bell restaurant and office building on North Escondido Blvd are now preparing their project site for final inspection and occupancy. They also received temporary electric and gas meter release for equipment testing. 
  • The Meadowbrook assisted living facility at North Broadway has received inspection approval for their podium slab and are beginning framing on the first floor. 
  • The Pradera single family dwelling project at Lehner Avenue and Ash Street received foundation approvals for 16 production units and has placed concrete for these 16 units.

Code Enforcement: 

  • As of March 7, 2016, the total number of open code enforcement cases is 339 cases. During the prior week, 58 new cases were opened, and 68 cases were closed, with a backlog of an additional 59 cases not yet opened for assignment and investigation. 
  • There were 158 illegal signs confiscated during the weekend. 
  • Last week the Business License Division issued 47 new licenses and received 41 new applications, in addition to 241 renewals. 

Public Art:

Weather permitting, Queen Califia’s Magical Circle in Kit Carson Park (3333 Bear Valley Parkway) will be open to the public on Sunday, March 12, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Docents will be on site to answer questions. 

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS 

Kit Carson Park D-75 Concrete Ditch Stabilization:
No changes from the previously reported item: The City received the bids on Thursday, February 25, 2016 and George Weir Inc. was the winning bidder. The Notice to Proceed was issued for February 26. The work is scheduled to be completed by April 13. 

Kit Carson Hockey Rink Improvements:
No changes from the previously reported item: A pre-construction meeting will take place this week. Roof vents have been ordered

Washington Perk Pool re-plastering:
No changes from the previously reported item: The Notice to Proceed (NTP) for construction was issued for February 24th.  After draining the pool, the contractor started removing the existing plaster in the larger pool.  The contractor expects the plaster removal to be completed approximately mid-week, and re-plastering started by the end of the week.  This project is funded by a Housing Related Park Grant. 

Private Development 

Bear Valley Parkway between Boyle Avenue and San Pasqual Valley Road (County Project): Idaho Avenue west of the Bear valley Parkway project is closed to all traffic for the reconstruction of the intersection.  The storm drain installation is nearing completion with the contractor working towards Boyle Ave. The contractor is placing and compacting class II base on the north side of Bear Valley Parkway. Base paving should be completed in 2-3 weeks. The work at the Boyle Avenue intersection is affecting vehicle travel in both east and west bound travel due to construction related activities 

2412 South Escondido Boulevard:
On site construction of new homes is continuing this week. Work has started on the offsite street improvements. Curb and gutter along Escondido Blvd. has started. 

Pradera - Lennar Communities:
No changes from the previously reported item: Offsite storm drain construction along Ash Street between Lehner and Sheridan is completed.  The new water main on Stanley is 60% complete.  Wood framing has started for the first phase.  

Rincon del Diablo 8” & 12” Water Main Construction:
No changes from the previously reported item: Ongoing installation of the new Rincon water line from Jesmond Dene, north to Jack Rabbit Acres.                                                                                                            

Tract 932 - Canyon Grove:
No changes from the previously reported item: The project grading plan was approved last week. The contractor has removed 80 percent of grove located within the project after receiving the Grading Permit on Thursday, February 11, 2016. The required storm water preventive measures (SWPPP) are in place for the control of potential runoff during construction of the project. The contractor is potholing the existing grade to confirm limits of removal for the grading portion of the project. 

PUBLIC SAFETY 

Police:

Incidents

  • On 3/2/2016, officers from the Gang Enforcement Team located a stolen vehicle in the area of 9th Avenue and Tulip Street.  The driver, who had a felony warrant for vehicle theft, was taken into custody without incident.  The vehicle was returned to the owner and the driver was booked into the Vista Detention Facility for possession of a stolen vehicle. 
  • On 3/2/2016, a subject wanted by the Crimes of Property Unit was located in the 200 block of N. Midway.  The suspect fled the area in a stolen vehicle and was caught after a brief vehicle pursuit.   The suspect was booked into the Vista Detention Facility on charges of burglary, possession of a stolen vehicle, evading arrest and possession of methamphetamine. 
  • On 03/03/2016, officers were dispatched to Planned Parenthood regarding an alarm activation.  Officer Guerrero arrived on scene, went to the back of the location, and encountered a suspect.  The building was searched by Officer Sinnott and his K-9 partner, Max.  Two additional burglary suspects where located inside the building.  All three suspects were taken into custody and charged with burglary. 
  • On 3/5/2016, personnel from the Escondido Police Department, Sheriff’s Department, County Probation, and other North County agencies participated in a probation compliance detail in the City.  Teams from the detail conducted numerous probation checks, ensuring probationers were complying with the conditions of their probation.  The detailed netted a total of six arrests.

Events

  • On 3/2/2016, the Palomar Health Community Coalition of Escondido and the Escondido Education COMPACT honored Chief Carter for his work on updating a city ordinance making it illegal to operate dispensaries in the City of Escondido.  The Chief was presented a certificate of appreciation for his longstanding dedication and commitment to the prevention youth access to marijuana.  During the ceremony, Chief Carter emphasized the ordinance was enacted because of the hard work and support from many different City departments and the City Council. 

  • On 3/3/2016, the Escondido Police Department hosted its annual Awards Ceremony, celebrating the accomplishments of 2015.  Congratulations to all of the recipients.   

Fire 

  • The Burn Institute’s Boot Drive on March 2 raised just over $8,000 in Escondido. The contributions collected during the Boot Drive make up almost 25% of the revenue for the Burn Institute’s Annual Budget.  
  • The American Legion Law & Order Awards dinner was on Saturday, March 5th. Captain David Abraham received a Meritorious Award for his work and leadership on the Zone RIC Drill. Engineer Ken Burris also received a Meritorious Award for his years of dedication, hard-work, and commitment as a member of the Apparatus Committee