LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

    • 91% of businesses were satisfied with the North County's quality of life.
    • 44.6% of businesses have difficulty finding qualified job applicants
    • North San Diego County is an economic region with over 1.1 million people and 443,000 jobs.
    • The area has a population larger than eight states including Delaware, Montana and South Dakota.
    • The North County region hosts innovative, export-oriented industry clusters including Biotechnology, Clean Technology, Sports and Active Lifestyle, and Information and Communications Technology.
    • North County's percentage of San Diego's economy:
      • 35.4% of population
      • 30.9% of jobs
      • 31.9% of gross regional product
      • 36.8% of exports
      • 41.4% of imports 
  • The Federal Economic Development Administration grant application for $3 million for the Citracado Parkway Extension has been completed and will be submitted this Friday, March 14.

 NORTH COUNTY TRANSIT DISTRICT UPDATE 

Passengers riding the SPRINTER light-rail system are now able to connect to free Wi-Fi while on board the trains. Connectivity should be extremely reliable since the SPRINTER travels primarily along city streets. However, connection speeds may vary depending on the number of passengers using the network at one time and what they are using it for. The free Wi-Fi service is only intended for light internet usage such as checking email and browsing the internet not streaming music or video or downloading large files. 

SPECIAL EVENTS 

The American Crown Circus will perform at the Swap meet property from March 13th-17th, from 5-9 p.m. Admission is $18.  It is a family acrobatic circus show that includes juggling, clowns, acrobats and an aerialist. 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT UPDATES 

Planning:

  • The Planning Commission recommended approval of the prezoning and annexation request for the 1.3 acre City-owned property north of Lake Wohlford Road east of Foxley Drive which contains the electric generator station operated by the City’s Utilities Division; and unanimously approved two CUP requests from Verizon for a new wireless facility at 220 W. Crest, and within the Seventh-Day Adventist church tower at 1305 Deodar Rd. 
  • Major Projects Update:
    • Oak Creek (NUW) – Staff continues its review of the revised technical reports and plans. The applicant is evaluating options for completion of the environmental document in response to recent correspondence from area residents.
    • Amanda Lane (NUW) – Staff is still awaiting revised submittals in response to LAFCO and staff review.
    • Zak/NCA Development – Revised plans were submitted on 3/5/14 and are under review.
    • Centerpointe – The scope of work for the EIR is being finalized to be incorporated into the contract for Council consideration on March 19th.
    • North Broadway Deficiency Area Projects – The applicant’s submittal of traffic studies for the various projects is behind schedule, effectively delaying the completion of the environmental documents. 
  • The Executive Director of artist James Hubbell's Ilan-Lael Foundation contacted staff regarding the ongoing restoration project for the Queen Califia Sculpture Garden.  The foundation is a non-profit arts education foundation located near Julian which has access to a number of skilled professional artists who are mosaic and tile artisans.  These artists work with Mr. Hubbell on his tile creations that can be found throughout San Diego County.  The foundation offered to help organize some of these skilled artists to volunteer in your restoration project of Queen Calafia's garden.  Their offer has been forwarded to the Niki Charitable Art Foundation and to Art Mosaic, Inc., the contractor responsible for the ongoing restoration effort, to see whether the artists could assist. 

Building Division: 

  • The Building Division issued 39 permits, including 9 photovoltaic permits, for a total valuation of $615,380. The Building counter averaged 26 daily sign-ins.  Inspections averaged 23 per day. 
  • Work is continuing at the following projects:
    • Classical Academy
    • McDonalds on E. Valley pkwy.
    • Contempo
    • HARRF Administration Building
    • Talk of the Town carwash and restaurant
    • Monticello assisted living facility

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS 

2013 - 2014 Pavement Repair and Rehabilitation Program:
The paving contractor is working on Mission Avenue between Fig Street and Broadway. The hours of work are between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. On Monday, March 10th the concrete contractor completed three bus stop pads in a single day. They are located on Escondido Boulevard at 3rd and 15th Avenue and on Broadway at Washington Avenue.     

Grape Street Public Improvement Project:
The project is down to its final two construction items. The new black vinyl fencing is being installed along the project. The street lights poles have been delivered and set in place; they will be activated in the next couple of weeks. 

Don Lee Drive Emergency Storm Drain Repair:
The pipeline repairs began on Thursday, March 6th. The contractor completed all repairs and restorations to the SDG&E property on Tuesday, March 12th.    

Private Development 

1146 East Valley Parkway- McDonald’s Restaurant:
The newly approved water main design was delivered to the City on Tuesday, March 4. A site meeting was held on site to discuss the order of operation. The pipeline material has not been delivered to the site at this time. 

Tract 888-Cambell Court:
Water line work is continuing on site. The houses are in the framing stage of construction. 

Lincoln Avenue & Escondido Boulevard Gas Main Testing Station:
The contractor is continuing with the backfill and testing of the 16” gas main. Permanent repairs to Lincoln Avenue will be started next week. 

RedFlex Camera Removal:
Staff has been working with RedFlex, the vendor responsible to remove Red Light Photo Enforcement signage and equipment at City intersections. Engineering staff met with RedFlex representatives in January to review the specific requirement for removal of the below and above grade facilities. On March 3rd, RedFlex received a bid for removal of their equipment. The schedule for removal is not yet available; however, removal of signage will be prioritized as the first item of work.

SDG&E Gas Main Integrity Testing:
The utility is applying for a permit to perform integrity testing along their 16” transmission gas main located on Enterprise Street south to Mission Avenue, Mission Avenue to Metcalf Street, Metcalf Street to Lincoln Avenue then on Lincoln Avenue to Rocksprings Road. The work will be performed at night to lessen the negative impact on the surrounding business community.     

PUBLIC SAFETY

Police:

  • American Legion 20th Annual Jimmie L. Hayes Memorial Law and Order Awards Dinner.  The following Police personnel were honored:
    • Martha Ellis – Medal of Merit
    • Officers Shaver, Whitaker, Martinez – Heroism award
    • Officer Songer – Traffic Officer of the Year
    • FB & Twitter numbers continue to rise and we are actively managing both of those outreach platforms in an effort to synthesize information outreach and collection in a way the public will find useful.  This process is ongoing and as we get deeper into the project we’ll hopefully have significant success stories to share.
    • PD hosted the San Diego Meth Strike Force Quarterly Meeting last Friday.  About 80 members from around the county met at the Police and Fire Headquarters in the Community Room for an update on the Meth Strike Force and a presentation by Child Protection Services.
    • PD has posted a job announcement for entry level officer position(s). They also have a recruitment video that was just produced.  The video will be published on Facebook with brief information and a link to the job application page.

 Fire

  • The Burn Institute (BI) Boot Drive is Thursday, March 13th. Escondido firefighters will be at various locations around the city accepting donations.  Funds raised from the “Boot Drive” go to burn injury survivors at burn camps and also to families at the UCSD Burn Center.

  • The American Legion Law and Order Awards were held on Saturday, March 8th. Fire Captains Barratt and Holcomb, Engineer Jeff Ratlif, and FF/PM Mike Mellon received Meritorious Awards for their work on the new Engines. Engineer Jeremy Good and Mark Pendry from Info Systems also received Meritorious Awards for their work on the vehicle laptop project. Finally, Erica Bribiesca received a Citizenship Award for her assistance with a child choking at the AM/PM Gas Station at Mission and Broadway back in July.