ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

A free informational session about the Façade and Property Improvement program will be held on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 from 9 – 10 a.m. in the Mitchell Room at Escondido City Hall (201 North Broadway). City economic development staff will provide basic information about the program including eligible improvements, the application process and examples of past projects. Planning division staff will also be in attendance to answer development-related questions.  A flyer about the workshop is attached. 

SPECIAL EVENTS 

  • Trinity Episcopal Church’s Good Friday Service
    Friday, March 25th 9am – 1pm
    Grape Day Park
    Annual worship service in the park. All are welcome.
  • For information about activities taking place in Escondido, please visit www.visitescondido.com 

PUBLIC WORKS UPDATE 

The Oak Hill Activity Center has been completely painted inside and out. 

The Park Avenue Community Center:
Shuffleboard Court painted inside. New carpet installed.
DEB Building walls textured and painted. New ceiling tiles, light fixtures and carpet installed. 

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 CommercialNo change from the following update reported last week: 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 and is working with the property owner regarding obtaining permits to demolish the existing structure. 
  • 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 Suites No 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. A revised set of grading plans have been approved and preliminary site clearing has commenced. 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 has received information for processing and has provided environmental consultants for preparing the environmental review. 
  • 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.No change from the following update reported last week: 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 city departments for comment. Correspondence has been mailed to the applicant regarding initial comments and the need for additional information to complete the application. 
  • Victory Industrial Development – This project involves two industrial buildings totaling 91,000 sq. ft. (one building 55,500 sq. ft., second building 35,500 sq. ft.) located at 2005 Harmony Grove Road and a zone change from residential to Planned Industrial consistent with the updated General Plan. The project has been routed to departments for initial comment and environmental review.

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. 
  • Pradera – 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 the first and second phases involving 16 units. Plans for a third and fourth phase have been submitted for review. 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 are nearing completion for staff approval. 
  • 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. The Planning Commission recommended denial of the proposal on March 22, 2016. The City Council is tentatively scheduled to consider the project on April 27, 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 consultant has reviewed the applicant’s technical reports and has provided comments for revisions and has commenced by-weekly status meetings as the document preparation gets underway. 
  • Latitude IINo change from the following update reported last week: 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 HighlandsNo change from the following update reported last week: 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 EscondidoNo change from the following update reported last week: 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 and SDG&E to design around several underground electric transmission lines that are in close proximity to the project’s water and sewer lines. A Mitigated Negative Declaration was issued on March 4, 2016 for a 20-day review period that concluded 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. Building plan check comments have been forwarded to the applicant involving minor corrections and edits. The funding for the property acquisition has been completed 
  • 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 DiegoNo change from the following update reported last week: 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 GatewayNo change from the following update reported last week: 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. Correspondence has been mailed to the applicant regarding initial comments for revisions and the need for additional information to complete the application.

Building Division: 

  • The Building Division issued 87 permits for the week with a total valuation of $360,590. 
  • 32 photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. Building has issued 302 solar permits this year compared to 192 issued for the same time last year. 
  • Building inspectors had a very busy week, averaging 40 inspections per day with 39 inspections on Friday, totaling 201 inspections for the week. The building counter was also busy this week averaging 39 counter sign-ins per day and 26 on Friday, totaling 192 for the week. On Monday and Thursday 48 customers signed in seeking assistance. 
  • The 33-unit apartment complex for Solutions for Change was issued comments regarding the second round of plan check review. 
  • No change from the following update reported last week: The 76-unit condominium complex at 2412 S Escondido Blvd has received exterior color coat and is continuing with the interior and exterior finish work. 
  • Four new single family dwellings located on Foothill Views were submitted for plan review. 
  • Phases 3 & 4 of Pradera were submitted last week for plan review. 

Code Enforcement: 

  • As of March 21, 2016, the total number of open code enforcement cases is 391 cases. During the prior week, 69 new cases were opened, and 49 cases were closed, with a backlog of an additional 18 cases not yet opened for assignment and investigation. 
  • There were 74 illegal signs confiscated during the weekend. 
  • Last week the Business License Division issued 18 new licenses and received 29 new applications, in addition to 120 renewals. 

Public Art:

No change from the following update reported last week: During a routine inspection of playground equipment in Grape Day Park, some damage was discovered to the climbing vines at Vinehenge.  Several City staff members reviewed the structure and it was determined that it was best to close the play structure to the public while repairs are being considered. The slide will remain open for use, but the climbing vines will be closed until further notice. Staff is discussing repair options with the artist who constructed the play structure. 

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS 

Kit Carson Park D-75 Concrete Ditch Stabilization:
The contractor completed the installation of the new concrete drainage channel on Tuesday, March 22, 2016.  The cleanup of the construction material and staging area should be completed by the end of the week. 

Kit Carson Hockey Rink Improvements:
No changes from the following update reported last week: The roof vents have been ordered with a delivery date of March 23, 2016. Work for installing the roof vents will commence at that time. 

Washington Park Pool re-plastering:
The project is proceeding with rust remediation prior to replacing the pools plaster surface. 

Private Development 

Bear Valley Parkway between Boyle Avenue and San Pasqual Valley Road (County Project): The base layer of asphalt pavement was installed on Tuesday March 22, 2016 between Suburban Hills Drive and Idaho Avenue. The storm drain installation is nearing completion with the contractor still working in the Boyle Avenue intersection this week.  Idaho Avenue and Boyle Avenue east bound travel are still closed for reconstruction. 

2412 South Escondido Boulevard:
No changes from the following update reported last week: Work has started on the offsite street improvements. Curb and gutter along Escondido Blvd. has started. 

Pradera - Lennar Communities:
Ash Street north bound between Lehner Avenue and Stanley Avenue is closed until March 31, 2016 for the construction of the new roadway.  The work is being done to coincide with the spring break observed by the school district. On Stanley Avenue the contractor is continuing with the construction of the new water main, as well as new concrete improvements.
Plan reviews and approvals continued on this project as follows:

  • The in-tract improvement plan for Street “C” was approved last week.
  • The Final Map for Street “C” goes to City Council today for approval and should be ready for recording in about a week.
  • The Precise grading plan for the Model Homes on Street “E” was revised to include a new Plan 5 Model. This revision is ready for approval.
  • The 1st submittal of the Final Maps for Streets “A” and “B” made on January 27th was returned to the Engineer on February 22. 

Pacific Ranch- KB Homes:
Field Engineering staff met with the developer and their underground contractor on Monday, March 21 in an attempt to expedite their project start up during the scheduled spring break period. The new sewer main construction along Ash Street between Lehner Avenue and Vista Avenue should begin on Monday, March 28. 

Rincon del Diablo 8” & 12” Water Main Construction:
The contractor is working along North Broadway between North Avenue and Jesmond Dene Road during the scheduled spring recess, March 21 through April 1.  This will maximize pipeline installation and minimize interaction between school traffic during this period.   

Private Development –Current Plan Review 

Solutions for Change Housing:
This project is a 3-story 34-unit low income/transitional housing project located on S. Escondido Blvd. just south of 15th Ave.  This project also has a small commercial office space component that will be subdivided off by “air space” Parcel Map for tax financing reasons.

  • The WQTR was approved on March 3 and the Grading Plan was approved March 10 meeting the March 11th deadline to close their financing escrow. 

Westminster Theological Seminary Graduate Student Housing:
This is a multi-phase project to add 72 units of graduate student housing to be located on a 9 acre parcel next to the existing Westminster Theological Seminary located off of Boyle Ave. and abutting Bear Valley Pkwy.   Although the site will require extensive grading, the frontage street improvements are just now being completed by the County’s Bear Valley Parkway – North widening project.  

  • The 1st submittal of the Grading plans, Water improvement plans, Landscape plans, and WQTR were made on March 1st and returned to the Engineer on March 16.
  • A request was made to stockpile excess material from the County’s nearby Bear Valley Pkwy. project and the developer was advised a rough grading and erosion control plan would be required. 

Escondido Dialysis Center Building - ERTC:
This 1 story 14,000 SF Medical Office Building will be constructed on Lot 19 of the Escondido Research & Technology Center and is primarily being built out as a dialysis center.

  • The 1st submittal of the Grading plans and WQTR was made on February 24th and returned to the engineer on March 16th. 

Tract 932 – Canyon Grove  (Hidden Valley Ranch):
This project is a 179-lot residential subdivision located at the ends of Vista Ave. and Vista Verde Dr. and will connect them when developed.   Shea Homes has acquired this project and continues to process the final engineering.

  • The 2nd submittal of the Offsite Traffic Signal plans were returned to the Engineer on March 17th.
  • The 2nd submittal of the Final Map was returned to the Engineer on March 17th.
  • The 4th submittal of the In-Tract Improvement plans was made on March 17th and should be reviewed by April 1st and likely be ready for approval when the bonding is posted and fee balances are paid.
  • A Bond and Fee Letter should be issued early next week.   

PUBLIC SAFETY 

Incidents

  • On March 14, patrol units assisted the Fire Department with an apartment fire by conducting  traffic control.  According to the residents of the complex, the apartment was vacant.
  • On March 19, Dispatch received a radio call regarding two males in the area of Aster St. and Crofton Ln. brandishing a firearm in a threatening manner.  The reporting party advised dispatch that one of the suspects concealed the firearm in a blue bag.  Upon arrival, Officers Laux and Alderman observed two males matching the description and detained them.  Detectives from the Gang Investigation Unit arrived on scene and located a blue bag in the 1700 block of Crofton Ln.  A .40 caliber handgun was recovered from the blue nylon bag.  Both subjects were placed under arrest.   
  • On March 20, Sergeant Witholt stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation.  The driver of the vehicle had a warrant and the front passenger admitted to having a gun.  A loaded handgun was recovered from the vehicle.  The handgun had been reported stolen in 2015.  The driver and two passengers were arrested. 
  • On March 20, officers responded to the area Valley Parkway and Beven Drive to assist the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department with a pursuit of a stolen pick-up that was entering the city from Valley Center. The pursuit ended when the suspect crashed into two parked vehicles. The suspect ran from the stolen vehicle after a collision.  Officers and deputies (CHP, SDSD, and EPD) searched the area and were unable to locate the driver. 

Events

  • Officer Pizzuti was honored by the Auto Theft Advisory Committee as the Escondido Police Department's Auto Theft Officer of the Year. Last year, Officer Pizzuti recovered 12 stolen vehicles, totaling a value of $30,000 in recovered property.  Congratulations Officer Pizzuti!

  

  • Twenty-five apartment managers and employees recently completed the Crime Free Multi-Housing Training Course. The Department will continue to assist them with their properties as they progress through the process of becoming fully certified Crime Free Multi Housing complexes.