ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

In preparation for the tens of thousands of visitors who will come to Escondido during the 2016 season of Cruisin’ Grand which starts April 1, Public Works employees have been sprucing up downtown by touching up benches, mulching tree wells, repairing potholes, cleaning sidewalks,  etc.  

SPECIAL EVENTS

  • Cruisin’ Grand starts this Friday, April 1st
    Every Friday night from 5-9pm (April – September)

    On Friday nights a time warp hits downtown Escondido! The streets are filled with strolling people of all ages, while a parade of pre-1970s vintage cars slowly cruise up and down Grand Avenue. All kinds of vintage cars—from American Hot Rods, Classics, Antiques, and Customs—help make seven blocks of Escondido the place to be on Friday nights!  For more information visit http://cruisingrand.com/events/calendar/upcoming
  • For information about activities taking place in Escondido, please visit www.visitescondido.com 

PUBLIC WORKS UPDATE 

The train depot in Grape Day Park will be getting a new roof and paint. Work should begin on Friday, April 1. 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Planning:

Major Projects Update:

Commercial / Office:

  • Escondido Research and Technology Center – East (ERTC) – 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. Building Plans for the project have been submitted to the Planning Division for plan check. 
  • Escondido Research and Technology Center – West (ERTC) – 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. The Planning Division has approved the Building plans 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 – 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 grading has commenced for the parking lot. Landscaping plans were submitted 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 AssociationNo change from the following update reported last week: 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. Revised maps and technical studies have been submitted for review. The project has been routed to departments for comment. 
  • Micro-Filtration Reverse Osmosis – The proposed project involves a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for the development of a new city facility at 2512 E. Washington Avenue to provide advanced treatment for Title 22 quality recycled water produced at the City of Escondido’s Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility (HARRF) for agricultural uses. The facility would be sized for a total production capacity of 2.0 million gallons per day (mgd) and consists of two separate buildings (one building 14,440 sq. ft., second building 21,775 sq. ft.) that would contain a variety of equipment, pumps, electrical, control and storage rooms. Underground storage tanks (90,000 gallon feed tank, 163,000 gallon inter-process tank, and a 970,000 gallon product storage tank) are also included. Public environmental review commenced on March 8, 2016 and will conclude on April 6, 2016. Public hearings are anticipated in summer 2016. 
  • Wastewater Collections Yard Expansion – The project involves development of 1.8 acres of a larger, approximately 15.4-acre site for the construction of a new wastewater collections yard and maintenance facility for the City’s Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility (HARRF) at 1521 S. Hale Avenue. The proposed facilities will consist of three separate pre-fabricated metal buildings 3,735 sq. ft. - 5,670 sq. ft. for collections; work bays and workshops for regular maintenance of vehicles and equipment. The project would require the processing of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and rezone. Public environmental review commenced on March 22, 2016 and will conclude on April 20, 2016. Public hearings are anticipated in summer 2016.

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 School – 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 that include revisions to the auditorium; 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 on the first and second phases involving 16 units. Plans for a third and fourth phase have been submitted for review, bringing the total number of units built or under construction to 36. 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. Staff provided minor comments regarding the model home units.
  • Stella Park CondominiumsNo change from the following update reported last week: 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. Cultural field work has 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) – 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. Grading has commenced including removal of portions of the groves in areas slated for development. 
  • 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 approved the consultant contract for preparing the EIR on 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, coring and sampling as part of environmental analysis. 
  • 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; no substantive environmental comments were received. A Planning Commission public hearing has been tentatively scheduled for April 12, 2016. 
  • Solutions for ChangeNo change from the following update reported last week: 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 72 permits for the week with a total valuation of $65,590. 
  • 21 photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. Building has issued 329 solar permits this year compared to 204 issued for the same time last year. 
  • Building inspectors had a very busy week, averaging 34 inspections per day with 34 inspections on Friday. The building counter was also busy this week averaging 34 counter sign-ins per day and 21 on Friday. 
  • The Pradera single family dwelling project at Lehner Ave submitted plans for Phase 3 & 4. 
  • The Westminster Seminary at 1725 Bear Valley Pkwy submitted plans for 9 residential buildings and a commons building on their site.
  • 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. 
  • Applications have been received for the Inspector II position and interviews will be scheduled in April. 

Code Enforcement: 

  • As of March 28, 2016, the total number of open code enforcement cases is 372 cases. During the prior week, 29 new cases were opened, and 39 cases were closed, with a backlog of an additional 14 cases not yet opened for assignment and investigation. 
  • There were 3674 illegal signs confiscated during the weekend. 
  • Last week the Business License Division issued 50 new licenses and received 23 new applications, in addition to 178 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, April 9, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Docents will be on site to answer questions.
  • 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. A contract has been signed with the Vinehenge artist to perform the necessary repairs, which should be completed within 30 days. 

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 has been delayed. The work for completing the project is set to resume on Wednesday of this week. 
  • Kit Carson Hockey Rink Improvements:
    The vents were delivered this past week and installation of the units will begin on Wednesday of this week once the weather system leaves the area. The work surface has been too wet to enable the contractor to work safely. 
  • Washington Park Pool re-plastering:
    The project is proceeding with replacing the pools plaster surface this week. 
  • Grape Day Park Playground:
    The Notice to Proceed date for the project was Monday, March 28. The contractor has indicated that he will begin mobilizations in the next couple of days. The project timeline is 3 months with funding provided by a Housing related Park Grant.           

Private Development 

  • Bear Valley Parkway between Boyle Avenue and San Pasqual Valley Road (County Project):
    The base layer of asphalt pavement was installed for the Idaho Avenue portion of the project this past week. New traffic signal poles are being constructed this week for the remaining portion of the Idaho Avenue/ Bear Valley Parkway intersection.  The storm drain installation is nearing completion with the contractor still working in the Boyle Avenue intersection this week. 
     
  • 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 has been reconstructed with new roadway pavement and vehicle traffic was switched this past Saturday, March 26.  The removal of the south bound portion of Ash Street was started the same day which requires the closure of south bound traffic on Ash Street between Stanley Avenue and Lehner Avenue for the construction of the new roadway. The work is being done to coincide with the spring break observed by the school district. The new concrete curb and gutter improvements are set to be installed along this section of roadway on Wednesday of this week. The repaving of the remaining portion of the Ash Street improvements will be completed on Saturday April 2, in time for the reopening of school on Monday, April 4. 
  • Pacific Ranch- KB Homes:
    The contractor has started the construction of the new sewer main for the model homes along Ash Street between Lehner Avenue and Vista Avenue. City staff is working very closely with both developers to ensure we are able to accommodate both phases of construction along this half mile segment of roadway during the spring recess period. 
  • Rincon del Diablo 8” & 12” Water Main Construction:
    The contractor has completed the installation of all new water main piping for the portion along Broadway between Jack Rabbit Acres and North Avenue. The contractor plans on taking advantage of the school closure this week to complete final pavement restoration and restriping along this segment of roadway. North Avenue between Broadway and Laurashawn is closed this week to all traffic to complete the remaining water main installation. 
  • Tract 932 - Canyon Grove Shea Homes Community:
    The project is in the mass grading phase with the first two future housing pads already taking shape. A tail gate meeting was held on Monday of this week to discuss the available work zones along Ash Street between Vista Avenue and Sheridan Avenue. The potential of multiple construction phases by three developments is being closely monitored by staff to minimize  inconvenience to local residents while ensuring safe access to the multiple affected schools. 

Future Capital Improvement:

  • FY 15/16 Street Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project:
    Staff is nearing completion of project plans and specifications and anticipates advertising the project on ebid board the first week of April.  If completed on schedule, construction will begin by early June 2016. 

PUBLIC SAFETY 

Police

Incidents: 

  • On 3/21/2016, dispatch received a call of two people attempting to steal a stereo from a vehicle.  Officer Villanueva arrived on scene and saw the suspect vehicle leaving the area.  The vehicle was stopped and three suspects were taken into custody for warrants and vehicle burglary.
  • On 3/23/2016, officers from the Gang Enforcement Team observed a wanted person in the area of 10th Ave. and Orange St.  The person ran from the officers but was caught after a lengthy foot pursuit. The suspect was booked into county jail for the felony warrant and resisting arrest.    
  • On 03/23/2016, officers from the Gang Enforcement Team observed two known gang members in the 1300 block of Oakhill Dr. Both people ran from the officers and were caught after a brief foot pursuit.  Both were arrested for probation violation and resisting arrest.   
  • On 03/24/2016, officers responded to Hidden Valley Middle School for a report of four juveniles going onto school property.  The officers snuck up on the juveniles as they were in the process of spray painting graffiti on the walls of the school.  All four juveniles admitted to being part of a tagging crew.
  • On 03/24/2016, officers responded to the intersection of Quince St. and Washington Ave. for a report of a collision between a vehicle and bicyclist.  The bicyclist suffered severe injuries, including multiple broken bones and a skull fracture.  Due to the significant injuries sustained by the bicyclist, the Traffic Division was called in to investigate the collision. 
  • On 03/24/2016, Officer Guerrero attempted to stop a vehicle for driving at night without its lights on.  The vehicle fled and a short pursuit ensued.  The driver of the vehicle lost control and crashed in the area of Mission Rd. and Midway Dr.  The driver was taken into custody without incident.   It was determined the vehicle was stolen, but unreported.  The driver was charged with auto theft and possession of a stolen vehicle.
  • On 3/25/2016, the Escondido Police Department conducted a DUI Sobriety / Driver’s License Checkpoint in the area of Avenida Del Diablo and Valley Parkway. Eight citations were issued during the checkpoint, two people were arrested for driving under the influence, and two people were arrested for possession of methamphetamine, heroin and probation violation.
  • The Escondido Police Department will continue conducting DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoints and DUI Saturation Patrols in the ongoing commitment to lowering deaths and injuries upon our streets and highways. 

Events: 

On 3/26/2016, Officer Sainz and Lieutenant Owens assisted the North San Diego Real Estate Professionals Group in an Easter egg hunt for children in the 500 block of Aster St. The Real Estate Group filled 2, 000 eggs with candy and treats. They also provided each child with a stuffed animal and a small gift basket. Approximately 40 children attended the event.  The children managed to pick up all 2,000 eggs in less than 10 minutes.