Graham Mitchell, the current City Manager of Lemon Grove, has accepted the position of Assistant City Manager.  His first day will be July 1, 2015. 


Members of the Economic Development Division staff met with Keith Roynon of the Roynon Paleontology Museum last week to discuss ways the City might assist him in his search for a new location in Escondido for his dinosaur museum.  He desires to find a larger location that will allow him to also be open to the general public, as well as school groups. He is seeking to purchase at a 6,000 to 10,000 square foot building with ample parking for school buses. He will need to have a fund raising campaign for the purchase of a new building. 


  • No Special Events this week.
  • For information about events taking place in Escondido, please visit


Escondido Downtown WiFi, the City’s new downtown outdoor wireless system, is now available to the public. The system has been available to the public in test mode for the past 90 days. We have had over 4,600 devises (phones, tablets, and Laptops) attached during this period, downloading over 380GB of data. To access Escondido Downtown WiFi, citizens select “Escondido Downtown WiFi” as their wireless network. They will receive a splash page with the City’s terms and conditions. Once they accept the terms and conditions, they have access to WiFi. Escondido Downtown WiFi covers Maple Street Plaza, Grand Ave., City Hall, and Grape Day Park. For more details on this project and coverage area, please see the attatched project review. 


In August 2014 representatives from Escondido Education COMPACT and Reveal Escondido Creek proposed a mural along the wall facing the Escondido Creek Trail between Harding and Rose Streets.  The mural, depicting a historic timeline of the creek, was approved by the city’s Appearance Committee and was designed and painted by youth volunteers and community partners. Unfortunately, due to repeated tagging and graffiti and despite COMPACT’s staff and volunteer weekly clean-up efforts, the groups have decided to restore the wall back to its original condition. 



  • The Notice of Preparation of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Lake Wohlford Dam Replacement Project has been issued. The purpose of the notice is to invite agencies and the public to comment on the issues to be analyzed in the EIR. A public scoping meeting will be held on Thursday, May 21st at 5:30 PM in the Mitchell Room at City Hall to solicit input on the scope of the EIR.
  • Representatives for the former Escondido Country Club property indicate an intent to submit a tentative subdivision map application this week for 270 single family residences pursuant to standards of the R-1-7 zone (Single Family Residential - 7,000 SF minimum lot size).
  • The County has provided notice that the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Valiano Specific Plan project in Eden Valley has been released for public review (see attached Notice of Availability): The proposed project includes 326 homes on 238 acres. Comments are due to the County on June 15, 2015. The public EIR review meeting is scheduled for May 18th at 6 PM at the Elfin Forest Fire Station. The purpose of the meeting is to provide an orientation to the organization of the Draft EIR and technical studies. You do not need to attend the meeting in order to submit comments, and no vote will be taken at the meeting. The San Dieguito Community Planning Group will be considering the Valiano project at a separate meeting, tentatively scheduled for June 11th.
  • EDI has submitted an application to modify the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for their existing SANCO Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at 1044 W. Washington Ave. The project includes a master plan for the expansion onto the adjacent property at 1021 W. Mission Ave. and reconfiguration of uses for more efficient operations.
  • Arby’s has submitted a Plot Plan application to convert a former bank building to a new fast food restaurant and drive-through at 320 W. Mission. Staff has been coordinating with the applicant regarding the traffic analysis to resolve issues prior to submittal of the formal application.
  • GO by BIKE! Bike to Work Day is a nationally recognized event celebrated annually on the third Friday in May, this year on Friday, May 15.
  • The SANDAG Board of Directors has released the draft San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan, including its Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS), which combines the big picture vision for how our region will grow over the next 35 years and includes an implementation program to help make that vision a reality. During the month of May (2015), SANDAG will hold seven workshops throughout the region that will provide opportunities to learn about and comment on the Draft Regional Plan and the Draft Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIR). Please visit for more information and the schedule of community workshops. The first workshop will be held on Tuesday, May 12th at 6:00 PM in the Mitchell Room at Escondido City Hall.
  • Major Projects Update:
    • Oak Creek (NUW) – The applicant is preparing additional information requested by LAFCO for the annexation application.
    • Amanda Estates (NUW) – The annexation was submitted on April 23rd and is under review by LAFCO staff.
    • Centerpointe 78 Commercial – Staff is reviewing sections of the screen check EIR as they become available. An amendment to the EIR contract is anticipated to conduct additional traffic analysis of the alternative traffic mitigation measures proposed by the applicant.
    • North Broadway Deficiency Area Projects – Staff has brought the various development teams together to coordinate the design of infrastructure improvements and has taken a proactive approach with County staff on review of required improvements within the unincorporated area. A finding of substantial conformance has been made for the previously approved tentative maps for the properties east of Ash Street (known as Lennar’s “Pradera” development). Revised grading plans have been submitted for review, with commencement of grading activities anticipated in May. Staff has provided design review comments on the proposed units recommending enhancement of the exterior elevation on all four sides of the units, and is working with the applicant to resolve setback issues relating to the location of the perimeter walls. The Pickering annexation has been recorded. The Zenner annexation, subdivision and development agreement was approved by the City Council on April 22nd. The applicant is preparing the submittal package for the LAFCO annexation application.
    • Kaen Planned Development (2516 S. Escondido Blvd.) – The applicant has submitted a revised site plan for the proposed 68-unit residential project responding to some of the concerns previously identified. Revisions include a more centralized recreation area, improved exterior elevations and relocating the three-story units to a zero-foot setback along the north property line (adjacent to the Urbana residential project), creating additional opportunity for landscaping along the north side of the long, interior roadway. Some outstanding issues remain, and the new zero-foot setback proposal has raised some new concerns. A meeting has been schedule to discuss options for continued processing of the application. The application is incomplete.
    • Wohlford – A letter has been sent for the proposed 55-unit residential subdivision and planned development at 661 Bear Valley Parkway advising the applicant that the application is incomplete and identifying the necessary submittals to continue processing the application. The applicant is coordinating with staff regarding a Specific Alignment Plan for Bear Valley Parkway and is exploring acquisition of the adjacent, triangular shaped parcel to the south to accommodate anticipated road improvements along this road.
    • Latitude II – The applicant submitted a Fire Master Plan for review in response to staff concerns regarding the internal turning radius and clearances for emergency access. Discussions are ongoing regarding the adequacy of the traffic analysis, design of the proposed deceleration lane at the Centre City Parkway entrance and associated storm water improvements, parking space dimensions and location, path of travel, and utility easements and improvements. Preparation of a draft negative declaration by the applicant’s consultant is underway.
    • Shea Homes has submitted a revised tentative map for a substantial conformance review and determination for the 179-lot residential subdivision known as Hidden Valley Ranch (Tract 923). Preliminary comments have been provided regarding the changes, including concerns regarding to the reduced size and location of the park amenities within the planned development. The Precise Plan has not yet been submitted.
    • The Mitigated Negative Declaration for Veterans Village, the 54-unit mixed use project proposed at 1556 S. Escondido Blvd., has been released for a 20-day public review period ending May 12, 2015. The project is tentatively scheduled for consideration by the Planning Commission on May 26th.–-“new-resolve”-mixed-use-project-draft-mitigated-negative-declaration.aspx
    • The Mitigated Negative Declaration for the proposed modification to redevelop the Emmanuel Faith Community Church campus at 639 E. 17th has been released for a 20-day public review period ending May 18th. The project is tentatively scheduled for Planning Commission on June 9th.
    • Concordia Homes submitted a draft Specific Plan and tentative subdivision map for the Safari Highlands project for conceptual review prior to their formal application submittal. The project includes annexation and Sphere of Influence update for the 1,098 acres site and a subdivision to create 550 residential lots in seven neighborhoods, with lot sizes ranging from 7,663 SF to 4.76 acres. A meeting has been scheduled next week to provide preliminary comments on major issues, including the proposed design for emergency access, and waste and wastewater service. Contracts for an extension of staff to process the anticipated application will be needed prior to submittal of a formal application.

Building Division: 

The monthly Building Activity Report for April is attatched. The large increase in permit value is due primarily to the issuance of the building permits for the Black Angus restaurant at Westfield and the 76-unit condominium project at 2412. S. Escondido Blvd. 

  1. The Building Division issued 52 permits for the week with a total valuation of $145,432. 
  1. 14 photovoltaic permits were issued for the week with 25 more applications submitted for plan review. Building has issued 290 permits so far this year compared to 172 issued at the same time last year. 
  1. The month of May is Building Safety Month. Building Safety Month is a public awareness campaign to help individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures. The campaign also reinforces the need for adoption of modern, model building codes, a strong and efficient system of code enforcement and a well trained professional workforce to maintain the system. Promotional brochures will be available the Building counter throughout the month of May. 
  1. Inspections and counter contacts remain steady with inspections averaging 37 per day with 29 on Friday and counter contacts averaging 33 per day with 30 on Friday.


FY 2014-2015 Street Rehabilitation Project:

           May 4th , 2015 through May 8th, 2015 the concrete subcontractor will be completing concrete for the pedestrian ramps, driveways and sidewalks along Broadway between 3rd and 5th Avenue and on 5th between Maple Street and Kalmia Street. The paving operation has been  completed for 5th Avenue between Centre City Parkway and Escondido Boulevard, Centre City Parkway between 2nd and Valley Parkway. Production paving is now complete for this project.  

           Elm Street between Washington Avenue and the Flood Control Channel: 

            The project is virtually complete only awaiting completion of punch list items. 

Private Development


Bear Valley Parkway between Boyle Avenue and San Pasqual Valley Road (County Project):

The contractor has closed the intersection at Idaho Avenue and Bear Valley Parkway to through traffic.  The work is proceeding with an anticipated reopening of the intersection on May 29th. The underground contractor is working in the intersection of Boyle Avenue and Bear Valley Parkway constructing new storm drain system. The dry utility contractor is working between Idaho Avenue and Suburban Hills Drive. 


2412 South Escondido Boulevard:

The construction and installation of the 48” storm drain pipe is ongoing. This work will require the closure of the Escondido Boulevard between Brotherton Road and Citracado Parkway. Electronic message boards are required to notify of the impending closure and that local business are open for business during construction.

 Habitat for Humanity Project:

The onsite surface improvements are complete. Landscaping and fine grading are the next order of work.

 Private Development – Current Plan Reviews

Pradera by Lennar (5 Tracts in Lehner/Stanley/Ash block):

Lennar Homes has purchased 5 separate Approved SFD Tentative Maps (Tracts 889, 894, SUB13-0003, SUB13-0010, SUB13-0011) and began processing Final Engineering plans at the start of 2015.

  • A combined Substantial Conformance Tentative Map Exhibit was approved last week.
  • A combined Rough Grading plan for all 5 Tentative Maps was submitted for 4th review on Friday 5/01 and this review should be completed by the end of this week.
  • A combined WQTR for all 5 Tentative Maps was submitted for 4th review on Friday, May 1 and this review should be completed this week. Approval is expected.
  • A revised Traffic Study for proposed fill material (145k CY import) haul routes and daily truck trips was resubmitted 4/27 and Traffic Engr. is preparing review comments.
  • The 7 sets of Improvement plans (1-perimeter, 5-onsite for each TM, 1-offsite mitigation) were resubmitted for 2nd review on Friday, May 1 and this review should be completed in the next 3 weeks.  

Tract 951 – Jacks Creek Place:

This project is a 12 lot residential subdivision located near Eureka Ranch.

  • The 1st review of the Final Map, Grading and Improvement plans, and the WQTR is expected to be completed and returned to the applicant at the end of this week. 

St. Mary’s Community Center:

This project is the 1st phase of the St. Mary’s Expansion Master Plan and a single large structure behind the existing sanctuary is proposed.    Included in this structure is a large multi-use meeting hall and kitchen, offices, a covered basketball/sport court, and large covered patio areas.

  • The 5th review of the Grading plans was returned to the engineer on 4/17 with minor changes.
  • The WQTR has been approved.
  • The 4th review of the Waterline Improvement plans was returned to the engineer on 4/27 with corrections from both Engineering and Utilities. 

Tract 932 – 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 has begun final engineering.

  • A Substantial Conformance Tentative Map was submitted late April and all Depts. have begun review of it and some initial impression comments have been communicated to the applicant with formal review comments expected to be compiled and sent next week.
  • The offsite street improvement plans for the intersection of Vista Ave. & Ash St. were submitted for 1st review on 4/23 and this review is expected to be completed in the next 3 weeks.
  • The offsite Traffic Signal plans for the intersections of El Norte Pkwy & Vista Verde Dr. and Ash St. & Sheridan Ave. were submitted for 1st review on 4/23 and this review is expected to be completed in the next 3 weeks.
  • The offsite Traffic Signal plans for the intersection of Vista Ave. & Ash St. originally submitted to the County were sent for preliminary review to us on 4/30 and Traffic Engineering provided the applicant screen check comments the same day. Formal submittal of these plans is expected in the next few weeks. 




  • On 04-24-15, CHP officers were involved in a traffic pursuit of a full size tractor trailer big rig from Ontario to Rancho Bernardo. Fox 5 News covered the end of the pursuit.  The driver was arrested and later bailed out of Vista jail.  On 04-27-15, the same subject was seen acting erratically and jumping out into traffic at 9th Ave and Escondido Blvd.  He jumped on a city vacuum truck and began riding on it until the city worker stopped the truck.  The subject was eventually contacted by officers who determined that he was intoxicated.  The subject was belligerent and resisted the officers.  While being transported to EPD, he kicked out a patrol car window.  The city worker was not injured and the vacuum truck was not damaged.
  • On 04-27-15, officers responded to the Rite Aid parking lot at 315 W. Washington Ave regarding an unresponsive subject. Officers located a male transient who was unconscious and not breathing.  Officers began CPR until paramedics arrived on scene.  The subject was eventually pronounced dead and it is believed that heavy alcohol use contributed to the death.
  • On 04-28-15, an officer attempted to stop two suspects inside a stolen vehicle in the area of Valley Pkwy and Quince St. The driver stopped the stolen vehicle in the bank parking lot and fled the scene on foot.  The officer gave chase and later caught the driver in the Transit Center parking lot.  The passenger fled in the other direction and was located by officers a short time later.  Both suspects were arrested for vehicle theft related charges.
  • On 04-30-15, brother and sister suspects entered the AMPM at Valley Pkwy and Midway Dr. They began placing items in their pockets and were confronted by the clerk.  They began destroying property in the store, assaulted the clerk, and stole items.  They fled the store in a vehicle and were located a short time later by officers.  They were arrested for robbery related charges.
  • On 05-01-15, officers responded to a vehicle vs. pedestrian traffic collision at Washington Ave and Quince St. The pedestrian was struck by the vehicle in the roadway and he sustained major injuries.  The pedestrian was transported to the hospital in critical condition.  The investigation is ongoing.
  • On 05-03-15, officers responded to a frantic 911 call at a residence in the 2000 block of Cherokee Ln. Upon arrival, officers discovered that the male resident had committed suicide by shooting himself with a firearm.
  • On 05-03-15, officers attempted to stop a vehicle in the area of Washington Ave and Harding St. The driver of the vehicle failed to stop and a traffic pursuit ensued.  The suspect vehicle was eventually disabled when it was driven up onto a raised median in the Food 4 Less parking lot.  The driver fled and was apprehended after a short foot pursuit.  The passenger was also apprehended and they were arrested on gang related charges. 


  • Neal Griffin participated as a panel member in the Charter High School Senior Exhibition.  The Senior Exhibition is designed to foster important skills students need to be successful as they pursue their post-secondary goals. These skills include creative thinking, strong reasoning skills, intellectual autonomy, intellectual courage, and perseverance. In addition, the Senior Exhibition helps students develop important “personal” skills necessary for success in the world of business (e.g., poise, dressing for success, strong presentation skills, etc.). The Senior Exhibition consists of two parts: the senior portfolio and the presentation. For each presentation, the senior must deliver a thoughtful presentation explaining the student’s argument, research, and conclusions based on an academic topic the student has studied during his or her senior year.  
  • This weekend, one of the PAL basketball teams received a tour at Escondido Police & Fire Headquarters. The event included a K-9 demo with Officer Jared Lunt and his K-9 partner Gybs, the kids got to climb in the Police Department’s armored “Bear Cat,” and they toured the jail holding facility. As seen during a previous press story, Marine Sgt. Toran Gaal is the coach for this team.  Gaal lost both of his legs in the war when he stepped on a land mine.  The kids, Coach Gaal, and all of the police officers involved in

the event had a great time and it was a memorable event for all.