FEATURED THIS WEEK 

Help Shape the Future of Your Library
On Tuesday, March 13th, the Escondido Public Library Strategic Planning Community Advisory Committee (SPCAC) will hold the first meeting to help plan the future of your public library. SPCAC participants will identify current community needs, create goals for the future and strategize appropriate steps needed to achieve these goals. This group will be instrumental in envisioning the next five years for Escondido Public Library, and beyond. The meeting will be held from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in the Turrentne Room at the Library. For more information, visit library.escondido.org, email library@escondidolibrary.org or call 760-839-4601.  

Channel Improvements on the Horizon!
Another step closer on the Spruce Street Channel Improvement project occurred this week with the permit issued from the Regional Water Quality Control Board.  Design is nearly 100% complete.  Army Corps of Engineers and California Department of Fish and Wildlife concurrence is expected within the next month and the project should be out to bid shortly thereafter if the remaining permits are issued as expected.   

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
New “Opportunity Zones” Designated in Escondido
The federal tax bill passed at the end of last year allows the governors of each state to designate eligible census tracts as Opportunity Zones (OZ). Investments made by individuals through special funds in these zones would be allowed to defer or eliminate federal taxes on capital gains. 

The recently released California OZ map shows two zones designated in central Escondido. The City has provided comments in support of our designations to the governor’s office, which has a public input period open until March 15. Staff will continue to monitor the program to see how it can be leveraged to attract and expand business and development in Escondido. 

More information and an interactive map is on the web at http://dof.ca.gov/Forecasting/Demographics/opportunity_zones/index.html 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Major Projects Update
The following major projects are being reviewed and coordinated by Planning, Engineering, Fire, Building and Utilities.  A complete description of each project can be viewed here. Below are project milestones from last week. 

Commercial / Office: 

  1. Escondido Research and Technology Center – West (ERTC) (Developer: James McCann) – A plan for a new two-story, 57,000 SF, 52-bed Palomar Rehabilitation Institute was submitted as a Plot Plan on July 31, 2017. The Plot Plan approval letter was issued on February 7, 2018. Construction plans are expected soon. 
  1. Centre City Commercial Center (Developer: Todd Dwyer) SE corner Centre City/Mission – Construction on the two commercial buildings is underway. The carwash plans are tracking separately and revised carwash plans have now been approved by Esgil and Planning. Engineering is coordinating construction of street and off-site improvements with the developer. A portion of the internal driveway was completed last week.  The applicant is preparing tenant improvement plans for one of the three buildings and will be submitting those soon. 

Industrial 

  1. Escondido Self-Storage Facility (Developer: Brandywine Homes, Inc.) 2319 Cranston Dr. – The project plans are nearly ready for permit issuance. The applicant has recently notified staff that other issues unrelated to the project plans will delay their request for permits until March or April of 2018. 
  1. StorQuest (Developer: The William Warren Group, Inc.) 220 W. Mission Avenue – The building plans for the new four-story self-storage facility is close to approval and should be issued within the next week or two. 
  1. North American Self-Storage (Developer: Russ Colvin) 852 S. Metcalf – A revised plot plan has been approved and revised building plans were submitted into plan check on January 17, 2018. Planning and Esgil have issued comments on the building plans. Engineering has approved the grading plan for the revised project and is awaiting posting of the improvement bonds prior to authorizing issuance of the building permit. 
  1. Exeter Harmony Grove Industrial Development (Developer: John Couvillion, Badiee Development) 1925 and 2005 Harmony Grove Road – The grading permit was issued on December 29, 2017, and the building permit was issued on January 19, 2018. Grading and associated blasting is underway. Blasting and rock-crushing activities were completed this week.  The applicant has submitted tenant improvement plans for City review.

City Projects 

  1. Micro-Filtration Reverse Osmosis (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) SE corner Ash/Washington – The archaeological work plan has been submitted to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) for approval. Funding of the state loan for the project is contingent on completing the work plan to the satisfaction of SHPO. 
  1. Lake Wohlford Replacement Dam (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) – A Draft EIR was prepared and issued for a 45-day public review period that began on October 4, 2016 and closed on November 17, 2016. A field visit with staff from the state and federal wildlife agencies took place on May 11, 2017, to review biological mitigation requirements including an agency request for full mitigation for emergent vegetation at the eastern end of the lake that came into existence since the lake level was reduced for safety reasons. Staff sent a follow-up letter to the wildlife agencies on June 29, 2017, seeking clarification on the proposed biological mitigation requirements. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife responded last month reiterating their earlier comments. Additional information is being compiled by the City’s biological consultants based on recent conversations with the agencies. 

Institutional

  1. Self-Realization Fellowship Center (Developer: John Pyjar, Domusstudio Architecture 1840 Del Dios Rd. – The Planning Commission approved the proposed multi-phase expansion project on February 13, 2018. Construction plans for the first phase of the project are expected soon. 
  1. Escondido Assisted Living (Developer: Tigg Mitchell, Mitchell Group) 1802 N. Centre City Parkway – This CUP application for a 71,300 SF three-story, assisted living and memory care facility with 90 total units was submitted on October 31, 2017. A letter indicating the application is incomplete was sent to the applicant on November 30, 2017. The applicant has engaged with Fire, Engineering and Planning staff and has provided several revisions intended to address identified issues. A General Plan Amendment request is necessary to authorize a third story element to the building, which requires City Council authorization before intake for further processing.  City Council will review the authorization request at meeting on March 21, 2018 and give direction to staff on how to process the application. 

Residential 

  1. Citron (formerly Stella Park) (Developer: William Lyon Homes) 63 condo units at 2516 S. Esc. Blvd. – The City Council approved the final map on December 20, 2017. The rough grading has been completed on the site. Construction of model units are nearly complete on the western building along S. Escondido Boulevard. Building permits for the remaining buildings are pending recordation of the final map. Recordation of the final map is expected soon. 
  1. Wohlford (Developer: Jack Henthorne) 55 lots at 661 Bear Valley Pkwy. – Staff met with the applicant to review the draft conditions of approval for the project. Staff and the applicant have been working for some time to complete negotiations on final terms for the Development Agreement. On February 13, 2018, the Planning Commission continued the public hearing on this item at the applicant’s request to allow more time to finalize negotiations. 
  1. Safari Highlands Ranch (SHR) (Developer: Jeb Hall, Concordia Homes) 550 lots east of Rancho San Pasqual – A Notice of Availability for the Draft EIR was issued on October 16, 2017 for public review and comment. The comment period ended on January 2, 2018. Staff transmitted all the comment letters and emails to the Draft EIR consultant for review and to prepare a response to each comment. The Draft EIR and appendices have been posted on the City’s website at the following link: https://www.escondido.org/safari-highlands-ranch-specific-plan.aspx 
  1. 18 lots at 701 San Pasqual Valley Rd (Developer: Bob Stewart) – A three-year extension of time for the previously approved ten-lot subdivision (Tract 895) was approved by the City Council on June 7, 2017. Staff comments on the revised tentative map were issued the last week of July. Staff met with the applicant several months ago regarding unresolved project design issues. The applicant has had one follow-up discussion with Utilities since then. 
  1. Escondido Gateway (Developer: Carolyn Hillgren, Lyon Living) 126 condo units at 700 W. Grand – Building plans have been approved by Esgil, Planning and Fire. Grading plans have been approved by Utilities, Planning and Fire. A street vacation for right-of-way frontage along Grand Avenue has been completed. Demolition is complete and construction permits are ready to be issued once title to the site transfers to the builder at the end of March 2018.
  1. The Villages at Escondido Country Club (Developer: Jason Han, New Urban West, Inc.) 380 residences – The City Council voted 3-2 to approve the project on November 15, 2017. The vacant clubhouse building was destroyed by fire several days later. A lawsuit challenging the project approval was filed in Superior Court on behalf of the Escondido Country Club Homeowners (ECCHO) on December 15, 2017. The City has been working with the property owner and project applicant to demolish what’s left of the clubhouse.  A demolition permit was submitted this week.  

The approved tentative subdivision map, Final EIR and appendices, Specific Plan and other related information can be accessed on the City’s website at the following link: https://www.escondido.org/ecc.aspx

  1. North Avenue Estates (Developer: Casey Johnson) 34 lots at North Ave./Conway Dr. – The Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of the project on November 28, 2017. The City Council approved the project on January 10, 2018. The LAFCO application for annexation is being prepared and is expected to be submitted to LAFCO soon. 
  1. Aspire (106 condo units on Municipal Lot 1) (Developer: Addison Garza, Touchstone Communities) – The proposal consists of a six-story mixed-use development on Parking Lot 1. The project was initially submitted for entitlement processing on June 23, 2017. Subsequent meetings with the applicant and staff have been on-going and a resubmittal of the project plans was received on December 12, 2017. Planning, Fire and Building sent comments on the revised project submittal on January 16, 2018. A meeting with the project applicant occurred two weeks to discuss the technical studies needed to complete the environmental review for the project. A meeting to discuss engineering-related issues occurred this week. 
  1. The Ivy (95 condo units at 343 E. 2nd) (Developer: Addison Garza, Touchstone Communities) - Demolition of the vacant surgery center building on The Ivy site started last month. The condo project was initially submitted for entitlement processing on June 23, 2017. The applicant submitted revised project plans on December 8, 2017. The City issued a comment letter on the revised application on January 8, 2018. A meeting with the project applicant occurred two weeks ago to discuss the technical studies needed to complete the environmental review for the project. 
  1. Grand Avenue Apartments (Developer: Norm LaCaze, Escondido Venture 99, LLC) 15 apt. units at 1316 E. Grand Ave. – A planned development application proposing 15 multi-family units in one three-story building on a vacant 0.51-acre lot was submitted for entitlement processing on September 22, 2017. A completeness review letter was sent to the applicant on October 20, 2017, indicating the application was incomplete. A follow-up meeting with the Fire Department last week resolved some of the outstanding issues regarding the project design. 
  1. Quince Street Senior Housing (Developer: Matt Jumper, 220 Quince, L.P.) 145 apartment units at 220 N. Quince St.– The five-story affordable senior housing apartment project was submitted on November 21, 2017. Planning staff sent a letter to the applicant on December 21, 2017, indicating the application was incomplete. Two meetings with the applicant team and multiple city departments have occurred since the project submittal to discuss project design issues. 
  1. Sager Ranch (Developer: J. Whalen Associates, Inc., Sager Ranch Partners) 203 housing units and 225-room resort on 1783-acre Specific Plan area, just north and east of Dailey Ranch – The annexation project was received on March 2, 2018 and is currently being reviewed for completeness.  This step encompasses the routing of plans to different referral and responsible agencies.  It is anticipated that this review will be complete in April, 2018.  The City’s comment letter and an electronic copy of the plans will be posted online within the next couple of weeks.    
  1. Accessory Dwelling Units – Planning staff is currently working on five applications for accessory dwelling units with an additional two applications expected to be submitted soon. Two accessory dwelling units have been approved this year.

Building Division: 

  1. The Building Division issued 63 permits with a total valuation of $204,344. Permits were mostly miscellaneous type, additions, reroofs etc. 
  1. 22 solar photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. The Building Division has issued 159 solar permits for the year compared to 170 issued for 2017. 
  1. Our building inspectors responded to 215 inspection requests for the week. 10 inspections were held over on Friday. 
  1. The total building valuation for all issued permits for the week ending March 3rd is $12,853,298 compared with $12,724,397 for same time last year. Building has processed 493 projects so far in 2018 compared with 531 projects at this time in 2017. 
  1. Projects nearing permit issuance are:
    • 917 W Lincoln, 3 new apartment buildings, 9 units.
    • 700 W Grand Ave Gateway project (previous police/fire building) 
  1. The mixed use project at 300 S Escondido Blvd (City Plaza) has received a 30 -day Temporary Certificate of Occupancy and residential units are now being leased out. Temporary Certificate of Occupancy expires on 3/6/18. 
  1. The Meadowbrook 3 story apartment building with underground garage at 2081 Garden Valley Glen is preparing the building for final inspection. The nursey care facility is now open. No change from the previous. 
  1. The medical office building at 2125 Citracado Pkwy is preparing for final inspection of the tenant improvement. No change from the previous. 
  1. The 8 residential buildings at the Westminster Seminary at 1725 Bear Valley Pkwy are preparing the buildings for final inspection. 
  1. The Emanuel Faith Church at 639 E 17th Ave is preparing for final inspection. No change from the previous. 
  1. The Church of Resurrection at 1445 Conway is preparing for final inspection. 
  1. The new Veterans Village project at 1540 S Escondido Blvd has received exterior framing and roof sheathing approval. 
  1. The new drive thru restaurant at 720 N Center City Pkwy, the new retail building at 730 N Center City Pkwy and the new drive thru restaurant at 700 N Center City Pkwy have received final masonry grout lift approval, exterior shear and roof sheathing approval 
  1. The new market at the location of the former Toyota dealership at 151 W Lincoln has received exterior lath inspection approval and are preparing for shell building final. 
  1. The Latitude 2, apartment buildings at 650 N Center City Pkwy has received first floor exterior shear and floor sheathing for buildings 1-6. 
  1. The new two story church sanctuary building at 1864 N Broadway has inspection approval for the 5th grout lift of the masonry walls. 
  1. The new Starbucks at 302 W El Norte Pkwy are preparing for final inspection. No change from the previous. 
  1. The 212,000 sf industrial shell building at 2005 Harmony Grove received foundation inspection approval. 
  1. The new 63 condominium project, Citron, at 2516 S Escondido Blvd has received underground plumbing and partial foundation inspection for the models at building 1. 
  1. The new 105 room hotel at 200 La Terraza has received partial underground plumbing and foundation inspection.

Code Enforcement 

Graffiti Restitution

  

Business Licensing

 

ENGINEERING 

Capital Improvements
Valley Pkwy/Valley Center Road Widening Project: Day 127
The subcontractor will begin to import and place roadway base material along the east side of Valley Parkway between Beven Drive and Lake Wohlford Road this week. The 3 new utility poles required for the utility conversion project were installed on Friday, March 2 during a night time operation. As scheduled, the SDG&E subcontractor arrived on site on Monday, March 5 to complete the installation of new underground conductors over a three-day period. A coordination meeting is being held on Wednesday, March 7 to finalize all utility providers’ schedules and ensure the transfer from overhead to underground is completed on time. The masonry subcontractor has completed the installation of the sound wall footing along the east side of Valley Parkway between Bevin Drive and Lake Wohlford Road. The installation of CMU blocks for the sound wall began this week. The progress of the sound wall can be seen in the pictures below.   

Neighborhood Lighting Project
No changes from that reported last week: The Neighborhood Street light project is nearing completion with street lights energized in four of the five neighborhoods on February 14th.  The project features the installation of 44 new street lights with L.E.D. Luminaries in five neighborhoods: The Elms, Rustic Village, Mission Grove, Cedar-Cedar Brook, and Rose to Foxdale. Additionally, 22 existing street light fixtures were retrofit with L.E.D. The new L.E.D. Luminaries shine a clean white light on the surrounding area, in contrast with the yellow light given off by the existing fixtures.  The Rose to Foxdale energization has been delayed another two weeks for further review by the utility provider.                                                

2017 Street Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project
The striping contractor is continuing with the installation of signage and striping throughout the project limits. The prime contractor is set to begin the installation of concrete median curb on Broadway at Mission Avenue and the Ash Street/Washington Avenue intersection. The concrete curb installation will replace the existing rubber curb that has deteriorated beyond repair.   

Corrugated Metal Storm Drain Pipe Assessment Study
The Midway Storm Drain contractor has mobilized and is on site, pipe delivery is scheduled for Thursday, March 8. The contractor will have 60 days to complete the pipe line replacement at three locations along Midway Drive between Grand Avenue and Valley Parkway. 

Rincon del Diablo Water Main Replacement
No changes from that reported last week: The water district’s contractor is in the process of completing permanent roadway repairs. This work will require a single lane closure along Nutmeg Street between Rockhoff Road and Centre City Parkway. 

Transit Center Pedestrian Bridge Project
The Transit Center Pedestrian Bridge and Spruce Street Channel Improvement Project is moving forward with 100% design completion. 

Missing Link Project
This project will complete the street improvements needed to link riders from the channel bike path that currently ends at Broadway, to where the it re-starts at Quince.  Project bids were opened on January 18th, and the contract was awarded to Eagle Paving on February 14th.  Construction is anticipated to begin between late March and mid-April, with completion expected 120 working days following the Notice to Proceed. A preconstruction meeting will be scheduled as soon as the City receives a signed contract. 

PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT 

Centerpointe 78
Traffic improvements have started at three offsite locations. A new right turn only lane is being constructed on Lincoln Avenue, east bound at Fig Street. A new 300’ median curb extension is being constructed along El Norte Parkway at Escondido Boulevard. Effective immediately, the median will restrict all left turn movements through the El Norte Parkway / Escondido Boulevard intersection. The traffic signal is nearing completion at the Escondido Boulevard / Lincoln Avenue intersection, signal activation is anticipated later this month.  

Centre City Shopping Center
No changes from that reported last week: The project grading is complete and framing has begun on the first two structures.  The project is located at 425 W. Mission Avenue. 

Tract 932 - Canyon Grove Shea Homes Community
No changes from that reported last week: The developer has completed the installation of the water main along Vista Verde Way and is in the process of testing the water quality prior to connecting the pipeline to the City’s system.        

Latitude II Condominiums by a Lyon Homes Partnership: Washington Avenue @ Centre City Parkway
The project completed permanent repairs to the roadway along Centre City Parkway and Mission Avenue. This work was associated with the water main installation that occurred last year. 

Veteran’s Village
No changes from that reported last week: The installation of storm drain pipe along Escondido Boulevard has been completed. The #1 north bound lane of Escondido Boulevard is being kept closed to traffic in response to noise complaints from local residents due to the placement of steel plate in the roadway.   

Exeter Industrial Park 
The grading operation is continuing this week. Storm drain installation is now complete and work will shift to the construction of dry utilities onsite.  The project is located at 2005 Harmony Grove Road and is 5.4 acres in size. 

City Plaza:
Roadway resurfacing was completed this week along Escondido Boulevard between 3rd and 5th Avenue. Full striping restoration will be completed in 7-10 days. 

FIRE

NEWS:

  • Escondido Fire Department personnel participated in The Annual Burn Institute Firefighter Boot Drive the morning of Thursday, March 1st, 2018. Escondido Fire Department Employees Jonathan San Nicolas, Captain Chip Paulson, Craig Tebbe, Matthew Newberry and Robyn Taylor collected at the corner of the 78 and Broadway while Ricky Tlapala, Justin Sandling, Youssef Hanna and Tyler Wolf collected at the corner of the 15 and Via Rancho Pkwy. They raised a total of $5,115. 

  • Fire Prevention has scheduled their next smoke alarm installation project. The installation will take place on Tuesday, June 5th, at Moon Glow Mobile Home Park. 

POLICE 

INCIDENTS: 

  • On 2-26-2018, officers responded to Grape Day Park in reference to a stolen mule.  The night before, the victim tied his mule off on a tree at Grape Day Park and awoke to find his mule missing. An investigation into the incident revealed video footage of two unknown males leaving the park with the mule and walking east into the flood control channel. Officers searched the area and social media was used to assist in search for the mule. Ultimately, a male contacted the 3Mules.com Facebook page via a private message, which resulted in negotiations for the delivery of the mule to the Humane Society.  Officers contacted a person walking the mule in the area of El Norte Pkwy and Valley Pkwy.  The suspect was arrested and booked into the Vista Detention Facility for grand theft.

 

  • On 2-26-2018, Officer W. Pugh responded to the 1000 block of E. Ohio in reference to a stolen vehicle.   Officer Pugh arrived on scene and observed an adult male run from the vehicle.  A perimeter is quickly established and San Diego Police Department’s helicopter, ABLE, responded to assist.  Officer Gimenez located the suspect and detained him without incident.  The suspect had a felony warrant issued for his arrest.  The suspect was booked into the Vista Detention Facility on the warrant.  
  • On 2-28-2018, Officer Davidson attempted to stop a vehicle in the area of Quince St. and Washington Ave. The driver of the vehicle did not stop and sped away.  A brief pursuit ensued until the driver stopped the vehicle.  The driver and two other occupants of the vehicle fled.  Two people from the vehicle were captured after a brief foot pursuit.  The two people who were detained both had homicide warrants from the State of Washington issued for their arrest.  Both suspects were booked into the Vista Detention Facility on the warrants.  
  • On 3-1-2018, officers responded to the Walmart in reference to two suspects who attempted to access an unmanned register with a register key. Walmart’s loss prevention recognized the two suspects from other cases and notified the police department. Officers arrived on scene, conducted an investigation, and tied the suspects to several other cases throughout San Diego county. 
  • On 3-1-2018, Ranger Mendoza contacted a person in Grape Day Park for violation of a municipal code. The person became upset with Ranger Mendoza and knocked a coffee cup out of his hand.  Officers arrived on scene and arrested the subject for battery on a peace officer, which rangers are considered per the California Penal Code.  The suspect was booked into the Vista Detention Facility on the battery charge.   
  • On 3-2-2018, officers were dispatched to Grape Day Park in reference to a subject hitting signs.  Upon arrival a park ranger informed the officers that the subject had been acting aggressively towards the ranger.  The subject was contacted and found to have a parole warrant issued for his arrest.  The subject was arrested without incident and booked into the Vista Detention Facility on the warrant. 

COPPS:

The COPPS (Community Oriented Policing and Problem-Solving) Unit is dedicated to increasing the quality of life for the residents of Escondido through pro-active responses to crime trends, quality of life issues, and addressing crime and public nuisance in Grape Day Park and at Maple Plaza.     

  • Arrests: 7 
  • Citations: 17
  • Officer Shaver and Officer Craig checked the old Talone’s Meat Market and made contact with six people on the property.  They cited three people and assisted one subject with sobering services from McAlister. 
  • Officer Shaver located a subject who had been a subject of numerous radio calls and found temporary housing for him in Oceanside “Bread of Life”.   Officer Shaver transported him to the location.