FEATURED THIS WEEK 

Comprehensive Approach Produces Results!
This week several local news outlets highlighted the City’s creative and effective outreach to tackle homelessness in Grape Day Park. The collaborative work of our Rangers, Public Works staff, Attorney’s Office, Code Enforcement staff, Police, and City leadership has been imperative to this success. 

Seniors Danced the Night Away at Park Avenue Community Center
On Saturday, May 5, the 7th annual Sr. Senior Prom, “A Night Under the Stars,” was held at the Park Avenue Community Center. The night was enjoyed by both high school and older adult seniors. The night included entertainment by Calico Ridge, complimentary corsages and boutonnieres, delicious snacks, and a special performance by the Helping Hands youth. The highlight of the night was the crowning of the prom King and Queen, Lee & Laura.        


COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Major Projects Update 

The following major projects are being reviewed and coordinated by Planning, Engineering, Fire, Building and Utilities.  The list of projects below encompasses recent project updates and/or milestones from last week.  A more complete list and description of active or pending projects can be viewed here.

Commercial / Office: 

  1. Escondido Research and Technology Center (ERTC) – West (Developer: James McCann) 2181 Citracado Parkway – 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. A second grading plan check was submitted by the applicant on April 16, 2018, and is now being reviewed by staff. Engineering comments are expected to be issued this week. 
  1. Escondido Research and Technology Center (ERTC) – PPH (Developer: Palomar Health) 2177 Citracado Parkway – A plan for a new two-story 4,220 SF  Crisis Stabilization Unit for Palomar Hospital adjacent to the western side of the hospital was submitted on March 7, 2018. The Plot Plan conditional letter of approval was issued on May 2, 2018. 

Industrial 

  1. Escondido Self-Storage Facility (Developer: Brandywine Homes, Inc.) 2319 Cranston Dr. – A revised grading plan was submitted on February 22, 2018. The applicant had intended to pull permits this month. Engineering has notified the applicant that a final map will be required prior to building permit issuance. 
  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. Esgil and Fire have approved the building plans. Planning has very minor corrections remaining. 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. 

City Projects 

  1. Micro-Filtration Reverse Osmosis (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) SE corner Ash/Washington – The City Council approved a contractual agreement with Black and Veatch for design-build engineering services on April 4, 2018. The design-build engineer will complete final design and help select and manage a design-build contractor for construction of the project. 
  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. 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. The City Council authorized review of a General Plan Amendment request on March 21, 2018, which was necessary to review the request to allow a third floor for the building. The applicant has been actively engaged with Fire, Engineering and Planning staff and has provided several revisions intended to address identified issues with the most recent project revision received on May 3, 2018. The applicant provided a revised biological study on April 23, 2018, and a revised storm water management plan on May 3, 2018. 

Residential 

  1. Citron (formerly Stella Park) (Developer: William Lyon Homes) 63 condo units at 2516 S. Esc. Blvd. – The final map has recorded. Construction of model units is underway on the western building along S. Escondido Boulevard. Building permits for the remaining buildings are expected to be issued once installation of the internal access road is completed. 
  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 2017. Staff is currently reviewing revised plans submitted by the applicant on April 5, 2018. 
  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. The final map will be considered by the City Council for approval on May 23, 2018. The Building Division has issued a permit ready letter; and the Engineering Division has issued a bond and fee letter. It is expected the construction permits will be issued soon.
  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 issued a demo permit for the clubhouse building on March 30, 2018, and demolition is now underway. The City has agreed to review construction plans for the project while the lawsuit is pending, but not issue any construction permits. The applicant submitted rough grading plans, drainage improvement plans and utility relocation plans for all three villages on May 7, 2018.
    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 was submitted to LAFCO on February 20, 2018. On March 22, 2018, LAFCO staff provided a letter requesting additional information to support the annexation request. Staff provided the requested information to LAFCO on April 4, 2018. The applicant has recently proposed a revision to the proposed storm drain alignment. That proposal is currently being reviewed by staff. 
  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 the most recent resubmittal of the project plans was received on May 10, 2018. Staff is awaiting the first submittal of the environmental documentation for review. 
  1. The Ivy (95 condo units at 343 E. 2nd) (Developer: Addison Garza, Touchstone Communities) - 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. Staff design review occurred on March 15, 2018 and related comments have been provided to the applicant. The applicant has proposed changing circulation through the adjacent alley to one-way southbound; and a field demonstration of fire truck turning radii at the site occurred on May 2, 2018. Staff is awaiting the first submittal of the environmental documentation for review. 
  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. Several follow-up meetings with staff were held to discuss the outstanding issues regarding the project design and revised plans were submitted in early April. Planning Fire, Engineering and Utilities comments on the revised plans were sent to the applicant on April 25, 2018. 
  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. Three meetings with the applicant team and multiple city departments have occurred since the project submittal to discuss project design issues, with the most recent meeting occurring on April 11, 2018. The applicant has since provided a constraints drawing showing proposed access and utility easements for review. Staff comments are expected to go out soon.
  1. Sager Ranch/Daley Ranch Resort Specific Plan (Developer: J. Whalen Associates, Inc., Sager Ranch Partners) 203 housing units and 225-room resort hotel on 1,783-acres, just north and east of Dailey Ranch – This proposed residential and resort hotel annexation and specific plan project was received on March 2, 2018. The project submittal has been deemed incomplete and a letter from staff requesting additional project related information was sent to the applicant on April 4, 2018. The applicant has requested a meeting with staff to discuss issues raised in the completeness letter. A project webpage containing draft documents and plans has been added to the Planning Division’s website at the following link:      

    Daley Ranch Resort Specific Plan - City of Escondido 
  1. Accessory Dwelling Units – Planning staff is currently working on five applications for accessory dwelling units. Five accessory dwelling units have been approved this year.

Building Division: 

  1. The Building Division issued 64 permits with a total valuation of $3,128,098. 
  1. 18 solar photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. The Building Division has issued 351 solar permits for the year compared to 333 issued for 2017. 
  1. Our building inspectors responded to 229 inspection requests for the week. 
  1. The total building valuation for all issued permits through May 5th is $25,229,929 compared with $41,445,041 for same time last year. Building has processed 1,046 projects so far in 2018 compared with 1,094 projects in 2017. 
  1. Projects nearing permit issuance are:
    • 700 W Grand Ave Gateway project (previous police building).
    • 2516 S. Escondido Blvd. “Citron” a 63-unit condominium project (three buildings already issued). 
  1. The Meadowbrook three-story apartment building with underground garage at 2081 Garden Valley Glen is preparing the building for final inspection. No change from the previous. 
  1. The medical office building at 2125 Citracado Pkwy has received a 30-day Temporary Certificate of Occupancy on April 12, 2018. No change from the previous. 
  1. Seven of the eight residential buildings at the Westminster Seminary at 1725 Bear Valley Pkwy are preparing the buildings for final inspection and temporary electrical service has been released. No change from the previous. 
  1. The Emanuel Faith Church at 639 E 17th Ave is preparing for final inspection and temporary electrical service has been released. No change from the previous. 
  1. The Church of Resurrection at 1445 Conway is preparing for final inspection. No change from the previous. 
  1. The new Veterans Village project at 1540 S Escondido Blvd has received gas test and roof sheathing inspection approval on Building 1, and gas test and rough plumbing inspection approval on Building 2. Building revision have been approved and all deferred fees have been paid. 
  1. The new drive-thru restaurant at 720 N. Center City Pkwy, the new retail building at 730 N. Centre City Pkwy and the new drive-thru restaurant at 700 N. Centre City Pkwy have received exterior lath approval and stucco has been applied. No change from the previous. 
  1. The new market at the location of the former Toyota dealership at 151 W Lincoln is requesting final inspection of the exterior shell building. The tenant improvement permit for the interior of the building was issued on April 13, 2018. 
  1. The new Starbucks at 121 W. Lincoln has received exterior shear wall inspection approval. 
  1. The Latitude 2, apartment buildings at 610, 620, 630 and 640 N. Center City Pkwy have received second floor sheathing approval. The 660 building has received slab and foundation approval and the 650 building has received exterior framing and rough plumbing approval. 
  1. The new two story church sanctuary building at 1864 N Broadway has inspection approval for the final grout lift of the masonry walls as well as underground plumbing and they are setting the steel beams. 
  1. The 212,000 SF industrial shell building at 2005 Harmony Grove has received inspection approval for the slab pour strip and site wall footings. 
  1. The new 63-unit condominium project, Citron, at 2516 S Escondido Blvd has received framing approval for Building 1. Permits were issued last week for Buildings 2 and 3 with a total of 14 units. 
  1. The new 105-room Springhill Suites hotel at 200 La Terraza has received floor sheathing approval for half of the second floor. 
  1. The new Starbucks at 1645 S. Centre City Parkway has almost completed the exterior shell building and are now starting on the interior tenant improvement work 
  1. Permits were issued last week for the Lincoln Avenue apartment project at 917 W. Lincoln Avenue. The project consists of three buildings with a total of nine units. 

Code Enforcement 

 

Business Licensing

 

ENGINEERING 

Capital Improvements 

Valley Pkwy/Valley Center Road Widening Project: Day 189
SDG&E completed the removal of all power poles and overhead utility lines located in the new roadway alignment on Tuesday of this week. The 5 new electric service orders for new cabinets and panels are being processed. The City is working to obtain building permits for three of the service order locations. The masonry subcontractor is continuing with the installation of CMU blocks for the sound wall along East Valley Parkway. The subcontractor completed a portion of the wall to its designed 8’ height, the final grout lift in this section was completed on Tuesday of this week.  The prime contractor is continuing to construct the bio retention basin #5 located along Valley Center Road, and has begun pot holing the utilities located in the Lake Wohlford/ Valley Center Road intersection prior to starting the new 24” storm drain through this intersection. The biggest news is that the remaining class II roadway base material is being placed along the east side of the project this week so that the entire east side of Valley Parkway and Valley Center Road can be base paved starting on Monday of next week. Striping along the new roadway is scheduled for next Wednesday, May 16. Once the new striping is in place, traffic will be shifted to the east side of Valley Parkway and Valley Center Road to allow for work to begin on the second phase of the project. This shift is anticipated to occur the week of May 21. The traffic signal contractor is scheduled to install 3 of the new traffic signal poles at the Lake Wohlford intersection on Thursday of this week. This will require that the signal be turned off for a 4 hr. period beginning at 10:00 a.m. Stop signs and message boards will be installed during this off peak travel time.   

Neighborhood Lighting Project
The remaining lights for the Centre City Parkway corridor portion of the bike path between Valley Parkway and Washington Avenue have been delivered and installed, with the final energization to be completed by the end of the month. 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.  

CMP Assessment Project
Televising has been completed and a draft Televising Reports has been received.  The City is now preparing a project to begin lining the highest priority CMPs. 

Transit Center Pedestrian Bridge Project
Transit Center Ped Bridge and Spruce Street Channel Improvement Project is moving forward with 100% design.  Resource agency permits from the Regional Water Board and Fish & Wildlife have been obtained and the City is now pursuing final Permit from Army Corps.   Negotiations of drainage/wall easements and TCEs with property owners is underway. 

Missing Link Project
The Notice to Proceed was May 7th, with an anticipated project duration of 120 working days. 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.  The City has directed the contractor to order some elements of the project which have a long lead time due to the special ordering requirement.  

PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT 

Centerpointe 78
A preconstruction meeting to review the new paving limits at Lincoln Avenue / Fig Street was held on Tuesday of this week. The revised design will require the replacement of 33 feet of new concrete curb and gutter at the intersection return. The new concrete will require 7 days of cure time prior to placing the new asphalt against it. Engineering staff has requested that higher strength concrete be used to shorten the turnaround time before paving can begin.     

Centre City Shopping Center
On site construction of new sewer main is continuing this week, and the pot holing of all utilities in the intersection is expected to begin in the coming days. 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 will continue the construction of new homes with most roadway improvements complete at this time.        

Latitude II Condominiums by a Lyon Homes Partnership: Washington Avenue @ Centre City Parkway
The contractor completed the removal of two existing water service laterals located in Washington Avenue east of Centre City Parkway on Monday of this week.            

Exeter Industrial Park
The contractor has constructed the new sewer main along the channel access roadway. The repaving of the access roadway is expected this week.  The project is located at 2005 Harmony Grove Road and is 5.4 acres in size. 

EDI Renovation
Day time operation for the installations of dry utilities has resumed along Washington Avenue this week. 

SDG&E Gas Main Corrosion Testing
Work will be completed this week for the corrosion testing using the ½” diameter holes located in the asphalt roadway at 10’ intervals along the pipe line. All drill holes will be filled by means of an approved joint compound. Electronic message boards will be used to notify businesses and vehicles traveling the route of potential detours and traffic delays. 

FIRE

 

News:

  • On Friday, May 4th at approximately 1700 hours, Battalion 131 (Battalion Chief Paredes and Captain Nugent) and Brush 133 (Captain Boyer, Engineer Wheeland, and Firefighter/Paramedics Maciel and McCauley) were deployed as part of a Strike Team to the “Alpha” incident at Camp Pendleton.  Both units were released and returned home safely on Saturday, May 5th
  • On Friday, May 4th at approximately 2230 hours, the Escondido Police and Fire Communication Center received a report of a fire in a parked motor home with possible victims inside located at 1509 E. Valley Pkwy. The first arriving engine reported a large amount of fire and smoke coming from the motor home. Aggressive action by the firefighters contained and controlled the fire in approximately 20 minutes. The motor home sustained major damage from fire and smoke. Two adult males evacuated the motor home as fire crews arrived however, both males sustained major burns to their bodies. There were no other injuries. 3 fire engines, 1 truck, 2 rescue ambulances, 1 Battalion Chief, and 1 Investigator responded to the fire. Escondido Police Units provided crowd and traffic control. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

  • On Saturday, May 6th Escondido Fire Prevention Team Members completed their inspections of the Bi-annual Escondido Renaissance Faire and Pirates in the Park.



  • On Sunday, May 6th at approximately 0202 hours, the Escondido Police and Fire Communication Center received a report of a brush fire in Kit Carson Park.  The first arriving engine confirmed a fire and attempted to gain access, which proved to be difficult due to the location.  A second alarm was requested due to the access issue. Crews were able to contain the fire within one hour, crews remained on scene for several hours due to extensive overhaul.  The fire was approximately half an acre in size.  There were at total of 7 engines, 2 Battalion Chiefs and 1 Investigator that responded to the fire.  There were no injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

 

  • On Saturday, June 9th the City of Escondido Fire Department and the Rincon del Diablo Fire Protection District will be hosting their Annual Fire & Water Expo! There will be station tours, vehicle displays and lots of fun to be had for all ages.

POLICE

INCIDENTS:

  • On 4-29-2018, officers responded to the Starbucks, in the 1200 block of Auto Park Way, reference a person who had been ejected from the business.  Prior to leaving the store, the subject stated he had a bomb in his duffel bag.  The subject was contacted by officers near the north driveway of the Promenade Shopping center.  The subject was uncooperative during the contact.  Due to the subject’s behavior and statements, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad was requested.  The Bomb Squad responded to the scene and utilized an explosive charge to render any potential explosive device inoperable.  It was later determined the subject’s bag did not contain an explosive device.  The subject was booked into the Vista Detention Facility.

 

  • On 4-29-2018, Officer Byler conducted a traffic stop in the area of Centre City Pky & Washington Ave.  once the driver pulled over, he immediately exited his vehicle and began making paranoid, delusional statements.  Based on the bizarre behavior, officers attempted to place handcuffs on the driver.  The driver pulled away from both officers and attempted to punch one of the officers.  The driver was taken to the ground by one of the officers but continued to resist.  The driver was ultimately taken into custody.  The officers sustained minor injuries during the incident.  The driver was booked into the Vista Detention Facility for assault on a police officer. 
  • On 5-2-2018, officers responded to a call of a gang fight in the 600 block of N. Grape St. As officers were enroute to the call, dispatch updated the officers that several gun shots were heard by the caller. Officers arrived on scene and located two victims, one with injuries to his head and face and one that had been shot and was deceased.  The following day, detectives arrested the suspected shooter and booked him into the Vista Detention Facility.  The investigation is ongoing. 
  • On 5-3-2018, officers were dispatched to the Target on Auto Park Way reference a call of three shoplifters fleeing the shopping center in a vehicle.  Officers observed a vehicle matching the description and conducted a traffic stop.  All occupants were detained without incident.  The officers conducted an investigation and recovered property stolen from the store and drugs.  The officers also discover that the vehicle driven by the suspects was an unreported stolen vehicle.  All of the suspects were arrested and charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a controlled substance and burglary.      
  • On 5-4-2018, Officer Armenta attempted to make a traffic enforcement stop in the area of Grand Ave. at Harding St.  The driver failed to stop and fled the area.  After a short vehicle pursuit, the pursuit was terminated because the driver showed a willful wanton disregard for the public’s safety. The investigation is ongoing.
  • On 5-4-2018, dispatched received several 911 calls regarding an RV on fire in a grocery store parking lot in the 1500 block of E. Valley Pkwy.  officers arrived on scene and found the RV fully engulfed. There were two adult male occupants inside the RV that made it out.  One person had significant burns all over his body and was transported to Palomar Medical Center.  The Escondido Fire Department is handling investigation.

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.      

  • 6 arrests were made
  • 14 citations were issued
  • 15 radio calls 

EVENTS:

  • On 5-1-2018, members of the department’s Traffic Unit helped a local elementary school kick off their bike to school month with a bike rodeo. The topics discussed were bicycle, scooter, and skateboard safety and the proper use of helmets.

 

  • On 5-2-2018, Chief Carter and members of the department’s Honor Guard participated in the San Diego County Law Enforcement Memorial. The event honors all San Diego County law enforcement officers who have given their lives in the line of duty.