ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

  • At the request of the DBA, we are considering a pilot program changing the parking on Grand Avenue in Downtown Escondido from 2-hour to 3-hour parking.  Prior to doing so, we are soliciting feedback from downtown business owners to gauge their support or opposition to increasing the parking time limit.
  • The City has received over 30 applications for “Hometown Hero” banners which will be installed on Grand Avenue just prior to Memorial Day and remain up until just after Veteran’s Day.  Additional orders still will be accepted after Memorial Day.  Information about the program is available on the City’s website www.escondido.org 

SPECIAL EVENTS 

  • Grand Avenue Festival (Escondido Street Faire)
    Sunday, May 17th  from 9:30am – 5:30pm
    Downtown Escondido
  • APX/San Diego mountain Bike Association Charity Ride
    Sunday, May 17th from 8am – 3pm
    Daley Ranch
  • For information about events taking place in Escondido, please visit www.visitescondido.com

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Planning: 

  • A tentative subdivision map application has been submitted for the former Escondido Country Club property for 270 single family residences pursuant to standards of the R-1-7 zone (Single Family Residential - 7,000 SF minimum lot size). The proposed project is called “The Lakes”. A review for completeness is underway. The proposed project description and additional information is available at the following link: http://www.escondido.org/the-lakes-residential-development.aspx
  • 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): http://www.sandiegocounty.gov/pds/ceqa_public_review.html.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.
  • 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 www.SDForward.com for more information and the schedule of community workshops. The first workshop was 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. The applicant is coordinating with LAFCO staff regarding their recommendation that the proposed annexation boundary be expanded to include a segment of Hamilton Lane from Felicita Avenue west to the adjacent City boundary.
    • 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 scheduled for May 20th, to authorize additional traffic analysis of the alternative traffic mitigation measures proposed by the applicant.
    • North Broadway Deficiency Area Projects – Staff continues to coordinate with the various development teams regarding 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). Bonds have been submitted for the grading permit. Staff is evaluating the applicant’s recent request to construct model homes in advance of the final map recordation, subject to approval of revised building elevations including enhance architectural features and bonding, 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 annexation application has been submitted to LAFCO.
    • Kaen Planned Development (2516 S. Escondido Blvd.) – The applicant met with staff to discuss revisions to the project in response to some of the concerns previously identified. The applicant is evaluating a redesign that would eliminate up to 3 units to provide improved emergency access, neighborhood compatibility and aesthetics. 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 – Staff continues to work with the applicant’s design team to identify and evaluate solutions on site planning issues. Comments have been provided regarding the applicant’s Fire Master Plan, and conceptual agreement has been reached regarding the deceleration lane along Centre City Parkway, pending submittal of improvement plans. Other design considerations under discussion are the parking space dimensions and gate locations, and the sewer line easements and improvements along the north property line. Preparation of a traffic study and draft negative declaration by the applicant’s consultant is underway.
    • Staff has provided comments on the revised tentative map submitted by Shea Homes for a substantial conformance review and determination for the 179-lot residential subdivision known as Hidden Valley Ranch (Tract 923). A revised plan for the internal park acreage is under review. 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. http://www.escondido.org/veterans-village-–-“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. http://www.escondido.org/emmanuel-faith-community-church.aspx. 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 this 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 Building Division issued 103 permits for the week with a total valuation of $301,497.
  • 59 photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. Building has issued 349 permits so far this year compared to 185 issued at the same time last year.
  • Inspections and counter contacts remain steady with inspections averaging 25 per day with 17 on Friday and counter contacts averaging 33 per day with 33 on Friday.
  • 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 at the Building counter throughout the month of May.
  • Getting to Yes” Program - In an attempt to provide the best service possible for our customers and remove any unreasonable barriers in the permitting process, residential roof top solar permits may now be issued through an expedited permitting process at the building counter. The applicant/contractor may choose to complete Guideline 24B, Eligibility Checklist for Expedited Residential Solar Photovoltaic Permit, along with the plans and specifications and the permit can be issued over the counter. Guideline # 24B will soon be available on the city’s web site.
  • Due to the ongoing drought, there have been many inquiries regarding gray water plumbing systems and the permitting process. The requirements for gray water systems are now a part of the 2013 CPC, Chapter 16. A plumbing permit is now required for any proposed gray water systems except those that utilize washing machine discharge only. A gray water Information Guideline will soon be available at our building counter and on the city’s website with complete information regarding submittal requirements, plan review, inspections and fees.
  • Plans are in for review for the new 24 Hour Fitness at the Westfield mall. 

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS 

  • FY 2014-2015 Street Rehabilitation Project:
    May 11th , through May 15th, 2015 the concrete subcontractor will be completing concrete for the pedestrian ramps, driveways and sidewalks along 4th Avenue, Maple Street to Escondido Boulevard and Maple Street between 4th and 5th Avenue.
  • Elm Street between Washington Avenue and the Flood Control Channel: 
    The project is virtually complete just 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 intersection of Boyle Avenue and Bear Valley Parkway has been reopened. 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 which includes storm drain boxes; 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. The rain from last week and a major building event on their last unit will delay the start of finish grading.  

PUBLIC SAFETY 

Police: 

UCR CRIME UPDATE (YTD through end of April)

  • Overall Crime is down 11.97% as compared to the same time period in 2014.
  • Violent Crime is up 22.08% as compared to the same time period in 2014.
  • Property Crime is down 16.35% as compared to the same time period in 2014. 

*Although violent crime is still up as compared to 2014, it continues the steep down trend from the spike at the beginning of this year. 

INCIDENTS

  • On 05-05-15, two suspects robbed a Toys R Us in National City. The suspects pulled a gun on the loss prevention agent and they were seen getting into a vehicle.  The investigation led National City PD detectives to believe the suspects may reside at a residence in Escondido.  Escondido PD units set up on the residence and detained one of the suspects as they attempted to leave in the suspect vehicle.  National City PD detectives responded and placed the suspect under arrest for the robbery.
  • On 05-09-15, two male suspects attempted to rob a victim in the 1500 block of E. Grand Ave. One of the suspects was armed with a Taser and they were both wearing bandanas.  The victim was able to retain his property and the suspects fled the scene in a vehicle.
  • On 05-10-15, a male victim was jumped at a house party and sustained significant injuries. He had been kicked, punched, and struck with glass bottles during the beating.  Officers were able to locate and detain several of the suspects involved in the beating.  Ultimately, five subjects were arrested on assault and battery related charges.
  • On 05-10-15, a male victim was walking in the area of Grand Ave east of Palomar Medical Center Downtown when he was confronted by three male suspects. The suspects challenged the victim and then proceeded to beat him up and struck him with a glass bottle.  The suspects fled the scene and were not located.
  • On 05-10-15, officers responded to the 600 block of N. Escondido Blvd regarding a suspect displaying a firearm. A male suspect was detained and found to be in possession of a replica firearm and narcotics.  He was arrested on a parole violation and narcotics charges.
  • On 05-11-15, officers responded to an alarm activation at the Historical Society building in Grape Day Park. Officers discovered that an unknown suspect had broken a window, entered the building, and stole the cash from a tip jar inside the building. 

EVENTS

  • Due to the recent rash of vehicle vs. pedestrian traffic collisions, Patrol Squad 4C conducted a special detail that focused on pedestrian and vehicle enforcement. During the detail, 17 citations were issued for various vehicle code violations and two arrests were made for drug-related charges.
  • A Badge Pinning Ceremony was held for cadets from the EPD Explorer’s Post who successfully completed their probationary period (Left Photo). Several promotions within the Explorer Program were also recognized during the ceremony (Right Photo).  Congratulations to our hard working youth as they pursue a worthy endeavor early in their young lives.

 

  • The San Diego Padres hosted their First Responder Opening Night at Petco Park on Friday, May 1. Escondido Police Officers Sean Davidson, Therese Ruiz, Tom Venable, John Mougier, and Brittany Sheats participated in the event alongside other San Diego County First Responders who were honored during a pre-game ceremony on the baselines.
  • The Escondido Police Twitter feed broke the 4,000 followers mark, which achieved the goal set last summer.
  • A ceremony dedicated to fallen officers was held at the Escondido Police & Fire Headquarters. In conjunction with National Police Week, public safety agencies across the nation held memorial ceremonies in honor of those peace officers who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

 

  • Chief Carter spoke at the San Diego County Peace Officer Memorial ceremony at the county memorial near downtown San Diego. This event specifically honors those peace officers who have died in the line of duty within San Diego County.  Local, state, and federal agencies were honored and present for the ceremony.  Chief Carter and several EPD officers attended a memorial breakfast earlier in the day.

 

  • The Escondido East Rotary club hosted a Military Appreciation BBQ at Kit Carson Park. The event was a way to honor our active duty and honorably discharged service men and women and their families.  As a show of solidarity and our appreciation, the Police Department attended the event with static displays and demonstrations.  Officers Ryan VanZandt and Keahi Thompson (both SWAT team members) had the Bearcat (armored vehicle) on display with other SWAT gear.  Officers Tom Fidel, his K-9 partner Rako, and Officer Todd Gimenez put on a K-9 contact demonstration that was a hit with the crowd.  The Escondido Fire Department also attended the event and brought “Old Betsy” (the vintage fire engine) for all to see. 

Fire: 

  • The Fire Department is being proactive in helping residents prepare for the wildfire season. Over 2,100 letters are being mailed to residents in the City and Rincon Del Diablo Fire Protection District with properties in the Very High Fire Severity Zones. The letter reminds property owners that they are responsible for reducing the fire risk around their homes. It reminds them about defensible space, roadway & driveway requirements, dead or dying vegetation and trees, and the requirement to post their address so it is visible from the street. The Fire Department will also post the letter on the Fire Department’s website, the City’s website, and Rincon’s website. Prevention is going to be key as the drought continues and the wildfire risk worsens.
  • The Senior Volunteers are celebrating their 8th year this month with an Annual Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, May 13th. The CERT program has their Annual Picnic on Saturday, May 16th from 10:00 - 13:00 at Kit Carson Park.
  • On May 20th we will be participating in the County disaster drill. The drill is a continuation of the So Cal Power Outage event that place a few years back. The drill starts with the presumption that the power outage started 1-2 hours prior. We will activate the EOC for a review of the lessons learned from the previous event and the FD will be involved activating and dispatching the MDU to a simulated incident somewhere in the County.