ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The Regional Branding effort among the cities of Carlsbad, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos and Vista is now underway. The branding consultant, Northstar, has begun working directly with the Economic Development staff members of the cities.  The first steps will be a research and strategy process in which the cities will provide Northstar with existing information/documents as well as responding to a questionnaire pertaining to our economic development efforts, tourism, arts organizations, business organizations, marketing materials, communications plans, etc. Following that, Northstar will be creating an online survey that each city will send in July to approximately 100 business and community leaders of each city’s  choosing.  In August Northstar will come to North County for an asset-based FAM Tour (familiarization tour) and to conduct stakeholder interviews with elected officials, key stakeholders, staff and economic development and tourism-related interests. The research and strategy process will be completed in the Fall and the full project should be completed early in 2014.  A news release about the effort getting underway will be distributed shortly.

The branding effort will promote North County’s economic development brand, encourage job creation, and improve and promote the region’s competitiveness among economic development interests, the business community, industry associations, and educational institutions.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT UPDATES

Planning:

  • City staff is meeting today to discuss options for additional security against vandalism in the Queen Califia garden and options for repairing the damage.
  • The update to the Downtown Specific Plan is scheduled for the Planning Commission on June 25, with a tentative Council date in August.

Building:

  • Building issued 37 permits for the week with a total valuation of $437,265.
  • Inspections and counter contacts remain constant with average daily inspections of 24 and counter contacts of 25.
  • Projects at Contempo, Walmart, Westfield Mall Cheese Cake Factory and Stone Brewery expansion and bottling facility continue to progress through the construction phases of their projects.
  • A two-story, 74,178 square foot assistant living facility project at 930 Monticello has gone through the first plan review with all departments.
  • Photovoltaic permits continue to lead the permit activity for the year with 119 issued so far this year and 10 this month so far.

Code Enforcement:

  • Buildings on the old Cocina del Charro site are being demolished due to problems with break-ins and trespassing.
  • Code Enforcement continues to work with the Police Department to secure properties with transient problems throughout town.

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS

Oak Hill Site Improvements:

The contractor is awaiting delivery of the wrought iron fencing elements. No other activity this week to report.

Private Development

Wal-Mart:

Construction of the on-site improvements including the building is ongoing. The outer shell of the building has begun to be painted.

Mission Avenue 69 kv Electrical Line:

The contractors are concentrating all of their efforts on the Ash Street portion of the project. The concrete contractor is removing damaged surface improvements this week.  The underground contractor continues with the installation of the final portion of a 12 kv interconnect line along Ash Street. SDG&E crews have returned from their three week training class and are again splicing cable in the vaults located between Andreasen Drive and Rock Springs Road.

Lincoln Avenue @ Midway Drive Gas Main Replacement and Testing Station:

The contractor is preparing for the next scheduled shut down in June. Construction activity is being managed and staff has not received any complaint to date.

Cox Communication Downtown System Upgrade: Phase 1:

The contractor is concentrating his efforts in the alley way between Juniper Street and Kalmia Street north of Grand Avenue. During the excavation of the trench this past week the contractor hit a water service lateral, sewer service lateral and a gas service lateral in the span of 15 minutes. Fortunately two out of three utilities were abandoned and unmarked and were quickly addressed. No service interruptions to the businesses were experienced.

PUBLIC SAFETY

Police:

  • On Thursday May 23rd, 2013, Detective Damian Jackson was recognized by Crime Stoppers, "Enough is Enough" campaign.  This is based upon his work in 2012 (and still today) on a proactive operation to identify and arrest sexual predators who attempt to meet with minors as young as 13.  The operation also dealt with the child pornography industry and the use of electronic devices to send them to suspects.  
  • On Wednesday May 29th, 2013, members of the Escondido Police Dept. participated in the Special Olympics Torch Run.  The run starts in Chula Vista and moves along the coastline to Long Beach where law enforcement officers run alongside the participants of the Special Olympics for various legs to Long Beach where the Olympics will be held.  The run was created to provide awareness and fundraising for the Special Olympics. 
  • Grape Day Park Task Force:

Due to the Memorial Day holiday, the information from the members of the Task force has been minimal. 

The Police Department continues its enforcement details several times a day in the park and surrounding areas.  Since the start of the increased focus, the police department has conducted 684 extra patrols in the park, 127 field interviews, 73 citations and 70 arrests.

Keith Callison, the homeless person who has volunteered to start cleaning up areas of the city, has stood by his word and started cleaning trash from several miles along the bicycle path.  Callison reported that his group has conducted the clean ups several days in a row and will be working with the city to identify new areas to clean.  The city has donated trash bags to Callison and others from his group and hope to expand their clean-up ability. 

Capt. Benton along with a member from Interfaith will meet with Frank Woolrich and members of Empowering the Homeless on Tuesday the 28th, to explain the Grape Day Task Force mission as well as ideas on how the two groups can work together to meet shared goals. 

CCAE has not reported any more graffiti or vandalism since the last meeting.  Employees or CCAE did thank officers for their continued extra patrols in the area, and mentioned how they feel much more safe walking to their cars and around the campus. 

“Big Aaron” continues to be monitored and at this time is complying with all laws. 

Signature Pavilion – No Report of problems at Signature from the weekend. 

History Center – Wendy Barker mentioned that the movies in the park sponsored by the History Center will start again in July, but is looking for possible sponsors. 

There were no problems reported by Classical Academy/ Boys and Girls Club/ Children’s Museum. 

The next Task Force Meeting will be Tuesday June 11. 

Fire:

  • The Fire Department will be hosting their Annual Open House at Fire Station 4 in Kit Carson Park this Saturday, June 1 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The theme this year is “Smokey Joe’s Fire Safety Boot Camp”. The “Boot Camp” will feature a kid-friendly obstacle course, fire engine slide, fire stations tours, and vehicle displays. Additionally, they will provide valuable fire and life safety information and disaster preparedness tips. Please visit the following link for more information  https://fire.escondido.org/fire-station-open-house-and-fire-safety-boot-camp.aspx
  • Our second group of Non-Safety Paramedics is in the middle of their field training. They will complete their training on June 21 and at that point we will be staffing the two additional ambulances each day. This will bring our Engine and Ambulance operations to the Council-approved level. We will then be able to hire the next group of Non-Safety Paramedics and conduct internal promotions to be fully staffed in all positions.