ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

  • The Hometown Hero Banners and American flags in downtown Escondido will be taken down after Veteran’s Day and replaced with Holiday Banners to encourage shopping and dining in Downtown Escondido this holiday season.
  • Over Thanksgiving weekend the Ice-Plex will host its annual Thanksgiving Extravaganza hockey tournament which is one of the largest tournaments of the year.  Games will start Wednesday November 25th in the afternoon and play until mid-afternoon on Sunday November 29th.  No games will be played on Thanksgiving.   There will be 56 teams from all over California and Las Vegas attending the tournament.  They expect approximately 2,000 players and family members over the weekend.  Teams will be dining, shopping, and lodging in the Escondido area.
  • With the busiest shopping season of the year about to begin, the City’s Economic Development team will be launching two community awareness efforts to encourage residents to shop locally and also to support small businesses.  The first effort is called “Spend It! In Escondido and it is designed to educate residents about the importance of shopping in Escondido.  Every taxable dollar spent in Escondido supports local businesses AND generates revenue to fund important city services such police, fire, street maintenance, parks and libraries. 

    The second effort will promote Small Business Saturday® on Saturday, November 28, 2015. This day celebrates and supports the uniqueness, charm and economic impact that small businesses bring to communities nationwide. 

SPECIAL EVENTS

  • Escondido’s annual Veterans Day Observance will be held on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at Grape Day Park's Wall of Courage located between the train station and the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. This annual event is organized by the Allied Veterans Council, a team of Commanders of American Legion Post 149, VFW Post 1513, and Disabled American Veterans Chapter 70. 
  • Escondido Shines Day
    November 14, 2015, 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.
    Various city parks

    From 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. over 1,000 participants will donate two hours of community service to spruce up various Escondido parks.  Persons interested in volunteering, should visit http://www.escondidoshines.org/?page_id=223 to sign up.  Following the event,  participants are encouraged to gather at Grape Day Park to enjoy a day of celebration at the Escondido Downtown Business Association’s First Annual Escondido Tamale Festival.  More information about the Tamale Festival is listed below.
  • Escondido Tamale Festival
    November 14, 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Grape Day Park
    Free

    The inaugural Escondido Tamale Festival is a celebration of Tamales and all the great Latin foods that have become iconic staples of California's culture.  Enjoy free admission, great food to purchase, entertainment, competitions and celebrity chefs. Don’t miss the chihuahua costume contest and fashion show!  An optional VIP Ticket is available which includes gourmet tamales tastings paired with Baja and California craft beers and wines, as well as access to shaded seating on the Train Depot at Grape Day Park. Tickets purchased prior to 5 p.m. November 6, 2015 are $35; after that the cost is $45.For more information, visit: http://www.escondidotamalefestival.com 

    Community service project

  • For information about other activities taking place in Escondido, please visit www.visitescondido.com 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT 

Queen Califia’s Magical Circle – Extensive repairs and maintenance have been ongoing at this internationally acclaimed sculpture garden designed and fabricated under the direction of Niki de Saint Phalle in Kit Carson Park. The next phase of improvements will involve replacing broken black, white and mirror wall tiles in the entry maze area tiles by an artisan who worked directly with de Saint Phalle during the exhibit’s original construction. The Garden will be open to the public on November 14th, and the Second Saturday of each month, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weather permitting.  Docents will be available to answer questions. 

Planning:

Major Projects Update:

  • John Paul the Great Catholic University – A Conditional Use Permit application has been received to expand the campus and student enrollment at 155 W. Grand Avenue. The proposal includes improvements to the former H. Johnson Building at 131 S. Broadway for studio and classroom space, and the former bank at 200 W. Grand Avenue for administrative offices and a student recourse center. The proposed expansion would also increase the student enrollment from 300 to 1,200 students over the next several years. Staff has confirmed the availability of water and sewer connections and has tentatively scheduled the proposal for the December 8, 2015 Planning Commission meeting.
  • Escondido Research Technology Center – A 72,000 square foot medical office building is proposed on the east side of Citracado Parkway across from Palomar Medical Center. A plot plan application has been approved and the second plan check for grading plans has been submitted for review and comment.  
  • Oak Creek (NUW)No change from the following update reported last week: A LAFCO hearing for the annexation of the property was held on October 5, 2015. Staff made a presentation at the meeting emphasizing the City’s support for the project and opposition to the potential expansion of the annexation boundary to include an additional segment of Hamilton Road. The LAFCO Board unanimously approved the annexation without including the Hamilton Road segment as requested by staff.
  • Amanda Estates (NUW)No change from the following update reported last week: LAFCO approved the reorganization (annexation) at their meeting on August 3, 2015.
  • Centerpointe 78 CommercialNo change from the following update reported last week: The public review period for the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) ended September 28, 2015. The project is scheduled for Planning Commission consideration on November 10, 2015. The Draft is EIR is available at the following link:
  •  http://www.escondido.org/centerpointe-78-commercial-project.aspx
  • Pradera - Grading is underway for this single family subdivision involving 70 units. Staff is reviewing improvement plan and the final map submittals as well as the precise grading plans. Three, two-story model homes are currently under construction. A fourth single-story unit will be marketed with this development, but no model home for the single story unit will be constructed.
  • ZennerNo change from the following update reported last week: A Tentative Subdivision Map was previously approved for this single family project involving 40 units. The annexation was approved by LAFCO on Sept. 14, 2015.
  • Stella Park Condominiums –This Planned Development involving 65 townhome units is located at 2516 S. Escondido Blvd. The applicant is contracting with consultants for preparation of numerous technical studies (including a Water Quality Technical Report) and the CEQA document which is anticipated to be a mitigated negative declaration. Staff is providing information regarding existing conditions to include in the environmental review analysis. The applicant has informed staff that updated plans will be submitted next week.
  • Wohlford –Staff is reviewing revised submittals and technical reports from the applicant regarding this single family subdivision involving 55 units in response to the letter identifying necessary submittals to continue processing. A Specific Alignment Plan for Bear Valley Parkway detailing the roadway is under review. The Request for Qualifications for consultant preparation of an EIR has been released. Tribal consultation meetings have been completed.
  • Latitude IINo change from the following update reported last week: The project was approved by the City Council on August 19, 2015. The applicant has informed staff that grading plans will be submitted by mid-October and will reflect the provisions of the new storm water regulations. Architectural plans are proposed for submittal by mid-November.
  • Shea Homes (Tract 932)No change from the following update reported last week: Staff approved the substantial conformance determination for the revised tentative map for the 179-lot residential subdivision known as Canyon View Estates. Staff continues to coordinate with the applicant on the proposed grading plan. The Precise Plan application was submitted on Aug. 6, 2015; additional information is needed to complete the application. The applicant is pursuing purchase of mitigation credits at Daley Ranch, and pursuing acquisitions needed for offsite improvements.
  • Safari Highlands – Engineering has finalized a contract with a consultant to perform as an extension of staff for engineering services. The applicant has selected a consultant to prepare a draft Municipal Services Review and Sphere of Influence (SOI) update. Staff met with representatives from the City of San Diego to discuss their concerns regarding the proposed improvements to Zoo Road for emergency access. A public agency scoping meeting was held September 24th to discuss the scope of the EIR; attendees included school district representatives and members of the public. A community meeting was held on October 5, 2015, and attended by approximately 80 persons. More information about this project is on line at: http://www.escondido.org/safari-highlands-ranch-specific-plan.aspx
  • Felicita Development, LLC - No change from the following update reported last week: The proposed planned development includes the phased development of a 140-unit hotel, an 80-unit extended stay hotel, a 120-bed assisted living facility and a gas station and car wash located at the southeast corner of Felicita Rd. and Gamble Lane. Additional technical analysis and coordination is needed to address traffic, biology, water and sewer service, geotechnical and storm water concerns, along with a market study for the proposed uses. A letter addressing items and technical studies needed to complete the application has been sent. Staff is coordinating with the applicant regarding a date for a neighborhood meeting for late October or early November.
  • Escondido Disposal Inc. –The CUP modification to expand the existing facility was approved by the Planning Commission on August 25, 2015. The project has completed its second post-approval plan check and staff comments have been sent regarding the grading and landscape plans. The County has notified the City that the applicant has made their application to the State permitting agency. Staff has endorsed the applicant’s phasing plan concept that allows building expansions while the facility remain operational and is waiting for written details memorializing the phasing plan details.
  • Westfield Theater – The Economic Development Subcommittee authorized expedited processing of the modification to the planned development for the proposed 10-auditorium movie theater. The project was approved by the City Council on November 4, 2015.
  • Paseo EscondidoNo change from the following update reported last week: The Phair Company application for a mixed-use planned development for the property at the southwest corner of Ash Street and Washington Ave. (currently owned by the City) is under review. The proposed project consists of 26 one-bedroom and 96 two-bedroom apartments (122 units total) in three four-story buildings, and two 5,000 SF commercial buildings (10,000 SF total) oriented around an outdoor plaza. Additional submittals required to complete the application.
  • High Pointe (Palos Vista Neighborhood 3) – No change from the following update reported last week: This project involves 39 custom estate lots accessed from Mesa Rock Road. Staff has prepared a bond and fee letter based on the proposed grading and landscape plans, and has sent it to the applicant.
  • Valiano (County Project) – City representatives and the developer are negotiating opportunities for mutually beneficial infrastructure and utility improvements. Staff has concluded discussion with the developer and will be presenting an agenda item to the City Council in December 2015.
  • Springhill Suites – Building plans were submitted for this planned development at 300 La Terraza Drive involving 4 stories, 105 suites, a small conference room and an enlarged lobby for serving continental breakfast. Grading and landscaping plans were submitted involving the hotel site and the parking lot of the adjacent property for review on September 9, 2015 and department comments are being finalized.
  • Del Prado (former Woody’s site) –The project involves a Planned Development containing 113 attached residential townhomes, recreational facility, pool, and open space areas located at the southwestern corner of Brotherton Road and the Centre City Parkway frontage road. Staff met with the applicant to address sewer and emergency access issues. A revised set of plans was submitted this week responding to staff comments.
  • BMW Dealership – A Precise Plan application to expand the existing dealership showroom an additional approximately 4,000 square feet and enhance the building façade at 1557 Auto Park Way was approved by the Planning Commission on October 13, 2015. Building plans have been submitted and are in plan check process.
  • Solutions for ChangeNo change from the following update reported last week: A Planned Development application for 33 affordable multi-family units was approved by the Planning Commission on October 13, 2015 and tentatively for City Council hearing on November 18, 2015.
  • Escondido Auto Park AssociationNo change from the following update reported last week: The association is proposing to upgrade the existing electronic message sign along I15. On September 23, 2015, the Economic Development Subcommittee considered a request by the association to enter into an agreement with the City for reimbursement of a portion of the cost of the upgraded sign and expressed support for a five-year agreement based on anticipated public benefit of additional sales tax revenue. A draft agreement has been sent to the Auto Park Association for its consideration.
  • 701 San Pasqual Valley RdNo change from the following update reported last week: An application has been submitted for a 19-lot single family clustered residential subdivision and planned development on a 7.2 acres site also addressed as 1201 E. 5th (formerly Tract 898). The application is under review and a letter detailing additional comments and submittal requirements was forwarded to the applicant. 

Building Division: 

  • The Building Department issued 71 permits for the week with a total valuation of $537,881.
  • 36 photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. Building has issued 1,163 solar permits so far this year compared to 651 issued at the same time last year.
  • Building inspectors and counter staff had a very busy week with inspections averaging 45 inspections per day with 29 inspections on Friday and counter contacts averaging 36 per day with 30 on Friday 58 inspections were requested for Tuesday.
  • Due to the increase in inspection requests, 3 inspections were held over on Monday and our Deputy Building Official (plans examiner) was sent out to conduct inspections on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Plans waiting to be reviewed were on hold, waiting for his return.
  • A new guideline was created for graywater systems and is available at the building counter or on our website at escondido.org/city departments/community development/building/information guidelines/guideline # 27.
  • In addition to the expedited solar permitting now available, residential roof top solar projects that qualify to be expedited, can be accepted electronically through e-mail. More information is provided on the city’s website.
  • Permits were issued for 2 new single family dwellings at 668 and 669 Cole Ct.
  • The 76-unit condominium complex at 2412 S Escondido Blvd has received exterior framing inspection on all 4 buildings.
  • The Meadowbrook Village 3-story apartment building has received underground utility and foundation inspection approval for the underground parking area.
  • The Pradera single family tract has received roof sheathing inspections on all 3 of the models.
  • The new Taco Bell restaurant and office building has received rough framing inspections. 

Code Enforcement: 

  • As of November 9th the total number of open code enforcement case is 342 cases. During the prior week, 52 new cases were opened and 50 cases were closed with a backlog of an additional 65 cases not yet opened for assignment and investigation. A total of 121 illegal signs were confiscated in the field. One Public Records Request (PRR) was processed, for a total of 94 PRRs processed to date this year.
  • Recruitment for a Code Enforcement Officer opened on November 2nd, and a preliminary selection for a Code Enforcement Assistant to support staff with the backlog was made this week.
  • Last week the Business License Division issued 27 new licenses and received 34 new applications in addition to 186 renewals. 

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS 

FY 2014-2015 Maintenance Project:
The project has been completed and is scheduled for the November 18 council agenda. 

Private Development 

Bear Valley Parkway between Boyle Avenue and San Pasqual Valley Road (County Project):
The next phase of asphalt paving was completed on Monday, November 10 on Bear Valley Parkway between Suburban Hills Drive and San Pasqual Valley Road (SR 78). Construction of the new gas main is continuing along Bear Valley Parkway between Idaho Avenue and Birch Avenue along the old roadway alignment. 

2412 South Escondido Boulevard:
No change from the following update reported last week: On site construction of new homes is continuing this week. 

Pradera - Lennar Communities:
No change from the following update reported last week: New sidewalk is being poured along Lehner Avenue between Ash Street and Wagon Wheel Place. Foundations for the new street will be poured later this week. The lights being installed will be using the newest L.E.D. standards to ensure reduced costs for operation.
Plan reviews as follows:

  • The 3rd submittal review of the Stanley and Ash Street Perimeter Improvement plans was returned to the engineer on October 20th with very minor corrections.
  • The 2nd submittal of the Precise Grading plans for Street “D” is expected to be completed by the end of this week. 

Future Capital Projects 

East Valley Parkway/Valley Center Road:
All efforts to gather additional geotechnical information have been completed.  That information will be used to finalize the bridge foundation design.  At the Resolution of Necessity (RON) hearing on October 28th, City Council approved moving forward with right-of-way acquisitions.  Staff continues working diligently with land/homeowners. 

Grape Day Park Playground:
Staff members provided their 75% plan review comments and sent them to the project consultant on November 4. A meeting is scheduled for November 19 to resolve any outstanding issues and/or provide comment clarification. 

FY 15/16 Street Maintenance Project:
Field review of the streets in this year’s maintenance zone of focus (Zone CS) will be performed over the next few of weeks in an effort to better define a street list for the project. Zone CS is bounded by 5th Avenue to the north, Felicita Avenue to the south, I-15 to the west, and the city limits to the east.  

Jim Stone Pool Rehabilitation:
Schematic drawings were received the week of November 2. Staff will review the plans and provide feedback to the consultant as soon as possible.  The project is expected to begin construction in the fall of 2016.                       

PUBLIC SAFETY           

Police: 

Incidents: 

  • On November 3, 2015 more than 100 suspects were targeted in a two-day North County warrant sweep, including a number of fugitives wanted for charges related to domestic violence. The operation was named in honor of deceased Escondido Police Officer Laura Perez who was murdered by her husband during a domestic violence incident. Operation Laura involved more than 110 officers from multiple local, state, and federal agencies during the Tuesday and Wednesday operation. In total, 47 warrants were served and 36 arrests were made during Operation Laura. Police Chief Craig Carter said the operation was carried out in order to protect the community and to prevent further domestic violence tragedies from spreading in North San Diego County.
  • On November 7, 2015 the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, San Diego County Probation Department, Oceanside Police Department, Carlsbad Police Department, and the Escondido Police Department joined to conduct a probation compliance operation in the City of Escondido. The operation involved 41 personnel from the above agencies broken into multiple teams. The respective teams went to a number of locations in order to check on persons currently under supervised release under AB 109.  The checks were intended to make sure persons were complying with the terms of their release.  Those who were not in compliance were taken into custody. The operation resulted in 13 arrests and the seizure of 1 pound of methamphetamine and 1 ounce of cocaine.  The arrests were broken down as follows:
    • 5 warrant arrests (various charges)
    • 5 arrests for non-compliance
    • 1 arrest for possessing methamphetamine
    • 1 arrest for a parole violation
    • 1 arrest for possessing narcotics for sale 

EVENTS 

  • On November 4, 2015 Officer Tony Masten retired after 15 years at the Escondido Police Department. Prior to EPD, Tony spent 4 years at the Los Angeles Police Department and over 20 years with United States Marine Corps.