October 1, 2020

2020 Census Deadline
Time is running out! The last day to fill out the #2020Census is Monday, October 5. A complete Census count is crucial to ensure that Escondido receives adequate funding and representation for our community, schools, programs and more.  Complete your Census online today at: my2020census.gov

Carvana Coming to Escondido
A new car dealership that resembles a vending machine is coming to Escondido. The project was approved by the City Council on September 23 and the new dealership will be located at the corner of Hale Avenue and Tulip Street. Stay tuned for updates as this project begins to move forward. More information about Carvana can be found here.  

Graffiti Program Wins Award
The City has transformed its operations and internal management by adopting the Cityworks platform and using it in nearly every department from public works to utilities. In addition, by incorporating ESRI’s ArcGIS Suite the City was able to extend the use of this technology to manage graffiti and other public works tasks.

Team members have real time maps of where reported graffiti is located, and response time has been reduced from days to hours. Additionally, this data can be presented to stakeholders and management staff to keep track of the clean up process. The innovative use of this technology won our Public Works and Information Systems Departments the Special Achievement in GIS Award. Congratulations and great work! 

San Diego Tech Awards
Director of Information Systems Rob Van De Hey was recognized as a qualified nominee for the San Diego Top Tech Awards 2020 by Cox Communications which recognizes the most outstanding Information Technology leaders in San Diego, as nominated by their peers – not just in government but across industries. While he didn’t walk away with the prize, it’s an acknowledgement of the innovation and great teamwork that Information Systems has demonstrated in partnering with City departments to drive change, improve business processes, improve customer service and engagement, and increase efficiencies through the implementation of information technology. 

Information Systems and the Library have partnered to bring all new printing services for the public offering long awaited services like print from home, print from mobile devices, scan to email, and many other options.

ESRI recently released a video (Escondido: Running a Smarter City with Hub Technology) of how Escondido is using technology to engage with citizens and streamline our volunteer program. This has received national recognition and is another example of Escondido using technology to bring people together to address the City’s needs. Last but not least is our three-time award winning graffiti program that utilizes technology to create operational efficiencies that enable staff to eliminate graffiti faster and engages the public to help us identify the location of graffiti within the City.

Housing Workshop – East Valley Parkway
Join us for a Community Meeting to discuss housing along East Valley Parkway on October 7 at 6:00 p.m. 

Escondido is dedicated to creating a sustainable and livable community for all. To achieve this, the City is preparing a city-wide housing plan exploring a strategy to develop more housing in important areas.

This community meeting will discuss three land use alternatives proposed for the East Valley area with a focus on housing. Join us to work together and develop strategies that address current and future housing needs. Registration is encouraged but not required.

Find more information, submit comments, and register at: https://www.escondido.org/hcis.aspx

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT UPDATES:

Gunfire Strikes Residence
On September 20, the police responded to the area of Iris Way and Forrest Glen regarding multiple gunshots heard in the area.  Despite many residents hearing the gunfire, no suspect(s) or associated vehicle was seen.  One resident in the 1600 block of Forrest Glen discovered a bullet hole through the wall in her bathroom.  Fortunately, no one was injured and responding officers believed that the hole was caused by a small caliber bullet, possibly a .22 caliber round.

Road Rage Incident Results in Arrest
On September 20, officers responded to the 1300 block of E. Valley Pkwy regarding a road rage incident where one of the motorists pointed a rifle at the other motorist after cutting in line at a nearby ATM.  A suspect vehicle description was broadcast and officers located it in the area of Hickory St and Washington Ave.  Both the driver and passenger were stopped and detained.  The passenger was later identified as the suspect who pointed the rifle at the victim.  The rifle turned out to be a realistic looking air rifle.  The passenger was arrested for brandishing an imitation gun.

Victim Beaten and Robbed of Skateboard
On September 22, shortly after 11:00 p.m., a subject was skateboarding in the parking lot of 1200 Auto Park Way when he was confronted by 3 suspects who pulled up in a vehicle.  They asked him if he was in a gang and then proceeded to beat him up.  They stole his skateboard and left the scene in their vehicle.  The victim’s friend found him and took him to the hospital where the police were called.  The victim sustained significant injuries to his face and head.  The suspects have not been identified or located at this time.

Crash Damages Power Pole
On September 23, a vehicle lost control in the 400 block of N. Quince St and collided with a power pole.  The collision caused the vehicle to roll onto its side.  Power lines were downed across the roadway and power transformers reportedly exploded.  Fortunately, there were no injuries and there was no indication that the driver was DUI.  City Shops, Fire and SDG&E responded.

Gun Recovered During DUI Arrest
On September 25, officers responded to the area of Juniper St and Grand Ave regarding a possible DUI driver in a pick-up truck.  Officers located the truck and conducted an enforcement stop.  The driver was subsequently arrested for DUI and a handgun was recovered in the center console of the truck.  The driver was arrested and booked into jail.

Community Policing:

Within the Escondido Police - Community Policing Unit, there is a full time licensed PERT (Psychiatric Emergency Response Team) clinician that is paired up with a specially trained PERT police officer.  Their primary mission is to reduce police and medical calls for service by providing targeted, proactive mental health services for people known to be experiencing homelessness, mental health disorders, and/or substance use.

During 2019, the COPPS Unit, with assistance from service providers, were able to help 17 individuals end homelessness and achieve stable housing.  Over the past 2 years, those 17 individuals were the subject of 207 calls for service.  One of them was responsible for over 100 radio calls.  Through patience and persistence, the COPPS PERT Unit was able to finally get her housing and under sustained care.  During a recent home visit, she expressed gratitude to the Escondido Police Department and stated that she was praying for us.  She thanked the police for caring about her in a way that no one else seemed to and for helping her fight for her life.

The following are year to date statistics from the COPPS PERT Unit in 2020:

  • (60) Crisis Intervention Contacts - Evaluated psychiatric symptoms, determined necessary level of care, provided safety planning, de-escalation, and clinical referrals. (24) Resulted in 5150 enactment.  (2) Resulted in an arrest for criminal misconduct.
  • (241) Community Service Contacts - Offered client resources and provided psycho-education.
  • (139) Community Service to Groups - Offered resources and provided psycho-education to groups or encampments.
  • (17) Community Trainings - Provided groups of community members with information on PERT, homeless outreach, W&I 5150 commits, and mental health/substance abuse/housing resources available to the community.
  • (243) Care Coordination Contacts - Collaborated with clients’ current providers, submitted referrals to link clients with new providers, provided Patrol Officers with PERT related consultations.
  • (232) Unable to Provide Services - Attempted to provide services to clients, but there were either gone from their known location or they refused services.

Community Tools:

Events:

Escondido Patrol Technicians Speak at Local High School
Escondido Patrol Technicians assist officers by responding to low level crime calls, traffic collisions, and other Patrol functions.  Patrol Technicians Rivera and Blacklock recently attended the Mission Hills High School Criminal Justice Academy to speak about what it takes to become a Patrol Technician in Escondido.  The Patrol Technician program has helped us provide better customer service to our community and is a great recruiting tool for other jobs within the police department.

Tip of the Week:

Interested in working for the Escondido Police Department?
There are more than just police officers that work for EPD.  We have dispatchers, analysts, department specialists, uniformed support staff, records technicians, and many more.
Visit https://police.escondido.org/careers.aspx to see all positions currently available.

FIRE DEPARTMENT UPDATES:

The Strike Team of Brush Engines that had been assigned to fires in northern California for 16 days, returned home on Monday, September 28. The Strike Team included 25 firefighters from North County Fire Departments, was led by an Escondido Battalion Chief and Captain, and included an Escondido Engine crew.

On Tuesday September 22, at approximately 7:16 a.m., the Fire Department was dispatched to a reported vegetation fire in the 2100 block of S. Escondido Blvd. The small fire was found in the canyon adjacent to a mobile home park. The fire was contained and controlled within an hour.

BY THE NUMBERS

Fire:

 

Police:

Public Works:

Code Enforcement:

Business Licenses:

Graffiti Restitution:

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT & ENGINEERING

Building Permits and Inspections:

  1. The counter staff conducted in person meetings with 171 applicants and were able to process 91 applications and issue 78 permits.
  2. The total permit valuation for the week was $3,694,938.00. So far, the weekly average valuation has been $3,436,178.00 in this fiscal year (i.e. last ten weeks).  The weekly average over the same ten week time period last year (in 2019) was $826,395.00. 
  3. The inspection staff completed 209 building inspections.   

Development and Capital Projects Update:

Curious what’s happening with development projects around the city? See below for milestone activities that have happened since last week. Skip to the bottom of this section for a list of projects that are in progress but do not have an update this week. To learn about previous applications for residential and commercial development permits, please visit the Development Project Information Archive page or contact the Planning Division.

Commercial / Office / Industrial:

  1. Carvana – (Developer: Jo Ryan, Carvana) 559 N. Hale Avenue – A Conditional Use Permit for the development of a proposed vending machine car dealership.  The project consists of an approximately 5,800 SF, eight-(8) tier glass and steel tower structure up to 75 feet in height.  A proposed Specific Alignment Plan for Hale Avenue is requested to modify the design of the street frontage and intersection of Hale Avenue and Tulip Street. The project was approved by the City Council on September 23, 2020.  City staff is currently coordinating next steps, which involves reviewing and approving final grading, landscaping, street improvement, and building plans.  

Housing:

  1. Henry Ranch (Builder: Joe Martin, Trumark Homes) An approved development of 97 single-family residential homes on 74.35 acres at the eastern terminus of Lincoln Avenue. The developer, Trumark, has completed 90 percent of the onsite water, storm drain and sewer utilities. Construction of the model homes is ongoing. Mass grading has been completed. The contractor is currently working on the bio-retention basins, to control run-off.  Offsite work for the new traffic signal is on-going.
  1. Jack’s Creek TR 951 and SUB 17-0026 – (Developer New Pointe Development). A 12-lot, single-family residential subdivision on 3.31 acres.  The site is located at the westerly terminus of Jack’s Creek Road, north of El Norte Parkway, addressed as 640 Oakwood Creek Glen, formally 2888 E. Washington Avenue. The contractor has completed the grading for 10 of the 12 new home pads.  Off-site work is nearing completion for the new water and sewer mains. 
  1. Hacienda De Vega Redevelopment – (Developer: Tony Cassolato) A proposed residential condominium development consisting of 42 three-story attached townhomes on 1.75 acres. The project was reviewed and considered by the Planning Commission at their meeting on September 22, 2020. With a 4-2 vote, the Planning Commission is recommending City Council approval of the project.  City Council is the final decision-maker for this project.  The item has been tentatively scheduled for City Council review and consideration on October 21, 2020. 
  1. Nutmeg Condo General Plan Amendment (Developer: Jim Simmons, CCI) - 137 townhome condo units on both sides of Nutmeg between I-15 and Centre City Parkway. The northern portion of the project was approved by the City Council in November 2019.  The applicant filed a land use development proposal for the southern portion.  The project will be reviewed and considered by the Planning Commission at their meeting on October 13, 2020.  City Council is the final decision-maker for this project. 
  1. Palomar Heights (Developer: Ninia Hammond, Integral Communities) – Demolition and redevelopment of the old Palomar Hospital site with 510 multi-family units with 10,000 SF of commercial. The project was reviewed and considered by the Planning Commission at their meeting on September 22, 2020.  With a 4-2 vote, the Planning Commission is recommending City Council approval of the project, with the added condition that inclusionary housing be considered as part of the project.  At this time, City staff is looking to coordinate a discussion on this condition, as well as preparing a fiscal impact assessment to determine the project’s fair share contribution for on-going public services costs.  The item will be scheduled for City Council review and consideration after completion of this study.  A project webpage containing draft documents and plans can be accessed at the following link: 
    https://www.escondido.org/palomarheights.aspx
  1. The Villages at Escondido Country Club (Builder: Lennar Homes) 380 residences located on the former golf course off of Country Club Lane, north of El Norte Parkway. Work is continuing for the new round-about located at Country Club and Golden Circle, the scope of work includes new road realignment, curb, gutter, driveways. Work is continuing for the new round-about located at Country Club and Golden Circle, the scope of work includes new road realignment, curb, gutter and driveways. Work has restarted on the south side storm drain crossing on Country Club. Rough grading is ongoing for Villages III.  Lennar is looking to receive phase 4 building permits and begin model home construction in Village III soon.  City Council approved the Final Map for Village III, which is a 54-lot portion of the project that includes 35 single-family lots and 114 residential condominium units (attached single-family homes). 
  1. Pradera (Developer: Moses Kim, Lennar Homes) – This approved project consists of a 70-unit single-family development located at the northeastern corner of Ash   Street and Lehner Avenue.  The water main work included the construction and installation a 12” water main, 779 feet in length, along Conway Drive, between Lehner Drive and Rincon Avenue.  SDG&E and their contractor has started isolating, blowing down/purging and installing isolation caps on the newly installed 16” gas main. The area of the work is along the Midway corridor and at the intersection of La Honda and El Norte.   

City Projects or Other Capital Improvement Projects:

  1. SDG&E 4” Pipe Installation - Company crews or contractors for SDG&E will be installing 600 feet of 4” diameter pipe at the intersection of W. Washington Avenue and Metcalf Street. Work will commence on October 5, 2020 and expect to be completed by December 16, 2020. Traffic control measures will be in place to protect crew and public safety which may impact travel times.
  1. SDG&E 16” Gas Main Replacement – In January 2019, the CPUC’s Safety Enforcement Division approved SDG&E’s test or replace plan for Line 1600, a 16-inch natural gas transmission pipeline which was not strength tested in 1949 when it was constructed. This next phase of PSEP projects will include 19 separate projects that will take place in the cities of San Diego, Escondido and Poway, as well as the County of San Diego. As part of these projects, approximately 37 miles of existing pipe in more populated areas will be replaced and approximately 13 miles of existing pipe in less populated areas will be strength tested. Approximately 5.4 miles of replacement and 2.7 miles of strength testing is expected to occur in Escondido from 2020-2024. Installation of the 16” gas main is currently in the county portion of Bear Valley Parkway. SDG&E and their contractor has started isolating, blowing down/purging and installing isolation caps on the newly installed 16” gas main. The area of the work is along the Midway corridor and at the intersection of La Honda and El Norte.
  1. Laurel Valley Wall Replacement - A preconstruction meeting was held for the Laurel Valley Wall Replacement. This wall is located in the City’s LMD Zone 9. The scope of work will include the removal of the existing damaged stucco wall and the placement of a new vinyl fence. Work is scheduled to begin October 5, 2020, with an estimated completion date of November 9, 2020.
  1. Spruce Street/Transit Center Pedestrian Bridge Project – The contractor, Palm Engineering, has started final slope grading in the area between the channel and Valley Parkway. Once completed the contractor will complete the landscape planting. This project is nearing completion.
  1. Lake Wohlford Replacement Dam – Lake Wohlford is a man-made reservoir first formed by the construction of the Lake Wohlford Dam in 1895. Lake Wohlford Dam was originally constructed of rockfill at a height of approximately 76 feet, creating an important component of the City’s initial municipal water supply. In 1924, the City enlarged the dam using hydraulic fill, pumping earth from the reservoir bottom through a pipe and placing this material on the upstream side of the existing rockfill dam.  The enlargement of the dam increased the dam’s height to 100 feet and expanded Lake Wohlford’s storage capacity to serve the City’s growing population.  The City proposes to construct a new dam downstream (west) of the existing dam and partially deconstruct the existing dam. The replacement dam would feature an outlet tower that is integrated into the dam’s upstream face; the top of the existing outlet tower would be demolished, and the bottom of the existing outlet tower and the outlet pipe would be filled with sand and abandoned in place.  The Final Environmental Impact Report was certified by City Council at their meeting on September 23, 2020. 
  1. Storm Drain Pipe Lining and Rehabilitation Project Phase II - Bids were accepted and are being reviewed for this project. The work consists generally of construction including: storm drain cleaning, inspection, CCTV, repairing and grouting of voids, point repairs, grouting of existing flow line, cured in place piping lining, storm drain structure floor repairs, post CCTV and inspection, overall rehabilitation of existing corrugated metal pipe storm drain systems.

Ongoing Projects – Nothing New This Week:

Projects that do not have any changes or updates this week will be listed here to indicate that they’re still in progress. When an update occurs, the project will appear above in the Development and Capital Projects section.

Commercial / Office / Industrial:

  1. Raising Cane’s Restaurant – (Developer: Ada Fermin, PM Design Group) 1280 W. Valley Parkway – Demolition of vacant, former Coco’s restaurant building and construction of new 3,744 SF drive-through restaurant for Raising Cane’s.
  1. 7-Eleven Gas and Convenience Store – (Developer: Golcheh Group) 900 W. Mission Ave. – A proposal to relocate a 7-Eleven from the northeastern corner of Mission/Rock Springs to the northwestern corner and add a gas station.
  1. Mercedes Benz Expansion – (Developer: Jody Stout, Integrity Design and Construction) 1101 W. 9th Avenue – A Master and Precise Plan modification to demo the existing dealership showroom and construct a new showroom, office, parts storage and service building.
  1. The Ritz Theater “The Grand” (Developer: New Venture Church) 301 E. Grand Avenue – A renovation of the existing Ritz Theater and adjacent commercial building to provide for a variety of assembly uses including performing arts, religious services, café, offices and classroom studios was approved by the City Council on December 5, 2018.
  1. Burros and Fries - (MPA Architects) 1107 E. Valley Parkway – An approved 5,224 square foot commercial building, with associated landscaping and parking.  The building includes a 1,850 square foot drive-through restaurant (Burros and Fries) and 3,374 square feet of additional retail space.

Housing:

  1. Escondido Gateway, also called Rowan (Developer: Carolyn Hillgren, Lyon Living) This is an approved project involving 126 residential units on the same site as the former Police Station across the street from the Escondido Transit Center at 700 W. Grand. 
  1. Villa Portofino (Developer: Chris Post, ATC Design Group) 15 apartment units in a three-story building with parking garage at 2690 S. Escondido Blvd.
  1. Canyon Grove Estates Tract 932 (Developer: John Vance, Shea Homes) – This is an approved project for 179-lot single-family residential development on the north side of Vista Avenue east of Conway Drive. 
  1. Interfaith Recuperative Care Facility – (Developer: Interfaith) 555 North Center City Parkway – Conversion of the existing lodging facility (America’s Best Value Inn) and construction of new residential care facility designed to provide quality emergency housing, services, and supervision to at-risk individuals, homeless, etc.
  1. Harvest Hills, formerly called Safari Highlands Ranch (Developer: Jeb Hall, Concordia Homes) - 550 residential subdivision, east of Rancho San Pasqual. A project webpage containing draft documents and plans can be accessed at the following link:
    https://www.escondido.org/safari-highlands-ranch-specific-plan.aspx
  1. North Avenue Estates (Developer: Casey Johnson) – This is an approved project for 34 lots at North Avenue/Conway Drive.
  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 Daley Ranch. A project webpage containing draft documents and plans can be accessed at the following link:
    https://www.escondido.org/daley-ranch-resort-specific-plan.aspx
  1. Oak Creek (Builder: KB Homes) – this is an approved project for 65 single-family residential lots on approximately 44 acres at Felicita Road and Hamilton Lane.
  1. Del Prado (Developer: Kerry Garza, Touchstone Communities) – An approved 113-unit townhome-style Planned Development located at the southwestern corner of Brotherton Road and the Centre City Parkway frontage road.
  1. Casa Mercado Apartments (Developer: Paul Mayer, Pemcor) – A four-story, 120-unit apartment complex on 2.31 acres on Second Avenue and Pine Street.
  1. Iwashita Apartments (Developer: Iwashita Development) – A seven-story, mixed-use project at 322 S. Escondido Boulevard for 172 units. 
  1. Fig Apartments (Developer Claude Marengo) – A 15-unit, three-story, multi-family residential apartment complex consisting of three stories on 0.59 acres.
  1. East Valley Parkway Apartments (Developer: John Wurster) – A 50-unit mixed use affordable apartment complex consisting of four stories situated on a 21,000 SF vacant parcel in the historic District of the Downtown. 
  1. Reed Road Assisted Living Facility (2525 Reed LLC) – A new residential care facility is proposed on a 4.2-acre site on 2525 Reed Road.
  1. Apollo Residential Care (NOAA Group) – An approved Conditional Use Permit for an assisted living and memory care facility, with 78 units accommodating 99 beds at 3141 East Valley Parkway.

City Projects or Other Capital Improvement Projects:

  1. Membrane-Filtration Reverse Osmosis/MFRO (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) 901 W. Washington.
  1. 2019 Street Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project Rebid – This year’s project will resurface approximately 71-lane miles of pavement, replace 0.59- miles of sidewalk, and restripe 2.5- miles of bike lanes, install 51 pedestrian ramps, and replace 90 street trees that damaging concrete improvements.  This year’s project is Maintenance Zone W. Zone W is our western zone that is located west of Interstate 15 between State Route 78 and Felicita Avenue. More information can be found at the following link:
    https://www.escondido.org/city-of-escondido-street-maintenance-program.aspx