October 15, 2020

Street-side Dining Murals
Have you seen the new murals along Grand Avenue? Check out this time-lapse video of a local artist adding fall art to the street side dining barriers downtown.

Thank you to the artists and community partners that are making this possible: Escondido Downtown Business Association, Escondido Shines, Escondido Art Association, The Escondido Rotary Club, Beautify Escondido, and our downtown businesses. More murals are on the way!

Escondido’s Bimbo Bakery Wins Award     
Bimbo Bakery, USA has won Food Processing's 2020 Green Plant of the Year Award! The Escondido plant has won many honors during their 29 years in town, and due to their sustainability practices now they can add another. Read more about the award in the Food Processing article here

Voter Registration Deadline
The 2020 general election is on Tuesday, November 3. The deadline for voter registration is on October 19.

To find your nearest polling place, ballot drop-off location, and to learn more about local candidates running for Council, visit: https://www.escondido.org/election2020.aspx

POLICE DEPARTMENT UPDATES:

House Set on Fire after Homicide
On October 4, police and fire units were dispatched to a house on fire in the 600 block of Waverly Pl.  The first police officer on scene reported heavy smoke visible flames coming from the house.  Fire personnel entered the home to extinguish the fire and discovered an unconscious adult male down inside the house.  He was transported to the hospital where he died.  The victim sustained injuries consistent with being assaulted prior to the fire.  Evidence obtained from the home indicated that the fire was deliberately set.  As a result of the investigation, police detectives arrested Jose Trinidad Romero on Wednesday, October 7.  He was booked into jail for murder and arson charges.  This investigation is still ongoing.

Drugs Seized in Mail
Last week, Escondido Police narcotics detectives while working with the United States Postal Inspector investigated suspicious packages being mailed to an Escondido resident.  A search warrant was obtained for one of the packages, which contained vials of fentanyl disguised as steroids.  A search warrant was also served on the residence and more narcotics were recovered.

Serial Shoplifter Arrested
On October 6, officers were dispatched to the Target on Auto Park Way regarding a known shoplifter in the store.  Target Loss Prevention staff were aware that the subject had been committing thefts from local stores.  Officers detained the subject, identified as Siu Xin, near her vehicle and travel trailer in the parking lot.  During the investigation, hundreds of items of stolen merchandise were recovered from her trailer.  Among the items were jewelry, cosmetics, LEGO sets, camping equipment, and hover boards.  Xin was arrested for theft related charges and booked into Vista jail.

Woman Arrested for DUI after Hit & Run
On October 9, citizens called the police to report a black vehicle driving recklessly with an unrestrained child in the back.  While officers responded to the area, the car struck a pedestrian in her driveway causing minor injuries.  The woman then fled in the car where it was later located in a field nearby.  The woman and her 2-year-old child were contacted.  The intoxicated woman was arrested for DUI, Hit & Run, and Child Endangerment charges.  The child was taken into protective custody and later released to a family member.

Community Engagement:
On October 7, a local Harley Davidson riders group participated in a law enforcement support ride throughout the county.  Their goal was to drive through the parking lots of every police/sheriff station in the county in order to show support.  We appreciate the gesture and thank all those who took part.

Community Tools:

Events:

Detective Promotion
Officer Brittany Sheats was hired as a police officer in Escondido in September of 2011.  Prior to that, she worked in the EPD Gang Unit as a department specialist managing gang documentation.  While working as a patrol officer, she was assigned to several collateral duties, including the Emergency Negotiations Team and the PC 290 Enforcement Team.  Officer Sheats holds a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology from SDSU.  Officer Sheats was promoted to detective and will fill an opening in the Crimes of Property Unit.  Congratulations Brittany!

Tip of the Week:

Did you know that you can report graffiti from your phone?  Call 760-839-4OFF(633) or use the Escondido Report It App.  To download the app, visit: https://www.escondido.org/report-it.aspx

FIRE DEPARTMENT UPDATES:

On Friday October 9, at approximately 2 p.m., Escondido Fire Department, along with CAL FIRE, responded to a reported vegetation fire on Lake Wolford Road between Valley Center Road and Lake Wohlford. This area is within a “mutual threat zone” which triggers a coordinated multi-agency response. Firefighters found a brush fire burning on a steep hillside, about 50’x50’ in size, with a slow rate of spread. Fortunately, the first three engine companies on scene were able to contain the fire in about thirty minutes.

On Wednesday, October 7, Firefighter Paramedic Ricky Tlapala returned home from a two-week deployment at the Castle and Zogg fires in Northern California.

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 154 applicants and were able to process 91 applications and issue 69 permits.
  2. The total permit valuation for the week was $1,565,476.00.
  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:  

No updates this week.

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 nearly completed onsite water, storm drain and sewer utilities.  Model homes have been opened to the public. Offsite work for the new traffic signal is on-going.
  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 is now requesting plan approvals for the southern portion.  The southern portion was reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission at their meeting on October 13, 2020.  City Council is the final decision-maker for this project.  It is anticipated that this project will be presented to City Council on November 18, 2020.
  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.  On-site improvements have started 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.  This project will be considered by the City Council at their October 21, 2020 meeting.
  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.  City Council is the final decision-maker for this project.  A public hearing date has not been set.  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.  Plan check review of the proposed commercial center is complete, and comments on Village 2 and Village 3 parks have been delivered.  (City staff has approved of the park in Village 1.)   
  1. Pradera (Developer: Moses Kim, Lennar Homes) This approved project consists of a 70-unit single-family homes located at the northeastern corner of Ash Street and Lehner Avenue.  The water main work included the construction and installation of a 12” water main, 779 feet in length, along Conway Drive, between Lehner Drive and Rincon Avenue. 

City Projects or Other Capital Improvement Projects:

  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. A preconstruction meeting for Phase II will be held within the next few weeks.
  1. Laurel Valley Wall Replacement - The contractor, Urban Corp, has completed the demolition of the existing stucco wall. The new vinyl wall installation is scheduled to start next week. 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.

  1. Spruce Street/Transit Center Pedestrian Bridge Project – The contractor, Palm Engineering, has completed the grading of the channel walls. The planting of the new slope vegetation is almost complete. Overall, this project is nearing completion.
  1. Lake Wohlford Replacement Dam – With the Environmental Impact Report certified by the City Council on September 23, 2020, City staff is coordinating additional permit review by the responsible agencies (e.g. California Department of Fish and Wildlife).
  1. Storm Drain Pipe Lining and Rehabilitation Project Phase II - This project was awarded at the September 16, 2020, City Council meeting. The work consists 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 NewThis 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 – An approved demolition of vacant, former Coco’s restaurant building and construction of new 3,744 SF drive-through restaurant for Raising Cane’s.
  1. Carvana – (Developer: Jo Ryan, Carvana) 559 N. Hale Avenue – An approved 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. 
  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 – An approved 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.
  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 the Rowan (Developer: Carolyn Hillgren, Lyon Living) This is an approved residential 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 residential 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 residential 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 residential 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 Facility/MFRO (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) 901 W. Washington.