Making our City Safer!

Following the Green Crest Fire last December, where 8 people were injured and 2 children were killed in a mobile home fire (with no smoke alarms), one of the goals of the Fire Department has been to ensure that homes have smoke alarms. Especially mobile homes where the elderly and families reside. Using 100% donated smoke detectors and volunteer labor (including our FD Senior Volunteers), our Fire Prevention staff has coordinated three events at local mobile home parks where anyone can have free smoke detectors installed in their home. The Fire Department partnered with the Burn Institute, the Red Cross, and the staff at Rincon Water District to accomplish this project.

So far the project has touched 387 mobile homes:

  • 854 smoke alarms installed
  • 104 carbon monoxide alarms installed
  • 17 replaced batteries in existing smoke alarms

There are over 3,400 mobile homes in Escondido, the progress and the momentum in making our community safer is encouraging! We have nearly exhausted the first batch of 1,000 donated smoke alarms we received earlier this year and we have requested more. There is another event scheduled in November.

Escape to Escondido

The San Diego Tourism Authority featured Escondido as a destination this week.  This is great coverage for our City as it’s a high traffic website for potential visitors. Read the feature here.



2017 Business Walk Report


The Escondido Business Walk is an annual event jointly hosted by the City of Escondido and the Escondido Chamber of Commerce. The event is focused on retention through face-to-face contact with businesses to learn about growth plans, hiring needs, challenges and opportunities, and to identify how the City and Chamber can assist.

The 2017 Business Walk was held on Wednesday, September 27. Approximately 32 volunteers made up of City officials and Chamber board members participated. 43 businesses were targeted for visits.

Survey Results

Businesses Visited: 38

Completed Surveys: 33






Major Projects Update

The following major projects are currently being reviewed and coordinated with Planning, Engineering, Fire, Building and Utilities staff. A complete description of each project can be viewed here. Updates provided below cover project milestones that occurred last week.

Commercial / Office:

  1. Escondido Research and Technology Center – West (ERTC) (Developer: James McCann) – A plan for a new two-story, 57,000 SF, 52-bed Palomar Rehabilitation Institute was submitted on July 31, 2017. The applicant submitted revised grading and landscape plans and a storm water management plan three weeks ago. Revised elevations were submitted to Planning on October 3, 2017.
  2. Centre City Commercial Center (Developer: Todd Dwyer) SE corner Centre City/Mission – The expedited plan check process for the grading, building and landscape plans and the final parcel map started on July 25, 2017. Review is concluding and plans are close to approval once bonds are posted and fees paid. Comments on the carwash building plans were sent by Planning on October 2, 2017.  The precise grading plan for the carwash lot was submitted last week. Planning is working on a proposed modification to the Plot Plan to address revisions to some project conditions.


1.   Escondido Self-Storage Facility (Developer: Brandywine Homes, Inc.) 2319 Cranston Dr. – Revised grading, landscape, and street and improvement plans were submitted by the applicant on July 14, 2017. Engineering and Planning comments on those plans were returned to the applicant on August 11, 2017. The applicant resubmitted revised grading, landscape, and street improvement plans on September 15, 2017. Another revised grading plan was submitted several weeks ago. Planning has returned comments on that set.

2.   Exeter Harmony Grove Industrial Development (Developer: John Couvillion, Badiee Development) 1925 and 2005 Harmony Grove Road – This proposed combination of the previously approved Victory and Innovative Industrial Projects into an 11.04-acre site for a single-tenant 212,000 square foot industrial building was submitted as a modified Master and Precise Plan on September 25, 2017. Initial comments were returned to the applicant on September 29, 2017, with the remaining department comments sent on October 5, 2017. The applicant submitted revised plans on October 16, 2017. A Planning Commission hearing is anticipated on November 28, 2017.  Grading plans were submitted for concurrent, expedited processing on October 11, 2017.

3.   North American Self-Storage (Developer: Russ Colvin) 852 S. Metcalf – This project has participated in the expedited plan check program. The demo has been completed. Building plans were approved by Esgil, Planning and Fire the last week of June. The grading permit was issued the end of September. The applicant has not started construction. On October 16, 2017, the applicant submitted a modified Plot Plan application to remove the basement level and increase the building height to five stories. All departments are now reviewing the revised project.

City Projects

  1. Micro-Filtration Reverse Osmosis (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) SE corner Ash/WashingtonThe lawsuit challenging the project approval has been settled and it is expected that a contract for engineering design will be considered soon.
  2. Lake Wohlford Replacement Dam (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) – A Draft EIR was prepared and issued for a 45-day public review period that began on October 4, 2016 and closed on November 17, 2016. A field visit with staff from the state and federal wildlife agencies took place on May 11, 2017, to review biological mitigation requirements. Staff sent a follow-up letter to the wildlife agencies on June 29, 2017, seeking clarification on the proposed biological mitigation requirements. Staff is now coordinating with the consultant to final the EIR and start the decision-making process.



  1. Self-Realization Fellowship Center (Developer: John Pyjar, Domusstudio Architecture 1840 Del Dios Rd. – The CUP application was submitted on November 14, 2016. The applicant resubmitted revised plans and technical studies on May 19, 2017, and staff has been issuing comments on the various documents. Another resubmittal from the applicant was received on August 22, 2017. Comments from Engineering and Utilities were sent to the applicant last week and a follow-up meeting with the applicant occurred on October 4, 2017. A revised project submittal is expected soon.
  2.  Chalice Unitarian Universalist Congregation (Developer: Pete Bussett, Bussett Architecture) 2324 Miller Avenue – This CUP to expand an existing 3,300 square foot religious facility by adding approximately 3,100 square feet of multi-purpose building and foyer was originally submitted in November of 2015.  The applicant has been revising the project to respond to staff comments and meet the needs of the congregation. A revised project submittal is expected this week. The Mitigated Negative Declaration completed a 20-day public review period on October 18, 2017.


  1. Citron (formerly Stella Park) (Developer: William Lyon Homes) 63 condo units at 2516 S. Esc. Blvd. – Building plans were submitted on April 6, 2017. Esgil and Planning have provided comments. Fire has approved the building plans. The rough grading has been completed on the site. The applicant resubmitted the precise grading plan on July 14, 2017. Engineering returned comments on August 15, 2017. The applicant has submitted revised grading plans and discussions are on-going regarding potential storm water solutions.
  2. Wohlford (Developer: Jack Henthorne) 55 lots at 661 Bear Valley Pkwy. –City staff is currently working to complete negotiations on the terms for the Development Agreement and schedule the item with the Planning Commission for review and consideration, most likely in January of 2018.
  3. Safari Highlands Ranch (SHR) (Developer: Jeb Hall, Concordia Homes) 550 lots east of Rancho San PasqualA second revised tentative map depicting various minor changes and clarifications to roads, easements and drainage facilities was submitted on April 25, 2017. Revised technical engineering reports as well as responses to staff comments also have been submitted for review. The revised studies have been loaded on the City’s website at the following link:  Safari Highlands Ranch Specific Plan - City of Escondido. The applicant filed revised emergency access plans on September 15, 2017. These plans are currently being reviewed by Fire, Engineering and Planning. A Notice of Availability for the Draft EIR was issued on October 16, 2017. The Draft EIR has a 52-day public review period that starts on October 16 and ends on December 7, 2017. The Draft EIR and appendices have been posted on the Safari Highlands website link.
  4. 18 lots at 701 San Pasqual Valley Rd (Developer: Bob Stewart) – A three-year extension of time for the previously approved ten-lot subdivision (Tract 895) was approved by the City Council on June 7, 2017. Staff comments on the revised tentative map were issued the last week of July. Staff met with the applicant recently regarding unresolved project design issues.
  5. Escondido Gateway (Developer: Carolyn Hillgren, Lyon Living) 126 condo units at 700 W. Grand – Building plans have been approved by Esgil, Planning and Fire.  Grading plans have been approved by Utilities, Planning and Fire. A street vacation for right-of-way frontage along Grand Avenue is pending. Demolition is complete and permits are nearly ready to be issued.
  6. The Villages at Escondido Country Club (Developer: Jason Han, New Urban West, Inc.) 392 residences – Planning staff has provided a location on the city’s website for ECC project-related documents and plans. A 45-day public review period for the Draft EIR ended on August 18, 2017. The Final EIR including responses to the comments that were received has been completed. The Final EIR and appendices have been placed on the city website. It is anticipated that the Planning Commission will review and consider the Project application on October 24th to make a recommendation to City Council. This information along with project status and other related information can be accessed at the following link: ECC - City of Escondido
  7.  Ivy/Valley Parkway Mixed-Use Development (Developer: Abad Rahan Pars Inc./ Norm Wieme, Architect) 20 condo units at 113 N. Ivy - The applicant has indicated that grading and building plans are expected to be submitted into plan check soon. The reimbursement agreement for new water infrastructure that will be installed by the project in the adjoining alley is being readied for City Council approval.
  8.  North Avenue Estates (Developer: Casey Johnson) 34 lots at North Ave./Conway Dr. – A new annexation survey of surrounding property owners was mailed out at the request of LAFCO. A neighborhood meeting hosted by staff and the project applicant occurred on August 9, 2017. The applicant has reviewed drainage issues with the Engineering Division and a revised tentative map has been submitted.
  9.  Aspire (106 condo units on Municipal Lot 1) and The Ivy (95 condo units at 343 E. 2nd) (Developer: Addison Garza, Touchstone Communities) – The proposal consists of three separate downtown project sites proposed for mixed-use, residential and parking garage components on Parking Lot 1, Parking Lot 4 and the former Escondido Surgery Center property. Applications were submitted for entitlement processing on June 23, 2017. A project kick-off meeting with the applicant and city staff occurred on July 13, 2017. On July 24, 2017, staff sent a letter to the applicant indicating the project application submittal was incomplete. Subsequent meetings with the applicant and staff have been on-going.
  10. Grand Avenue Apartments (Developer: Norm LaCaze, Escondido Venture 99, LLC) 15 apt. units at 1316 E. Grand Ave. – A planned development application proposing 15 multi-family units in one three-story building on a vacant 0.51-acre lot was submitted for entitlement processing on September 22, 2017.

Building Division

  1. A total of 26 solar photovoltaic permits were issued for the week.  The Building Division has issued 764 solar permits this year, to date, compared to 1,029 issued during the same time last year.
  2. Our building inspectors responded to 254 inspection requests for the week.
  3. Building has issued 185 single-family dwelling permits this year and 224 multi-family units.  This compares with 56 single family dwellings and 88 multi-family dwellings for the same time last year.
  4. Projects nearing permit issuance are:
    1. 917 W Lincoln, 3 new apartment buildings, 9 units.
    2. 700 W Grand Ave Gateway project (former police building)
  5. The construction of the City Plaza three-story mixed use building at 300 S. Escondido Blvd. continues with a request for temporary meter releases in preparation for building completion the first part of 2018.
  6. The Meadowbrook, three-story apartment building with underground garage at 2081 Garden Valley Glen is preparing the building for final inspection.
  7. Escondido Disposal is requesting inspection for site walls and framing of the weigh station.
  8. The medical office building at 2125 Citracado Pkwy is now installing drywall and exterior lath.
  9. The medical office building at 1951 Citracado Pkwy has received inspection approval for drywall and interior shell.  Plans have been approved for the tenant improvement portion of the project.  Exterior stucco is being applied.
  10. The Westminster Seminary at 1725 Bear Valley Pkwy is preparing for exterior shear wall and framing inspections.
  11. The children’s building for Emanuel Faith Church at 639 E 17th Ave has received inspection approval for the framing of the building.  The Church of Resurrection at 1445 Conway has received inspection approval for roof sheathing.
  12. The new Veterans Village project at 1540 S Escondido Blvd has received underground plumbing, partial foundation and masonry inspections for the residential buildings.
  13. The fifth lift of the exterior masonry walls are being erected at 999 N. Broadway for the new supermarket shell building.
  14. The Ford dealership at 1717 Auto Park Way has commenced on the second phase of construction which includes the interior remodel and new showroom addition.
  15. The Latitude II multi-family residential development at 650 N. Centre City Parkway has received foundation inspection approval for Buildings 1 and 2.

Public Works Operations

Graffiti Restitution


Collected This Week

Collected Year to Date




Capital Improvements

Valley Pkwy/Valley Center Road Widening Project

The contractor is continuing to construct the new Valley Center roadway segment north of Lake Wohlford Road this week. Work within the channel will begin next week, beginning with the saw cutting of the existing concrete channel. Storm drain construction has begun with the excavation of the first box structure located at Bevin Drive. A 10” roadway section was removed this week along the Valley Center Roadway portion of the project to facilitate more bridge widening.  Staff is continuing to monitor the traffic impact in the corridor and are making adjustments to the traffic signal timing to accommodate the best travel time for travel along Valley Parkway. A mobile electronic speed limit sign has been deployed reinforcing the posted 25 MPH speed limit. Please be careful when traveling through the construction zone and please follow the posted speed limits.

Neighborhood Lighting Project

No changes from that reported last week: The Notice to Proceed date for the project is October 30th.  The scope of work for the project includes the installation of 44 new street poles along with the replacement of 22 existing street light fixtures with the latest L.E.D. fixtures in 5 neighborhood areas.

2017 Street Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project

The Notice to Proceed for the project is set for Monday, October 23rd. Door hangers notices were placed by City staff this week on the final 30 residences that have not responded to the street tree preselection process.   

Corrugated Metal Storm Drain Pipe Assessment Study

This project televises all City-maintained corrugated metal pipes (CMP) and assesses their condition to allow proactive and efficient pipe maintenance. To date, approximately 55% of the CMP storm drains have been televised.

Private Development

Pradera - Lennar Communities

Phase 8 homes are being released for occupancy this week.

Lexington Model Homes - KB Homes

No changes from that reported last week: Construction of surface improvement along Ash Street is continuing this week in anticipation of the first occupancies expected in October. Day time closures of Ash Street between Lehner Avenue and Vista Avenue have been extended until Friday, October 27. The work will be permitted between the 8:00 a.m. and 2 p.m. time period when school is in session. Electronic message boards have been placed prior to the closure and the developer and City will work closely with the Rincon Middle School representative.

Citron Project by William Lyon Homes

The project is idled this week. The project is located at 2516 S. Escondido Boulevard.

Tract 932 - Canyon Grove Shea Homes Community

Another phase of water line construction is set to begin this week.    

Latitude II Condominiums by a Lyon Homes Partnership: Washington Avenue at Centre City Parkway

The construction of offsite storm drain is continuing this week with work extending along Washington Avenue. Onsite testing of another segment of water main is set to commence this week. The import of material is continuing on the final building pad this week.

Veterans Village

No changes from that reported last week: The project’s water improvement is continuing this week, with work being performed onsite.

Tract 877 – Bernardo Ave. by Ambient Communities:

Streetlight poles were stood this week.

Victory Industrial Park

The grading operation is continuing with the importing of material. The project is located at 2005 Harmony Grove Road and is 5.4 acres in size.

Centerpoint Project

Onsite construction of water quality basins is underway. The project is located at 999 Broadway.

Spring Hill Suites Hotel/ La Terraza Boulevard

No changes from that reported last week: The grading operation is continuing this week with the construction of the block wall along La Terraza Boulevard. Excavation of the footing for a new retaining wall along the rear of the property has begun.

Centre City Parkway Shopping Center

The project is idled at this time. The project is located at the corner of Mission Avenue and Centre City Parkway.

Escondido Disposal Facility

No changes from that reported last week: The onsite construction of storm drain and water quality basins is proceeding this week.


The demolition of the old Block Buster building, located at the corner of El Note Parkway and Centre City Parkway, began this past week. In its place will be a new Starbucks offering drive thru service.   




Total Emergency Responses (Year To Date)




  • Captain Matthews has successfully completed his Acting Battalion Chief certification. Please join us in congratulating him.
  • Non-Safety Paramedics Justin Sandling and Darren Fitzpatrick were promoted to Firefighter Paramedic effective September 24, 2017 and have completed the 2 week, in-house Firefighter Paramedic Academy.
  • Fire Engineer Chris Arnold was promoted to Fire Captain effective October 8, 2017. Captain Arnold remained at Station 4 and his first assignment as Captain was October 14th, 2017.
  • Firefighter Paramedic Jordan Lara was promoted to Fire Engineer effective October 8th, 2017. Engineer Lara’s last shift as a FF/PM at Station 1 was October 10th and he is assigned to Station 4, effective October 14, 2017.
  • Firefighter Paramedic Scott Lofvendahl was promoted to Fire Engineer effective October 8th, 2017. Engineer Lofvendahl’s last shift as a FF/PM at Station 1 was October 7th and he is assigned to Station 4, effective October 12, 2017.

California Wildfires:

  • Escondido Fire Department Captain Head, Engineer Good and Firefighter Paramedics Smith and McCauley (OES 8632) were deployed to the Canyon 2 Fire in Anaheim Hills, CA.
  • Escondido Fire Department Captain Barratt, Engineer Collins and Firefighter Paramedic San Nicolas (Patrol 135) were deployed to the Atlas Fire (Southern LNU Complex) in Sonoma County, CA.
  • Escondido Fire Department Engineer Dominic Polito was deployed to the Tubbs Fire in Napa County as a Public Information Officer. The Tubbs Fire has currently burned approximately 36,432 acres and is 91% contained.
  • Escondido Fire Department Battalion Chief Bertrand and Captain Miller were deployed to the Redwood Valley Fire (Mendocino Lake Complex) in Mendocino County.



  • On 10/8/17 at 14:03 hours, an uninvolved reporting party stated he saw a Hispanic male point a “machine gun” type weapon at another person in Washington Park. No victim ever called in.  Officers arrived at the park shortly after the call and saw a black male walking away from a pickup truck. They developed additional information that the black male may have been with the gun-wielder during the incident. Inside the truck in plain view, officers recovered a Mac-9 type weapon. It was loaded with a 30-round magazine and had a round in the chamber. During their investigation the owner of the truck called from a nearby business and stated his truck had been stolen. The owner did not match the suspect description. Investigation is ongoing.


  • On 10/10/17 at 02:58 hours, officers responded to the 7-11 at 1702 S. Escondido Blvd for a robbery with a gun that had just occurred. The loss was cash from the register. An officer was on scene almost immediately and located a vehicle matching the description given in the area of Escondido Blvd and Vermont Ave. The officer followed the suspect vehicle south on I-15 until additional units caught up, and a traffic stop was made at Mercy Rd. Three occupants were detained without incident. The cash, gun and the bandanna used during the incident were all located in the suspect vehicle. The three occupants were ultimately arrested for Armed Robbery.


  • On10/10/17, Investigators following up on the gun recovery/stolen vehicle case at Washington Park (referenced above on 10/8/17) gathered information that a previously unreported shooting had occurred in the 800 block of E. 2nd Avenue, and that the victim was still at Palomar Medical Center.  After confirming the information and verifying that the suspect was currently at an E. 2nd Avenue address and possibly armed with another handgun, SWAT was activated. SWAT took the suspect into custody without incident, and he was charged with numerous felony violations.


  • On 10/10/17 at 19:00 hours, officers responded to the Boost Mobile Store, 637 W. 9th Ave, in reference to an armed robbery. Units arrived on scene at 1903 hours and determined that a male and a female suspect entered the store.  The male held the clerk at gunpoint while the female suspect emptied the cash registers. The clerk was not injured. Officers, with the assistance of ASTREA, searched for the suspects but they were not located.


  • On 10/11/17 at 18:30 hours, officers responded to Dick’s Sporting Goods, 1200 Auto Park Way, referencing a robbery that had just occurred.  A Black Male Adult, 30’s, slim build, wearing a white shirt, blue baggy pants and a black belt, and a Black Female Adult, 5-6, black hair, glasses, wearing a long sleeve light colored shirt and light blue jeans, walked into the store. They were recognized by a flyer that was circulated to various Dick’s Sporting Goods regarding thefts.  he suspects selected “Yeti” cooler bags and when confronted, pushed the clerk out of the way and fled the store in a dark colored SUV type vehicle. 


  • On 10/11/17 at 22:52 hours, an officer attempted to stop a silver Chevy Cobalt for vehicle code violations in the area of E. Washington and Ash St.  The vehicle fled at a high rate of speed and was lost around Daisy/Lincoln.  About two minutes after the vehicle was lost, but another officer located it unoccupied in the 1000 block of Daisy St.  A perimeter was set, but the suspect was not located.  At 0020 hours, the original officer sees and detains the suspect in the 1000 block of Daisy St. The suspect was arrested for Felony Evading and an outstanding felony warrant.


  • On 10/12/17, at 00:18 hours, dispatch received several “sounds of gunshots” calls in the area of 3rd Av/Beech St.  When officers arrived they found a victim lying in a driveway with a gunshot wound to his leg. The victim was uncooperative with providing any suspect or crime scene information.  The injury is non-life threatening.


  • On 10/12/17 at 14:05 hours, a Pacific Islander Male, 5’-7” tall, 195lbs, heavy set, wearing a red T-shirt, khaki pants and black and white BB cap, entered the Chase Bank at 326 W. El Norte Parkway. and passed a demand note to a bank teller.  The teller gave cash to the suspect who quickly walked out of the bank. The suspect fled the area in an older large (90’s) model white sedan.


  • On 10/13/17 at 09:10 hours, officers responded to a report of multiple transients trespassing to the rear of the Mariachi’s Mexican Restaurant, 609 N. Escondido Blvd.  Three male adults and one female adult were contacted.  One of the male subjects became aggressive toward officers and was ultimately taken into custody following a use of force that resulted in minor injuries (scraps, cuts and bruising) to three officers.  The suspect was arrested and charged with Felony Resisting.
  • On 10/13/17 at 9:38 PM, officers responded to a serious injury collision at the intersection of El Norte Parkway and Ash St.  Officers arrived just minutes later and discovered a two vehicle collision.  The collision involved a 1997 Saturn and a 2017 Toyota Yaris.  The driver of the Saturn suffered major injury and died at the scene.  There were two occupants in the Toyota, both of whom were transported to Palomar Hospital by Escondido Fire paramedics for treatment of minor injuries.  Based on the witness statements and physical evidence at the scene it appears the Saturn was traveling east on El Norte Parkway at a high rate of speed.  The driver lost control and crossed into west bound traffic lanes.  The Toyota was traveling west on El Norte parkway being driven by a 23-year-old female.  The two vehicles collided just west of the intersection.  The driver of the Saturn has not been identified at this point.  Alcohol or drug impairment does not appear to be a factor in this collision. However, the investigation is ongoing.


The EPD COPPS (Community Oriented Policing and Problem-Solving) Unit is dedicated to increasing the quality of life for the residents of Escondido through pro-active responses to crime trends and community issues.  Addressing crime and public nuisance in Grape Day Park is one project the Unit has been tasked with, along with patrolling the Downtown Business District and surrounding areas.  

  • 2 arrests were made
  • 11 citations were issued
  • HEP A shots detail – 20 contacted, 8 received shots, 8 already had it, 4 refused vaccination
  • Met with San Diego County HHS to discuss outreach and services for homeless