October 22, 2020

Escondido Nonprofit Named Nonprofit of the Year
The Assistance League of Inland North County was named nonprofit of the year by Assembly Member Marie Waldron. For the last five years, legislators from across California have chosen a winning nonprofit in their district, and there are over 72,000 nonprofits in California alone. The Assistance League of Inland North County strives to improve the lives of children and adults in need through hands on programs that are developed and funded by an all-volunteer membership, and they currently have over 150 volunteers. Learn more about the program here.

Parking Enforcement
Full enforcement of parking regulations for street sweeping and timed parking, including citations will resume on November 15. The Escondido Police Department is currently issuing warnings for all parking violations until that time. Restarting parking enforcement will allow for increased turnover on busy streets and will allow for easier accessibility for patrons and residents.

New Mural at the Center for the Arts Entrance
There is a new mural on the footbridge entrance to the Center for the Arts that was painted by a local artist, Katie Gaines. The new art piece is in conjunction with the new World of Frida exhibition that is now on display at the Center. Learn more about the World of Frida here.

Visit Escondido Newsletter
The October issue of the Visit Escondido newsletter is out now. This issue features a spotlight on local craft breweries, and recommendations for visiting. Learn about our Escondido breweries and upcoming fall events here.

October Economic Development Business Newslette
This issue covers Women in Small Business Month, Halloween Tips and More! Read it here.

Go Paperless for a Chance to Win!
Register for paperless billing and/or enroll in AutoPay for your City of Escondido Utility Bill by December 15, 2020 for a chance to WIN an iPad mini or one of two $50 Amazon gift cards!

Go to ols.escondido.org for official rules.

POLICE DEPARTMENT UPDATES:

DUI Crash Results in Arrest of Teen
On October 11, officers responded to the 500 block of Stanley Avenue regarding a car crash.  Officers discovered that three teens had crashed into a field rolling their car onto the side.  The three teens crawled out of the car an attempted to run away.  Responding officers and some helpful residents were able to corral all three.  The driver was arrested for DUI and had alcohol on him.  All three teens were eventually released to their parents.

Parolee Brandishes Weapon at City Employee
On October 13, a City of Escondido employee was at the Carl’s Jr on the corner of Mission Ave and Quince St and a male subject was blocking the entrance into the drive thru.  He flashed a  gesture at the city worker and then brandished what appeared to be an assault rifle.  The police were called and the male was detained without incident.  Officers observed what looked like the muzzle of a rifle barrel protruding from his jacket.  It turned out to be a crossbow with the bow portion removed.  The subject was on parole and was released from prison the previous week.  After only one week out on parole, he found himself back in jail for violating his parole conditions.  Fortunately, no one was injured.

Crash Causes Large Diesel Spill
On October 13, a large semi-truck collided with a pickup truck in the intersection of Ash St and Mission Ave.  The semi-truck’s 120-gallon diesel tank was ruptured, spilling approximately 40 gallons of diesel fuel into the roadway.  Escondido Police and Fire, along with Public Works and San Diego Fire Hazmat, assisted in multi-hour clean up.

Arson Destroys Historic Outhouse at Grape Day Park
On October 15, Escondido Police and Fire units responded to Grape Day Park regarding a structure fire.  Sadly, the historic outhouse behind the Museum Complex buildings was completely destroyed.  The buildings are currently maintained by the Escondido History Center and fortunately no other structures were damaged.  Arson is the suspected cause and a suspicious male teenager was seen leaving the area.  It is unknown if he played a role in the fire, which is currently under investigation.

Community Tools:

Events:

Escondido Police Attend Countywide De-Escalation Training
In April of 2019, the San Diego County District Attorney’s office released a comprehensive study of 25 years of Officer Involved Shootings in the County.  One notable statistic was that 79% of subjects shot by the police suffered from mental illness, many of whom were also under the influence of drugs.  The DA’s office reached out to defensive tactics/firearms instructors, PERT, UCSD Medical Center, and other experts to help develop a Crisis Intervention and De-escalation training.  The goal of the training is to see if the number of officer involved shootings can be lowered, particularly within the mental health population.  After a little over a year of collaborative efforts, every police officer in the county is participating in the training.  Over the past two weeks, Escondido Police officers and other department personnel attended the training to help give them better tools when responding to crisis driven events.

DUI Checkpoint Nets 5 Arrests
On October 11, the Escondido Police Department conducted a DUI Checkpoint at Ash St and El Norte Pkwy.  Checkpoint locations are selected based on a history of crashes and DUI arrests.  The primary purpose of checkpoints is not to make arrests, but to promote public safety by deterring drivers from driving while impaired.  As businesses continue to reopen, including restaurants and bars, impaired driving remains a top traffic safety concern.  Although the focus is more on education and awareness, five drivers were arrested for DUI during the checkpoint. 

Tip of the Week:
Please remember that DUI does not mean just alcohol.  Drugs and some medications can also impair your ability to drive.  Please help keep Escondido safe by driving responsibly.

FIRE DEPARTMENT UPDATES:

On Friday, October 16, the Fire Department responded to a residential structure fire at Via Rancho Parkway and Bernardo Lane. Upon arrival, firefighters found a fully involved garage fire that had extended into the home. Although one pet cat perished in the fire, fortunately the residents and all other pets were uninjured. The California Fire Foundation’s Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency (SAVE) program, provided assistance to the family for immediate essential needs.

 

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 155 applicants and was able to process 164 applications and issue 103 permits.
  2. The total permit valuation for the week was $3,691,856.00.
  3. The inspection staff completed 202 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. ERTC/Palomar Health Parking Structure (Developer: McCarthur Construction) - An application request was received on October 21, 2020 to build 1,906 parking spaces at the new hospital campus. The proposed parking garage is six stories.  City staff is currently reviewing the application.

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.  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.  Water quality testing has started for the water main.  Once all testing passes, the new water main will be tied into the City’s water main system.
  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.  Electronic message boards have been placed to alert the public of work activity and a new alignment.  Rough grading is ongoing for Villages III.  Lennar is looking to receive phase 4 and 5 building permits and begin model home construction in Village III soon.    
  1. Pradera (Developer: Moses Kim, Lennar Homes) – This is 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. 
  1. Escondido Gateway, also called 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.  All contract work has now been completed.  The applicant recently approached staff to install new vehicular access gates to control resident and guest access on to the property.  This request requires an amendment to the Master and Precise Development Plan, which will be tentatively scheduled for Planning Commission review on November 10, 2020.  The Planning Commission is the final decision-maker for this type of request.   
  1. Iwashita Apartments (Developer: Iwashita Development) – A seven-story, mixed-use project at 322 S. Escondido Boulevard for 172 units. A resubmittal of the application was received on October 14, 2020. The request is invoking recent changes in State Density Bonus Law to allow for an additional density and building height concessions.  The new proposal includes 290 units and nine-stories, with a ground floor day care use.  City staff is currently conducting a review of the resubmitted application. 

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 and has now started the installation of the new vinyl wall. 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 and planting of slopes. All contract work has been completed.
  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). City staff had a meeting with the respective agencies on October 19, 2020 to provide a project overview and to discuss the permitting process.

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 – 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. 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. 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) located at 901 W. Washington.
  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.
  1. El Norte Parkway Improvements – The project includes widening of El Norte Parkway at the flood control channel by the installation of a new bridge, construction of new median islands from Valley Parkway to Washington Avenue, landscaping and a drip irrigation system, a bike/pedestrian signal at the flood control channel, along with roadway resurfacing. A project webpage containing draft documents and plans has been added to the Engineering Department’s website at the following link:
    https://www.escondido.org/el-norte-parkway-bridge-and-median-improvements-1.aspx.