ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Food Truck Study

The City has received inquiries from special event organizers, food truck owners, and the general public as to whether or not food trucks can operate within the City of Escondido. Currently food vending vehicles that serve hot foods prepared in the vehicle are not permitted in the City of Escondido (Municipal Code Section 12-1) on either public or private property.

Food trucks are not a new concept, but they are gaining popularity and changing the way they have traditionally operated, from selling unique gourmet dishes to advertising through social media.  In the past food trucks would drive into an area, sell food within 10 minutes and move on to another location.  Trends today include food trucks selling from one location during lunch and dinner hours, as well as participating in special events.

City staff will hold a meeting to gather input from the public about this topic.  It is important to gather different points of view to identify appropriate food truck operation requirements.    An informational meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in the Mitchell Room at City Hall, 201 N. Broadway.  Following that meeting public hearings on this issue will be held by the Planning Commission in December and the City Council in early 2013.

Woodward Parking Lot

Effective Monday morning 10/29, Escondido Union School District has requested to relocate its bus drop-off and pick-up to the far corner of Escondido Blvd and Woodward now that Palomar Hospital’s lease has terminated at that location.  This will free up the area immediately adjacent to the pool for Classical Academy teacher parking and/or student drop off.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT UPDATES

Planning:

  • Planning and Engineering staff met last Wednesday with representatives from SANDAG, the High Speed Rail (HSR) Authority and their consultants for the Los Angeles to San Diego Section. Some funding has been made available for planning and environmental studies for this HSH section, however there is no timeframe for implementation of this phase. The purpose of the meeting was to provide preliminary feedback on a refined design alternative for the proposed segment and station in Escondido. The redesign would move the alignment closer to I-15, thereby reducing anticipated impacts to residences and commercial properties. The revised design would be used for purpose of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which is anticipated to get underway in July 2013. Regional planning meetings for the HSR Technical Working Group are anticipated to resume in early 2013.
  • SDG&E has proposed installation of access gates within Daley Ranch to deter unauthorized access onto their service roads. Five locations are proposed. The City Appearance Committee has reviewed the proposed gate design, which would be consistent with the ranch environment. The gates would discourage unauthorized use on roads that are not part of the approved trail system.
  • The United Way campaign will kick off November 1st and continue through the month. Due to declining participation since the implementation of the electronic donation system, we are returning to a paper enrollment system in the hopes of increasing participation.

Building:

  • The Contempo project for 14 condominium buildings at S. Orange was submitted for review on 10/17/12.  This is the previous site of City Square.
  • We have approved occupancy on several buildings at the Paramount project and the buildings remaining are in the stucco stage of inspection.
  • Concrete tilt up panels continue to be inspected at the Stone Packaging building at 1977 Citracado Pkwy and the Corodata building.
  • Lath/stucco inspection is scheduled for the El Norte Housing project.
  • The activity at the building counter continues to increase with an average of 32 counter sign in’s per day.
  • Photovoltaic permits have been steady with 6 new submittals last week and 3 permits issued.

CAPITAL PROJECTS

2011/2012 Pavement Management Project

Pennsylvania Avenue from north Broadway to Hickory Street will be completed on Tuesday and Wednesday evening from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Quince Street from Grand Avenue to West Valley Parkway will be completed on Thursday evening during the same specified times.

Sewer Manhole Rehabilitation along Centre City Parkway from Felicita Avenue  to HWY 78

The Utilities Department has hired a contractor to rehab the sewer manhole frames and covers along this section of gravity sewer main. The procedure will require the closure of the #1 north bound lane of Centre City Parkway for a period of up to three days, to allow the concrete to obtain the minimum specified strength before vehicle traffic is returned.

Private Development:

Wal-Mart

The traffic signal will be activated on Thursday of this week. Final paving of the intersection was completed on Tuesday and  all safety signs should be installed by Thursday. The onsite water line construction is starting this week. The developer anticipates completing this item in 30 days.

Mission Avenue 69 kv Underground Electrical Line

The contractor has completed the undercrossing of the 16” high pressure gas main on Enterprise Street and is now installing the conduit  along Enterprise Street at an average depth of 10 feet. The construction of the sixth vault on Mission Avenue at Centre City Parkway began on Monday evening and should be completed by the end of week.

SDG&E Gas Main Inspection

The utility company began the tapping procedure on the 8” high pressure gas main in front of Talone’s Market this Tuesday. The installation of the remote camera should begin within the next few days.

Tract 921 City Square

The demolition plans for the project located at Second Ave and Orange Avenue have been signed this week. The developer will be reconfiguring the units onsite which require the removal of utilities located within the project limits. William Lyon Homes is anticipating model opening by early spring.

PUBLIC SAFETY

Police:

  • The first Grape Day Task force meeting was held on October 18 and included representatives from Police, Park Rangers, City Maintenance, City Attorney, CCAE, Classical Academy, Boys and Girls Club, SD Children's Museum, and the History Center.  Representatives from Starbucks and Signature Theater complex were contacted but not available for this meeting but will be included in subsequent meetings.  Interfaith and other non-profits will be brought in as part of the solutions.  All had noticed a tremendous difference in the past few weeks and thanked the Police Department for the increased enforcement and focus.  It was mentioned that the Police Department cannot eliminate the problem alone, and it will take a united and vigilant effort of all stakeholders to institute long term change.

    The overall goal of the task force is to make the park more inviting to those who wish to use it recreationally, and less inviting for those who commit criminal activity and blight.  We discussed case studies of parks in other jurisdictions that had similar problems and their long term success occurred when the problem park became a recreation destination which in turn pushed the criminal element out.  All were happy to hear that the Council had approved the installation of additional playground equipment for that reason.

    The attendees discussed the importance of establishing a "zero tolerance" and for any criminal activity no matter how slight and to communicate their observations to the Police Department or Park Rangers so it could be followed up on immediately.

    Short term goals include conducting a CPTED (crime prevention through environmental design) review committee, which will look at eliminating many of "attractors" for criminal activity in the park such as the vegetation, which is very high and thick in some areas allowing persons to sleep, use the bathroom and narcotics unseen.  The review will also assess the lighting, and signage in the area, as well as other items that attract the criminal element or provide obstacles for police to provide enforcement, such as the availability of outside electrical outlets at City Hall and CCAE.

    We hope to have this CPTED analysis done prior to the next meeting and from the review the possible solutions can be discussed and their priorities established.  The Police Department also offered a CPTED analysis to all the surrounding businesses and facilities to identify and help eliminate their problem areas.

    In addition a subcommittee was established to look at short term and long term solutions for the public bathroom on the Broadway side.  All task force members agreed that the bathrooms are an attractor for the criminal element and is the center for much of the narcotics and other criminal activity.  Discussed was the need to replace them with single person only type bathrooms which provide a sense of safety and security, particularly to parents who bring children to the park.  There are many different kinds available, and a subcommittee will assess what's available and make a recommendation.

    One of the other “attractors” discussed was the many persons and groups who continually bring food and clothes to the park which subsequently causes trash and rodent problems.  We will look at identifying the groups who are doing this, and educating them on the benefits of using Interfaith or others agencies as a better solution.  The next meeting is November 1.

  • The Police Department had a successful use of the tip line where an anonymous tip came in through the Website and officers were able to quickly recover a stolen vehicle before it could be driven away.  This is the second success story we have had in the last couple of weeks.
  • Casey Tompkins as well as Luis Jocobo a local Escondido 12 yr old were honored in this year’s Local AT&T 9-1-1 Heroes Awards Ceremony & Press Conference that took place at the 119th Annual International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference on October 1, 2012.
  • Luis Jocobo called 9-1-1 to report a strange man had entered his home.  Luis remained calm while following instructions from Public Safety Dispatcher Casey Tompkins.  Because of Luis's bravery and quick thinking, the suspect was detained outside of his home. 
  • Capt. Benton was selected to present the 9-1-1 Medal of Honor to Luis Jocobo and Dispatcher Casey Tompkins.
  • The EPD SWAT Team conducted two separate missions last week.  The first mission involved a subject barricaded inside of his residence and believed to be armed.  It was later determined he was a sex registrant who was out of compliance.  He was arrested after several hours.  The second was a search warrant served on Mission Grove Place.  Two subjects were arrested for attempted murder and several items of stolen property were recovered during the search.  This arrest will close many crime cases in that area.

Fire:

  • The Fire Department has been notified by CAL Fire and North Com that the Inland Zone will be in a Red Flag Warning starting at 2:00 a.m. on Friday through 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. Although the region received some precipitation over the last couple of weeks, fuels are still very receptive to ignition and sustained burning.  The San Diego CAL Fire Unit will be working with South Operations to determine resources needs for the weekend. The Fire department will be monitoring the weather closely and taking precautionary measures as needed to maintain situation awareness at Daley Ranch and other areas in the Wildland Urban Interface.
  • The Fire Department is currently in the first phase of field testing new 12-lead EKG Monitor/Defibrillators. Personnel are currently testing the Physio Control Life Pak monitors. They will be testing these units for two months. Once the Like Pak monitor testing is complete they will test two other manufacturer’s products with a goal of replacing our current EKG units in June or July 2013. The EKG monitors are used on approximately 66% of all of patients for monitoring, treating, and as a differential diagnostic tool.
  • Fire Station 4 is still on schedule for substantial completion for November 7. SDG&E is expected to provide power to the station later this week. Once the station has power, Erickson Hall Construction will be able to turn on and test the different systems within the fire station. Once substantially complete, they will use the rest of November to make the fire station move-in ready and operational.

COMMUNITY SERVICES

  • We have begun implementation of the small grant received from the Escondido Charitable Foundation. We have formed a collaborative of several youth serving organizations with 32 people attending our initial meeting. The initiative will be called ESCONDIDO R.O.C.K.S!
  • A steering committee has been formed and a work plan should be completed before the end of November. Danielle Lopez in the Neighborhood Services Department is providing staff support. City staff will receive the ceremonial check at the Charitable Foundation’s event on Thursday evening.
  • Staff met with representatives of Affirmed Housing regarding Morning View Terraces. They are entering escrow to sell the property. The new owners are choosing to pay the existing note held by the City ($1.8 million) before the year’s end. Affordability requirements will stay in place. The payback is federal HOME Funds and staff will present recommendations regarding the use of those funds next year.

SONGS GENERATOR TRANSPORT

Juanita Hayes of SDG&E reports that they anticipate that the transport of the next generator will begin from SONGS on November 4.  The route and layover spots are the same as in previous transports.