FEATURED THIS WEEK
Friends Visiting Friends!
This week, Escondido’s “Friends of the Library” volunteer organization is going to visit with the Friends of the Menifee library system. Menifee libraries are operated by Library Systems & Services and recently renewed their contract. The Friends are meeting to exchange ideas to and learn from Menifee’s experiences in having a great volunteer organization. City staff is helping by providing a bus and driver for the visit.
More Avocados in Escondido
In the second half of 2018, Henry Avocado plans to expand its operations, moving into a 52,000 square foot building on Harmony Grove Road. The new location will become the company’s headquarters and include administrative, sales, packing, distribution and farm management personnel.
Henry Avocado’s current location on East Lincoln, which was the original Henry farm, will retain most of its existing avocado groves. The offices and packinghouse will become residential development. Interior improvement plans for the new location have been submitted to the City, and construction is expected to begin later this year. “The Harmony Grove location is perfect for our operations and is large enough to handle our avocado volume for many years into the future,” stated Phil Henry, the company’s president.
Escondido is proud of its agricultural heritage. Henry Avocado has been on the forefront of the ag industry for decades, and the expansion in Escondido will make a positive economic impact on not just the city, but the entire region.
Saturday, October 7, 2017 – Grape Day Celebration
- Sunrise Rotary 5K Run, Walk & Stroll
7:30 – 10:00 a.m. through scenic, old Escondido
- Grape Day Festival
2:00 – 8:00 p.m. Grape Day Park
Grape Day started in 1908 as a way to celebrate Escondido’s grape harvest and promote the city. This wonderful annual community event includes a 5K Run, Walk & Stroll sponsored by the Escondido Sunrise Rotary and the Grape Day Festival presented by the Escondido History Center in Grape Day Park. Join the fun at this festive day of food, games, entertainment and fun!
The Community Services Department (CSD) Leadership Academy, a pilot program designed for part time staff interested in becoming effective leaders with in the Community Services Department, and run by CSD Supervisor Robert Rhoades, began its second 8-session course on Wednesday September 27.
The course will cover a wide range of topics designed to develop strong leaders, such as communication, personal leadership, ethics, and managing change. Attendees will become familiar with and understand the basis of leadership development, identify their individual leadership styles, and build essential skills such as communication, conflict resolution, process management, goal achievement, and leading a team.
This course meets the third Wednesday of each month, September through May (except December), 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., at the East Valley Community Center.
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:
- 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 and a letter indicating the application is incomplete was sent to the applicant on August 10, 2017. The applicant submitted revised grading and landscape plans and a storm water management plan two weeks ago. Revised elevations were submitted to Planning on October 3, 2017.
- 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. All department comments for the second check were returned to the applicant on September 27. Minor comments remain so coordination with Engineering is underway to try to avoid the need for a third plan check. Comments on the carwash building plans were sent by Planning on October 2, 2017.
- 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. The applicant continues to work on resolving existing easement issues on the site.
- 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. Plans were distributed to all departments the following day for initial review and comments. Initial comments were returned to the applicant on September 29, 2017, with the remaining department comments sent on October 5, 2017.
- North American Self-Storage (Developer: Russ Colvin) 852 S. Metcalf – This project is participating 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 two weeks ago. The applicant has not started construction and is now proposing changes to the plans that would remove the basement level and potentially increase the building height.
- Micro-Filtration Reverse Osmosis (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) SE corner Ash/Washington – The lawsuit challenging the project approval has been settled and it is expected that a contract for engineering design will be considered soon.
- 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.
- Escondido United Reformed Church (Developer: Brent Cooper) 1864 N. Broadway – The grading permit for the new sanctuary building was issued in February of 2016 and then the applicant went through a CUP modification process with Planning to modify the building design. The building permit was issued on October 3, 2017, and the project is ready to start construction.
- 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.
- 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. The Mitigated Negative Declaration is now in a public review period that extends from September 29, 2017 to October 18, 2017.
- 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 submitted revised grading plans last week and discussions are on-going regarding potential storm water solutions.
- 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.
- Safari Highlands Ranch (SHR) (Developer: Jeb Hall, Concordia Homes) 550 lots east of Rancho San Pasqual – A 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.
- 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 last week regarding unresolved project design issues.
- 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.
- 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 EIR consultant is currently drafting responses to the comments that were received. The Draft 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
- 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.
- 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 was submitted last week.
- 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.
- 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.
- A total of 25 solar photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. The Building Division has issued 716 solar permits this year, to date, compared to 958 issued during the same time last year.
- Our building inspectors responded to 220 inspection requests for the week.
- Building has issued 174 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.
- Projects nearing permit issuance are:
- 917 W Lincoln, 3 new apartment buildings, 9 units.
- 700 W Grand Ave Gateway project (former police building)
- Storquest – four-story self-storage facility, 222 W. Mission Ave.
- Tract 877 – 13 new single-family homes on Bernardo Avenue near I-15.
- 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.
- The Meadowbrook, three-story apartment building with underground garage at 2081 Garden Valley Glen is preparing the building for final inspection.
- Escondido Disposal is requesting inspection for site walls and framing of the weigh station.
- The medical office building at 2125 Citracado Pkwy is now installing drywall and exterior lath.
- 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.
- The Westminster Seminary at 1725 Bear Valley Pkwy is preparing for exterior shear wall and framing inspections.
- 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.
- The new Veterans Village project at 1540 S Escondido Blvd has received underground plumbing, partial foundation and masonry inspections for the residential buildings.
- The third and fourth lift of the exterior masonry walls are being erected at 999 N. Broadway for the new supermarket shell building.
- 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.
- Permits were issued last week for six new single-family dwellings in the Canyon Grove development by Shea Homes.
- The Latitude II multi-family residential development at 650 N. Centre City Parkway has received foundation inspection approval for Building 1.
Public Works Operations
Valley Pkwy/Valley Center Road Widening Project
The contractor has begun to excavate for the new roadway along the east side of the project, new storm drain pipe was delivered to the site this week. 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 the Valley Parkway portion of the roadway. Wohlford Drive at East Valley Parkway which serves as one of the entrances to Mayflower Dog Park, Caballo Trail and Escondido Human Society is now closed. Access to these facilities is permanently transferred to the Beven Drive signalized intersection. Existing notification signs have been relocated to the Bevin Drive intersection. The project information signs will be installed this week, the web site link and funding information is provided.
Neighborhood Lighting Project
The preconstruction meeting was held September 28th. The materials submittals for the construction material are under review, the poles for the project have a six week lead time for delivery. 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 preconstruction meeting is scheduled for next week. Material submittals for the project is presently under review.
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 45% of the CMP storm drains have been televised. The review of the televised lines has shown pipe condition as well as one large turtle and a cat that have taken up residence in two pipe sections.
Transit Center Pedestrian Crossing
This project adds a pedestrian crossing over the creek adjacent to the Transit Center. 60% design plans are due October 2017.
Pradera - Lennar Communities
No changes from that reported last week. Phase 7 homes are being released for occupancy this week
Lexington Model Homes - KB Homes
Construction of surface improvement along Ash Street is ongoing this week in anticipation of the first occupancies expected in October. Day time closures of Ash Street between Lehner Avenue and Vista Avenue will be in effect until Friday, October 13. 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
Installation of additional concrete curb and gutter improvements along interior streets is being completed this week. Work on the installation and testing of water mains is ongoing 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. No traffic interruption will be experienced along Centre City Parkway with all construction occurring along the shoulder of the parkway.
No changes from that reported last week: The project’s water improvement is continuing this week, with work being performed onsite.
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.
No changes from that reported last week: The existing offsite public improvements, which include concrete curb and gutter, sidewalks and driveway approaches along the project boundaries, have been demoed. The project is located at 999 Broadway.
Spring Hill Suites Hotel/ La Terraza Boulevard
The grading operation is continuing this week with the construction of the block wall along La Terraza Boulevard. The remaining elements of the large retaining wall are being completed this week.
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.
- On September 26th, 2017 Escondido Fire Brush Rig 133 and OES 8632 were both deployed to the Canyon Fire in Corona, CA at 4:00a. Both crews returned home on Thursday, September 28th.
- On September 29th, 2017 at approximately 11:11 PM, the Escondido Police and Fire Communication Center received a report of smoke coming from single family home at 1150 Beverly Way. A structure fire response was dispatched to the location. The first arriving engine reported a moderate amount of smoke coming from garage, eaves and roof vents. Aggressive action by the firefighters contained and controlled the fire in approximately 15 minutes. The garage sustained moderate damage with minor smoke damage to the interior of residence. There were no injuries to firefighter’s or civilians. In all, four fire engines, one truck, one rescue ambulance and one Battalion Chief responded to the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Safety Message: Ensure fire door from garage to residence is self-closing.
- On 9/24/17 at 05:39 hours, a San Diego Sheriff Office deputy was in pursuit of a possible DUI down the Lake Wohlford grade into Escondido. The vehicle almost struck an Escondido Police Officer while on his way into work. SDSO requested that we take over the pursuit as they entered Escondido. The vehicle ultimately crashed into a tree at the intersection of W. 3rd Ave and Broadway. The driver was taken into custody without further incident. SDSO took the arrest, and EPD completed the collision and pursuit reports.
- On 9/26/17 at 03:16 hours officers responded to 632 N. Grape St referencing a hot-prowl residential burglary. The address is a boarding home for adults with special needs. One of the residents confronted two Hispanic Male Adult suspects and they fled the location. Officers later discovered that one of the residents was buying street drugs from local gangsters. The loss was cash and food items.
- On 9/26/17 at 03:38 hours, officers respond to 723 N. Grape referencing a robbery and arrived on scene at 03:40 hours. Two suspects forced entry into the home and robbed a couple of their cash. Suspects are described as two Hispanic Male Adults armed with a pistol and a knife.
- On 9/27/17 at 19:30 hours, a 32-year-old male employee of Sprouts left work and walked to the Subway (1611 S. Centre City Pkwy) for his lunch break. He was confronted by two Hispanic Male Adults approx. 18 years old. One suspect produced a knife while the 2nd suspect struck the victim across the head with a stick or pole. While the victim was dazed, the suspects rifled through his pockets and took his cell phone. The suspects then fled. After officers cleared the call, the suspects returned to the Subway a short time later and the manager recognized them and called police. The suspects were detained and a curbside line up was conducted with both suspects positively identified and arrested for Armed Robbery.
- On 9/28/17 at 11:25 hours, a female suspect was in a dispute with another female at Grape Day Park because she was talking to her boyfriend. The suspect began screaming and threatening to kill the female victim, leaving the area momentarily and returning armed with a large 10" inch long knife. Witnesses stated the suspect attempted to cut her boyfriend and the female victim with the knife, but her boyfriend was able to disarm her. An Escondido Park Ranger stated he responded to the disturbance and observed the suspect screaming and threatening to cut the victim with a box cutter razor. The suspect was arrested by police for Assault with a Deadly Weapon and later booked into Vista Detention Facility.
- On 9/29/17 at 18:31 hours, Gang Enforcement Team officers responded to a fight call at 301 E. Washington Ave. It was later determined that there had been a strong arm robbery. The suspects were located a short distance away and arrested.
- On 9/30/17 around 01:24 hours, several people called in stating a shooting just occurred at Elmwood/Washington Ave. Several units arrived on scene and located a victim on the corner with a gunshot wound to his leg (non-life threatening). Simultaneously, an officer sees a dark colored passenger car fleeing the scene north on Fig St. The car attempted to evade the officer but then stopped in front of 707 N. Grape St. Officers detained the driver and noted that a passenger likely fled prior to arrival. After further investigation, the driver was arrested for being involved in the shooting. The investigation is on-going.
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.
- 8 arrests were made
- 23 citations were issued
- Personnel from City Shops and the COPPS Unit traveled to the City of Temecula to see how they are dealing with homeless camp clean-ups, hazardous materials they come across, etc. in an effort to maximize efficiency and safety