October 8, 2020

City of Escondido Playgrounds Re-Open
Come Play! All playgrounds and play structures in the city are now open for your little ones to play on. Help us keep them open by following all posted guidelines and maintain social distancing. Have fun. 

Traffic Alert: Andreasen Drive
Andreasen Drive at Mission Avenue will be closed starting October 11 at 7 p.m. through October 19. Escondido Public Works and North County Transit District (NCTD) will be performing nighttime work to repair a failed storm drain pipe at the Andreasen train track crossing.

  • The Intersection at Andreasen Drive will be closed to thru traffic at all times to allow concrete to set
  • Sprinter service will not be affected
  • Travel on Mission Avenue will not be affected
  • Andreasen Drive will be closed to through traffic, open for local businesses, hard closure at Andreasen train track crossing

Mail Ballots Sent Out This Week
Mail ballots are being sent out this week. You can return your marked ballot in the pre-paid postage envelope to any U.S. Postal Service office or collection box. Starting Tuesday, October 6, you’ll also have the option to drop off your ballot at one of 126 mail ballot drop-off locations around the county. Find a ballot drop off location near you using this link.

Survey - Fitness Court Locations
Do you like to workout? We need your feedback! Over the next few years, the City will be installing four additional fitness courts throughout Escondido. Community Services is currently exploring locations and needs your feedback.

Visit:

https://recreation.escondido.org/fitness-court-1.aspx to complete the survey and pick your favorites. The survey will stay open through October, and the top four locations will be recommended to City Council for approval.

REI Programs at Daley Ranch
REI officially kicked off their programming partnership with the City of Escondido at Dixon Lake and Daley Ranch this last Saturday. So far, these new classes have proven very popular and have significant wait lists. This partnership is an exciting opportunity to highlight the vast
natural resources the City has been endowed with. For more information about classes offered visit: https://www.rei.com/events/p/us-ca-san-diego

POLICE DEPARTMENT UPDATES:

Teen in Stolen Car Leads Officers on Vehicle Pursuit
On September 27, police responded to the area of Mission Ave and Ash St regarding a citizen who was following a possible DUI driver.  Officers located the vehicle in the area of Washington Ave and Midway Dr.  They tried to conduct a stop, but the driver fled in the vehicle.  Officers pursued the vehicle until it stopped in the area of 260 N. Midway Dr.  The driver and a passenger fled on foot into the alley.  Officers quickly detained the driver, but the passenger was not located.  It was then learned that the vehicle had been stolen earlier in the night.  The driver (17) was arrested for DUI and auto theft.

Gang Members Arrested for Weapons and Drugs
On September 27, officers contacted 4 subjects inside a car parked in an alley near 9th Ave and Quince St.  The officers recognized all 4 subjects as documented gang members.  Open containers of alcohol and drug paraphernalia were clearly visible inside the car.  3 of the subjects were arrested for possession of illegal weapons, drug possession, and drug paraphernalia.

Fight Leaves One Victim Hospitalized
On September 30, officers were dispatched to the 1400 block of S. Escondido Blvd regarding a fight call where a subject was down on the ground.  Officers arrived and found a 40-year-old male victim unconscious near the sidewalk.  He had significant head injuries (later determined to be fractures with a brain bleed) and was transported to the hospital by paramedics.  Witnesses stated that a male suspect was involved in a fight with the victim.  The suspect was last seen fleeing on foot and has not been located.  The victim was in serious condition at the hospital, but he is expected to survive.

Suspect Arrested After Starting Fires
On October 1, police were called to the area of Washington Ave and Centre City Pkwy regarding a transient who was setting bushes on fire.  Witnesses then observed him walking down the street lighting paper bags on fire and placing them in mailboxes of businesses along Washington Ave.  He was detained by officers and he was found to be in possession of methamphetamine.  He was arrested for arson and drug possession.

Community Engagement:

The Escondido Police Athletic League (PAL) and Escondido Community Services held a 6-week outdoor basketball camp at Washington Park for youth in the community.  Despite the challenges of constant health monitoring and enhanced sanitization efforts, our youth were able to participate in some desperately needed physical activity.  Chief Varso and Captain Cramer were able to stop by to pass out stickers and mini flashlights to the kids.  PAL received funding approval to continue the outdoor camp through October and they are hoping to move back into the East Valley Community Center by mid-November.

Community Tools:

Events:

DUI Enforcement Detail Nets Six Arrests
On Sunday, September 27, officers participated in a roving DUI saturation patrol paid for by funds from a California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) grant.  During the detail, officers produced the following activity:

  • 61 - Traffic Enforcement Stops
  • 18 - Field Sobriety Tests administered
  • 6 - DUI Arrests (5 for Alcohol and 1 for Drugs)
  • 49 - Traffic Citations issued
  • 10 - Vehicles Impounded

Tip of the Week:

Traffic safety is a major concern for our community.  It takes all of us to help keep our roads safe.  Learn more about traffic safety by visiting the California OTS website: https://www.ots.ca.gov/

FIRE DEPARTMENT UPDATES:

On Monday, September 28, the OES Brush Engine crew from Station 6 (Del Dios) returned home from a long deployment to several fires in Northern California. The rush Engine, which had been out on deployment for over six weeks with several crew rotations, received much needed maintenance work to make sure it is ready for its next assignment. On Thursday, October 1, the Brush Engine from Station 2 was deployed as part of an OES Strike Team to the 56,000 acre Zogg fire in Shasta County. On October 2, two firefighters were deployed as Fireline Paramedics to 1,008,000-acre August Complex fire in Tehama County.

On Tuesday, September 29, the firefighters from Station 4 were returning to quarters after a call and came across a very large 130-pound tortoise that was slowly crossing the road. The firefighters made sure that “Wallace” was safe from oncoming traffic and gave him a hand getting to a safe location. After a short search, the crew found Wallace’s home was nearby and helped his owner load him into a van, which gave him a comfortable ride home!


On Thursday, October 1, at 3:06 p.m., the Escondido Fire Department responded to a vegetation fire at Bear Valley Parkway and Royal Crest Drive. The fire burned about ¼ acre in thick brush and trees and threatened nearby homes. The fire was contained in about 30 minutes and firefighters remained at the scene for another hour mopping up hotspots to ensure the fire was completely extinguished. 

The San Diego Regional Fire Foundation recently donated five new VHF portable radios to the Fire Department. The generosity and ongoing support from the foundation is very much appreciated and will benefit our firefighters and our community. The upgraded radios will be used by our Chief Officers and will replace older outdated technology.

BY THE NUMBERS

Fire:

Police:

September Abandoned Vehicle Data

Public Works:

Code Enforcement:

Business Licenses:

Graffiti Restitution:

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT & ENGINEERING

Building Permits and Inspections:

  1. The counter staff conducted in person meetings with 148 applicants and were able to process 116 applications and issue 84 permits.
  2. The total permit valuation for the week was $468,729.00. So far, the weekly average valuation has been $3,436,178.00 in this fiscal year (i.e. last ten weeks). 
  3. The inspection staff completed 186 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. Carvana – (Developer: Jo Ryan, Carvana) 559 N. Hale Avenue – A Conditional Use Permit for the development of a proposed 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.  A proposed Specific Alignment Plan for Hale Avenue is requested to modify the design of the street frontage and intersection of Hale Avenue and Tulip Street. The project was approved by the City Council on September 23, 2020.  City staff is currently coordinating next steps, which involves reviewing and approving final grading, landscaping, street improvement, and building plans.  
  1. The Ritz Theater “The Grand” (Developer: New Venture Church) 301 E. Grand Avenue – A 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 was approved by the City Council on December 5, 2018. The City recently completed an inspection for temporary occupancy of the church facility. 

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, is laying asphalt and the contractor is currently working on the bio-retention basins, to control run-off.  Offsite work for the new traffic signal is on-going.
  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.  Off-site work is nearing completion 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.  The item has been tentatively scheduled for City Council review and consideration on October 21, 2020. 
  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 filed a land use development proposal for the southern portion.  The project will be reviewed and considered by the Planning Commission at their meeting on October 13, 2020.  City Council is the final decision-maker for this project. 
  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.  At this time, City staff is looking to coordinate a discussion on this condition, as well as preparing a fiscal impact assessment to determine the project’s fair share contribution for on-going public services costs.  The item will be scheduled for City Council review and consideration after completion of this study.  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. The developer, Lennar, released the model homes to the public last week.  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 is ongoing for the south side storm drain crossing on Country Club. Rough grading is ongoing for Villages III.
  1. Pradera (Developer: Moses Kim, Lennar Homes) – This 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. 

City Projects or Other Capital Improvement Projects:

  1. SDG&E 4” Pop Installation - Company crews or contractors will be installing 600 feet of 4” diameter pipe at the intersection of W. Washington Avenue and Metcalf Street. Work will commence on October 5, 2020 and expect to be completed by December 16, 2020. Traffic control measures will be in place to protect crew and public safety which may impact travel times.
  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. 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. 
  1. Laurel Valley Wall Replacement - A preconstruction meeting was held for the Laurel Valley Wall Replacement. 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. Fencing material is schedule to arrive the first week on October, once confirmed the Notice to Proceed will be issued.  The estimated completion date of November 9, 2020.
  1. Spruce Street/Transit Center Pedestrian Bridge Project – The contractor, Palm Engineering, has started final slope grading in the area between the channel and Valley Parkway. Once completed the contractor will complete the landscape planting. This project is nearing completion.
  1. Storm Drain Pipe Lining and Rehabilitation Project Phase II - Bids were accepted and are being reviewed for this project. The work consists generally 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 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 – Demolition of vacant, former Coco’s restaurant building and construction of new 3,744 SF drive-through restaurant for Raising Cane’s.
  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. 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 Rowan (Developer: Carolyn Hillgren, Lyon Living) This is an approved 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 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 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 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:

  1. Membrane-Filtration Reverse Osmosis/MFRO (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) 901 W. Washington.
  1. Lake Wohlford Replacement Dam – Lake Wohlford is a man-made reservoir first formed by the construction of the Lake Wohlford Dam in 1895. Lake Wohlford Dam was originally constructed of rockfill at a height of approximately 76 feet, creating an important component of the City’s initial municipal water supply. In 1924, the City enlarged the dam using hydraulic fill, pumping earth from the reservoir bottom through a pipe and placing this material on the upstream side of the existing rockfill dam.  The enlargement of the dam increased the dam’s height to 100 feet and expanded Lake Wohlford’s storage capacity to serve the City’s growing population.  The City proposes to construct a new dam downstream (west) of the existing dam and partially deconstruct the existing dam. The replacement dam would feature an outlet tower that is integrated into the dam’s upstream face; the top of the existing outlet tower would be demolished, and the bottom of the existing outlet tower and the outlet pipe would be filled with sand and abandoned in place.  The Final Environmental Impact Report was certified by City Council at their meeting on September 23, 2020. 
  1. 2019 Street Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project Rebid – This year’s project will resurface approximately 71-lane miles of pavement, replace 0.59- miles of sidewalk, and restripe 2.5- miles of bike lanes, install 51 pedestrian ramps, and replace 90 street trees that damaging concrete improvements.  This year’s project is Maintenance Zone W. Zone W is our western zone that is located west of Interstate 15 between State Route 78 and Felicita Avenue. More information can be found at the following link:
    https://www.escondido.org/city-of-escondido-street-maintenance-program.aspx