ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

New Business in Escondido

Four new businesses are expected to open this week: Entwined Bistro and Wine Bar at 113 Grand Avenue will open on Wednesday, September 12.  On Friday, September 13, Plan 9 Alehouse will open at the old Theatrix building.  On Saturday, September 15, Offbeat Brewery will have its grand opening at 1223 Pacific Oaks Place, Suite 101.  Lucio’s American Grill also will open on Saturday at 239 East Valley Parkway.

Grape Day Festival Wine/Beer Pavilion

The response to the Wine and Craft Beer Pavilion was very positive.   Approximately 160 people purchased $20 or $25 tickets for the event, as well as an addition 50 people who bought single tickets of beer.  The modest goal for this first event was to raise awareness of it and recover the City’s costs which was achieved.  Approximately $350 in excess revenue will be turned over to the History Center.  Staff has been soliciting feedback from the participating wineries and will incorporate many of those ideas into next year’s event.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT UPDATES

Code Enforcement:

The City continues to participate in the Abandoned Vehicle Abatement (AVA) Program, administered by the San Diego Abandoned Vehicle Abatement Service Authority (SDAVASA). During FY 11/12, the City removed 1,789 abandoned and inoperable vehicles from City streets and private property through the efforts of the Code Enforcement and Police Department staff, whose efforts are funded by this program on a reimbursement basis. The future status of the program is unclear since the funding authorization (collected by the Department of Motor Vehicles at time of vehicle registration) expired in April 2012. County Counsel has advised that reauthorization of the fee requires a public vote.  The City has submitted quarterly reports for payment and has not received any reimbursements for the 4th Quarter of FY 07/08 ($30,160.97) , and for the entire FY 11/12 ($137,094.62); other participating cities including Encinitas, Vista and Chula Vista have experienced similar non-payment. The staff continues to pursue reimbursement through the program and has sent a letter to the SDAVASA advising them of the lack of payment.

Planning:

  • Habitat for Humanity has submitted an application for an 11-unit affordable housing project on the 0.96 acre property at the end of the Elm Street cul-de-sac north of Escondido Creek. The proposed planned development includes 11 two-story , three-bedroom units with 19 parking spaces. Staff has discussed concerns with the applicant regarding adequacy of on-site open space which primarily consists of bio-retention basins, and the adequacy of onsite parking, given the high parking demand and the removal of existing on-street parking resulting from the Elm Street improvements.
  • The Economic Development Subcommittee authorized the BEZ request from Weir Asphalt for expedited processing of the proposed CUP modification to expand the annual plant production capacity. Under this process, the project will bypass the Planning Commission and be brought directly to the City Council at a future public hearing. Review of technical studies regarding air quality and traffic continues as part of the environmental review before the project is agendized.

Building:

The Building Division is experiencing a significant backlog in plan check review, due in part to the high volume of applications typically reviewed in-house and the reduced staffing resulting from the retirement of our Building Official. In the interim, we are forwarding an increased number of applications to Esgil for review.

CAPITAL PROJECTS

Maple Street Pedestrian Plaza

The grand opening celebration was this last Friday which included ribbon-cutting, live music and the crowning of the Grape Festival king and queen. The final punch list items  will be heading towards completion by the end of September.

2011-12 Street Maintenance Project

A million square feet of residential streets were resurfaced over the last three weeks with the use of an asphalt product called Cape Seal and Slurry Seal. The Cape Seal has been completed this last Friday with the Slurry Seal is anticipated to come to completion within three weeks.

Main Library Fiber Optics Project

Fiber-optic cable has been placed along Broadway to Pennsylvania to Kalmia St. The contractor is using a directional boring method to lessen the impact on the surrounding community

Walmart

The surface improvements along Grand Avenue at Harding are nearing completion. The traffic signal contractor has completed all conduit installation along the project. The foundations for the traffic signal poles will be installed by the end of next week. The developer is finalizing the right of entry permit with the County Water Authority and hopes to begin water line construction by the end of next week.

Talk of the Town

The developer is nearing completion on one of the building pads and has requested inspection from the building department.

Mission Avenue 69KV Underground Electrical Line

The preconstruction meeting was held on Tuesday. The contractor notified Engineering staff that they plan to begin construction on the three mile transmission line on September 17. The project will begin in the San Diego Gas Electric yard located at Commerce Place. One of the first items of work is the relocation of a water main for a neighboring water district. The water main is located on Enterprise near Mission Ave. Most of the electrical line construction will be done at night to accommodate the businesses along the route.

Del Lago Academy

Off-site improvements are continuing along Citracado Pkwy.

Rincon del Diablo Water Main

Construction continues on the 12 inch water main along Citracado Pkwy between Avenida del Diablo and Valley Parkway

Palomar Hospital Campus

The hospital is nearing completion on their temporary parking lot located south of the new hospital. The temporary parking along Citracado Pkwy will continue until September 24, at which time, all no parking signs will be reestablished along the Citracado Pkwy Frontage.

Pedestrian Head Modifications to downtown & school traffic signal areas

You may have noticed the installation of additional countdown pedestrian heads in key downtown and high pedestrian traffic school areas.  The first set in the city was installed with the Maple Plaza project at Maple & Valley.  The following areas were also changed over to the new heads:

  1. Valley and Broadway – 8 Ped heads
  2. Valley and Escondido – 8 Ped heads
  3. Escondido and Signature Pavilion – 4 Ped heads
  4. Valley and James (School Zone) -  4 Ped heads
  5. Grand and Juniper – 8 ped heads
  6. Grand and B’way – 8 ped heads
  7. 2nd & Escondido – 8 ped heads
  8. 2nd and Broadway – 8 ped heads

Traffic Engineering will evaluate their effectiveness before recommending further installations.

PUBLIC SAFETY

Police

Crime Statistics:

Attached are the statistics for August. While not good, they are improving.

San Diego North Chamber of Commerce “Business Salute to Police & Public Safety” 1st Annual Awards Luncheon:

The S.D. North Chamber of Commerce will be conducting its 1st Annual Business Salute to Police and Public Safety award luncheon at the California Center for Arts Escondido on Thursday, September 13th.  The 2012 Awards will show the dedication of sworn officers, administrators and community volunteers who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to serve the region.  Sgt. Al Owens and Community Outreach Liaison Leticia Garduno will be recognized from the Escondido Police Department. The luncheon will take place from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. 

School Burglary & Theft Series:

Between 08/29/12 and 09/05/12 there were five nighttime burglaries and thefts from 3 different schools in Escondido.  Three of the thefts were burglaries, one was an attempt burglary and one was a petty theft.  The points of entry in the burglaries were windows.  The loss in the cases tends to be electronic devises.

Video of the burglary at Mission Middle School was located and school administrators viewed it and were able to identify three suspects in the crime.  As a direct result of the video recordings and follow-up investigation conducted by Escondido Police personnel, 3 juveniles were arrested and additional arrest(s) are being worked on.  Some of the missing property has been recovered.  The PD continues to work with school officials and the investigation is ongoing at this time. 

Off-Duty Observation:

On 9/7/12, at approximately 2:45 pm, off-duty Police Lieutenant Mike Loarie and his wife Kathryn were traveling eastbound on Valley Parkway at I-15 in their personal vehicle when Katherine observed a man attacking a woman.  The man forced the woman into a pickup truck and drove away.  Lt. Loarie made a U-Turn, called 911, and began to follow the pickup while providing EPD Dispatch with vital location information.  Within a short period of time, marked Escondido Police patrol units intercepted the pickup truck and made contact with the male driver.  As a result, the male subject was ultimately arrested for Domestic Violence and kidnapping and later transported and booked at the Vista Detention Facility.  Kudos to both Kathryn and Mike for their quick response and a job well done!

Blood Drive Results:

The Blood Drive conducted at the PFHQ building on September 6th, was a big success and exceeded expectations.  The Red Cross was excited that we collected 31 pints of much needed blood and surpassed the 18 pint goal we had set for this event. 

COMMUNITY SERVICES

Progress on the Tech Center has been slower than hoped due to some problems that were encountered with the AC system, caused by adding walls, etc. which cost us some time. However, we are moving forward. Building plans are approved and we will seek to bring on the contractor(s) in the next week or so. We expect construction to begin by October 1. If so, we hope to open in January. When completed it will be a first rate facility and greatly meet the needs of folks who do not have internet access in the east end of the City.

UTILITIES

  • The Streets Maintenance Division will soon begin work to maintain the Harmony Grove Section of the channelized portion of Escondido Creek.  Work is scheduled to begin on September 20 and will take up to 2 months to complete, depending on weather conditions.  Permits were obtained earlier this month from the Army Corps of Engineers and the Regional Water Quality Control Board though the efforts of staff in Utilities, Engineering, and Public Works.
  •  The California Coastal Clean up Day event will be held on Saturday, September 15 from 9 a.m. to noon. More information is available at  http://www.cleanupday.org