FEATURED THIS WEEK
Exciting New Ramp at Escondido Skate Park
The Escondido Skate Park, located in Kit Carson Park, recently renovated an existing skate ramp and installed a new and improved jump box feature. Staff worked with former professional skateboarder and skate park designer, Kanten Russell to discuss recommendations on the redesign. The new feature offers a new experience for our users and improves the flow of the skate park. It has already become the favorite ramp for riders of all wheel action sports, and adds a new dynamic for competitions and events.
New Welcome Signage
New graphics welcoming residents and visitors to Escondido started rolling out this week. Keep an eye out for them on the California Center for the Arts, Lexus, and Westfield digital signs.
The Escondido Creek Conservancy Awarded Major Grant to Improve Reidy Creek
The Conservancy has been awarded $380,873 by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to implement the Reidy Creek Restoration and Beautification Project. The project is a partnership of the Conservancy, the City of Escondido, and the private property owners along the creek. The grant provides funding to remove invasive exotic trees and plants from the creek, as well as clean up and prevent trash and pollution on a large scale.
Major Projects Update
The following major projects are being reviewed and coordinated by Planning, Engineering, Fire, Building and Utilities. The list of projects below encompasses recent project updates and/or milestones from last week.
Commercial / Office:
- Escondido Research and Technology Center (ERTC) – West (Developer: James McCann) 2181 Citracado Parkway – A plan for a new two-story, 57,000 SF, 52-bed Palomar Rehabilitation Institute was submitted as a Plot Plan on July 31, 2017. The Plot Plan approval letter was issued on February 7, 2018. A second grading plan check was submitted by the applicant on April 16, 2018, and the grading permit is ready to be issued once bonds are posted and fees paid. The Building Division provided the applicant a fee calculation for the development impact fees on July 11, 2018. Planning is awaiting information from the applicant that assures adequate parking is provided.
- Ritz Theater “The Grand” (Developer: New Venture Church) 301, 309 E. Grand Avenue – A proposed CUP to renovate the existing Ritz Theater and adjacent commercial building to provide for a variety of assembly uses including performing arts and religious services. A café, offices and classroom studios are also included. The application was submitted on May 17, 2018. The applicant submitted revised plans on July 3, 2018. The Historic Preservation Commission considered historic-related design issues on July 19, 2018, and provided direction to the applicant. Planning provided comments from all departments to the applicant on July 31, 2018. The applicant requested expedited processing through the Business Enhancement Zone regulations at a City Council Economic Development Subcommittee meeting on August 9, 2018. That request was granted and the application will now proceed directly to the City Council following CEQA clearance and resolution of the remaining issues. A meeting with Fire and Utilities occurred last week to discuss water supply and sewer service issues. First draft environmental documents are expected to be submitted to Planning this week.
- Escondido Self-Storage Facility (Developer: Brandywine Homes, Inc.) 2319 Cranston Dr. – Updated building plans were resubmitted into plan check on July 24, 2018. Esgil and Fire have approved the plans. Planning and Engineering comments are pending. The final map is scheduled to be considered by City Council on September 19, 2018. All fees have been paid to Engineering and bonds have now been posted.
- Citracado Business Park (Developer: Dent Properties) 2207 Harmony Grove Road – A proposed specific plan for two industrial warehouse/office buildings (145,930 SF and 125,930 SF) with the buildings to be separated by the future extension of Citracado Parkway. The application was submitted on August 14, 2018. All departments are now conducting their initial review and comments are expected to be issued this week. SDG&E has provided comments regarding the high voltage power lines that traverse the site.
- Micro-Filtration Reverse Osmosis (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) SE corner Ash/Washington – The City Council approved a contractual agreement with Black and Veatch for engineering services on April 4, 2018. A project design kick-off meeting occurred on June 13, 2018. A Request for Qualifications to solicit a Design/Build firm was released the first week of September.
- 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 including an agency request for full mitigation for emergent vegetation at the eastern end of the lake that came into existence since the lake level was reduced for safety reasons. Staff sent a follow-up letter to the wildlife agencies on June 29, 2017, seeking clarification on the proposed biological mitigation requirements. Additional information is being compiled by the City’s biological consultants based on recent conversations with the agencies.
- Escondido Assisted Living (Developer: Tigg Mitchell, Mitchell Group) 1802 N. Centre City Parkway – This CUP application for a 71,300 SF three-story, assisted living and memory care facility with 90 total units was submitted on October 31, 2017. The City Council authorized review of a General Plan Amendment request on March 21, 2018, which was necessary to review the request to allow a third floor for the building. The applicant has been actively engaged with Fire, Engineering and Planning staff and has provided several revisions intended to address identified issues with the most recent project revision received on June 25, 2018. Draft environmental documents were submitted to Planning the second week of August and comments on those documents were returned to the applicant on August 29, 2018. The applicant and Planning staff discussed the comments on September 12, 2018. Revised documents are expected soon.
- Safari Highlands Ranch (SHR) (Developer: Jeb Hall, Concordia Homes) 550 lots east of Rancho San Pasqual – A Notice of Availability for the Draft EIR was issued on October 16, 2017 for public review and comment. The comment period ended on January 2, 2018. Staff transmitted all the comment letters and emails to the Draft EIR consultant for review and to prepare a response to each comment. The Draft EIR and appendices have been posted on the City’s website at the following link: https://www.escondido.org/safari-highlands-ranch-specific-plan.aspx
It is expected the responses to comments will generate related revisions to the project design. The applicant’s engineer is currently working to incorporate those revisions into the proposed tentative map. The project engineer met with Utilities, Engineering and Planning on August 15, 2018 to discuss some of the proposed revisions.
- 18 lots at 701 San Pasqual Valley Rd (Developer: Bob Stewart) – Staff comments on the revised tentative map were issued the last week of July 2017. Planning staff met with the applicant on June 27, 2018 to discuss remaining issues. The applicant has occasionally engaged in discussions with various departments since that time, but has declined a staff offer to schedule a comprehensive meeting with all city departments.
- The Villages at Escondido Country Club (Developer: Jason Han, New Urban West, Inc.) 380 residences – The City Council voted 3-2 to approve the project on November 15, 2017. A lawsuit challenging the project approval was filed in Superior Court on behalf of the Escondido Country Club Homeowners (ECCHO) on December 15, 2017. The City has agreed to review construction plans for the project while the lawsuit is pending. The applicant submitted rough grading plans, drainage improvement plans and utility relocation plans for all three villages on May 7, 2018. There have been three rounds of plan checks on the rough grading plans since the original submittal and a permit-ready letter for rough grading was issued on August 31, 2018 and revised on September 4, 2018. Landscape plans were submitted on June 5, 2018. The applicant submitted the final map and other improvement plans on July 9, 2018. Additional comments on the improvement plans, utility location plans, storm drain plans and all technical studies were provided by Engineering on September 11, 2018.
The approved tentative subdivision map, Final EIR and appendices, Specific Plan and other related information can be accessed on the City’s website at the following link: https://www.escondido.org/ecc.aspx
- North Avenue Estates (Developer: Casey Johnson) 34 lots at North Ave./Conway Dr. –The City Council approved the project on January 10, 2018. The LAFCO application for annexation was submitted to LAFCO on February 20, 2018. LAFCO has prepared and distributed a draft staff report, and the County Department of Environmental Health has reviewed the submitted geotechnical data per LAFCO request. LAFCO has indicated they will schedule a hearing on the annexation for October 1, 2018. Final engineering plans were submitted on May 24, 2018. Comments were returned to the applicant on July 5, 2018.
- Aspire (106 condo units on Municipal Lot 1) (Developer: Addison Garza, Touchstone Communities) – The proposal consists of a six-story mixed-use development across from City Hall on Parking Lot 1. The project was initially submitted for entitlement processing on June 23, 2017. Subsequent meetings with the applicant and staff have been on-going, and the most recent resubmittal of the project plans was received on May 10, 2018. Fire is awaiting confirmation that Maple Street will support the weight of their apparatus. A Traffic Impact Analysis has been provided and Planning is awaiting submittal of the rest of the environmental documentation for review. A meeting with the applicant occurred on September 12, 2018, to discuss remaining project issues.
- The Ivy (95 condo units at 343 E. 2nd) (Developer: Addison Garza, Touchstone Communities) - The condo project was initially submitted for entitlement processing on June 23, 2017. Subsequent meetings with the applicant and staff have been on-going, and the most recent resubmittal of the project plans was received on May 10, 2018. The applicant has proposed changing circulation through the adjacent alley to one-way southbound; and a field demonstration of fire truck turning radii at the site occurred on May 2, 2018. Fire has now indicated they support the project design. An environmental initial study and Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) were submitted for review on June 11, 2018. Comments on the MND were sent to the applicant and consultant on July 30, 2018. Planning met with the applicant and consultant to discuss the comments on August 9, 2018. A meeting with the applicant occurred on September 12, 2018, to discuss remaining project issues.
- 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. Several follow-up meetings with staff were held to discuss issues regarding the project design and revised plans were submitted in early April, and most recently on August 10, 2018. Outstanding issues include guest parking, drainage, additional fire hydrant and an ambulance turnaround.
- Quince Street Senior Housing (Developer: Matt Jumper, 220 Quince, L.P.) 145 apartment units at 220 N. Quince St.– The five-story affordable senior housing apartment project was submitted on November 21, 2017. Four meetings with the applicant team and multiple city departments have occurred since the project submittal to discuss project design issues, with the most recent meeting occurring on July 12, 2018. Utilities conducted a fire flow test at the site on June 26, 2018. An updated constraints map was received from the applicant on September 10, 2018. Staff met the following day to discuss and provide comments. Fire and Utilities are requesting adjustments to the proposed hydrant locations for access and to avoid sewer conflicts.
- 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 Dailey Ranch – This proposed residential and resort hotel annexation and specific plan project was received on March 2, 2018. The project submittal has been deemed incomplete and a letter from staff requesting additional project related information was sent to the applicant on April 4, 2018. Requested information includes annexation exhibits, proposed general plan amendment text, a proposed Transfer of Development Rights Program, environmental initial study, and a fiscal impact analysis. Planning met with the applicant on May 17, 2018 to discuss items listed in the letter. A follow-up meeting to discuss engineering issues occurred on June 27, 2018. The applicant met with Escondido Fire and Valley Center Fire on August 1, 2018 to discuss fire protection issues. Significant fire-related issues to be addressed include the steepness of the project entry road, secondary emergency access and Fire Department response times.
A project webpage containing draft documents and plans has been added to the Planning Division’s website at the following link:
Daley Ranch Resort Specific Plan - City of Escondido
- Nutmeg Condo General Plan Amendment (Developer: Jim Simmons, CCI) 137 townhome condo units on 7.7 acres on both sides of Nutmeg between I-15 and Centre City Parkway – This proposed multi-family residential development includes a GPA from Office to Urban III (up to 18 du/acre) as well as a vacation of approximately one acre of public right-of-way for use in the project. The project application was received on June 15, 2018. Comments from Planning, Fire, Engineering, Utilities and Traffic Engineering were provided to the applicant on July 13, 2018. A follow-up meeting with the applicant to discuss the comments occurred on July 31, 2018. Engineering has indicated that a specific alignment plan will be required to address the street radius on Nutmeg in the vicinity of the project. Fire has identified some access issues that need to be addressed as well. Based on a preliminary environmental study of the project, it has been determined that an Environmental Impact Report will be prepared to support the project. A Notice of Preparation was sent out on August 29, 2018, and a Scoping Meeting occurred on September 6, 2018.
- Oak Creek (Builder: KB Homes) 65 single-family residential lots on approximately 44 acres at Felicita Road and Hamilton Lane – This planned residential development project was originally approved by the City Council in March of 2015, and a three-year extension of time was recently granted. The original developer, New Urban West, has secured permits from CDFW, ACOE and RWQCB. Grading, drainage and storm water management plans were submitted for first plan check on July 25, 2018. The new builder (KB Homes) has filed a modification to the Precise Development Plan to revise the architecture and reduce the size of the homes. Fire and Engineering issued comments on the rough grading plan on September 4, 2018.
- Mercado 3-Story Mixed Use Building (Developer: Curtis Lively) 5 residences and 2 commercial suites on 0.14-acre at 510 W. 2nd Avenue – A Plot Plan for five two-story residential units on top of 2,375 SF of commercial floor area and a parking garage was submitted July 13, 2018. Staff review comments were provided to the applicant who then submitted revised plans. A water main extension north from Third Avenue will be required to serve the project.
- 555 West Grand Mixed-Use Building (Developer: Ed McCoy) 32 condo units in three floors over a parking garage – This 32-unit mixed-use development with 610 SF of office/flex space was submitted as a planned development application on August 27, 2018. The project is seeking a reduction in parking and open space standards. All departments are now conducting their initial review. Initial comments will include the need to upsize the existing water main in Quince Street from Valley Parkway to the project site.
- Accessory Dwelling Units – Planning staff is currently working on nine applications for accessory dwelling units. 17 accessory dwelling units have been approved so far this year. Three accessory dwelling units were approved last year.
- The Building Division issued 85 permits (including a record 47 solar photovoltaic) with a total valuation of $292,332.
- Our building inspectors responded to 181 inspection requests and 163 customers visited the Building counter during the week.
- The Meadowbrook three-story apartment building with underground garage at 2081 Garden Valley Glen is preparing the building for final inspection. Building inspected the fire stopping in the lobby on August 2, 2018. Cabinetry installation is ongoing. No Change from the previous.
- The Westminster Seminary at 1725 Bear Valley Pkwy so far has received final inspection approval for all buildings except for Buildings B, G and H.
- The Emanuel Faith Church at 639 E 17th Ave is preparing for final inspection. A 30-day Temporary Certificate of Occupancy has been issued.
- Roof mounted A/C units are being installed at the Veterans Village project at 1540 S Escondido Blvd. No Change from the previous.
- Centre City Shopping Center (Centre City Parkway/Mission Avenue) - Drywall installation has been inspected and approved for the new carwash business in the southernmost building. Interior tenant improvement permits were issued and underground plumbing has been inspected for the new Yoshinoya restaurant in the center building. Interior tenant improvement permits were issued for the new Habit Burger and Stanton Optical in the northern building. Underground plumbing has been inspected in that building as well.
- The Latitude 2 apartment project at 650 Center City Pkwy is currently going through inspections on all buildings for rough framing, drywall and exterior lath.
- The new two story church sanctuary building at 1864 N Broadway has completed the slab, roof sheathing and exterior lath.
- The 212,000 SF industrial shell building at 2005 Harmony Grove has received final inspection approval from Building. Engineering approval is pending for issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy. No Change from the previous.
- The new 63-unit condominium project, Citron, at 2516 S Escondido Blvd has received foundation approval for Buildings 4, 5, 9 and 10 and roof sheathing approval for Buildings 2 and 3.
- The new 105 room hotel at 200 La Terraza is requesting rough framing inspection of the 2nd floor framing and first floor drywall.
- The 4 story, 102,774 sf storage building at 222 W Mission Ave has received inspection approval for the first and second floor exterior framing.
- The new five-story storage building at 852 Metcalf St has foundation piers, interior foundations and elevator footings inspection approval.
- The new Gateway Grand 126-unit apartment project at 700 W. Grand Ave. has received underground plumbing inspection and inspections for temporary electrical service. The foundation is being prepared for inspection. No Change from the previous
Valley Pkwy/Valley Center Road Widening Project: Calendar Day 285
The traffic signal contractor is scheduling the relocation of the traffic signal pole located on the Northeast corner of Valley Center Road and Lake Wohlford Road next week. The effected traffic signal will be out of service for a period of up to 6 hours. During that time, a 3-way stop will go into effect. Electronic message boards will be in place 72 hours in advance to notify local residences of the traffic signal outage. The landscape contractor is continuing with the installation and testing of the irrigation system along the West side of the project. The East side water service has been completed allowing for the testing and completion of the remaining system. The prime contractor is preparing for the installation of all remaining concrete median island improvement along the project limits. The construction requires the reduction of travel lanes during day time hours.
Transit Center Pedestrian Bridge Project
No changes from that reported last week: Transit Center Pedestrian Bridge and Spruce Street Channel Improvement Project is moving forward with 100% design. Resource agency permits from the Regional Water Board and Fish & Wildlife have been obtained and the City is now pursuing a final Permit from the Army Corps. Negotiations of drainage/wall easements and TCEs with property owners are underway.
Missing Link Project
The traffic signal contractor has constructed the foundations for the new Woodward/Broadway traffic signal poles. The traffic signal poles as well as the metal pedestrian bridge elements are not expected to be delivered to the site until late October. During this period, there will not be much construction activity on the project.
Public Service Agreement: Maintenance Yard Groundwater Monitoring Well Destruction
The City has solicited bids for the destruction of 14 groundwater monitoring wells located within the Public Works Maintenance Yard. The apparent low bid was $33,680.00 for the project. The bid will be awarded after review of the project documents by the attorney’s office.
Centre City Shopping Center
Construction of the offsite improvements along Centre City Parkway began on Tuesday September 11. The work includes widening of the roadway and lengthening the turn pockets for both North and South Centre City Parkway. This work is expected to be completed this week with final paving scheduled for next week during a night time operation. The project is located at 425 W. Mission Avenue.
Tract 932 - Canyon Grove Shea Homes Community
No change from that reported last week. 9 new homes are being released for occupancy this week.
Latitude II Condominiums by a Lyon Homes Partnership: Washington Avenue @ Centre City Parkway:
Curb and gutter has been formed along Centre City Parkway and Washington Avenue with placement to be later this week.
Exeter Industrial Park
The contractor is working with the local water district to remove two water service lateral this week. week. The offsite improvement is being interrupted due to the discovery of an unmarked 16” ductile iron reclaimed water main found while drilling for the traffic signal foundation. The project team is working on a solution for relocating the signal foundation to a minimum of 5’ clearance of the discovered line. The lead time for reordering a longer mast arm is 16 weeks. The project is located at 2005 Harmony Grove Road and is 5.4 acres in size.
No change from that reported last week. Offsite public improvements along Cranston Avenue were started with the installation of the concrete curb and gutter. This is a 65-unit condo project located at 2516 S. Escondido Boulevard.
No change from that reported last week. The contractor is working on site constructing bio retention basins. The project is located at 700 W. Grand Avenue, the previous site of Escondido Police Department.
Emanuel Faith Church
The installation of the new traffic signals was completed on Saturday September 8th.
Lincoln Rock Apartments
No changes from that reported last week: The construction of the retaining wall along the freeway frontage has been completed. The wall is a design element for the construction of the bio retention basin. Testing of the new water line has started this week. The project is located at the Southwest corner of Rock Springs Road and Lincoln Avenue.
Final water treatment elements are being constructed along the Vista Avenue improvements this week. The developer has begun to construct all remaining house foundation within the project.
- The Annual Fire Truck/Hero Night at Cruisin' Grand Escondido was held on Friday, September 7th! In remembrance of 9/11, a piece of steel recovered from the World Trade Center was on display at the corner of Grand & Broadway. There was an amazing fire and police vehicle display and people were able to ride on restored fire engines. The flag was raised over Grand & Broadway at 6 p.m. followed by a first responder vehicle parade at 7 p.m.
- The 2018 San Diego Memorial Stair Climb took place in Saturday, September 8th at 8a at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront! Division Chief Holcomb, Firefighter Paramedic San Nicolas and Engineer Polito and his family all volunteered their time to honor their fallen heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11/01. The day consisted of climbing 110 flights of stairs, refreshing beers, delicious food, live entertainment and supporting fellow Firefighters!
- On Wednesday, September 5th The City of Escondido Fire Department Support Volunteers held a meeting with Battalion Chief Sargis in which they pinned volunteer, Steve Palmer.
Mutual Aid Updates
- On Thursday, August 23rd The City of Escondido Fire Department deployed Captain Miller to the Mendocino Complex Incident as a Base Camp Manager. He returned home safely on Friday, September 7th.
2018 Fire Season Statistics
From June to date:
- Escondido sent resources and personnel to assist with 17 different Fires state-wide
- Engine Crews deployed 14 times
- Overhead (Single personnel in incident management positions) deployed 16 times
- In total we have had 37 different personnel deployed on Engine and Overhead assignments
- The average deployment time: 7.5 days
- On 9-2-2018, Officer Gimenez attempted to stop a vehicle for a traffic violation in the area of Valley Pkwy and Date St. The driver did not yield and drove in a manner that demonstrated a wanton disregard for the safety of others. The suspect drove to the dead end of El Ku Ave, yielded, and was taken into custody without incident. After an investigation it was determined the driver was driving under the influence of Marijuana. The driver was arrested for driving under the influence and evading and booked into the Vista Detention Facility.
- On 9-3-2018, Officer Rivera spotted a stolen vehicle in the area of Park Ave. and Broadway St. A high risk stop was conducted and the driver was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Vista Detention Facility for possession of a stolen vehicle.
- On 9-3-2018, Officer Larsen saw a vehicle driving the wrong way in the area of 2nd Ave at Maple St. Officer Larsen attempted to make a traffic enforcement stop on the vehicle. The driver failed to yield and evaded Officer Larsen. After a brief vehicle pursuit, the suspect ran from the vehicle and ran towards the Flood Control Channel at Juniper St. Officers pursued the suspect and took him into custody with a minor use of force. The suspect was booked into the Vista Detention Facility for evading.
- On 9-5-2018, officers contacted two subjects in Kit Carson Park after the park was closed. During the investigation, a search of their vehicle was conducted. Inside the vehicle the officers located a loaded .45 caliber handgun which had been reported stolen out of New Mexico. Both subject were taken into custody.
- On 09/07/18 at 2249 hours, Escondido Police and Escondido Fire responded to a report of a vehicle collision involving a bicyclist. The bicyclist is a 14-year-old San Pasqual High School Student. The vehicle collided with the bicyclist, the juvenile was thrown from his bicycle, struck the windshield of the vehicle and thrown forward in the path of the vehicle. The juvenile was struck a second time by the vehicle but this time he was pinned under the vehicle. Escondido Fire Department used airbags to lift the vehicle and free the juvenile. The juvenile suffered significant burns to his torso and legs and lacerations to the left side of his head and torso. The juvenile was taken to Children’s Hospital for his initial injuries and later transferred to the UCSD burn unit. Upon our last check he was still in critical condition.
The 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, quality of life issues, and addressing crime and public nuisance in Grape Day Park and at Maple Plaza.
- 6 arrests were made
- 10 citations were issued
- Captain Murphy presented Officers Larsen, Orr and Muncy (not pictured) their numbered badge to celebrate their successful completion of probation.