FEATURED THIS WEEK
Old Escondido Neighborhood Historic District Sign Toppers
Old Escondido Historic District, Escondido’s first and only officially designated historic district, was awarded “Grants to Blocks” funding that will be combined with their own fund raising effort for the fabrication and installation of Historic District sign toppers throughout the District. The “Grants to Blocks” program affords opportunities for residents in designated neighborhood groups to collaborate on features for their community that promote and enhance identity, aesthetics, and neighborhood pride. The Old Escondido Neighborhood Historic District generally includes properties along 5th Avenue, east of Escondido Boulevard, north of 13th Avenue, and west of Chestnut Street. The sign stoppers will be installed in Spring 2019 in time for Historic Preservation Month and the Old Escondido Annual Mother’s Day Home Tour. Old Escondido Historic District’s website is: https://www.oldescondido.org/
New Housing Regulations Demonstrate Success
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s) help meet the City’s affordable housing needs in existing neighborhoods by providing a housing resource for seniors, students, families, and low- and moderate-income households. Last year the City Council updated Escondido’s ADU regulations to allow accessory dwelling units to be detached from the primary residence and up to 1,000 square feet in size. These modified regulations recently completed their first year and the results are impressive. During the past year, 18 new accessory dwelling units were approved compared to two that were approved in the prior 12-month period before the regulations were updated.
Congratulations Officers and Pups!
Congratulations to Officer Moore, with Police Service Dog ‘Aros’, and Officer Brown, with Police Service Dog ‘Roy’, for successfully graduating the 231st Adlerhorst Police Service Dog Basic Handler’s Course. This is a great accomplishment and the first step in a long career with the city of Escondido.
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.
- 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. First draft environmental documents were submitted to Planning on September 13, 2018. Staff comments on the environmental documents were sent to the applicant the following 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 was approved by City Council on September 19, 2018, and should record this week. The grading permit has been issued and the final improvement plan mylars are in for signature.
- 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 have completed their initial review and comments were sent to the applicant on September 17, 2018. 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. Statements of Qualifications are due October 18, 2018.
- 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. Recent changes to the Zoning Code regarding the definition of “building height” could affect the project design or process.
- 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. Country Club Lane street improvement plans are expected to be submitted in the first week of October.
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 scheduled 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. A purchase and sale agreement for the project site (Parking Lot 1) was approved by the City Council on September 19, 2018. Concerns regarding parking have been expressed; and the applicant is in the process of bringing a parking consultant on board to review the issue.
- 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. A meeting with the applicant has been scheduled for October 3, 2018.
- 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. Engineering and Utilities met with the applicant last week to discuss sewer and grading issues.
- 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. Planning comments were sent to the applicant last week.
- 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. Initial multi-department comments were sent to the applicant on September 26, 2018.
- Accessory Dwelling Units – Planning staff is currently working on nine applications for accessory dwelling units. 18 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 35 solar photovoltaic) with a total valuation of $242,864.
- Our building inspectors responded to 177 inspection requests and 166 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 gas lines on September 13, 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 and H. No Change from the previous.
- The Emanuel Faith Church at 639 E 17th Ave is preparing for final inspection. A 30-day Temporary Certificate of Occupancy has been issued. No Change from the previous.
- Masonry site walls are being inspected 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 and they both have received partial rough framing inspection approval. No Change from the previous.
- 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. No Change from the previous.
- The new two story church sanctuary building at 1864 N Broadway has completed the slab, roof sheathing and exterior lath. No Change from the previous.
- 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 interior shear and wastewater approval for Buildings 2 and 3.
- The new 105 room hotel at 200 La Terraza received approval for elevator shaft framing and drywall.
- The 4 story, 102,774 sf storage building at 222 W Mission Ave has received drywall inspection approval for the elevator shafts.
- The new five-story storage building at 852 Metcalf St has received slab 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
- Plans were submitted this week for review for a new 5,225 sf retail building at 1107 E. Valley Parkway.
- Public works has been increasing staff to aid in eradicating graffiti. This presence has been successful and within the last week the team removed 688 tags. Each word is considered one tag for our reporting purposes.
- 7 yards of trash and debris were collected along the bike path this week.
- 82 abandoned shopping carts were collected.
Valley Pkwy/Valley Center Road Widening Project: Calendar Day 299
The landscape contractor has started installation of the 15” deep moisture barrier along the median islands on Valley Parkway this week. The barrier prevents water from penetrating the structural roadway section which in turn extends the roadway service life. Landscape soil sample reports have been returned for review by the landscape architect. The information provided will give a base line for the existing soil condition and the necessary amendments needed to ensure proper plant growth. The concrete subcontractor completed installation of all remaining color concrete paving along the median islands on Tuesday of this week. The remaining concrete improvements along the project will also be completed later this week. With the completion of the concrete improvement, final paving is set to begin on Monday, October 1st. along Valley Parkway. The first phase of the operation will be to complete all base course asphalt placement. The second phase will be to reconstruct the intersection of Lake Wohlford Road and Valley Parkway. This portion will be completed during a night time operation. Electronic message boards will be placed 72 hours in advance of the work. The traffic signal will also be placed in a red flash condition with the addition of Stop signs. The final phase will cap all base course asphalt with the final 2” asphalt section beginning on Valley Center Road and proceeding South to Beven Drive. The paving operation is expected to be completed by Friday, October 5th of next week. Final pavement striping will be delayed until all of the landscaping elements are completed in the coming weeks.
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 will start to prepare conduit runs for pull rope in preparation of installing signal wire. The traffic signal poles, as well as the metal pedestrian bridge elements, are not expected to be delivered to the site until late October.
Public Service Agreement: Maintenance Yard Groundwater Monitoring Well Destruction
No changes from that reported last week: 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.
The project has been completed and El Super market has received it Certificate of Occupancy. The first day of operation was Tuesday, September 25th. This will complete the reporting of this project.
Centre City Shopping Center
Construction of the offsite median island at the North East corner of Center City Parkway and Mission Avenue began on Monday of this week. The existing island is being reduced in size to accommodate the 3rd North bound travel lane along Centre City Parkway. When completed, the new roadway will provide for 3 North bound travel lanes, a bike lane, and access and egress driveway to the new retail center along the Centre City frontage. The project is located at 425 W. Mission Avenue.
Tract 932 - Canyon Grove Shea Homes Community
Final paving will begin for Vista Avenue and Vista Verde Road this week.
Latitude II Condominiums by a Lyon Homes Partnership: Washington Avenue @ Centre City Parkway:
No changes from that reported last week: Reconstruction of the Centre City Parkway began this week. The work includes construction of 22 feet of new roadway. When completed, the project will have created 3 North bound travel lanes, a bike lane and access/ egress driveway to the new community along the Centre City frontage. The curb and gutter formed along Centre City Parkway and Washington Avenue is being scheduled for completion.
Exeter Industrial Park
No changes from that reported last week: 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.
The contractor has begun construction of offsite utility trenches along Grand Avenue this week. The project is located at 700 W. Grand Avenue, the previous site of Escondido Police Department.
Emanuel Faith Church
No changes from that reported last week: The installation of the new traffic signal poles at Encino Drive and Felicita/17th Avenue was completed on Saturday September 8th. We do not have a signal activation date at this time.
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.
The construction of the new street light foundation was completed on Vista Avenue / Benvenido intersection. The developer is continuing with the development of all remaining houses within the project.
- On September 20th, 2018 several Escondido Fire Department Non-Safety Paramedics assigned to B Shift took the opportunity to perform vehicle extrication training with some probationary firefighters as well as some of the veteran firefighters working toward a spot on the truck company.
- On September 21, 2018 the Escondido Police and Fire Communication Center received a report of a vegetation fire in the 3000 block of Slivkoff Dr. The first arriving engine confirmed an approximate 1 acre fire in light/medium fuels with a moderate rate of spread. Due to the close proximity of structures a second alarm was dispatched to assist. The forward rate of spread was stopped in approximately 15 minutes. Crews had the fire 100% contained in 2 hours. There were no injuries or damage to structures. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
Mutual Aid Updates
- Engineer Brad Bihun returned home on September 22 from his assignment as a Public Information Officer at the Delta Fire near Redding.
- On 9-16-2018, officers responded to the southbound I-15 overpass at Valley Pkwy reference a suicidal person threatening to jump from the overpass. Officers from the California Highway Patrol assisted with traffic control on the freeway while Officers Sinnott, Grant and T. Pugh established a dialogue with the adult female. The female was suffering from depression and was also under the influence of alcohol. After approximately 20 minutes of dialogue, the female climbed off of the bridge with the assistance of officers and was placed in protective custody. The female was transported to a local hospital for evaluation.
- On 9-19-2018, officers were dispatched to the Jack in the Box at Escondido Blvd. and Felicita Ave. reference a grenade in the parking lot. Officers arrived on scene and evacuated the restaurant and nearby residences. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad was requested and responded to the scene. Members of the bomb squad examined the grenade and took possession of it. The investigation is ongoing.
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.
- 1 arrests were made
- 3 citations were issued
- Congratulations to Officer McCann for successfully completing field training. Officer McCann transferred to Escondido Police Department from the Los Angeles Police Department and brings a wealth of experience.
- Personnel for the police department and fire department participated in the soft opening of the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum “Neighborhood Heroes” event. This exhibit is in partnership with the Escondido Police Department and the Escondido Fire Department to help bridge the gap in understanding of first responders – police, fire fighters, and paramedics – and familiarize young visitors with the ordinary heroes in our community.