FEATURED THIS WEEK
East Valley Improvement Project
The East Valley Improvement project began this week with a few growing pains. Throughout the weekend, and starting again early this week our Engineering staff have been making adjustments to the signal timing for those four signals at the East Valley Parkway/Valley Center Grade area during the evening commute and stayed on site to monitor the effectiveness. These timing changes will improve through-traffic flow. According to reports, heavy traffic congestion is now limited to the area between Beven and James with an improving trend. City staff have implemented new timing plans based on what they have learned and observed. Adjustments and monitoring will continue. This information will be updated regularly as the project moves along on our website: https://www.escondido.org/east-valley.aspx
San Diego County Hepatitis A Update
City staff are proceeding cautiously to maximize the safety of our citizens and city employees during this County-wide outbreak. The City is taking appropriate measures focusing on three strategies; vaccinate, sanitize and educate. A link has been added to the City’s website with information about what is being done locally as well as updated information from the county: https://www.escondido.org/hepatitisA.aspx
Local Escondido business, SmartCover Systems was featured in the San Diego Business Journal for their innovative water-level sensors. Read more about SmartCover Systems here: http://sdbj.com/news/2017/sep/21/sewer-sensors-know-when-somethings-wrong-flow/
4th Annual Escondido Business Walk
On Wednesday, September 27, volunteer pairs made up of City officials and Chamber of Commerce Board members visited over 40 local businesses as part of the 4th Annual Escondido Business Walk. The Business Walk is a business retention event focused on identifying and understanding the needs of Escondido businesses. The Business Walk included a variety of industries, including retail, manufacturing and hospitality. The one on one time with business owners and public officials is extremely valuable to the City and the Chamber, and the feedback gathered is used to guide business-friendly strategies and policies to strengthen Escondido’s local economy. For more information about the Business Walk, contact the City’s Economic Development Division at (760) 839-4587 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Major Projects Update
The following major projects are currently being reviewed and coordinated with Planning, Engineering, Fire, Building and Utilities staff. A complete description of each project can be viewed here. Updates provided below cover project milestones that occurred last week.
Commercial / Office:
- Escondido Research and Technology Center – East (ERTC) (Developer: James McCann) – A plan for a new two-story, 57,000 SF, 52-bed Palomar Rehabilitation Institute was submitted on July 31, 2017 and a letter indicating the application is incomplete was sent to the applicant on August 10, 2017. The applicant submitted revised grading and landscape plans and a storm water management plan two weeks ago.
- Centre City Commercial Center (Developer: Todd Dwyer) SE corner Centre City/Mission – The expedited plan check process for the grading, building and landscape plans and the final parcel map started on July 25, 2017. Planning and Engineering returned grading, final map and landscape comments in August. The applicant submitted revised plans on September 7, 2017. All department comments for the second check were returned to the applicant on September 27.
- Escondido Self-Storage Facility (Developer: Brandywine Homes, Inc.) 2319 Cranston Dr. – Revised grading, landscape, and street and improvement plans were submitted by the applicant on July 14, 2017. Engineering and Planning comments on those plans were returned to the applicant on August 11, 2017. The applicant resubmitted revised grading, landscape, and street improvement plans on September 15, 2017. The applicant continues to work on resolving existing easement issues on the site.
- Exeter Harmony Grove Industrial Development (Developer: John Couvillion, Badiee Development) 1925 and 2005 Harmony Grove Road – This proposed combination of the previously approved Victory and Innovative Industrial Projects into an 11.04-acre site for a single-tenant 212,000 square foot industrial building was submitted as a modified Master and Precise Plan on September 25, 2017. Plans were distributed to all departments the following day for initial review and comments.
- North American Self-Storage (Developer: Russ Colvin) 852 S. Metcalf – This project is participating in the expedited plan check program. The demo has been completed. Building plans were approved by Esgil, Planning and Fire the last week of June. The grading permit was issued last week.
- Micro-Filtration Reverse Osmosis (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) SE corner Ash/Washington – The lawsuit challenging the project approval has been settled and it is expected that a contract for engineering design will be considered soon.
- Lake Wohlford Replacement Dam (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) – A Draft EIR was prepared and issued for a 45-day public review period that began on October 4, 2016 and closed on November 17, 2016. A field visit with staff from the state and federal wildlife agencies took place on May 11, 2017, to review biological mitigation requirements. Staff sent a follow-up letter to the wildlife agencies on June 29, 2017, seeking clarification on the proposed biological mitigation requirements. Staff is now coordinating with the consultant to final the EIR and start the decision-making process.
- Escondido United Reformed Church (Developer: Brent Cooper) 1864 N. Broadway – The grading permit was issued in February of 2016 and then the applicant went through a CUP modification process with Planning to modify the building design. The building plans are in fifth plan check with approvals from Esgil, Planning, Utilities and Fire.
- Self-Realization Fellowship Center (Developer: John Pyjar, Domusstudio Architecture 1840 Del Dios Rd. – The CUP application was submitted on November 14, 2016. The applicant resubmitted revised plans and technical studies on May 19, 2017, and staff has been issuing comments on the various documents. Another resubmittal from the applicant was received on August 22, 2017. Comments from Engineering and Utilities were sent to the applicant last week.
- Chalice Unitarian Universalist Congregation (Developer: Pete Bussett, Bussett Architecture) 2324 Miller Avenue – This CUP to expand an existing 3,300 square foot religious facility by adding approximately 3,100 square feet of multi-purpose building and foyer was originally submitted in November of 2015. The applicant has been revising the project to respond to staff comments and meet the needs of the congregation. Staff is now working on finalizing the environmental determination and releasing it for public review.
- Citron (formerly Stella Park) (Developer: William Lyon Homes) 63 condo units at 2516 S. Esc. Blvd. – Building plans were submitted on April 6, 2017. Esgil and Planning have provided comments. Fire has approved the building plans. The rough grading has been completed on the site. The applicant resubmitted the precise grading plan on July 14, 2017. Engineering returned comments on August 15, 2017. The applicant submitted revised grading plans last week and discussions are on-going regarding potential storm water solutions.
- Wohlford (Developer: Jack Henthorne) 55 lots at 661 Bear Valley Pkwy. – City staff is currently working to complete negotiations on the terms for the Development Agreement and schedule the item with the Planning Commission for review and consideration, most likely in November or December.
- Safari Highlands Ranch (SHR) (Developer: Jeb Hall, Concordia Homes) 550 lots east of Rancho San Pasqual – A second revised tentative map depicting various minor changes and clarifications to roads, easements and drainage facilities was submitted on April 25, 2017. Revised technical engineering reports as well as responses to staff comments also have been submitted for review. The applicant filed revised emergency access plans on September 15, 2017. The revised studies have been loaded on the City’s website at the following link: Safari Highlands Ranch Specific Plan - City of Escondido
- 18 lots at 701 San Pasqual Valley Rd (Developer: Bob Stewart) – A three-year extension of time for the previously approved ten-lot subdivision (Tract 895) was approved by the City Council on June 7, 2017. Staff comments on the revised tentative map were issued the last week of July. Staff met with the applicant last week regarding unresolved project design issues.
- Escondido Gateway (Developer: Carolyn Hillgren, Lyon Living) 126 condo units at 700 W. Grand – Building plans have been approved by Esgil, Planning and Fire. Grading plans have been approved by Utilities, Planning and Fire. A street vacation for right-of-way frontage along Grand Avenue is pending. Demolition is complete.
- The Villages at Escondido Country Club (Developer: Jason Han, New Urban West, Inc.) 392 residences – Planning staff has provided a location on the city’s website for ECC project-related documents and plans. A 45-day public review period for the Draft EIR ended on August 18, 2017. The EIR consultant is currently drafting responses to the comments that were received. The Draft EIR and appendices have been placed on the city website. It is anticipated that the Planning Commission will review and consider the Project application on October 24th to make a recommendation to City Council. This information along with project status and other related information can be accessed at the following link: ECC - City of Escondido
- Ivy/Valley Parkway Mixed-Use Development (Developer: Abad Rahan Pars Inc./ Norm Wieme, Architect) 20 condo units at 113 N. Ivy - The applicant has indicated that grading and building plans are expected to be submitted into plan check soon. The reimbursement agreement for new water infrastructure that will be installed by the project in the adjoining alley is being readied for City Council approval.
- North Avenue Estates (Developer: Casey Johnson) 34 lots at North Ave./Conway Dr. – A new annexation survey of surrounding property owners was mailed out at the request of LAFCO. A neighborhood meeting hosted by staff and the project applicant occurred on August 9, 2017. The applicant is reviewing drainage issues with the Engineering Division.
- Aspire (106 condo units on Municipal Lot 1) and The Ivy (95 condo units at 343 E. 2nd) (Developer: Addison Garza, Touchstone Communities) – The proposal consists of three separate downtown project sites proposed for mixed-use, residential and parking garage components on Parking Lot 1, Parking Lot 4 and the former Escondido Surgery Center property. Applications were submitted for entitlement processing on June 23, 2017. A project kick-off meeting with the applicant and city staff occurred on July 13, 2017. On July 24, 2017, staff sent a letter to the applicant indicating the project application submittal was incomplete. Subsequent meetings with the applicant and staff have been on-going. The applicant has filed a demolition permit request to remove the old surgery center at 343 E. 2nd
- Grand Avenue Apartments (Developer: Norm LaCaze, Escondido Venture 99, LLC) 15 apt. units at 1316 E. Grand Ave. – A planned development application proposing 15 multi-family units in one three-story building on a vacant 0.51-acre lot was submitted for entitlement processing on September 22, 2017.
- A total of 25 solar photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. The Building Division has issued 691 solar permits this year, to date, compared to 930 issued during the same time last year.
- Our building inspectors responded to 176 inspection requests for the week.
- Building has issued 163 single family dwelling permit this year and 224 multi-family units. This compares with 56 single family dwellings and 88 multi-family dwellings for the same time last year.
- Projects nearing permit issuance are:
- 917 W Lincoln, 3 new apartment buildings, 9 units.
- 700 W Grand Ave Gateway project (former police building)
- Storquest – four-story self-storage facility, 222 W. Mission Ave.
- Tract 877 – 13 new single-family homes on Bernardo Avenue near I-15.
- The construction of the City Plaza three-story mixed use building at 300 S. Escondido Blvd. continues with interior finish and cabinets in preparation for building completion the first part of 2018.
- The Meadowbrook, three-story apartment building with underground garage at 2081 Garden Valley Glen is preparing the building for final inspection.
- Escondido Disposal has received final inspection approval for the administration and recycling buildings and Phase II of their construction is set to begin soon.
- The medical office building at 2125 Citracado Pkwy is now installing drywall and exterior lath.
- The medical office building at 1951 Citracado Pkwy has received inspection approval for drywall and interior shell. Plans have been approved for the tenant improvement portion of the project. Exterior stucco is being applied.
- The Westminster Seminary at 1725 Bear Valley Pkwy is preparing for exterior shear wall and framing inspections.
- The children’s building for Emanuel Faith Church at 639 E 17th Ave has received inspection approval for the framing of the building. The Church of Resurrection at 1445 Conway has received inspection approval for roof sheathing.
- The new Veterans Village project at 1540 S Escondido Blvd has received underground plumbing, partial foundation and masonry inspections for the residential buildings.
- Demolition of the old Wagon Wheel restaurant and motel at 427 W. Mission Avenue is complete and ready for the proposed new commercial development including a carwash, drive-thru restaurants and retail.
- The second lift of the exterior masonry walls are being erected at 999 N. Broadway for the new supermarket shell building. Exterior masonry walls are now being constructed.
- The Ford dealership at 1717 Auto Park Way has commenced on the second phase of construction which includes the interior remodel and new showroom addition.
- Permits were issued last week for a new single-family dwelling and guest house at 1140 Gary Lane.
- The Latitude II multi-family residential development at 650 N. Centre City Parkway has received underground plumbing inspection approval for Building 1 and Building 2.
Public Works Operations
East Valley Pkwy/Valley Center Road Widening Project
The contractor is continuing to clear all trees, shrubs and asphalt parking lots from the project boundaries. The installation of traffic control devices which include K rail are being installed this week. Staff is monitoring the traffic impact in the corridor and are making adjustments to the traffic signal timing to accommodate additional travel time for the Valley Parkway portion of the roadway. Work is underway to close Wohlford Drive at East Valley Parkway which serves as one of the entrances to Mayflower Dog Park, Caballo Trail and Escondido Human Society. Access to these facilities will be permanently transferred to the Beven Drive signalized intersection. Existing notification signs will be relocated prior to the entrance closure. Periodic project status and contact information is now available on the City’s website.
Neighborhood Lighting Project
The contract has been reviewed and signed, a preconstruction meeting is scheduled for September 28. The scope of work for the project includes the installation of 44 new street poles along with the replacement of 22 existing street light fixtures with the latest L.E.D. fixtures in 5 neighborhood areas.
2017 Street Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project
Staff is waiting for documentation and insurance submittals prior to scheduling the preconstruction meeting. Staff anticipates project work to start in October.
Corrugated Metal Storm Drain Pipe Assessment Study
This project televises all city-maintained corrugated metal pipes (CMP) and assesses their condition to allow proactive and efficient pipe maintenance. To date, approximately 40% of the CMP storm drains have been televised. A single lane of traffic remains closed along Midway Drive between Grand Avenue and Valley Parkway while the investigation continues.
Transit Center Pedestrian Crossing
This project adds a pedestrian crossing over the creek adjacent to the Transit Center. 60% design plans are due October 2017.
Pradera - Lennar Communities
No changes from that reported last week: Phase 7 homes are being released for occupancy this week.
Lexington Model Homes - KB Homes
Construction of surface improvement along Spur Court is ongoing this week in anticipation of the first occupancies expected in October. Daytime closures of Ash Street between Lehner Avenue and Vista Avenue will start next week. The work will be permitted between the 8:00 a.m. and 2 p.m. time period when school is in session. Electronic message boards will be in place prior to the closure and the developer and City will work closely with a Rincon Middle School representative.
Citron Project by William Lyon Homes
Construction is ongoing along Cranston Drive. The project is located 2516 S. Escondido Boulevard.
Tract 932 - Canyon Grove Shea Homes Community
Installation of additional concrete curb and gutter improvements along interior streets is being completed this week. Street lighting poles are being installed along the project limits.
Latitude II Condominiums by a Lyon Homes Partnership: Washington Avenue at Centre City Parkway
The construction of offsite storm drain has started this week. No traffic interruption will be experienced along Centre City Parkway with all construction occurring along the shoulder of the parkway.
The project’s water improvement is continuing this week, with work being performed onsite.
Victory Industrial Park
The grading operation is continuing with the importing of material. The project is located at 2005 Harmony Grove Road and is 5.4 acres in size.
No changes from that reported last week: The existing offsite public improvements, which include concrete curb and gutter, sidewalks and driveway approaches along the project boundaries, have been demoed. The project is located at 999 Broadway.
Spring Hill Suites Hotel/ La Terraza Boulevard
The grading operation is continuing this week with the construction of the block wall along La Terraza Boulevard.
Centre City Parkway Shopping Center:
The project is idled at this time. The project is located at the corner of Mission Avenue and Centre City Parkway.
Escondido Disposal Facility:
No changes from that reported last week: The onsite construction of storm drain and water quality basins is proceeding this week.
- On September 19, 2017, Escondido Fire Department Captain Scott Barratt was honored along with Rancho Santa Fe Firefighter Paramedic, Chase Cantrell, by the North San Diego Business Chamber at their annual Heroes Award program. Escondido Fire Chiefs Vogt, Tenger and Holcomb, Captain Portman, Captain Barratt’s engine crew (Engineer Christensen and FFPM McCauley) and Captain Barratt’s wife, Michelle, were all able to join at the event to be with Captain Barratt as he received the award. Earlier this year, Captain Barratt and Firefighter Cantrell came to the assistance of a man who had collapsed. Both were off duty and happened to be in the area. They started CPR and by the time Encinitas medics arrived to transport, the patient had regained his pulse and was breathing. The award recognized Captain Barratt and Firefighter Cantrell’s dedication to service both on and off duty. Captain Barratt also received recognition from Congressman Duncan Hunter’s Office. Congratulations Captain Barratt!
- On Wednesday, September 20, 2017, Rincon Del Diablo Water District's Erin Lump (Vice President), Greg Thomas (General Manager) and Josie Traslavina (Acting Director Finance) along with Escondido's Fire Prevention Team, Fire Volunteers and the Burn Institute installed smoke alarms and Carbon Monoxide detectors into mobile homes at Rancho Escondido Mobile Home Park. A total of 13 Carbon Monoxide Alarms and 44 Smoke Alarms were installed in the homes of 27 residents. 17 existing smoke alarms also required new batteries, which were happily changed by the volunteers. Fire Prevention intends on scheduling another installation project for some time in November and we will be sure to keep you informed. For more information on our Free Smoke Alarm Testing, please visit the Fire Department link here.
- On 9/17/17 at 17:00 hours, victim was picking up trash at Grape Day Park when he was confronted by an unknown male who stabbed him in the leg with an unknown instrument. The attack was unprovoked and the injury consisted of an approximately one-inch laceration on his left thigh (non-life-threatening). The victim then fled the area and went to a nearby family member’s house. The family member later transported the victim to the Palomar Medical Center for treatment. The suspect was described as a black male, 40-50 years of age, 6'5”, 230 LBS, wearing a long sleeved blue shirt and gray shorts. Officers canvassed the park for the suspect/crime scene with negative results.
- On 09/19/17 during school hours, 7 students at San Pasqual High School experienced medical problems due to illegally taking a controlled substance believed to be Xanax. Fire Department medics took the students to Palomar Medical Center for treatment; none of the medical issues appear to be life-threatening. It is unknown who supplied the substance, what quantities were taken or what charges, if any, will be pursued. The investigation is on-going. Parents were notified through the school district.
- On 09/20/17, at 12:44 hours, the registered owner of a stolen vehicle contacted police regarding their stolen vehicle in the area of Grand and Rose. An officer responded and located the vehicle pulling in to 1501 E. Grand Ave. After a short foot pursuit two suspects were taken into custody and charged with Auto Theft.
- On 9/23/17 at 02:45 hours, an officer stopped a suspicious vehicle at Gamble Street and Orion Place for a Vehicle Code violation. As the car yielded the rear male passenger took off running. Officers did a great job setting up a perimeter covering a very large area. The suspect was eventually located on N. Fig Street and arrested for an outstanding felony warrant. The driver of the car and his female passenger were both arrested for Identity Theft amongst other charges.
- The EPD COPPS (Community Oriented Policing and Problem-Solving) Unit is dedicated to increasing the quality of life for the residents of Escondido through pro-active responses to crime trends and community issues. Addressing crime and public nuisance in Grape Day Park is one project the Unit has been tasked with, along with patrolling the Downtown Business District and surrounding areas.
- 9 arrests were made
- 14 citations were issued
- On 9/23/17 elements of EPD Patrol and Investigations, along with SDSO Court Services Bureau, SDSO Rail Enforcement and SDSO Transport, conducted a Warrant Sweep and Sprinter enforcement within the City of Escondido. Prior authorization was obtained from the Vista Jail to take all warrants during the hours of the operation. 15 arrests were made and 17 warrants were cleared from the system.