September 3, 2020

Escondido COVID-19 Update:
Let's keep up the great work, Escondido! As more businesses are allowed to open indoor activities, remember to wear a facial covering and practice social distancing to keep our community healthy and moving forward.

The state introduced a new tiered system last Friday that allows certain indoor activities to resume this week. Under the new state metrics, San Diego County is currently in Tier 2, also referred to as the Red Tier.

Tiers are based on two metrics, case rate and the percentage of positive tests. To remain in Tier 2, the County will have to report between 4.0 to 6.9 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents per day and a positivity rate between 5% - 7.9%. To move to the lower risk tiers, the County will have to report cases as shown in the chart above.

The County’s test rate only includes people that have a residential address within the County of San Diego. Visitors from Arizona, Imperial County, International flights and Mexico will not influence our numbers used to determine the County tier level or reopening status.

How is Escondido being impacted by the Coronavirus?

According to San Diego County Public Health, Escondido has 1829 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus. This is approximately 4.8% of the total number of positive cases in San Diego County. The county publishes this information daily on their website at:
https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/coronavirus.html

Although Escondido’s number is slightly higher than our percentage of the County population (4.5%), it should be noted that certain cases are included in Escondido’s count due to Palomar Hospital.  Other factors may also impact this number, but Escondido residents should take note that we are very much “normal” in terms of the average rate in San Diego County.

Regardless residents can keep cases to a minimum by washing hands, wearing face coverings and maintaining social distance.

By following these simple steps, the County and the City of Escondido can move from Tier 2 to Tier 3 by the end of September and continue to expand the economy.

For more information, please visit the City of Escondido’s website at: www.escondido.org

For the latest test numbers, and tier information, visit the County of San Diego’s website at:
https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/coronavirus.html

Voting Information
The County of San Diego has shared that the Registrar of Voters will prepare election ballots for mailing in two weeks, so active registered voters are urged to check their voter registration now to get a mail ballot at their address later. More than 1.8 million postcards went out to registered voters last month telling them to expect a mail ballot for the November 3, 2020, Presidential General Election. More information can be found here.

If you are a registered voter and did not receive this postcard, this could mean:

  • You are not registered to vote in San Diego County, or;
  • You recently moved or changed your name and have not re-registered to vote

POLICE DEPARTMENT UPDATES:

Detectives Break up Fight, Identify Stabbing Suspect
On August 27, police detectives were in the area of Mission Ave and Gamble Street when they observed two subjects fighting.  One of the subjects was armed with a knife.  They called in marked units and were able to break up the fight before anyone was injured.  Police detectives were able to identify one of the subjects as the suspect from the multiple stabbing incident that occurred last week at Park Ave. and Norway Ct.  He was booked into jail for attempted murder on that case.

Counterfeit Operation Uncovered
On August 27, an officer conducted a traffic stop on Valley Pkwy near I-15.  There were two occupants inside the vehicle that were both arrested for narcotics related offenses.  The investigation led officers to their nearby rented motel room.  Inside the room, officers found equipment used to make counterfeit bills and various bills in the stages of being fraudulently manufactured.  The subjects were booked into jail on felony counterfeit charges along with the narcotics related offenses.

Infant Injured in DUI Crash
On August 28, officers responded to the area of Juniper Street and Grand Avenue regarding a car that had crashed in to a building.  Officers determined that the driver was under the influence of alcohol and was arrested for DUI.  An infant who was inside the car during the crash suffered a head injury and was transported to the hospital for treatment.  The driver was booked into jail for felony DUI.

Gun Recovered in Stolen Car
On August 29, officers located a stolen car and stopped it in the area of Bear Valley Parkway and Boyle Avenue.  All of the occupants were detained and the driver was arrested for auto theft.  One of the occupants was found to be in possession of a handgun that had an altered serial number.  He was arrested for firearms related charges.

Community Tools:

www.arjis.org - For crime data/mapping, Megan’s Law info, etc.
www.myneighborhoodupdate.net - Search for Escondido, CA to see radio call information.

Events:

Public Safety Dispatcher Completes Training
Congratulations to Dispatcher Acevedo who recently completed her Public Safety Dispatcher training!  Dispatcher Acevedo has a background in marketing and is looking forward to a new, rewarding career in public service.  She joins her father (Retired EPD Detective), uncle (EPD Lieutenant), and cousin (EPD Dispatcher) in the EPD family. The dispatcher training program is a lengthy and complex process.  They learn call taking, police and fire radio, and the use of numerous database and computer software programs.

Tip of the Week:
Did you know that if you injure another person while driving under the influence it becomes a felony offense? Please do not drive while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any prescription medication that prevents you from safely operating a motor vehicle.

FIRE DEPARTMENT UPDATES:

Several Escondido Firefighters recently returned home safely after assisting with multiple fires in Northern California for the past two weeks.

We have a replacement crew on our OES brush Engine that will likely remain in Northern California for several more days.

Engineers Polito and Bihun are assisting as with the “SCU Lightning Complex”, which is the 391,150 acre fire South of the bay area.

BY THE NUMBERS

Fire:

Police:

Public Works:

Code Enforcement:

Business Licenses

Graffiti Restitution

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT & ENGINEERING

Building Permits and Inspections:

  1. The counter staff conducted in person meetings with 130 applicants and were able to process 81 applications and issue 69 permits.
  2. The total permit valuation for the week was $1,181,719.00. The weekly average over the past eight weeks to start the fiscal year is $1,512,413.00. The weekly average over the same time period last year was $748,355.00. 
  3. The inspection staff completed 156 inspections.      

Development and Capital Projects Update:
Curious what’s happening with development projects around the city? See below for milestone activities that have happened since last week. Skip to the bottom of this section for a list of projects that are in progress but do not have an update this week. To learn about previous applications for residential and commercial development permits, please visit the Development Project Information Archive page or contact the Planning Division.

Commercial / Office / Industrial:

  1. Carvana – (Developer: Jo Ryan, Carvana) 559 N. Hale Avenue – A Conditional Use Permit for the development of a proposed vending machine car dealership.  The project consists of an approximately 5,800 SF, eight-(8) tier glass and steel tower structure up to 75 feet in height.  A proposed Specific Alignment Plan for Hale Avenue is requested to modify the design of the street frontage and intersection of Hale Avenue and Tulip Street. The item is tentatively scheduled for the Planning Commission for September 8, 2020. 
  1. The Ritz Theater “The Grand” (Developer: New Venture Church) 301 E. Grand Avenue – A renovation of the existing Ritz Theater and adjacent commercial building to provide for a variety of assembly uses including performing arts, religious services, café, offices and classroom studios was approved by the City Council on December 5, 2018. Work is nearing completion on the assembly space.  The building’s signage was installed last week.

County of San Diego Projects:

  1. The County of San Diego (“County”) has been processing a land use application for a new recycling facility, just north of the City of Escondido. The project site is located west of Interstate 15 (I-15) along Mesa Rock Road. The project, called "North County Environmental Resources," includes a 12,000-square-foot steel building, a 100,000-gallon water tank, and a recycling facility for wood, construction debris, and concrete and asphalt. The City of Escondido (“City”) previously submitted comments to County staff on October 14, 2019 expressing some concerns about the project, its operation, and its potential impact on the environment.  A second letter was sent on June 24, 2020.  City staff continues to monitor the project with the County and will follow-up as needed to ensure City comments are considered and reviewed as part of the decision-making process.  Based on the latest conversations with the County, it appears that the project will be considered within the next month.

Residential:

  1. Villa Portofino (Developer: Chris Post, ATC Design Group) 15 apartment units in a three-story building with parking garage at 2690 S. Escondido Blvd. – Revised plan resubmittals were received on July 30, 2020. The plans have been routed for referral department review.  An incomplete letter was issued last week.  City staff will work with the applicant to coordinate a response to the review letter.
  1. Henry Ranch (Builder: Joe Martin, Trumark Homes) An approved development of 97 single-family residential homes on 74.35 acres at the eastern terminus of Lincoln Avenue. The developer, Trumark, has completed 90 percent of the onsite water, storm drain and sewer utilities. Construction of the model homes is ongoing. Mass grading has been completed. Offsite work for the new traffic signal has started.
  1. Jack’s Creek TR 951 and SUB 17-0026 – (Developer New Pointe Development). A 12-lot, single-family residential subdivision on 3.31 acres.  The site is located at the westerly terminus of Jack’s Creek Road, north of El Norte Parkway, addressed as 640 Oakwood Creek Glen, formally 2888 E. Washington Avenue. The contractor has completed the grading for 10 of the 12 new home pads.  Offsite improvements will be starting this week.
  1. Interfaith Recuperative Care Facility – (Developer: Interfaith) 555 North Center City Parkway – Conversion of the existing lodging facility (America’s Best Value Inn) and construction of new residential care facility designed to provide quality emergency housing, services, and supervision to at-risk individuals, homeless, etc. A preliminary application meeting was conducted on June 16, 2020. As of this writing, a formal application has not been filed with the City. A CUP application was filed on July 31, 2020.  The plans have been routed for referral department review.  An incomplete letter was issued this week.  City staff will work with the applicant to coordinate a response to the review letter.  
  1. Iris Annexation (Developer Hallmark Communities) 2085 North Iris Lane – An annexation of 7.89 gross acres to build 75 new townhome units. The project site is part of an unincorporated County of San Diego island, located in the northern portion of the City. City Council authorized the processing of the annexation on June 3, 2020.  By processing the land use development application in the City of Escondido, the prospective annexation and General Plan Amendment would facilitate a residential development of the site with a density up to twelve (12) units per acre. The five parcels total approximately 6.43 net acres, and the applicant has indicated that a yield of approximately 75 units is expected.  An initial study, documenting potential areas of environmental impact has been submitted on August 6, 2020. The initial study has been forwarded for referral department review.  A response to that submittal will be issued this week.
  1. Hacienda De Vega Redevelopment – (Developer: Tony Cassolato) A proposed residential condominium development consisting of 42 three-story attached townhomes on 1.75 acres. The project has been tentatively scheduled for Planning Commission review and consideration on September 22, 2020. City staff is currently coordinating public notice and writing the staff report and recommended conditions of approval.
  1. The Villages at Escondido Country Club (Builder: Lennar Homes) 380 residences located on the former golf course off of Country Club Lane, north of El Norte Parkway. Work is continuing for the new round-about located at Country Club and Golden Circle, the scope of work includes new road realignment, curb, gutter, driveways. Work is continuing for the storm drain, sewer and street light installation.  Rough grading has started for Villages III. Plan review submittals have been filed for all three neighborhood (village) parks. The sales trailer has been installed and the builder is scheduling appointments for model home viewings.
  1. Pradera (Developer: Moses Kim, Lennar Homes) – This approved project consists of a 70-unit single-family development located at the northeastern corner of Ash   Street and Lehner Avenue.  Final conflict crossing issues have been designed and submitted to the City for review. The water main work included the construction and installation a 12” water main, 779 feet in length, along Conway Drive, between Lehner Drive and Rincon Avenue.   

City Projects or Other Capital Improvement Projects:

  1. SDG&E 16” Gas Main Replacement – In January 2019, the CPUC’s Safety Enforcement Division approved SDG&E’s test or replace plan for Line 1600, a 16-inch natural gas transmission pipeline which was not strength tested in 1949 when it was constructed. This next phase of PSEP projects will include 19 separate projects that will take place in the cities of San Diego, Escondido and Poway, as well as the County of San Diego. As part of these projects, approximately 37 miles of existing pipe in more populated areas will be replaced and approximately 13 miles of existing pipe in less populated areas will be strength tested. Approximately 5.4 miles of replacement and 2.7 miles of strength testing is expected to occur in Escondido from 2020-2024.  Installation of the new 16” gas main along the Midway corridor has been completed. The contractor is working at a tie in location at Midway and Valley with the main line installation in the county on Bear Valley Parkway.  Currently SDG&E is trying to coordinate an off-site staging area for their construction equipment and materials.
  1. Laurel Valley Wall Replacement - A preconstruction meeting was held last week for the Laurel Valley Wall Replacement. The wall is located in the City’s LMD Zone 9. The scope of work will include the removal of the existing damaged stucco wall and the placement of a new vinyl fence. The contractor will mobilize once the delivery date for the fence has been confirmed.
  1. Spruce Street/Transit Center Pedestrian Bridge Project – The contractor, Palm Engineering, has completed the application of the slurry treatment along Valley Parkway, Quince and Tulip. Final striping and sign installation will occur within the next two weeks. The Valley Parkway access ramp flex mat installation is scheduled start in the next two weeks. 
  1. Lake Wohlford Replacement Dam – A workshop has been schedule with the City Council for mid-September. City staff is also working to finalize the Environmental Impact Report and tentatively bring it forward to City Council for certification at their meeting on September 23, 2020. 

Ongoing Projects - No Updates This Week:
Projects that do not have any changes or updates this week will be listed here to indicate that they’re still in progress. When an update occurs, the project will appear above in the Development and Capital Projects section.

Commercial / Office / Industrial:

  1. Raising Cane’s Restaurant – (Developer: Ada Fermin, PM Design Group) 1280 W. Valley Parkway – Demolition of vacant, former Coco’s restaurant building and construction of new 3,744 SF drive-through restaurant for Raising Cane’s. 
  1. 7-Eleven Gas and Convenience Store – (Developer: Golcheh Group) 900 W. Mission Ave. – A proposal to relocate a 7-Eleven from the northeastern corner of Mission/Rock Springs to the northwestern corner and add a gas station.
  1. Mercedes Benz Expansion – (Developer: Jody Stout, Integrity Design and Construction) 1101 W. 9th Avenue – A Master and Precise Plan modification to demo the existing dealership showroom and construct a new showroom, office, parts storage and service building.
  1. Burros and Fries - (MPA Architects) 1107 E. Valley Parkway – An approved 5,224 square foot commercial building, with associated landscaping and parking.  The building includes a 1,850 square foot drive-through restaurant (Burros and Fries) and 3,374 square feet of additional retail space. 

Residential:

  1. Escondido Gateway, also called Rowan (Developer: Carolyn Hillgren, Lyon Living) This is an approved project involving 126 residential units on the same site as the former Police Station across the street from the Escondido Transit Center at 700 W. Grand. 
  1. Canyon Grove Estates Tract 932 (Developer: John Vance, Shea Homes) – This is an approved project for 179-lot single-family residential development on the north side of Vista Avenue east of Conway Drive. 
  1. Harvest Hills, formerly called Safari Highlands Ranch (Developer: Jeb Hall, Concordia Homes) - 550 residential subdivision, east of Rancho San Pasqual. A project webpage containing draft documents and plans can be accessed at the following link: 

https://www.escondido.org/safari-highlands-ranch-specific-plan.aspx

 

  1. North Avenue Estates (Developer: Casey Johnson) – This is an approved project for 34 lots at North Avenue/Conway Drive.
  1. Sager Ranch/Daley Ranch Resort Specific Plan (Developer: J. Whalen Associates, Inc., Sager Ranch Partners) - 203 housing units and 225-room resort hotel on 1,783-acres, just north and east of Daley Ranch. A project webpage containing draft documents and plans can be accessed at the following link:
    https://www.escondido.org/daley-ranch-resort-specific-plan.aspx
  1. Nutmeg Condo General Plan Amendment (Developer: Jim Simmons, CCI) - 137 townhome condo units on both sides of Nutmeg between I-15 and Centre City Parkway.
  1. Oak Creek (Builder: KB Homes) – this is an approved project for 65 single-family residential lots on approximately 44 acres at Felicita Road and Hamilton Lane.
  1. Del Prado (Developer: Kerry Garza, Touchstone Communities) – An approved 113-unit townhome-style Planned Development located at the southwestern corner of Brotherton Road and the Centre City Parkway frontage road.
  1. Casa Mercado Apartments (Developer: Paul Mayer, Pemcor) – A four-story, 120-unit apartment complex on 2.31 acres on Second Avenue and Pine Street.
  1. Iwashita Apartments (Developer: Iwashita Development) – A seven-story, mixed-use project at 322 S. Escondido Boulevard for 172 units. 
  1. Fig Apartments (Developer Claude Marengo) – A 15-unit, three-story, multi-family residential apartment complex consisting of three stories on 0.59 acres.
  1. East Valley Parkway Apartments (Developer: John Wurster) – A 50-unit mixed use affordable apartment complex consisting of four stories situated on a 21,000 SF vacant parcel in the historic District of the Downtown. 
  1. Reed Road Assisted Living Facility (2525 Reed LLC) – A new residential care facility is proposed on a 4.2-acre site on 2525 Reed Road.
  1. Apollo Residential Care (NOAA Group) – An approved Conditional Use Permit for an assisted living and memory care facility, with 78 units accommodating 99 beds at 3141 East Valley Parkway.
  1. Palomar Heights (Developer: Ninia Hammond, Integral Communities) – Demolition and redevelopment of the old Palomar Hospital site with 510 multi-family units with 10,000 SF of commercial. A project webpage containing draft documents and plans can be accessed at the following link: 
    https://www.escondido.org/palomarheights.aspx

City Projects or Other Capital Improvement Projects:

  1. 2019 Street Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project Rebid – This year’s project will resurface approximately 71-lane miles of pavement, replace 0.59- miles of sidewalk, and restripe 2.5- miles of bike lanes, install 51 pedestrian ramps, and replace 90 street trees that damaging concrete improvements. This year’s project is Maintenance Zone W. More information can be found at the following link:
    https://www.escondido.org/city-of-escondido-street-maintenance-program.aspx