FEATURED THIS WEEK

Scooter Competition Draws National Crowd
On Saturday, September 1st, the Escondido Sports Center hosted another successful scooter competition called the ESCOOTER Pro/Am Competition. Hundreds of spectators enjoyed watching a total of 87 scooter riders compete in 6 different skill levels from Jr. Beginner up to the Professional Division.  Riders traveled from as far away as Indiana, Arizona, and Nevada, along with our local scooter riders, to compete for prizes and the Professional cash purse. The entire event was professionally live streamed by The Shop Pro Scooter Lab.  This all day competition was planned and coordinated by our Sports Center staff.

East Valley Parkway Widening Project Moving On to Next Phase
Overnight on Thursday (9/6) the contractor will be shifting lane closures associated with the East Valley Parkway widening project, located between Beven Drive and the northerly City limits.  This third phase of traffic control will support completion of the final phase of the project construction.  Making use of the recently widened roadway, two through lanes will be provided in each direction during non-working hours.  Information on the project progress and schedule can be found at https://www.escondido.org/east-valley.aspx

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

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:

  1. 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. 
  1. 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. Preparation of the environmental documents is underway. 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. 

Industrial 

  1. Escondido Self-Storage Facility (Developer: Brandywine Homes, Inc.) 2319 Cranston Dr. – Updated building plans were resubmitted into plan check on July 24, 2018. 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. 
  1. 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.

City Projects 

  1. 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 meeting was held on August 14, 2018, to discuss the RFQ that will be released to solicit a Design/Build firm. 
  1. 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. 

Institutional

  1. 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. 

Residential 

  1. 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 two weeks ago to discuss some of the proposed revisions. 
  1. 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. Staff is currently reviewing revised plans submitted by the applicant on April 5, 2018. Planning staff met with the applicant on June 27, 2018 to discuss remaining issues. The applicant has occasionally engaged in discussions with staff since that time. 
  1. 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 and the final map have been provided by Engineering
    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
  1. 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. 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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 and an ambulance turnaround. 
  1. 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. Fire and Utilities have provided comments on latest site constraints exhibit that was received on July 23, 2018. There appear to be substantial conflicts with existing utilities adjacent to the channel.  A project redesign is likely needed to resolve Fire and Utility issues. 
  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 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. 
    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 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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. A Response Plan for remediation of a small area of hazardous soil was submitted to Planning on August 1, 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. 
  1. 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 will be required to serve the project. 
  1. 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. 
  1. Accessory Dwelling Units – Planning staff is currently working on nine applications for accessory dwelling units. 16 accessory dwelling units have been approved so far this year. Three accessory dwelling units were approved last year.

Building Division:

The following graph shows the value of permits collected year-to-date compared to last year at this time.

The following graph shows the number of permits issued year-to-date compared to last year at this time.

 

  1. The Building Division issued 55 permits (including 19 solar photovoltaic) with a total valuation of $2,581,302. 
  1. Our building inspectors responded to 217 inspection requests for the week. 
  1. 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. 
  1. The Westminster Seminary at 1725 Bear Valley Pkwy so far has received final inspection approval for all buildings except for Buildings E & G. No Change from the previous. 
  1. The Emanuel Faith Church at 639 E 17th Ave is preparing for final inspection and temporary electrical service has been released. The foundation and underground electric for the parking lot site lights have been approved.  No Change from the previous. 
  1. Roof mounted A/C units are being installed at the Veterans Village project at 1540 S Escondido Blvd. 
  1. The new drive thru restaurant at 720 N Center City Pkwy is requesting rough framing inspection for the tenant improvement portion of the building. The new retail building at 730 N Center City Pkwy has requested inspection of the interior slab. 
  1. The Latitude 2 apartment project at 650 Center City Pkwy has completed framing at Building 1 and fire rated construction is being inspected at Building 2. No Change from the previous. 
  1. The new two story church sanctuary building at 1864 N Broadway has completed the roof sheathing and second floor pan deck. 
  1. 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. 
  1. The new 63-unit condominium project, Citron, at 2516 S Escondido Blvd has received underground plumbing inspection approval for Buildings 3 and 4. 
  1. The new 105 room hotel at 200 La Terraza is requesting rough framing inspection of the 2nd floor framing. 
  1. The 4 story, 102,774 sf storage building at 222 W Mission Ave is requesting rough framing inspection of the first floor office. 
  1. The new five-story storage building at 852 Metcalf St has foundation piers, interior foundations and elevator footings completed, pending inspection approval. No Change from the previous. 
  1. 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. 
  1. Permits were issued for nine new single-family residences for Bernardo Tract 877 and one new home for KB homes near Vista Avenue. 
  1. Permits were issued for eight electric vehicle charging stations at 1051 W. El Norte Parkway. 
  1. Building plans were submitted this week for a new 20,136 square foot two-story office building at 1564 W. Mission Avenue.

Code Enforcement

Business Licenses

Graffiti Restitution

ENGINEERING 

Capital Improvements 

Valley Pkwy/Valley Center Road Widening Project: Calendar Day 287
The traffic signal contractor drilled a replacement foundation for a traffic signal pole located at the northeast corner of Lake Wohlford Drive and Valley Center Road intersection. The landscape contractor is continuing with the installation and testing of the irrigation system along the west side of the project. The first trees were delivered to the site this past week.  The prime contractor is completing the construction of the storm drain box on Lake Wohlford Road. Water quality testing passed on the main line crossing of Valley Center Road. This line will service a fire hydrant and irrigation water meter 1,000’ north of the Lake Wohlford Road intersection. The next phase of the project is tentatively scheduled to begin later this week. The work will be performed during a night operation. The work will realign traffic flow to ether sides of the new roadway. As part of the realignment, two lanes of travel will be provided for both North and South bound vehicle movements during non-working 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 is continuing this week with the signal foundation at the Woodward Avenue and Broadway intersection.     

PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT   

Centre City Shopping Center
Contractor has completed most of the onsite paving. Tenant improvements have started. Offsite improvements, including median island replacements and roadway resurfacing, are scheduled for next week. 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:
No changes from that reported last week: The contractor is constructing roadway grade along Centre City Parkway. Concrete for the curb and gutter along Centre City parkway was placed last week. 

Exeter Industrial Park
No change from that reported last week.  The contractor is continuing with the construction of the on-site bio retention basins this 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. 

Citron Project
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. 

Gateway Project
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 is set for 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.  

KB Homes
Placement of the concrete driveways for the 3 homes along the North side of Vista Avenue has been completed. A water quality design element required for this project is being installed this week. It will require the removal and replacement of portions of recently constructed curb and gutter along the new roadway.    

FIRE

 

Mutual Aid Updates

  • On Sunday, August 12th The City of Escondido Fire Department deployed Captain Paulson as a Strike Team Leader and OES 8632 (Captain Worden, Engineer Schmeiser and Firefighter Paramedics Passmore and Tlapala) to the Holy Fire in Lake Elsinore. On Wednesday, August 15th they were reassigned to the Mendocino Complex. They all returned home safely on Monday, August 27th.
  • On Tuesday, August 21st The City of Escondido Fire Department deployed Captain Matthews as a Field Observer to the Stone Fire in the Modoc National Forest. He returned home safely on Wednesday, August 29th.
  • On Monday, August 27th The City of Escondido Fire Department deployed Captain Portman as a Line Medic to the Donnell Fire in Tuolumne County, CA and the Stanislaus National Forest. He returned home safely on Saturday, September 1st. 

POLICE

INCIDENTS:

  • On 8-26-2018, Officer Brett Byler saw a felony warrant subject driving a vehicle in the area of 7th Ave. and Spruce St.  When Officer Byler activated his emergency lights, the subject stopped his vehicle and ran into the backyard of a home in the 700 block of S. Tulip.  Officers conducted a search of the area and located the subject hiding in a yard.  After a brief foot chase the subject was taken into custody. The subject was booked into the Vista Detention Facility for the felony warrant.  
  • On 8-26-2018, officers responded to the area of Washington Ave. and Fig St. reference a hit and run accident.  The victim driver stated he was initially struck by the suspect driver in the area of Mission Ave. and Ash St.  The victim driver pursued the suspect driver to the intersection of Fig St. and Washington Ave, where the suspect driver struck a pedestrian walking his dog.  The suspect vehicle came to rest in a nearby yard.  The pedestrian suffered minor injuries and was transported to the Palomar Medical Center.  The dog also sustained minor injuries and was taken to a veterinary hospital.  The intersection was closed off while public works responded with a street sweeper for several hundred nails that had fallen out of the suspect vehicle and into the street.  The suspect and his passengers fled the scene on foot and were not located.  The investigation is ongoing.  
  • On 8-26-2018, officers responded to a call of a hit and run accident with the reporting party following the suspect driver.  Officers were able to catch up to the vehicles and located the reporting party and suspect vehicle, a black Dodge Challenger, in the area of Valley Pkwy. and Broadway St. and conducted an enforcement stop.  The officers were conducting an investigation when the reporting party pointed out another black Dodge Challenger driving westbound on Valley Pkwy.  The reporting party realized the second Dodge Challenger was the actual vehicle involved in the initial collision.  At that moment, the driver of the second Dodge Challenger collided into the rear of Officer McCollough’s patrol vehicle.  The driver of the first Dodge Challenger was released from the scene.  The driver of the second Dodge Challenger was determined to be intoxicated and arrested for driving under the influence and hit and run.  

  • On 8-29-2018, a customer at the Richardson’s RV Center in Menifee observed a suspicious male sneak into a large motorhome and drive away.  Thinking the motorhome had just been stolen, the customer followed the motorhome and called Richardson’s RV.   Employees from Richardson’s RV confirmed the motorhome was stolen and jumped into a pickup and attempted to catch up with the customer and the stolen motorhome.  The general manager heard of the theft and got into another vehicle and attempted to catch up with the employees, customer and stolen motorhome.  Eventually, the general manager caught up with the stolen motorhome and trailing convoy of vehicles.  Officers from the California Highway Patrol became involved and assumed the primary position in the pursuit as the customer, employees and general manager trailed behind. The number of vehicles in the pursuit grew as other agencies and a helicopter assisted with the ruckus.  The pursuit took over an hour to reach Escondido due to all three “pop-outs” being fully extended on the motorhome.  The driver ultimately exited 9th Ave. stopped in the Target Center.  The driver, a transient male from the Menifee area, complied with officers from the California Highway Patrol, existed the motorhome and was taken into custody without further incident.   

  • On 8-25-2018, Officers Visconti and Jabro responded to a call of multiple shots being fired in the 1700 block of E. Grand Ave.  The call resulted in a warrant arrest and a second arrest of a person for being in possession of a high cap magazine.  At that time, Officer Visconti made a mental note of a vehicle associated with the residence.  On 8-30-2018, Officer Visconti saw the vehicle and conducted an enforcement stop for a traffic violation.  During the stop, the driver was found to be in possession of a Tec-9 assault pistol, high capacity magazines and several hundred rounds of ammunition.  

COPPS:

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. 

  • 2 arrests were made
  • 9 citations were issued