September 7, 2017

Originally Posted September 07, 2017

FEATURED THIS WEEK

City Staff Met with Residents Out in the Community
Last week City engineers met on location with three concerned citizens about the conditions of the intersection at 9th Avenue and Valley. City staff will evaluate their concerns at and see what can be resolved in the near future. The three residents appreciated that City engineers met with them and listened to their concerns in the field on such a warm day. 

 

Large Cross Country Meet This Weekend at Kit Carson
This Saturday, September 9, 2017 the Cross Country season starts up at Kit Carson Park.  This meet is one of the largest meets that we will take place in Kit Carson Park.  Schools from all over San Diego County and just outside of San Diego County will be visiting the City of Escondido and run one of the top Cross Country race courses in Southern California.  We can expect around 1200 High School aged cross country runners with another 1200 spectators in the Kit Carson Park area throughout the morning.  

Escondido Firefighters on Scene at the Ponderosa Fire
Engineers Dom Polito and Brad Bihun were deployed to the Ponderosa Fire in Butte County on August 31, 2017. They were both assigned in the Command staff of the incident management structure serving as Public Information Officers. The Ponderosa Fire has burned 4,016 acres destroying 46 structures and is currently 68% contained. On September 4, 2017 they were reassigned to the Mission Incident which is a 650-acre fire burning a few miles from North Fork (Near Yosemite).

 

SPECIAL EVENTS
Promoting Unity in Diversity – Maple Street Plaza
Saturday, Sept 9, 2017 from 4 to 6 p.m.
Presented by the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is Escondido
Free event with art presentations, dancing and children’s group. 

Herencia Mexicana - Grape Day Park
Saturday, September 9, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Mexican Heritage Festival with dancing groups and activities
Presented by USA Multicultural 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Jacked Up Brewery (located at 800 W. Grand in Escondido) will be featured this Friday on radio station FM 94.9’s “Rock ‘n Roll Happy Hour.” Tune in from 7-8 p.m. to hear on-air personality Jeremy talk with Jacked Up’s owners Mike and Carly Poulson and sample their award-winning craft beer on the air. 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

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:

  1. Escondido Research and Technology Center – East (ERTC) (Developer: James McCann) – A grading plan for a temporary parking lot to serve the hospital was approved June 13, 2016, and the parking lot is nearing completion. 
  1. Escondido Research and Technology Center – West (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. Last week the applicant submitted revised grading and landscape plans and a storm water management plan. 
  1. Centre City Commercial Center (Developer: Todd Dwyer) – Demolition has commenced on the site while plans are going through the expedited plan check process. The expedited plan check process for the grading, building and landscape plans and the final parcel started on July 25, 2017.  Planning and Engineering have returned grading, final map and landscape comments. A second plan check submittal meeting was scheduled for September 7, 2017. 

Industrial 

  1. Escondido Self-Storage Facility (Developer: Brandywine Homes, Inc.) – 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 is now trying to resolve easement issues on the site. 
  1. Innovative Industrial Development (Developer: Scott Merry, Badiee Development) – The grading plan is ready to approve and permit ready to issue once the cash deposit is posted and the fees are paid. 
  1. North American Self-Storage (Developer: Russ Colvin) – This project is participating in the expedited plan check program. The demo permit has been issued. Building plans were approved by Esgil, Planning and Fire the last week of June. The grading permit is ready to be issued once the cash deposit is posted and fees are paid.

City Projects 

  1. Micro-Filtration Reverse Osmosis (Developer: City of Escondido Utilities Department) – The lawsuit challenging the project approval has been settled and it is expected that a contract for engineering design will be considered soon. 
  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. Staff and AECOM are now in the process of coordinating responses to the comments that were received during the public review period. 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. 

Institutional

  1. Escondido United Reformed Church (Developer: Brent Cooper) – 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 and Fire.  Planning, Engineering and Utilities are still in review. 
  1. Self-Realization Fellowship Center (Developer: John Pyjar, Domusstudio Architecture – 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 and routed to other departments for comments. 

Residential 

  1. Citron (formerly Stella Park) Condominiums (Developer: William Lyon Homes) – 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. 
  1. Wohlford (Developer: Jack Henthorne) – The Draft EIR has been posted on the city website and released for a 45-day public review period that ended on May 12, 2017. The EIR consultant provided the responses to public comments and a Final EIR has been provided to the Planning Division. 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. 
  1. Safari Highlands Ranch (SHR) (Developer: Jeb Hall, Concordia Homes) – 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 revised studies have been loaded on the City’s website at the following link: Safari Highlands Ranch Specific Plan - City of Escondido
  1. 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. 
  1. Escondido Gateway (Developer: Carolyn Hillgren, Lyon Living) – 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. 
  1. The Villages at Escondido Country Club (Developer: Jason Han, New Urban West, Inc.) – 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 commenced on June 28, 2017, and was extended by one-week ending on August 18, 2017. Staff and the EIR consultant hosted an open house on July 31, 2017, to provide information related to the Draft EIR and accept written comments. 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. This information along with project status and other related information can be accessed at the following link: ECC - City of Escondido
  1. Ivy/Valley Parkway Mixed-Use Development (Developer: Abad Rahan Pars Inc./ Norm Wieme, Architect: 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. 
  1. North Avenue Estates (34 lots) (Developer: Casey Johnson) – 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. City staff is currently reviewing survey feedback from surrounding property owners to determine next steps with LAFCO. The applicant is reviewing drainage issues with the Engineering Division. 
  1. Aspire and The Ivy (Developer: Addison Garza, Touchstone Communities) – The project consists of three separate downtown sites proposed for mixed-use, residential and parking garage project 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. 

Building Division

  1. A total of 18 solar photovoltaic permits were issued for the week. The Building Division has issued 631 solar permits this year, to date, compared to 844 issued during the same time last year. 
  1. Our building inspectors responded to 166 inspection requests for the week. 
  1. Building has issued 148 single family dwelling permit this year and 224 multi-family units. This compares with 54 single family dwellings and 88 multi-family dwellings for the same time last year. 
  1. Projects nearing permit issuance are:
    • 917 W Lincoln, 3 new apartment buildings, 9 units.
    • 700 W Grand Ave Gateway project (former police building)
  1. The construction of the City Plaza three-story mixed use building at 300 S. Escondido Blvd. has completed the framing portion of the project and is requesting and is requesting drywall and drop ceiling inspection. Exterior lath is being installed. 
  1. The Meadowbrook, three-story apartment building with underground garage at 2081 Garden Valley Glen is preparing the building for final inspection. 
  1. Escondido Disposal has received final inspection approval for the administration and recycling buildings and Phase II of their construction is set to begin next week. 
  1. The medical office building at 2125 Citracado Pkwy has completed the 2nd and 3rd floor concrete slabs and is requesting framing inspection. 
  1. The medical office building at 1951 Citracado Pkwy has received approval for roof sheathing and exterior lath. Plans have been approved for the tenant improvement portion of the project. 
  1. The Westminster Seminary at 1725 Bear Valley Pkwy has received inspection approval for floor sheathing on several buildings. 
  1. 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. 
  1. The new Veterans Village project at 1540 S Escondido Blvd has received underground plumbing, partial foundation and masonry inspections for the residential buildings. 
  1. Demolition of the old Wagon Wheel restaurant and motel at 427 W. Mission Avenue is nearing completion. 
  1. Partial foundation inspections have been approved at 999 N. Broadway for the new supermarket shell building. Exterior masonry walls are now being constructed. 
  1. 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. 
  1. Permits were issued for 16 new single-family homes for the Shea Homes Canyon Grove development.

Code Enforcement

Business Licensing

 

Public Works Operations

Graffiti Restitution 

ENGINEERING
Capital Improvements 

East Valley Pkwy/Valley Center Road Widening Project
This project will widen the bridge over Escondido Creek north of Lake Wohlford Road, widen Valley Center Road, add medians and landscaping, and construct sidewalk from Beven Drive to the northern City limit.  This project bid on May 25, 2017 and was award by the City Council at the July 12, 2017 meeting.  The signed contract was received on August 8, setting into motion the preconstruction meeting. Staff is developing a web site link which will provide information regarding project status and project contact information. The link is now available on the City’s website.   

Hamilton Lane Pavement Restoration:
Engineering Services is working in cooperation with the Utilities Services to address a large section of roadway on Hamilton Lane between Bernardo Avenue and Orange Avenue. This roadway was resurfaced this past week with final manholes and infrastructure work being completed within 14 days. 

Neighborhood Lighting Project:
The contract has been reviewed and signed, a preconstruction meeting will now be scheduled. 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. 

Private Development

Pradera - Lennar Communities
No changes to report. Phase 7 homes are being released for occupancy this week. 

Lexington Model Homes - KB Homes
Constructing of new sewer main and water main along Lehner Avenue between Ash Street and Vista Avenue is continuing this week. 

Citron Project by William Lyon Homes
No changes from that reported last week: The project is idle at this time; the project is located 2516 S. Escondido Boulevard. 

Tract 932 - Canyon Grove Shea Homes Community
Grading for concrete curb and gutter improvements along interior streets along with placing base asphalt pavement is being completed this week.    

Latitude II Condominiums by a Lyon Homes Partnership: Washington Avenue at Centre City Parkway
The construction of the onsite water main is continuing this week. The signal mast arm has been delivered for the Centre City Parkway/Washington signal modification. The installation of the pole and mast arm will occur on September 13, 2017 during a night time operation.       

Veterans Village
The project’s onsite water improvement is continuing this week with work being performed in 13th Avenue.  

Tract 877 – Bernardo Ave. by Ambient Communities
The onsite construction of the sidewalks and driveway approaches is being completed this week. 

Palomar Medical Center
Parking lot striping and landscaping of the site is the next phase of construction.  The parking lots will open on Monday, September 11, 2017 all on-street parking will be terminated at that time. 

Victory Industrial Park
The grading operation has resumed with the importing of material. The project is located at 2005 Harmony Grove Road and is 5.4 acres in size. 

Centerpoint Project
The offsite water line improvements are continuing this week. Three water main hot taps were performed on Tuesday of this week along Lincoln Avenue.  The project is located at 999 Broadway. 

Spring Hill Suites Hotel/ La Terraza Boulevard
The grading operation in continuing this week. Water related construction is occurring in La Terraza Boulevard this week. 

Centre City Parkway Shopping Center:
The demolition of the hotel and restaurant buildings is nearing completion. The project is located at the corner of Mission Avenue and Centre City Parkway. 

Escondido Disposal Facility:
The last phase of the facility remodel has begun with the demo and removal of existing onsite facilities. 

FIRE

Inspections:

 

News:

  • Through the Labor Day weekend, the Escondido Fire Department had 9 personnel assisting the more than 7,500 firefighters that are battling 25 large wildfires in California.
  • On Thursday, August 31, 2017 the Fire Department sent Brush Engine 133 with four Escondido personnel to be part of a Strike Team made up of five Brush Engines from north San Diego County Fire Departments. The Strike Team is being led by Escondido Fire Battalion Chief Bertrand and Captain Matthews and was deployed to the Railroad Fire in the Sierra National Forest. As of today, the fire has burned 9,790 acres and is 23% contained.

  • Captain Tom Hankins has also been assigned to this fire in an “overhead” position as a Fireline Paramedic since August 31, 2017. His job includes providing logistical medical support to firefighters on the fire lines. It is likely that our personnel will be assigned to this fire for several more days.
  • The City of Escondido Fire Department has three members on the regional FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Team that was sent to Texas last week. The Search and Rescue team has three platoons and our members were not among those sent on the assignment. If the response commitment continues for another week or two, there is a possibility that our people will be sent as relief.
  • This Friday, September 8, 2017, Cruisin’ Grand is hosting First Responders Night from 5-9 p.m. There will be a Code 3 parade on Grand Avenue at 7 p.m. featuring Escondido Police, Fire and SWAT. There will be other city agencies participating with a 1901 horse-drawn steamer an estimated 18-20 engines, a hose wagon and a 32’ piece of steel recovered from the World Trade Center. Police/SWAT will be doing demos near their Command Van and Fire will be giving free rides on the Engines! It is a fantastic, free event open to the public.
  • In honor of 9/11, all Escondido Fire Department personnel will be wearing their 9/11 badge from September 1st through the 30th.
  • On September 1, 2017, The Fire Department lowered our flags to half-staff at our fire stations and are shrouding our badges until further notice in honor of Chief Helming, a veteran firefighter who was fatally injured in a traffic collision on August 31, 2017 while returning from his assignment at the Railroad Fire incident. Chief Helming was a 22-year veteran of the U.S. Forest Service and served in a variety of roles, most recently as a Battalion Chief stationed in Santa Maria at the Los Padres National Forest. 

POLICE

INCIDENTS:

  • On 8/30/17 at 03:15 hours, two unknown suspects approached a victim near the fountain at Grape Day Park.  During this time, the suspects ordered the victim to give them his money and gestured like they had a weapon (victim believed weapon was a knife).  No weapons seen.  The loss was the victim’s wallet.  The suspects were described as two black males in their 20s.  One was wearing a white hoodie and the other was wearing a black tank top.
  • On 08/30/17, at 11:51 hours, a public works truck and trailer were stolen from the area of Stanley and Conway at El Norte Park.  The trailer had lawn equipment in it (lawn mower, edger, irrigation tools).  The suspect is described as being a heavy set male, mid 20’s no shirt, and was seen working on a green two door sedan without a hood.  The suspect got in to the City truck and drove off with the green car following.
  • On 8/30/17 at 12:30 hours, deputies initiated a pursuit of a pickup truck that had collided with an undercover San Diego Sherriffs Office vehicle in San Marcos.  At some point, two occupants of the truck bailed out of the vehicle somewhere on Highway 78, and were ultimately taken into custody.  The female passenger, now driving, collided with at least six other vehicles in San Diego Sherrifs Office jurisdiction before she entered Escondido and collided into the back of a box truck at the intersection of Auto Park Way and Andreasen Drive.  The female sustained facial lacerations.  She was arrested by deputies and transported to Palmor Medical Center.  The driver of the truck complained of pain and was also transported by medics for treatment.
  • On 08/31/17, at 07:30 hours, a 15 year old female was walking to school alone.   A Hispanic Male Adult suspect approached the victim from behind and bear hugged her while grabbing her neck.  The victim struggled with the suspect and was able to get away.  She reported the incident to a nearby resident who was able to get a photo of the suspect. 
  • On 8/31/17 at. 20:25 hours, officers were dispatched to Palomar Medical Center referencing an assault victim.  It was discovered that the assault took place at 1141 N. Escondido Blvd.  The victims were brothers, and the suspect was a friend.  The suspect was intoxicated and began arguing with one of the brothers.  The suspect then armed himself with an aluminum baseball bat and struck both brothers, causing injuries requiring treatment at Palmoar Medical Center.  The suspect fled the scene and was not located.
  • On 8/31/17 at 23:00 hours, a victim stopped at the 7-11 at 9th/Pine.  As she got into her car and began to back out, her rear window shattered from a bottle thrown by her boyfriend.  The victim got out of her car to confront him, but quickly got back in to leave due to his erratic/violent behavior.  As the victim began to drive away, the suspect jumped on the hood of the moving car causing the windshield to shatter.  The suspect was arrested and transported to Palmoar Medical Center for his injuries from the broken glass and chemically sedated due to his violent behavior at the hospital.
  • On 8/31/17 at 23:45 hours, an person called stating her son broke her bathroom window with his hand.  She stated he fled the scene and was bleeding heavily.  Officers located him at Rose/Washington.  Upon contacting him, the male was uncooperative and tried to run.  Several officers quickly caught up to him and tried to take him to the ground.  Amador violently resisted and kicked one officer and scratched another.  During the struggle, pepper spray was deployed and inadvertently struck a third officer.  The suspect was taken to Palmoar Medical Center and chemically sedated due to his combativeness.  After medical clearance, he was booked into the Vista Jail.  None of the officers involved required medical attention.
  • On 9/1/17 at 22:00 hours, an unknown Hispanic male suspect broke into the residence at 1056 N. Ash via an upper level window and began to ransack the bedroom.  The victims were home and called the police from a locked downstairs bedroom.  Units arrived, along with ASTREA.  Following a lengthy foot pursuit, the suspect was able to evade all police resources.
  • On 9/2/17 at 05:15 hours, officers responded to a broadcast of a stolen BMW X1.  An officer located the vehicle in the area of Via Rancho and Beethoven.  Officers initiated a vehicle stop in the area of Beethoven and Huckleberry.  A high risk vehicle stop was conducted, and both occupants were arrested without incident.
  • On 08/30/17 at 11:51 hours, a public works truck and trailer were stolen from the area of Stanley and Conway at El Norte Park.  On 09/01/17 at 15:02 hours, Detectives sent a email with photos of the suspects and suspect vehicle associated with the theft.  On 09/02/17 at 10:33 hours, an officer observed the vehicle traveling on El Norte Pkwy. occupied by two suspects (male & female) matching the photos in the email.  The officer followed the vehicle to 450 W. El Norte Pkwy. (AM/PM) where it stopped for fuel.  Both subjects were stopped and taken into custody without incident.  Two large packs of keys for city vehicles and facilities were recovered from the suspect vehicle.  The female ended up not being the original female suspect from the earlier theft.  Investigation is ongoing.  Additionally, the City truck and trailer were recovered. 

COPPS:

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.  

  • 5 arrests were made
  • 32 citations were issued
  • Nurses from San Diego County Health and Human Services gave out 16 Hep A vaccinations to homeless
  • Gave a presentation at the monthly county Code Enforcement Officers association on what the COPPS Unit does and some of the strategies we are using to manage the homeless issue in the city 

EVENTS:

Prepared by ret. Lt Al Owens - The Police Athletic League took 50 Mission Middle School children to a Padres game on August 30th.  The seats were fantastic.  The seats were at field level and one of the kids caught a ball thrown into the stands by one of the players.  Most of the kids had never been to a game in their lives and none of them had ever been this close to the field during the game.  PAL provided a sack lunch for the kids.  This was money well spent by PAL.   The kids had the experience of a lifetime.  One kid looked at me and said “Thank-you so much for this Officer Al.  I don’t know how we can ever pay you back for this.”  These are mostly low income children and on the walk back to the bus one of the kids gave his last dollar to a homeless man playing the saxophone.  Great kids.