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Escondido launches first public outreach phase of housing study

ESCONDIDO – The City of Escondido held its first public participation workshop last Thursday to gather input for its Housing and Community Investment Study, a work program that aims to identify and address the city’s housing needs.

The Housing and Community Investment Study is made up of three housing studies and plans that work hand-in-hand: A Housing Element Update, a Sector Feasibility Study, and an East Valley Specific Plan.

The city was awarded $310,000 through the Senate Bill 2 Planning Grant back in March to address a growing need new safe, decent and attainable housing in California, according to the staff report.

The Housing Element portion of the General Plan aims to create policies for new housing construction, rehabilitation and conservation of the existing affordable housing stock.

According to the report, this will “advance a progressive set of programs and initiatives to develop, conserve, and maintain housing opportunities, health in housing and fair housing choices for current and future residents.”

The Sector Feasibility Study explores costs associated with new construction to better understand market conditions while taking into account construction, land and regulatory costs.

The East Valley Specific Plan (EVSP) addresses a defined geographic area of the city located just east of the former, downtown hospital campus. This is a comprehensive planning and zoning plan for sites in the area that are ready for development.

Mike Strong, the director of community development for the City of Escondido, told The Coast News that, though the three studies are moving simultaneously, the EVSP will be more precise than the others.

“The EVSP is really looking at how that area of the city can transform itself between now and the next 20 years, and are we developing a package of rules that is understandable, but also, when implemented, helps achieve the vision that the community wants to see in that area,” Strong said.

Once all three studies are completed, the City Council will need to review them and implement policies based on findings from the Housing Element and from the EVSP.

Until then, the city says it is committed to working with development experts, community-based interest groups, stakeholders and the community at large through workshops, meetings and online engagement with the public.

The first virtual workshop was held on July 23 to discuss the EVSP and gather public input.

“We are trying to have one coordinated and cohesive outreach program that handles all engagement needs to determine what the goals and policies are, and how it will be systematically implemented in this specific area of the city,” Strong said. “That’s why we’ve created these opportunities for feedback.”

The Housing and Community Investment Study is expected to be completed by April 2021.

7 comments

Ray Carney July 30, 2020 at 11:33 am

Another issue (off topic) in this story which the Coast News should address regards to the Escondido Police Department. Quietly the Escondido Police Department decided to “encrypt” their police frequencies. After kneeling to protesters, they made the decision to disable “all accountability” from the public by blocking listeners with scanners form being informed about crime in their community. This move is denounced by the public and the ARRL (ham radio operators).

Let me explain how this affects you. Previously you had the ability to listen to police calls in Escondido LIVE either by a police scanner or by an application downloaded, now their accountability is gone, for a reason which I will address later.

Now cities like New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Atlanta do not encrypt these transmissions, why is “little” Escondido doing this, accountability.

I’ve been an avid listener for over (30) years and I have kept track of some of what goes on in this city, the city does not want you to know like at present, (3) drug related suicides happen daily. If the citizens of this city knew that after 11:00 pm, (8) out of every (10) traffic stops are people who are Hispanic, but that’s all they do at night, 11-49’s. I am sure the ACLU and MALDEF would want to know this fact.

So the City of Escondido has a lot of problems nobody wants you to know bout, hosing is just one of them, crime and the “secret society” of the badge is another.

The public HAS a right to know, otherwise, why should WE trust them?

Ray Carney July 30, 2020 at 10:54 am

And in Escondido, we have a serious problem. The “Three Amigo’s”, the Mayor and the other “two” other city council members. Remember, you voted for them, sure as hell I didn’t.

Ray Carney July 29, 2020 at 9:41 am

Robert: Rentals in Escondido usually are around 2% vacancy rates, today it’s less than 0.5%. I have worked with apartment managements in the enforcement aspect and the number one problem is over capacity and lease violations mostly on the East End properties. I can name off the top of my head at least SIX big East End properties now which are gang and drug infested, nobody wants to live there. Another example is that low income rental unit in Vista across the street from the Vista Transit Center. Suppose to be low income, more Mercedes, BMW’s and Hummers parked there, it’s a scam.

Christine: I agree, rents are way too high, I pay $1.330.00 for a studio on the West End but we don’t have to deal with all the nonsense. For decades, Sacramento has always favored one of the biggest lobby groups, the Apartment Associations, let them get away with just about anything. I have a saying “you can be born in Escondido, graduate from an Escondido school, go off to college and come back only to find you can’t afford to live in the town you were born and raised in”, shameful really. Yes our apartments are filled with migrants, a fact nobody wants to talk about, Sam Abed and Laurie Waldron did try to address the issue, only to be quashed by others. Escondido and the County Board of Supervisors favor the big developments, homes nobody can afford. I remember the 1980’s when Escondido had an apartment construction boom, Citrus Grove, Citrus Gardens, Eagles Point, The Willows, Riedy Creek just to name a few all were built during this period of time, today, nothing, and people wonder why California is losing over 180.000 residents and a large number of high paying job to other states.

Robert: I got me politically correct vaccine decades ago, I am immune to that specific disease, today I deal with facts and truths. Folks, want change, change your vote. A sign in Texas I saw, “Welcome to Texas, don’t vote California”. You keep putting these morons in power like Jerry “moonbeam, bullet train” Brown and Twosome Newsom in power, live with your choices.

Christine Griffin July 29, 2020 at 5:50 am

It seems to me, the only recent or up-and-coming housing in Escondido, are $2500 a month apartments or 2500-3000 sq. ft. houses, “Starting from the low 700’s”…none of which, sound reasonable to the majority of Escondido families. Pardon me, but your “Commitment to working with blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…” is laughable. It doesn’t take rocket science to know that the people want AFFORDABLE housing! I think, the people of Escondido could “workshop” until the cows come home. There’s no Kumbaya-ing, when it comes to city planning and the people’s wishes. You’ll do what you want, right after you pretend to care about what WE want.

Julie McNutt July 29, 2020 at 2:45 pm

Well said! And I believe your reply to be the truth!

Ray Carney July 28, 2020 at 11:09 am

East End? Gangs and illegal aliens.

Robert Johnson July 28, 2020 at 1:37 pm

Here comes Ray with his endlessly valuable input

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