Carlsbad City Council OKs revisions to naming policies

CARLSBAD — City Council unanimously approved revisions to Council Policy 48, which will change the naming rights of parks and municipal facilities.Although Council Policy 48 already addresses naming rights, staff was asked to make some specific changes, which was recommended and approved by the Parks and Recreation Commissions before a presentation to the City Council.

“The purpose of the Naming Rights of Parks and Municipal Facilities policy is to create and establish criteria and procedures for naming or renaming, encourage philanthropic giving, provide guidance to the applicant, and present a clear and consistent framework for the evaluation of naming requests,” said Mick Calarco, recreation services manager. “This agenda bill introduces amendments to the policy for council’s consideration.”

One new features of the policy, he said, will direct a city department to provide its own naming inventory be it a park, facility or an amenity within that facility. So, if an inquiry comes up a list will be on hand.

The two different types of naming opportunities are: a memorial or honorific naming, and the other, naming rights.

Calarco clarified that naming rights are generally an exchange of financial contribution following an applicant’s approval of criteria.

The memorial or honorific naming, which must also be consistent with the city’s policy language typically, would not have a financial contribution. For this naming, an application can be filed, but there is a one-year waiting period.

One main revision was having a naming agreement. “One of the things that we found when staff was looking into various naming policies was that sometimes names are put on facilities or parks without really outlining what the expectations are,” he said. “The agreement will clearly address rights and benefits, the term or duration of the naming, renewal options, if any, and in the case of naming rights proposals, a fair market value assessment of the naming opportunity.”

In some cases, new names would be sought out if the existing one may no longer be relevant. Calarco said this would also create more city revenue for the naming rights category and could help save taxpayer monies used for construction and operation of city parks and buildings.

Back in the summer of 2009, staff approached the city council about a baseball field at Poinsettia Park to be posthumously renamed in honor of the regarded young athlete, Mitchell Thorp. The city council agreed to, “Thorp Field” while pinpointing areas in the naming right policies which needed review and possible revisions.

Staff said that the city council expressed a more clearly defined policy.

Calarco said that council policies are reviewed periodically to ensure that the content is relevant, meaningful, and timely.

Staff did their own research and analysis on “best practices” in how other cities handled naming rights. Their studies branched out into areas such as Costa Mesa, Seattle and Vancouver.

Following several drafts, final clear-cut changes were made.

Areas with more defined clarifications include policy titles, facilities eligible for naming, types of naming rights, criteria for naming rights, renaming, criteria for memorial or honorific naming, and an appeals process.

“Memorial or honorific naming provides a sense of community pride and connectedness based on an individual’s exceptional contributions to the City of Carlsbad,” Calarco said.

Calarco said that the proposed naming policy allows individuals, groups or community organizations to rename a park, facility, or amenity within that facility under certain defined circumstances. Part of the protocol is a review process.

“Renaming or adding a new name will be considered when an existing contract has expired, the facility is replaced, substantially renovated, or developed for another use,” he said.

The application process is free of cost. At this current time, no name changes have been requested.



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