OCEANSIDE — City Council voted in closed session April 3 not to oppose the Quarry Creek development that will bring 656 houses to Carlsbad and additional traffic to Oceanside.
The housing development, proposed for a 156-acre site south of state Route 78 and west of College Boulevard along the Carlsbad and Oceanside border, has received numerous citizen protests for its size and location next to an open space preserve.
Councilmen Jerry Kern, Gary Felien and Jack Feller cast the three no votes that stopped the city from moving forward with a lawsuit to oppose the project.
“We, in all likelihood, would lose the case,” Felien said. “When staff made a list of requests to be mitigated, Carlsbad agreed to every single one of the requests. Litigation wasn’t going to gain us anything more to offset the impacts.”
Felien said he feels Oceanside’s interests are protected with Carlsbad’s promise to move a fire station closer to the planned development and require the developer to construct roads to mitigate traffic.
“I have no issue on how Carlsbad decides its own land use issues, how big or small a project is, or what should be a greenbelt or what shouldn’t be a greenbelt,” Felien added. “It’s not my job.”
Mayor Jim Wood and Councilwoman Esther Sanchez supported taking action against the high-density development that is not in a “smart growth” area.
Wood said he is not satisfied with Carlsbad’s agreement to have the developer construct roads to mitigate an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 additional trips of traffic a day.
“Everything will pour onto College Boulevard and Lake, with the new (Carlsbad) high school going in it’s going to be devastating,” Wood said.
“I’m embarrassed to sit on this council anymore,” Wood added. “They (Kern, Felien and Feller) represent developers and Carlsbad.”
Sanchez expressed concerns that the development would lower Oceanside residents’ quality of life.
“The Carlsbad housing project 100 percent impacts Oceanside residents,” Sanchez said. “We demanded certain fixes for traffic, a lower number of units. Above 200 is unjust.”
Wood said he would not take individual action to oppose the development. He added that the 2014 City Council election would give residents an opportunity to have their say about councilmembers’ decisions.