CARLSBAD — One of the oldest portions of Carlsbad, the Barrio neighborhood can trace its founding back to 1918.
Around that time, immigrants fleeing the Mexican Revolution settled in tents on what is now the intersection of Roosevelt Street and Walnut Street. They worked in the nearby agriculture fields, and soon established local businesses and permanent homes.
The city is developing the first master plan for this historical neighborhood to guide development and new public amenities for years to come. The master plan will be joined with the updated master plan for Carlsbad’s downtown Village.
On Tuesday, City Council approved a $350,000 contract with consultant Dove, Kohl & Partners to draft the new master plan.
By developing a master plan that encompasses the adjacent neighborhoods, the city hopes to link the two’s business, entertainment, residential, and recreational assets in one walkable area, according to city staff.
Today the Barrio neighborhood lies west of Interstate 5 and south of Carlsbad Village Drive and mostly consists of small, one-story homes. Traces of its origins can be found at the Barrio museum, Mission Santiago, small shops with Spanish names, and a mural on the side of a convenience store on Oak Avenue.
“Our neighborhood is the oldest neighborhood in Carlsbad. It has a lot of culture and history,” said Barrio resident Ofelia Escobedo, adding that her family first moved to the neighborhood in 1943.
She said that she and other residents are looking forward to working with the consultants on the new master plan to enhance the area and preserve its historic origins.
Development of the master plan is anticipated to take a full year. The consultants will be hosting public input meetings during the process.
The city is already considering certain improvements for the Barrio, including enhancing Pine Avenue Park, undergrounding utilities and replacing streetlights.
The master plan will also give the city the tools necessary to increase the residential densities in the Barrio, which were approved by the Council in 2013.
The city has invested in revitalizing the Village for years, most recently by permitting curb cares and installing new decorative lighting and bicycle racks.