The power of defense

During the Super Bowl, the Denver Broncos shined a spotlight on the power of defense. Carlsbad knows all about playing defense.

Over the last nine months, we’ve defended the right of Carlsbad residents to hold a vote on a proposal to build a mall on our Agua Hedionda Lagoon.

We’ve defended ourselves from the prospect of nearly 13 million visitors clogging Interstate 5 and the east-west traffic all along Cannon Road.

We’ve defended our award-winning city planning process as an LA developer tries to skirt those standards for 15 years.

We’ve defended our right to access the surface waters and the beaches of the lagoon.

On Feb. 23, when all the votes are counted, we will learn if our defense will prevail.

With two weeks remaining, we encourage every Carlsbad voter to educate themselves on the perils of the proposed lagoon mega mall, and then walk in that voting booth and exercise your right to control your city.

Listen to independent, uncompromised voices who have long had Carlsbad’s back like former Planning Director Michael Holzmiller, former City Attorney Ron Ball, current Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation board member Eric Munoz, current school board trustee Kathy Rallings, former school board trustees and chairs Mark S. and Ann Tanner, and former Carlsbad Unified School Board Trustee John Roach.

The Scare Tactic: Something worse will be built on this site, like 500 homes or a WalMart. No. If we don’t approve Measure A, Carlsbad’s General Plan and existing planning processes prohibit this and something worse than this. And what other developer would want to risk $8 million to override the city’s planning processes after this proposal is defeated?

The Truth: Measure A will bring nearly 13 million annual visitors and more than 35,000 new vehicle trips per day. Adding a few stoplights will not improve traffic — even if the stoplights are coordinated. True freeway improvements are years away. Caltrans says it hasn’t even started drafting plans for widening the I-5 bridge across the lagoon. Estimated completion times have been pushed back from 2035 to 2040. Many of us will not live to see the road improvements proponents of Measure A claim will relieve the congestion.

Past Caruso Affiliated projects have promised “traffic mitigation,” but the reality is those communities live with the same traffic gridlock we can expect here.

• All five freeway segments from Carlsbad Village Drive to La Costa Avenue are worse with the mall development according to Caruso Affiliated’s own traffic study. (Appendix N, Traffic Impact Analysis, p. 56). At Cannon Road, Caruso Affiliated’s own estimate is 135 percent worse.

• Caltrans work on I-5 is focused in 2016 on re-striping an existing braking lane as a carpool or high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane. Work begins at the Manchester interchange and will proceed north.

• Around 2035 when the Cannon Road ramps are redone, those improvements will not include a possible HOV access ramp, because that would require Caruso Affiliated to give up six acres adjacent to the highway.

• It would become the first mall in Carlsbad with one way in and one way out.

Measure A supporters contend the traffic won’t be bad because the mall will serve Carlsbad residents not outsiders. Lets do the math. If you need 13 million visitors to have a successful mall, you are assuming that Carlsbad’s 110,000 residents will visit the mall 118 times each year? Put another way, every Carlsbad resident would have to visit the mall each weekend, plus 66 additional times on week days throughout the year.

For a mall, high traffic means high revenues. Lower traffic means lower revenues. Low traffic and high revenues is a myth. Caruso Affiliated can’t have it both ways.

Carlsbad residents don’t deal in myths. We have a long tradition of defending the community we love.

A real citizens’ initiative gave our community its growth management plan in 1986, laying the foundation for the Carlsbad we enjoy today. It was the 2006 citizen’s initiative that protected the land around the lagoon, permanently saving the open space and the agricultural heritage of Carlsbad. In 2016, the people of Carlsbad believe even more in these values and in our community. Vote No on Measure A. Save Carlsbad.

De’Ann Weimer is president of Citizens For North County No On Measure A with major funding by Westfield LLC.

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