Carlsbad proposal receives mostly good reviews

Carlsbad proposal receives mostly good reviews
More than 150 residents attended a public forum hosted by the city of Carlsbad on Thursday at its Faraday facility. Photo by Steve Puterski

CARLSBAD — In front of a packed house, the city, a developer and environmentalists detailed a one-of-a-kind plan to build homes, parks and habitat.

In addition, a settlement from a lawsuit brought by North County Advocates is in the works, according to Carlsbad City Attorney Celia Brewer. The meeting was held at the city’s facility on Faraday Avenue on Thursday.

During a two-hour public forum, Brewer, David Stearn of Lennar Homes, De’Ann Weimer of Friends of Aviara, Mary Anne Vinney of Friends of the Buena Vista Reservoir, Karen Merrill of Preserve Calavera and Pat Bleha of NCA detailed the months-long negotiation.

Highlights of the meeting include:

  • The proposal came from the lawsuit, which was filed in 2015 over the General Plan, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the Climate Action Plan.
  • The plan calls for Lennar Homes to build 123 homes on Poinsettia Lane, dubbed Poinsettia 61.
  • Lennar Homes will also build a 275-foot bridge to complete the Poinsettia Lane connection, which will also double as a wildlife corridor.
  • Lennar Homes will also construct a park at the abandoned Buena Vista Reservoir. Veterans Park, meanwhile, will redefine 3.1 acres of park space as habitat and it to the Habitat Management Plan (HMP).
  • The Poinsettia corridor will also be added to the HMP, which Brewer said may reach up to 5.7 acres.
  • Part of the plan called to build 17 homes on Ambrosia Lane, but has been scrapped as part of the deal.
  • The city suspended its attempts to sell the 3.1-acre site at the reservoir. The value of the land was between $3.2 million and $5.9 million, according to Brewer.

However, some residents, especially in the Viadana neighborhood, voiced concerns with the Poinsettia connection. They said speed limits are currently 50 mph with no mechanisms in place to reduce speeds.

Those residents said children attempting to go to school at Aviara Oaks middle and elementary schools have no crossing paths from across Poinsettia.

In addition, several people said the bridge will increase noise in the area and asked if any mitigation measures could be put in place.

For more about the meeting, read next week’s The Coast News.

12 Comments
  1. Don 2 months ago

    It’s easy to get “good reviews” when you stack the deck. Just as we’ve seen before with the Caruso MegaMall plan, the voices of the many are not heard while the voices of the select few dominate. Expect lots of 4-1 votes from now on and expect the not-so-silent majority to continue working right through 2018 to oust those who would try to silence anyone who dares object to their plans to ruin Carlsbad.

  2. bill 2 months ago

    the cutting edge OCEANSIDE BLADE is accusing jim bulldozer wood and jerry mean-spirited kern of ripping off, stealing, censoring and confiscating their newspapers at distribution locations.

  3. Tom 2 months ago

    Nice compromise on quality project, congrats to all parties including council for working together.

  4. Brian McInerny 2 months ago

    It seems if it can really come to pass that this would signal a new approach to dealing with complex issues Carlsbad is bound to face in the future. I wonder if North County Advocates did not sue the city if any effort towards creating Buena Vista Reservoir Park would have been made by the city. I am sure that the Lennar Development would find a way regardless. Hoping for the best.

  5. Scott E 2 months ago

    Having attended nearly every city council meeting since Q4 2015, the thread of continuity appears to be preference to outside developers over Carlsbad residents. The city staff works hard to convolute justifications to accommodate applicants. The mayor and city council boys put on an act of being concerned public servants interrogating developers and staff, that is in reality, an absolute clown show as you know within minutes how they will vote.

  6. Steven H 2 months ago

    This is all about another pay-to-play scheme by the City of Carlsbad. The City of Carlsbad, Lennar Homes and so-called ‘environmental/community groups’ are negotiating without any interest in the people most affected.

    Here’s the situation: Lennar Homes is willing to fund the creation and development of a new city park which is located on city owned land currently zoned for very low density residential development in order to receive a favor from the City. The favor the City will do for Lennar Homes is re-zoning the City’s General Plan of parcels currently zoned low density residential into high-density residential dwellings (from R4 to R8) in order for Lennar Homes to create an extremely dense community of dwellings.

    The proposal to have Lennar Homes fund an unrelated development in Carlsbad that’s not in any way physically attached to or effected by the proposed dense-housing development is being considered at the safety and financial detriment to others. It’s evident to all why the Friends of Buena Vista Reservoir group like the Lennar Homes proposal; their neighborhood that’s existed for decades – without the City of Carlsbad’s General Plan designating a park for their neighborhood – will now receive a park. That’s great for those homeowners but let’s not lose sight of the fact that there is no compelling reason or data that the area where the Friends of Buena Vista Reservoir group say they need a park is required when referencing land use standards.

    It’s amazing self-proclaimed environmental/community-concerned groups in North County Advocates and Preserve Calavera are willing to be advocating for this proposal. How does North County Advocates and Preserve Calavera bring any value to the communities they ‘serve’ and how can they really think they are doing good here?!

  7. Steven H 2 months ago

    Isn’t there a court precedent in CA regarding changing a City’s General Plan? Here’s what I’m referring to: A city’s land use decisions must be consistent with its general plan. (Pfeiffer v. City of Sunnyvale City Council (2011) 200 Cal.App.4th 1552, 1563 (Pfeiffer).)

  8. Steven H 2 months ago

    Here’s what I found strange during the meeting’s intermission where residents could question city, community and Lennar personnel about specifics regarding the proposal.

    I asked if there was a traffic study performed or was going to be performed. I asked this to an individual who works for the traffic dept at the city. He stated there was a study performed two years ago and there was no reason to perform it again. I find it strange because there is nothing in the environmental impact report on traffic. My research finds a much different take on needs for traffic to be included in an EIR. There’s great reference and possible precedent info here: https://www.lw.com/thoughtLeadership/LW-ceqa-decision-neighbors-sunnyvale

    So I’m just wondering if our public agency has conducted a primary CEQA traffic assessment that analyzes the project’s traffic impacts against conditions as they exist no later than the date of anticipated project approval, even if the project would not be built for over a decade?

  9. Steven H 2 months ago

    Perhaps it’s just me but isn’t it interesting that human safety and life is taken less seriously than habitat and animals by the City of Carlsbad “leaders” and various “concerned” groups in North County Advocates and Preserve Calavera?

    Not only did the City of Carlsbad, Lennar Homes, North County Advocates and Preserve Calavera neglect to include input from residents of two neighborhoods most affected by the development; Viadana and Pavoreal, they also didn’t consider safety/traffic-related concerns of all residents along the Poinsettia Lane corridor between I-5 and El Camino Real. The heart of the matter is pedestrian safety via traffic mitigation. The Poinsettia 61 proposal lacks traffic mitigation efforts which adversely affect homeowners in many neighborhoods. All residents in neighborhoods along the Poinsettia Lane corridor between I-5 and El Camino Real should take great interest in the proposal by Lennar Homes and the City of Carlsbad.

    Ongoing and long term mitigation measures relating to traffic have NOT been identified in the Poinsettia 61 Project proposal, nor by the City of Carlsbad Traffic Dept, and not in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The proposal should be revised to mitigate the effects of increased traffic through the Viadana and Pavoreal neighborhoods where the safety of homeowners and their children are concerned. It should also detail plans for mitigation and safety of pedestrians such as children crossing Poinsettia Lane going to/from Pacific Rim School.

    The Viadana and Pavoreal subdivisions will definitely incur an increase in potential accidents, see a rise in pedestrian safety concerns including young children walking to/from schools and see a decrease in property values due to increased traffic resulting from the proposal.

    Residents in neighborhoods along the Poinsettia Lane corridor should also be concerned with an increase in traffic and safety related concerns, especially those west of Aviara Parkway. The children who walk to Pacific Rim School from neighborhoods south of Poinsettia Lane already have to navigate carefully across that thoroughfare as drivers are constantly exceeding the speed limit. When this development is completed, elementary children and their parents will have more volume of the same to deal with.

    As such, Lennar Homes and the City of Carlsbad with their proposal and related Environmental Impact Report (EIR) have not sufficiently prepared notice and factual documentation to adequately and in a good faith effort, reduce or eliminate all potential environmental impacts associated with the project. The EIR hasn’t included an adequate description of all effects relating to the project’s economic and environmental characteristics.

  10. Steven H 2 months ago

    To those who think this is a great job and great work to those who worked together, please know that the city and it’s ‘partners’ forgot to include many residents who are most affected. It wasn’t and isn’t a great job done; not even close. I’m guessing some of you probably haven’t considered all the aspects of the project, don’t know the area, haven’t read the EIR and/or just want a park in your neighborhood for free at the expense of others!

  11. Steven H 2 months ago

    This is all about another pay-to-play scheme by the City of Carlsbad. The City of Carlsbad, Lennar Homes and so-called ‘environmental/community groups’ are negotiating without any interest in the people most affected.

    Here’s the situation: Lennar Homes is willing to fund the creation and development of a new city park which is located on city owned land currently zoned for very low density residential development in order to receive a favor from the City. The favor the City will do for Lennar Homes is re-zoning the City’s General Plan of parcels currently zoned low density residential into high-density residential dwellings (from R4 to R8) in order for Lennar Homes to create an extremely dense community of dwellings.

    The proposal to have Lennar Homes fund an unrelated development in Carlsbad that’s not in any way physically attached to or effected by the proposed dense-housing development is being considered at the safety and financial detriment to others. It’s evident to all why the Friends of Buena Vista Reservoir group like the Lennar Homes proposal; their neighborhood that’s existed for decades – without the City of Carlsbad’s General Plan designating a park for their neighborhood – will now receive a park. That’s great for those homeowners but let’s not lose sight of the fact that there is no compelling reason or data that the area where the Friends of Buena Vista Reservoir group say they need a park is required when referencing land use standards.

  12. Steven H 2 months ago

    Unfortunately the crooked Carlsbad officials and the self proclaimed community and preservation groups – who are now in cahoots with the city since they’ve concocted a pay-to-play scheme together – will approve the Poinsettia 61 EIR proposal on Feb 1, 2017 at the 6PM meeting @ 1200 Carlsbad Village Drive. Here’s a link to the staff report used for the Feb 1st meeting: http://www.carlsbadca.gov/cityhall/clerk/meetings/boards/planning.asp
    Go to this city of Carlsbad website page and click on Staff Reports link in the ‘Meeting Times and Locations’ section for the Feb 1 meeting. The document on the city web site demonstrates the proposal is to be recommended by the planning commision. This will unfortunately pass without any regard to the homeowners in Viadana and Pavoreal neighborhoods. Thank you Mayor and minions for not listening and excluding those constituents most impacted by this proposal. You all are a class act…

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