CARLSBAD — The city’s aggressive push to improve several parks was met mostly with support when plans were introduced last year.
However, residents neighboring Poinsettia Park were upset a dog park would eradicate a beloved bowl, or detention basin, where kids play and slide and roll down the small hill on the west side.
They also noted how it is one of the only areas dedicated to open play as much of the park consists of tennis courts, baseball and soccer fields and two basketball courts.
During the Aug. 22 City Council meeting, Neelay Bhatt, vice president of PROS Consulting, Inc., said the community supported the idea of a recreation center, but that it must be downsized to about 35,000 square feet to go forward.
“However, the vision and the big idea was to ensure it’s a true multi-use and multi-generational facility,” he added. “The intended space at Poinsettia Park specifically, wouldn’t support anything bigger.”
The planned addition of the community recreation center was slated for the northeast corner of the park.
However, since the feasibility study returned to the City Council showing the center needed to be reduced in scope to accommodate parking, the center would lose many amenities, thus making it not feasible, according to Carlsbad Parks Director Chris Hazeltine.
“Because that’s not feasible, that’s the area that is going to be looked at,” Hazeltine said. “With the potential relocation of the dog park, there was some engineering that has to take place. We’re updating the plan to reflect those needed changes.”
So, residents and the city have teamed to discuss relocation sites for the dog park, possibly near the tennis courts in the northeast corner of the park where the community center would have been constructed.
Hazeltine said city staff is working to bring a revised plan to the City Council by the end of the year for approval.
The project, which includes a new athletic field, pickleball courts and a playground along with a community gathering space at Aviara Park, is delayed by about six months.
The other park projects, such as at the Pine Avenue Park and Leo Carrillo Ranch, are on schedule.
“We are moving forward with revising those four elements,” Hazeltine said. “We’re not talking about the dog park right now in terms of preparing construction drawings. We are talking about re-engaging the community for a location.”