Bill Fowler Q&As

  1. What is your position on the Village/Barrio plan?

The Draft Village and Barrio Master Plan was created by a Florida consulting company much to the consternation of many citizens of Carlsbad. How can Floridians understand the needs of those of us in Carlsbad? It is pretty clear, though, that the plan is that of the current City Council who clearly pushed the vision and implementation recommendations.

The plan is not perfect, but provides a starting point for community discussions and input. The Barrio and Village are unique environments and the plan represents the Council’s view of the city more than residents. The vision needs more of the ideas that guided 1994 General Plan and its commitment to Carlsbad’s beach oriented small town feel. These values are alluded to in the plan, but in a very abstract way. The plan needs more citizen input to sharpen and clarify.

There is a section titled ‘Mobility’ that does strike the right notes for our community, especially walkable and bike friendly streets. Also, traffic safety is of great concern, especially with regard to certain Barrio Streets. The recommendations regarding this issue also need more local input, but the section creates a good framework for discussion.


  1. If the county Measure A fails, what path would you take for the city to trench the tracks in the Village?

It is important to understand that passing county Measure A does not guarantee that grade separation of rail tracks (‘trenching’) will be implemented. There is money allocated and available to such uses, but cities like Carlsbad will have to apply for grants that would be funded by the measure. This application would compete with other city’s project proposals for the same funding.

If the measure fails or Carlsbad does not receive those grants, then the likelihood of trenching is remote. The only alternative is to put together funding from the Federal Government and other sources. This would be a costly and time consuming processes with no guarantee for success.

I support grade separation through Carlsbad as this would have substantial beneficial effect on our community.


  1. What is your stance on open space and how to reach the 40 percent goal set by the General Plan?

Carlsbad has a creditable amount of open space, but more is always better. At this point it is impossible to chart a path to 40% as the definition of open space within Carlsbad has been subject to change. In addition the disposition of properties now thought of as open space – the areas owned by SDGE and zoned as “utilities” – are controlled by SDGE. The Carlsbad City Council does not appear to have any idea of SDGE’s future plans for these properties in the wake of the replacement of the Encina plant with a smaller gas fired plant. Everyone was shocked at Caruso’s and SDGE’s secret plan for the sale of developable commercial space most thought of as ‘Open Space.’ The Carlsbad City Council needs to engage SDGE over their plans for disposing of this ‘Open Space’ property and others like it.


  1. How can the city become more involved, and what is your plan, concerning land use decisions at the power plant?

As mentioned in answer #3, SDGE holds the key to the future of these properties. The Carlsbad City Council evidently has no idea what SDGE’s plans are. I would engage SDGE to understand what their plans are and what they would mean for Carlsbad.

How would/or are you proceeding to work with the state to address the lack of lifeguards on the northern stretch of Carlsbad State Beach?

At issue is the Northern part of Carlsbad’s beaches, which is private property and currently does not have lifeguarding. It seems clear that both the state and the current Carlsbad City Council both favor lifeguards on all parts of Carlsbad’s beach. I do too. The best approach would be for Carlsbad to contract with the state to provide lifeguards. This is a totally affordable and compelling approach and one that might be used as leverage to provide greater public access to that part of the beach that is “privately owned.”


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