Carlsbad City Hall. Photo by Steve Puterski
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Carlsbad to address issues with Village and Barrio

CARLSBAD — The new direction of the Village and Barrio neighborhoods was once again a source of intense debate and discussion at the Dec. 10 City Council meeting.

City Council approved several measures during the meeting. The item came back to the council for an amendment package after an Aug. 20 meeting, when the council approved the California Coastal Commission’s modifications.

Mayor Matt Hall recused himself from the item as he owns property in the Village.

On Oct. 16 the commission verified and approved the master plan, according to Scott Donnell, Carlsbad’s senior planner. The council, though, directed staff to present at a Planning Commission meeting to hear the public’s recommendations for the master plan.

It also approved forming a temporary design ad hoc review committee for objective standards

Council discussion also included parking, housing-in-lieu fees, traffic and objective historical and design standards for new construction.

“After studying the amendment package … we simply needed more time to get back to a work plan and timeline,” Donnell told the council. “The amendment package requires further study and analysis. When that information is figured out, all of this will have to come back through the public hearing process.”

Prior to these changes, the first draft of the master plan gave the Planning Commission authority to approve projects in the Barrio, while the council had jurisdiction over the Village. However, Councilwoman Cori Schumacher said two areas of the Barrio were initially left out of the first iteration of the master plan in 2018.

“What was left out … were the Barrio Perimeter and the Barrio Center,” she said. “All this would do is bring back those that were left out of that original motion back in 2018 and bring back into consistency with the rest of the decision making at that time.”

The timeline for the council’s request for the work plan could be two years away, although the desire to address many of the issues now comes as new state laws must be incorporated by the city, along with other large-scale projects and deadlines for the Housing Element, Parks and Recreation Master Plan and the new City Hall and Civic Center workshop, said City Manager Scott Chadwick.

“From a fatigue factor, we do have a lot on our plate,” he said. “It’s doesn’t mean we can’t do this, but we just want to make sure that we properly have staff that can address these issues.”

The council also discussed objective design standards for architecture and historic resources. State law requires cities to develop objective design standards and Carlsbad is underway, Donnell said. Also, the city received a SB 2 grant and is seeking proposals from consultants to design those standards.

Other residents called for a public workshop with staff, specifically to address a possible parking garage from monies collected from parking-in-lieu fees. The council also approved a study for a potential garage at Oak and State streets.

Schumacher also called for a traffic study for Carlsbad Boulevard and include traffic data from Oceanside and Encinitas over a one-year period. The goal, she said, is to determine the cumulative impacts.

Simon Angel, who is running for the vacant District 1 seat, called for the council to include the Barrio to be added to the scope of the council’s authority. In addition, he requested the council delay the process until the District 1 seat is filled, saying the district has no official representation.

Also, Gary Nessim questioned the housing-in-lieu fees, which are $4,515.

“It’s totally ridiculous and it’s not just the Village and Barrio,” Nessim said. “It’s a citywide problem. You should move much more rapidly.”

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