Tom McMahon, at podium, who operates the Carlsbad Village Theatre with his wife, speaks in support of the changes to the Village Master Plan and Design Manual before the Planning Commission and senior city planner Scott Donnell at the May 15 meeting. Photo by Rachel Stine
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Changes hope to spur business

CARLSBAD — The Carlsbad Planning Commission approved changes to the Village Master Plan and Design Manual at its May 15 meeting in the hopes of stimulating development in the city’s downtown area. 

The changes include permitting microbreweries and wineries in the Village, reducing commercial and residential parking standards, requiring all first-floor commercial spaces to be designed for commercial uses, and fixing errors and misspellings in the Master Plan.

“All of these changes are designed to stimulate activity quickly in the Village,” said Scott Donnell, the senior planner for the city who presented the project.

Some current businesses in the Village already operate with these alterations, but had to obtain a conditional use permit to do so, like the Pizza Port microbrewery on Carlsbad Village Drive.

“We welcome the changes…mainly to keep up with the changes that have been happening in Carlsbad for the past few years,” said Tom McMahon, who operates the Carlsbad Village Theatre with his wife.

The alterations will only apply to areas outside of the coastal zone so they can take effect immediately with City Council approval. Changes that impact areas in the coastal zone would require months of additional processing to obtain further approval from the California Coastal Commission.

Commissioner Victoria Scully said the changes nicely balance out the Village’s residential and commercial needs.

“You want people to live and work in your city,” she said.

The alterations to the Village Master Plan and Design Manual will move on to the City Council for final approval.

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