- What is your position on the Village/Barrio plan?
The extant draft of the Village and Barrio Master Plan cost hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars. The Floridian firm hired for the project gets to keep the money, the credit, and walk away while we and City Staff are left to fix what was ultimately an extremely disappointing plan.
I am glad that the people of Carlsbad were heard when we asked for more time to review the plan, but we have much work to do prior to allowing more projects to be approved one-by-one moving forward.
There are many residents in both the Barrio and the Village who have been requesting very specific public safety issues be addressed and the City has not responded adequately to their concerns. We do not need to wait for the Master Plan to be complete before traffic slowing measures are put in place on Roosevelt, a crossing at Chestnut is added, and the lack of lighting throughout the Village and Barrio is addressed. Public safety should be our number one concern and when these issues have been brought up time and time again at public meetings, our City Council needs to initiate steps to resolve these issues.
We need a strong design review element added to the plan; no variances allowed; we need to eliminate parking-in-lieu; we need to keep heights at 45 feet in the very center of the Village and 30-35 feet in surrounding support areas; we need sufficient setbacks; we need to ensure consistent and increased public transit is established prior to allowing a development boom.
Similar to our growth management plan, a Village/Barrio Development Plan element should ensure sufficient public transit exists and we need to demand developers in this area shoulder this responsibility with us.
- If the county Measure A fails, what path would you take for the city to trench the tracks in the Village?
Trenching is a huge project and the voters of Carlsbad should be given the opportunity to weigh in officially through a city-wide vote.
I must highlight here that it is not yet 100 percent certain that the funds from Measure A for Carlsbad will be specifically earmarked for trenching. This is not legally set in stone.
If the voters choose to move forward with this project and Measure A fails, we need to establish a plan to collect from developers who wish to develop in the Village and Barrio area and a Mello-Roos specific to this project.
This will unfortunately be a tough situation for developers, business owners, and residents, which is why a vote is a necessity.
- What is your stance on open space and how to reach the 40 percent goal set by the General Plan?
The 40 percent goal for open space in Carlsbad is not yet policy and it needs to be. Our community goal of 40 percent open space has already been reduced by zoning changes that now allow schools and parking lots to be considered “open space” and with the current developer-friendly City Council, we are on our way to losing even more.
While reading one of the incumbents’ flyers for this election, I noticed that he is touting our “38 percent open space,” as if the loss was something to be proud of.
We need to codify our community goal for open space, and work to preserve the open space of the Agua Hedionda Segment to meet and keep our goal for open space. Additionally, we need to ensure that our open space is true open space. We need to do a city-wide audit of our open space.
- How can the city become more involved, and what is your plan, concerning land use decisions at the power plant?
First, the community should have been more fully involved in Phase II of the Envision project that sculpted the land use amendments tied to this property, which went before the Coastal Commission on May 11. Only 19 individuals hand-picked by the City Council made those crucial decisions on land use and zoning during Phase II of Envision.
I spearheaded a group that put a stop to the land use changes the City was pushing specifically so that the community could be more fully engaged prior to the initial steps the City wanted to take to decide what would be allowed on that property. The City will attempt changes again and we will be right there to ensure that the voter’s will for that property is taken into full account.
In the City’s current plan for that property, hotels, retail, and commercial dominate the landscape on the Encina Power Plant property, which is intimately tied to the destiny of the entire Agua Hedionda segment. The City does not yet have permitting authority on this segment (the Coastal Commission still holds this authority).
The City needs to conduct an audit of both Visitor Commercial and Open Space. Next, a Community Planning Partnership needs to be formed. The City tends to dominate planning workshops in a way that is one-sided. Often, we are presented with completed plans and surveys filled with leading questions, but we need a two-way dialogue early on that draws in the most creative and diverse elements of our community. Residents will be key decision-makers with real power in the formatting I am suggesting.
Once a plan has been crafted, the plan should be put to a city-wide vote.
- 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?
We need our own lifeguards in Carlsbad. The State has worked for a long time to keep our northern stretch of beach safe, despite the fact that they are not required to do so, given this is not State property.
Some ideas that I have heard kicked around are to partner up or call in Oceanside lifeguards, but this is not the answer. Carlsbad needs to take responsibility and be held accountable for public safety on these beaches.
We have already had one fatality on this stretch of beach due to the lack of lifeguards. It is time to put the safety of our residents and our visitors first.