Four-story apartment building approved for Carlsbad Village

CARLSBAD — More apartments are heading to Carlsbad Village.

This time it’s an 11-unit, four-story complex on Jefferson Street between Carlsbad Village Drive and Oak Avenue. The proposal was approved 4-1, with Councilwoman Cori Schumacher against, on Jan. 23 by the City Council.

Dubbed the Jefferson Luxury Apartments, the structure will replace two office buildings and includes two affordable housing units. In addition, the property owner will include a 28-space subterranean parking garage for the 45-foot structure.

The project sparked discussion among the council as to the evolving look of the Village.

Councilman Mark Packard said the vitality of the Village is critical even though the Village is moving toward a slightly higher density.

Those in favor of the project also agreed more residents in the Village will help a growing local business sector in the neighborhood.

“What businesses in the Village need is more people living in the Village,” Councilman Michael Schumacher said. “This project is different and I think that’s good.”

The apartments will consist of four ground floor units at about 1,200 square feet each, while the second floor units are between 2,505 and 2,588 square feet and the third floor units between 1,943 and 2,252 square feet. The fourth floor will be one, 2,700-square-foot apartment.

Two residents spoke in opposition of the plan including one of the property owners to the north, James Vitalie. He said the property was originally designed as two small lots unfit for such a large project.

In addition, he said there will be more traffic than the council realizes and the project isn’t in line with the rest of the neighborhood. Vitalie said if the plan was for only affordable housing, he could support the project.

Another property owner, whose name was inaudible, said he supports the project and it’s “the price we pay for living in a destination” city. He also said the proximity to transit, the Carlsbad Village Station, was a plus for those who may use or rely on transit.

One resident who spoke in opposition said the project wasn’t compatible with the look and feel of the Village. He also questioned the need for a fourth story, and noted several other projects with four stories recently approved seem out of touch.

However, Michael Schumacher said the Village has a variety of looks and architectural styles. The councilman said a mix of different looks is a good quality for the Village, but reinforced his position with his comments about providing more patrons for small businesses.

Cori Schumacher, meanwhile, raised concerns over traffic in the alley noting the KFC restaurant uses it for unloading food and other materials. She laid the blame on a lack of an impact study of the issues on herself and the council.

As for traffic, Associate Planner Corey Funk said no formal study was conducted, as the project did not require one. The reason, he added, was the average daily trips was calculated to be lower with the new project, at 88, than with the current businesses (96) in operation.

Also, the plan was exempt from California Environmental Quality Act. The Planning Commission also approved the project, 7-0, in November 2017.

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