Letters to the Editor

Thank you, Robyn

As somebody who attended Carlsbad schools with you (I’m not sure if you remember me), I distinctly recall the stories you’d tell — and I remember kids asking if you had the chance to “crack the whip,” which of course is used to scare off crows and other birds from eating the crops.

Your family — and their farm — are special to the city of Carlsbad. It’s truly special that we have a developer who is willing to not only embrace that heritage, but save it.

I watched your father hold hands with you and your entire family the night of the council vote. I could see how much this meant to you all.

That wasn’t faked, and it wasn’t staged. Thank you for stepping up and saying something.

I hope Carlsbad residents don’t sign the petition, and I hope the Ukegawa farm is here to stay.

Sage Naumann,


Let the people vote

I live in Carlsbad, a well-planned city with lucrative revenues. I researched the 85/15 plan and supported it thinking that I would have the opportunity to review and comment on the Environmental Impact Report. However, the developer, with the support of the mayor and council, circumvented the public review process, denying us due process.

I signed the referendum petition because of the arrogant action by the council approving the developer’s plan without an EIR for Carlsbad citizens to review.

From my perspective, it smells of quid pro quo. Whatever the cost, let’s let the people decide.

Tere’ Renteria,


Unhappy with process

Land use planning should never be done by initiative.

The process is too complex if you are serious about creating a good project.

It is impossible to understand all the complex issues involved in a few paragraphs on a ballot measure.

Having said that, the State legislature did not do us any favors when they allowed that process to be used in this way.  Mr. Caruso and the 85/15 plan used a legal way to do just that.   Our city council did what they could to examine the project with a 365-page evaluation. I know they all spent hours looking over the proposed project.

Our community, Carlsbad, did not just happen.

We have a beautiful, well-planned community because of the rules that govern development here.

All of us spent a lot of time over the years setting up those rules that govern our development.

Probably the most important thing our council did was require Mr. Caruso to sign a document saying that he would abide by all those rules and regulations.

I am not very happy with how this process was used but I believe we are protected.

Signing another petition will not make it better.

City planning by ballot is not the best way to do business.

Julie Nygaard,

Former city council member, Carlsbad

RE: 85/15 Plan

The editorial on Sept. 11, written by Robyn Ukegawa, regarding the 85/15 plan for the strawberry fields is at once illogical and disingenuous in its representation of the facts pertinent to the important issues of developing this property.

The premise of the argument presented by the Ukegawa family is that if the citizens are given the option of expressing their opinion on whether or not to allow development on the area currently occupied by their “Strawberry Fields,” that three generations of heritage and hard work would be lost to the will of those who oppose it.

What the editorial did not address is why the family chose to enter into an agreement with an out of town developer to cede part of the property they already own for some obviously high dollar amount.

The family also cites the unanimous decision by the Carlsbad City Council to opt to bypass a public vote on the decision to develop this otherwise pristine property. It doesn’t take much reflection to understand why the City Council is effusive in their support of a project that will generate large tax revenues.

If the family is truly interested in maintaining their “Farming Tradition,” they could simply choose to continue what they have been doing for three generations.

If the 85/15 development has so much merit, why wouldn’t they trust the citizens of Carlsbad to reaffirm that proposal? As one of the multitude that is frequently caught in the gridlock of a parking lot known as Interstate 5, I don’t think the world really needs another Nordstrom-anchored shopping mall creating more congestion.

Don Bullock,


Tough running a small business

It is difficult running a small business. In fact, according to the annual ChiefExecutive.net survey, California is the absolute worst state to do business. And, farming in a coastal city?

I am surprised that any flower fields, nurseries or strawberry fields can exist in this day and age. It must be an incredible struggle just to break even. Jimmy deserves to be successful.

When I heard about Jimmy Ukegawa and the 85/15 project, I was intrigued. How was this project going to preserve open space, strawberry fields and build a shopping destination?

Once I toured the property and gained valuable knowledge about the project, it is my opinion that it will be great for Carlsbad, the environment, Jimmy Ukegawa and his family of next generation farmers. He’s even had three generations of loyal farm workers and his daughter wants to keep the business going for another generation.

Safeguards will be put in place to preserve native vegetation, clean up the open space and allow for citizens to have access (limited to trails) so that they can enjoy the beauty of the open space and views of the lagoon that are not normally able to be seen.

I know that no one likes change. But a lot of times change is a good thing. The five members of the City Council are our elected officials and want the best for Carlsbad.

Nothing happens overnight in this town. It happens after careful study and discussion.

The Planning Department and Council Members have poured over hundreds of pages of studies and maps and information on 85/15.

This project is already three to four years in the making with outreach from Caruso to the community.

There have been numerous tours of the grounds and information has been up on the City website for a while now. Let it proceed.

Contact Caruso and go on a tour and you’ll understand. Go see for yourself and your mind will be at ease. Mine was as soon as I went.

I am not receiving any form of compensation from anyone from Carlsbad, 85/15, Jimmy, etc. This is my personal opinion.

I agree with Robyn: Please do not sign the petition.

Lisa Gunther,



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