- What is your position on the Village/Barrio Master Plan?
The Master Plan has undergone a great deal of work by City Staff and public interaction. There are good ideas in the Plan and it needs to be reviewed in the context of changing land uses, economics, community priorities and the all-important parking studies. I believe the Plan today represents a solid platform from which to begin to make changes and enhancements to the Village and Barrio. The area is unique compared to other areas of the City. It is also the most challenging from a land planning perspective and deserves a great deal of careful consideration. I like the idea of mixing the historic with the new. The old Dragmaster’s, for example, has been reborn as Campfire Grill, Baba Coffee and Carruth Wineries. It is new yet retains the feel of the past.
- If the county Measure A fails, what path would you take for the City to trench the tracks in the Village?
There are many ways to accomplish these kinds of projects, and Carlsbad has a great record when it comes to looking for and finding alternative ways to accomplish its goals. In this case, the Council and Staff have spoken with our Sacramento representatives Sen. Pat Bates and Assemblyman Rocky Chavez regarding this issue and getting support for this project from the State. Because of the potential queuing times, generated by double tracking and more frequent train trips, we could apply for State-CalTrans grants that address lowering GHG emissions. Another possible option would involve funding from the Federal Government, U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Railroad Administration. Even with the failure of Measure A, SANDAG could supply some support, albeit, on a lengthier timeline.
- What is your stance on open space and how to reach the 40 percent goal set by the General Plan?
The fact that Carlsbad has designated and protected open space land uses over some 39 percent of its land area is unique and shows foresight by our early City leaders. In Carlsbad, this open space is protected. Note too that no other city in San Diego County comes close to that level of open space within their city. My stance regarding open space would be to (a) continue implementing our policy of not reducing total open space or parks land uses, (b) continue implementing our HMP policies, including our requirement for conservation easements, long-term conservancy management, and preserve management endowments, and (c) continue to enforce our Growth Management Plan, which requires park development concurrent with development. I believe that small pick-ups of open space will continue to result from implementation of these policies and 40 percent is yet achievable. The only other lawful approach to achieving more open space would be to purchase developable or developed property at fair market value and designate it open space.
- How can the City become more involved, and what is your plan, concerning land use decisions at the Encina Power Plant?
The decommissioning of the Encina Power Plant is a huge opportunity to have our entire Community come together to envision the future of this site. A suggestion from one of our citizens was to perhaps ask four or five planners/designers (preferably local talent) to create visual concepts of the area. From these concepts we can begin the public input, planning and development processes. I believe, because of its location, that trail linkages from the Lagoon and El Camino Real be considered. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that merits strong outreach to and input from the community and all affected stakeholders.
- 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?
First, we are gathering data on the rescues at the beach. City staff and the City Manager have met and will continue to meet with State Parks officials at the local level to assess the coverage. The outcome of these discussions will direct the Council to consider options for ensuring safety.
Other considerations are the area of sand in front of ocean-front private property on Ocean Street that is subject to issues such as public trust lands and the delineation of the Mean High Water Line. These are legal issues. This is a situation that complicates things particularly for the State of California and those private property owners. The City must respect those circumstances and consider how these issues can be resolved equitably.
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.