Ponto residents rail against CIP park budget

The city unveiled its one-year and 15-year Capital Improvements Program on May 8, but the center of discussion came from residents near Ponto state beach.

Of the 19 speakers, more than a dozen spoke against the lack of a suitable park in the southwest quadrant of the city. In addition, they railed against adding parkland to Veterans Memorial Park off Faraday Avenue while catering to Shopoff Realty Investments’ proposal for 136 condos and a commercial development on two parcels.

The council did vote to include an analysis of current and future park and open space coverage in the city.

The lots in question are located on the 11-acre lot east of Ponto Drive and north of Avenida Encinas. The proposal calls for buildings 40 feet in height and much higher density than the surrounding neighborhoods.

Jean Camp, of the Ponto Development Beachfront Development Review Committee, a subcommittee of the San Pacifico Homowners Association, said the 6.6-acre park deficit, and the developer and city’s recommendation to add it to Veterans Park is inadequate. Also, the she noted, as did others, a 30-acre deficit of open space in the southwest part of the city.

“It is too narrow to provide the amenities that we need,” she said. “Basically, it (the development) would be a large sidewalk. Veterans Park is not an appropriate solution. It will not meet the southwest quadrants recreational needs.”

Carter McLarand, development associate for Shopoff, said the Ponto Vision Plan clearly states the guidelines and community outreach was performed in 2003 and 2004. In addition, an environmental impact report was certified by the city in 2007.

“We have a Growth Management Plan allowance for 136 units for our site,” he said. “We believe the Veterans Memorial Park will create a surplus of park in the community. There is no reason for a development moratorium or further analysis on our space. The reality is the General Plan and Vision Plan have been the guiding documents. They have been well vetted and transparent.”

As for the rest of the CIP, staff city current projects total about $200 million including a new Fire Station No. 2, public beach access and park development at Poinsettia and Aviara.

Residential development calls for 1,698 units in the next five years and nearly 1 million square-feet of non-residential space.

For Fiscal Year 2018-19, the city is appropriating $63.3 million with revenues totaling $49.7 million. In total, the FY18-19 budget is $262.3 million.

As for funding, the 15-year CIP budget revenues are estimated at $668 million and $458 million in expenditures.

The city counted 26 new projects for FY18-19 including renovating the Monroe Street Pool, Fire Station No. 4, Poinsettia Park and Faraday Center rehabilitation to name a few.

The council will discuss the operating budget on May 22 and hold a public workshop on May 29 at 6 p.m. at the Faraday Center.

  1. Scott St.Joseph 10 months ago

    Veterans Park? What an insult. As it is, Veterans Park is nothing but a sign pounded into the ground calling the bare piece of land a park. There are no roads, no paths, no parking lot, no facilities, nothing. The city calls that a park? Is that the best the city can do to pay homage to veterans? It seems all the city council does is approve any request by any developer at the expense of our citizens’ welfare.

  2. Addie 10 months ago

    Problem: Overdevelopement without any end in sight
    Solution: Vote for Cori Schumacher in November for Mayor.

  3. Richard 10 months ago

    Couldn’t agree more with both of you. Only solution is to vote the self-dealing mayor out of office.

  4. Brian McInerny 10 months ago

    Can anyone who is not a direct beneficiary of the Shopoff project please tell me how this will have a positive impact on the Ponto neighborhood? Carlsbad is turning into a “Big City” while being managed by a council that is not up to the challenge. Veterans park is being used as a repository to allow over dense development in under parked ( park as in open space) areas where profits are higher due to proximity to the ocean. Nobody but the developer and there investors benefit from these projects. I admire the neighbors who stand up against the destruction of their near environment against the developing machine. Communities have to draw the line before greed ruins all the good there is left. Do not give up.

  5. FARHAD SHARIFI 10 months ago

    Nobody is going to drive over 5 miles to take their kids to the park, walk their dog, or go for a jog. Also elderly residents and disabled will not be able to make it to Veterans Park. We have some elderly and disabled veterans in our community that cannot make it to Veterans Park. We need a Park in South West Carlsbad. Currently, we take a short drive to parks in in Encinitas. We have a deficit of 6.6 acres of Park space and a deficit of 29 acre of open space in SW Carlsbad. The Shopoff project is most dense project in the neighborhood. It is 3 floors and over 40 feet high. It will bring mostly short term vacation rental to the Ponto which will cause more traffic, parking problems, continuous 24/7 parties, and crime. This is what has happened to the beaches in Los Angeles and PB & Mission beach in San Diego. We need a Park and Open Space. It is a good thing that is an election year. Please vote.

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