Carlsbad CA— The City of Carlsbad has worked with local environmental groups, Lennar Homes and residents in northwest Carlsbad to develop a proposal that would enable the missing link of Poinsettia Lane to be completed; increase the amount of protected habitat in Carlsbad; create a neighborhood park on the site of the long- abandoned Buena Vista Reservoir; and help resolve a lawsuit filed by North County Advocates on the city’s General Plan update and Climate Action Plan. A meeting to get input on the proposal will be held:
Thursday, January 19, 2017
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
1635 Faraday Ave.
Room 173 A&B
Over the past several months, city staff has met with representatives of Lennar Homes, North County Advocates, Friends of the Buena Vista Reservoir, Friends of Aviara and Preserve Calavera to discuss potential solutions to issues of concern to the community, including:
- Increasing and protecting Carlsbad’s open space and natural resources
- Easing traffic
- Building a new neighborhood park
- Approval of a proposed new housing development
- Resolving a lawsuit challenging the city’s General Plan update and Climate Action Plan
The resulting proposal includes the following components:
- As a condition of the development a proposed 123 unit detached condo project, Lennar Homes completes the Poinsettia Lane connection between El Camino Real and Cassia Street.
- Future development on Ambrosia Lane adjacent to the Aviara Oaks middle school and elementary school campuses is eliminated from the Lennar Homes project.
- To address environmental impacts of the project, Lennar Homes protects habitat in the project area and restores habitat in the area of Aviara Community Park and the future Veterans Park. In all about six acres of land is added to the city’s habitat preserves.
- The city reclassifies about three acres of land currently slated to be developed into a park as habitat. The land is located at the future site of Veterans Park off Faraday Avenue, near Cannon Road.
- To make up for the three acre decrease in park land at the Veterans Park property, the city changes the use of a three-acre site of an abandoned reservoir near the corner of Buena Vista Way and Highland Drive from future housing to park land.
- Lennar Homes pays for and builds a neighborhood park on the site of the former Buena Vista Reservoir. The city will maintain the park.
- The City of Carlsbad and North County Advocates incorporate these terms into a larger settlement of a lawsuit challenging the city’s General Plan update and Climate Action Plan, which were approved in September 2015.
Although the groups involved have agreed in concept to the proposal, a formal agreement has not yet been approved. At the Jan. 19 public meeting, the parties involved in the proposal will go over the concept, answer questions and listen to input from the community. After considering the public’s input, the groups involved in the proposal will work together to complete a final draft of the formal agreement. This agreement would then be brought forward to the Carlsbad City Council for consideration in a public meeting.
The presentation and a video of the meeting will be available on the city website Friday, Jan. 20, along with information about how to provide comments. The public has until Wednesday, Jan. 25, to give input.
The Lennar Homes Poinsettia 61 project is tentatively scheduled to go before the City of Carlsbad Planning Commission Feb. 1. If recommended for approval by the Planning Commission, the City Council will consider approval of the project at an upcoming public City Council meeting. Representatives from Lennar Homes will be available at the Jan. 19 meeting to provide details about their proposed project.
- Under the city’s Growth Management Program, developers must pay for and build infrastructure needed to accommodate development.
- Lennar Homes’ development would result in the completion of Poinsettia Lane, between Cassia Road and El Camino Real.
- Lennar Homes’ Poinsettia 61 is the third project to be proposed for this site. If it does not get approved, the future connection of Poinsettia Lane will be postponed, and another developer could build homes along Ambrosia Lane adjacent to the Aviara Oaks middle school and elementary school campuses.
- Completion of Poinsettia Lane will reduce traffic flows on Cassia Road and improve traffic flow on El Camino Real and Ambrosia Lane.
Buena Vista Reservoir Site
- The city owns a 3.1-acre site in a residential area of northwest Carlsbad with a reservoir that has not been used for many years.
- As part of a strategy for maximizing the public benefit of city-owned properties, in 2014 city staff proposed selling the property to a private party who could develop it in accordance with the land use rules in the area, which currently allow for about 14 home sites.
- Neighbors opposed the sale and asked the city to consider turning the property into a park. The City Council delayed the decision to sell the property while neighbors worked with city staff to identify a way to pay for the park.
- The city’s Growth Management Program specifies how much park land will be created based on the number of people living in an area. Developers provide money to fund the parks based on the number of future residents of their developments.
- Since city has already met the requirements for park space in the northwest part of the city, prior to this proposal, no funding source existed to build a park at the Buena Vista Reservoir site.
“Poinsettia 61” Project (Lennar Corporation)
- The Lennar Corporation submitted an application to build 123 detached condos in the area where Poinsettia Lane does not connect to El Camino Real.
- As a condition of development, the project needs to replace 3.1 acres of Habitat Management Plan preserve area and provide for additional habitat mitigation.
- The project will require Lennar Homes to complete the missing link on Poinsettia Lane, and the developer plans to complete the linkage of the northwest trail system with neighborhoods in the southeast.
Habitat Management Plan
- The city’s Habitat Management Plan guides the design, management, monitoring and public use of the natural habitat preserve system within the City of Carlsbad.
- Under the plan, 5,970 acres of natural lands have already been preserved for plants and animals. The city’s goal is to set aside 6,478 acres of natural habitat by the time all major new development has occurred in the city (called “build out”).
- All cities in California are required to have a General Plan, which specifies how land will be utilized, and a Climate Action Plan, which describes how they will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- The Carlsbad City Council approved an update to the city’s General Plan and adopted its Climate Action Plan in September 2015.
- North County Advocates sued the city over the environmental analysis and mitigation for the General Plan update and Climate Action Plan and the General Plan’s compliance with the city’s Growth Management Program.
What Participants Are Saying About the Proposal
City of Carlsbad
“We are very proud of this collaborative approach to addressing community concerns. By coming together, we were able to create a proposal that we think makes a lot of sense. Now we want to hear from the larger community to make sure we have considered all the issues,” said City of Carlsbad Parks & Recreation Director Chris Hazeltine.
Friends of Buena Vista Reservoir
“Unlike Carlsbad’s newer master-planned communities, old Carlsbad does not have many smaller, neighborhood parks. Instead of building houses on site of an abandoned reservoir, this proposal would provide a way to fund the creation of a peaceful place where residents can enjoy Carlsbad’s natural beauty,” said Mary Anne Viney, leader of the Friends of Buena Vista Reservoir group.
Friends of Aviara
“After more than 15 years of uncertainty, this proposal will eliminate future development near the Aviara middle and elementary school campuses, protecting the health and safety of our school children. Additionally, this provides for the long-awaited completion of Poinsettia Lane, relieving traffic congestion on Ambrosia Lane and Cassia Road while delivering on the long-promised trails connecting Aviara with local libraries and amenities,” said De’Ann Weimer, president, Friends of Aviara.
“We appreciate the collaborative spirit that has resulted in this proposal. By working together, we have come up with a creative proposal with far greater benefits than what any single party could have accomplished working alone,” said Jeremy Parness, division president for Lennar Homes.
North County Advocates
“We feel this concept is an important step forward in addressing concerns with the city’s General Plan update and Climate Action Plan, and we are pleased to be a part of such a positive solution,” said Pat Bleha, president of North County Advocates.
“We have for years been a champion for the protection of Carlsbad’s precious open space and natural resources. This proposal is a creative way to increase open space and protect those natural resources,” said Diane Nygaard, president of Preserve Calavera.