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Carlsbad Seeking Input on Plan to Provide Lifeguard Service in the North

Carlsbad CA—The City of Carlsbad is developing a plan to provide lifeguard and increased law enforcement services on the stretch of beach from Oak Avenue to the city’s northern border with Oceanside. Unlike the rest of the beach in Carlsbad, this area is not managed by State Parks Department and therefore has limited services.

At a Glance

  • The Carlsbad police and fire chiefs and members of the public have reported safety concerns along the northernmost stretch of beach in Carlsbad.
  • On Tuesday, the Carlsbad City Council asked staff to develop a plan to provide lifeguard and increased law enforcement services in this area, which is not part of the State Parks system.
  • You can weigh in on the creation of this plan at an upcoming public meeting or an online survey.
  • The proposed plan will be presented to the City Council in April.

The city will hold a public meeting to discuss a proposed plan and get input from the public:

Monday, March 27, 2017,  5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Carlsbad Senior Center, 799 Pine Ave.

Community members can also provide input online by visiting between March 20 and March 31. The project team is seeking input on the following:

  • Safety concerns
  • The need for additional enforcement of laws affecting the beach area
  • Potential impacts to property owners along Ocean Street and the surrounding neighborhood
  • Beach usage patterns

The beach from Oak Avenue north to Oceanside is not part of the California State Parks system, which includes Carlsbad State Beach from around Pine Avenue South to Terramar and South Carlsbad State Beach from the state campground south to the Encinitas border. Instead, property owners along Ocean Street own the beach directly in front of their properties out to what is called the “mean high tide line,” which is generally where the water meets the sand during high tide.

The City of Carlsbad maintains a public easement on this property, which allows people to utilize the beach and the city to provide services.

In recent years, the number of people using this part of the beach has increased, prompting safety concerns. The City of Carlsbad police and fire departments respond to emergency calls in this area but do not patrol the beach like lifeguards would. California State Parks employs lifeguards for Carlsbad State Beach and South Carlsbad State Beach.

During annual goal setting sessions the past few years, the Carlsbad City Council has made beach improvements one of its top priorities. City staff are working on a number of projects along the city’s nearly seven miles of coastline, including sprucing up the seven public beach entrances along Ocean Street and making them more visible.

The city has already completed projects to widen bike lanes along Carlsbad Boulevard, improve the accessibility of the Ocean Street public parking lot, put new drought proof landscaping along the beach bluff north of Tamarack to prevent erosion and make it safer to cross Carlsbad Boulevard by putting in crosswalks with flashing lights.

Longer term projects include redesigning portions of Carlsbad Boulevard to ease traffic flow, make more room for walking and biking, and maximize access to the coast.