CARLSBAD — At a special meeting attended by a cheering crowd, the Carlsbad City Council voted unanimously April 24 to build Alga Norte Community Park. The 32-acre project in southeast Carlsbad includes an aquatics center, ball fields, a skate park, a dog park, new playgrounds and other amenities that support a healthy outdoor lifestyle for Carlsbad residents.
The park will be east of El Camino Real, bordered on the south by Poinsettia Lane and on the east by Alicante Road. The city has money set aside to cover the $35.6 million estimated construction cost of phase one of the park, but during the recent recession had postponed the project’s approval due to concern about the city’s ability to fund the park’s annual operating expenses. The net operating costs are estimated to be $1.26 million a year.
During the past couple of months, City Council considered the concept of utilizing a third-party to operate the park. At the meeting, in addition to directing staff to begin building the park as soon as possible, City Council asked staff to continue to explore the possibility of partnering with other organizations if that approach could save the city money while still meeting the public’s needs. After a formal request for proposals process, staff will then evaluate eligible proposals and make a recommendation to City Council to determine whether to pursue a partnership arrangement or to have the city operate the park.
The next step is to update the park’s permits and code compliance to conform to changes in the law since the park was originally designed. That is estimated to take up to 12 months.
The approved park design includes:
— Three lighted softball/baseball fields
— Three lighted basketball half courts
— Batting cages and a concession stand at the ball fields
— Picnic areas with barbecues
— Playground with 100 percent universally accessible play equipment
— An off-leash dog park divided into areas for larger and smaller dogs, including obstacle course-type play equipment
— A 15,000-square-foot lighted skate park that will include a “street course” section, an area with challenging elements for more skilled skateboarders and a beginners’ area
— An aquatic center
A moving river and water slides are included in the park master plan, but are not part of the first phase approved by City Council.
For more information, contact Chris Hazeltine, Parks & Recreation director, at (760) 434-2826, or by e-mail at [email protected]