Community turns out to ‘Envision Carlsbad’

CARLSBAD — Members of the community turned out April 15 to share their vision for Carlsbad’s future as part of a community outreach program called Envision Carlsbad.
The workshop, held at Aviara Oaks Elementary School, was one of four designed to gather community input for the city to use when it begins the process of updating the General Plan.
Similar workshops were held in each of the four quadrants of the city — the northeast, southeast, southwest and the central, downtown village area, or the northwest quadrant.
At each of the workshops, planners said, common themes emerged.
Among the top wishes of residents and community members at the workshop in Aviara were retaining the same amount of or acquiring more open space, interconnecting the trail system and making more places for recreational hiking and biking. In addition, instead of growth, more residents said they would like to see a revitalization of the downtown village area, while keeping the “small-town feel,” and the renovation of the Barrio, while keeping the cultural aspect of the area.
“The entire room was unanimous,” Stuart Barash, a longtime resident of Aviara, said. “We want to keep it (the city) low density.”
Many residents who attended said they were most pleased with city efforts to preserve the Flower Fields, but many said they wanted more preservation of agriculture in the city.
Those residents also said they were happy the city is opposing plans for expansion of the power plant, but many also approved the city decision to bring in the desalination plant.
The city mailed out surveys to residents and there was also an online survey. The 17 survey questions fell under categories such as “Carlsbad’s Natural Environment,” the “Local Economy,” “Program and Facility Priorities,” and “Carlsbad’s Social Setting.”
City officials said they will take the information gathered at the workshops and look for common themes before moving to the next phase of the project. By the end of the year, the city hopes to have a document that details the community’s vision for the future. The document will then be presented to City Council.
According to city officials, City Council will use the document as a guideline when updating the city’s General Plan.
“I hope they use it (the information gathered),” Barash said. “So many times these type of these things are predetermined.”
The city is being assisted in its efforts by a committee of residents and community leaders appointed by City Council last year, called the Carlsbad Citizen’s Committee.
The public is welcome to attend future meetings. For more information, visit the Envision Carlsbad Web site at, www.envisioncarlsbad.org.

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