CARLSBAD — From city streets to council meetings, Carlsbad residents are continuing the fight to save their beloved Village H property.
After a weekend rally to raise pledges and support for Village H preservation, concerned residents attended the Feb. 16 City Council meeting to plead their case once again. Walt Meier spoke on behalf of the group, asking the council members to “have a heart” and “save Village H,” while others presented handmade valentines to the council.
City Council has had several opportunities to purchase the approximately 60-acre property located at Carlsbad Village Drive and Victoria Street. While more than 50 acres are already designated as open space, residents want the council to purchase the “heart of Village H,” a 3.2-acre area zoned for community facilities, Meier said.
“(Village H) has made where we live more than a housing tract or development,” Meier said. “This land has made us neighbors, friends and family.”
Unfortunately, their request fell on deaf ears as the council — with the exception of Councilman Keith Blackburn — decided not to further review the issue that has long been a hot topic in the city.
“This question has been raised by this council a number of times,” Mayor Bud Lewis said. He suggested that Blackburn, who was not on the council when the issue was last raised, meet with city staff in private to clarify any questions. “Staff will brief you as we’ve been briefed before on (Village H).”
After the public comment session ended, Save Village H supporters were clearly frustrated with the council’s decision. Although disappointed, they were not discouraged and will continue the fight to preserve open space in their community.
“(Village H) is really the poster child for all the open space projects that they’ve failed to purchase,” Meier said. “They don’t want to admit that it was a mistake.”
The Save Village H group is considering alternatives to preserve the land, including an offer to purchase the land as a community. The group raised more than $13,000 in pledges at their weekend rally that would go toward securing the acreage, Save Village H member Gigi Orlowski said.
“We have a precedent of a community group purchasing space,” said Orlowski, referring to Preserve Calavera’s acquisition of the Sherman property, now the Buena Vista Creek Ecological Reserve. “We’ll still be working with Blackburn to get (Village H) preserved, rezoned and saved.”
“Fifty years from now, no one will say that this is a bad idea,” Meier said.
Follow along as the community continues the fight to Save Village H at www.savevillageh.com.