C’bad general plan updates could be a few years off

CARLSBAD — Although the resident-approved Envision Carlsbad plan is making its way through the system, it could be years before it’s officially put into action, city officials said.
Planning Commission members adopted the Envision Carlsbad Phase 2 Draft Work Program at their July 7 meeting, which includes comprehensive updates to the city’s general plan, the local coastal program and zoning ordinances.
“Phase 2 represents a critical next step to implementing the community’s vision,” City Planner David de Cordova said.
The detailed work program is broken down into tasks that must be completed to better align Carlsbad’s current documents with the community’s future goals.
åCity staff estimate it will take at least 2.5 years to make the necessary updates in compliance with state and
federal laws, de Cordova said.
“We have the hearings taking place the beginning of 2013, with adoption around April of that time,” de Cordova said of the timeline expected to complete the work program.
City staff must now take the proposed work program to City Council for approval. De Cordova expects to present the updated plan to council members at their July 27 meeting.
If approved, several city groups will act as decision makers as they review and update Carlsbad’s policies to ensure consistency with the community’s priorities. The Coastal Commission will be involved as it reviews the local coastal program portion, de Cordova said.
As drafts are set forth, local residents will also be able to provide input at community workshops.
Residents are encouraged to continue participating in the process that will ultimately determine the guiding documents for Carlsbad’s future.
“I think this was a wonderful opportunity for citizens to get involved,” said commissioner Stephen “Hap” L’Heureux, a proponent for future community involvement. “I think we’re certainly moving in the right direction.”
Envision Carlsbad is a city-sponsored program that brings community leaders and residents together to determine priorities for the city’s future.
Phase 1 of Envision Carlsbad called for local residents to participate in a 12-month “envisioning effort” to determine priorities. These priorities included but were not limited to high-quality schools, preservation of open spaces and family supporting jobs.
The yearlong process resulted in the Carlsbad Community Vision, which is an “expression of the community’s values and aspirations for Carlsbad’s future,” de Cordova said.
The Carlsbad Community Vision was adopted by City Council earlier this year, allowing program directors to move forward with determining Phase 2.
For more information on the Envision Carlsbad program, visit www.envisioncarlsbad.org.

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