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Lennar Homes would pay for and build a neighborhood park on the site of the former Buena Vista Reservoir, which the city would maintain if the proposal between the city and developer goes through. File photo
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Carlsbad asks for public input on potential park, development

CARSLBAD — The city announced Wednesday an ambitious proposal to settle several long-running issues, including a lawsuit.

According to a press release, the city will host a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 19 to gather input about finishing Poinsettia Lane, increase protected habitat, add a park at the Buena Vista Reservoir and resolve a lawsuit filed by North County Advocates on the city’s General and Climate Action plans.

The meeting will be held in Room 173, 1635 Faraday Ave.

“We are very proud of this collaborative approach to addressing community concerns,” said Carlsbad Parks and Recreation Director Chris Hazeltine. “By coming together, we were able to create a proposal that we think makes a lot of sense. Now we want to hear from the larger community to make sure we have considered all the issues.”

Lennar Homes, which is developing 123 detached condos, has agreed to complete the connection from Poinsettia Lane between El Camino Real and Cassia Street.

In addition, development on Ambrosia Lane adjacent to Aviara Oaks middle and elementary school campus has been scrubbed from the project.

The agreement also adds 6 acres to the city’s habitat preserves, while 3 acres of land at the corner of Buena Vista Way and Highland Drive will be changed from future housing to parkland.

Lennar Homes will pay for and build the neighborhood park on the site of the former Buena Vista Reservoir. The city will maintain the park.

The city and North County Advocates incorporated these terms into a larger settlement of a lawsuit challenging the city’s General Plan update and Climate Action Plan, which was approved in September 2015, according to the release.

Although the groups involved have agreed to the concept, a formal agreement has not yet been approved. At the Jan. 19 public meeting, the parties involved in the proposal will go over the concept, answer questions and listen to input from the community.

After considering the public’s input, all sides will draft a final formal agreement and bring before the city council at a public meeting for approval.

The presentation and a video of the meeting will be available on the city website Jan. 20, along with information about how to provide comments. The public has until Jan. 25, to submit input.

“We feel this concept is an important step forward in addressing concerns with the city’s General Plan update and Climate Action Plan, and we are pleased to be a part of such a positive solution,” said Pat Bleha, president of North County Advocates.

The Lennar Homes Poinsettia 61 project is tentatively scheduled to go before the city Planning Commission Feb. 1.

If recommended for approval by the Planning Commission, the City Council will consider approval of the project at an upcoming meeting. Representatives from Lennar Homes will also be available at the Jan. 19 meeting to provide details about their proposed project.

Under the city’s Growth Management Program, developers must pay for and build infrastructure needed to accommodate development. Lennar Homes’ development would complete the project.

Lennar Homes’ Poinsettia 61 is the third project to be proposed for this site. If it is not approved, the future connection of Poinsettia Lane will be postponed and another developer could build homes along Ambrosia Lane adjacent to the Aviara Oaks middle school and elementary school campuses, according to the city.

As for the reservoir, the city owns the 3.1-acre site in a residential area of northwest Carlsbad, although the reservoir that has not been used for many years.

As part of a strategy for maximizing the public benefit of city-owned properties, in 2014 city staff proposed selling the property to a private party who could develop it in accordance with the land use rules in the area, which currently allow for about 14 home sites.

Neighbors opposed the sale and asked the city to consider turning the property into a park. The City Council delayed the decision to sell the property while neighbors worked with city staff to identify a way to pay for the park.

The city’s Growth Management Program specifies how much parkland will be created based on the number of people living in an area. Developers provide money to fund the parks based on the number of future residents of their developments.

Since the city has already met the requirements for park space in the northwest part of the city, prior to this proposal, no funding source existed to build a park at the Buena Vista Reservoir site.

“We appreciate the collaborative spirit that has resulted in this proposal,” said Jeremy Parness, division president for Lennar Homes. “By working together, we have come up with a creative proposal with far greater benefits than what any single party could have accomplished working alone.”

1 comment

Don January 14, 2017 at 9:12 pm

Has it finally occurred to the current Mayor and City Council (except Cori Schumacher) that listening to people then doing whatever the hell you want (ie what the developers want) is NOT going to fly any longer? If so, then Hallelujah. Next step is to get to work on the next election and get rid of the current Mayor and the rest of City Council (except Cori Schumacher).

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