CARLSBAD — Questions regarding the purchase agreement between Caruso Affiliated and San Diego Gas & Electric have yielded few answers.
Queries about the termination date of the agreement between the two sides have gone unanswered. It is not illegal or unusual for purchase agreements between a public and private entity to withhold financial terms until the deal has closed.
The contract is for more than 200 acres north of Cannon Road, which was subject to a controversial special election on Feb. 23.
Known as Measure A, the proposal was defeated, although the sales agreement is still in place until Caruso Affiliated notifies SDG&E of its future plans.
An order authorizing the sale of property and purchase and sale agreement was dated July 31, 2012, between SDG&E and Caruso Acquisition Co. II, LLC, an affiliate of Caruso Affiliated.
The acquisition arm of the development company was created for the purpose of acquiring and developing land.
There are two parcels — 48.78 gross acres and 159.79 — described in the agreement.
Three years prior to the resident-led initiative in 2015 to bypass the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Caruso’s sales agreement stated the company did not have development plans to enable a meaningful review.
However, the agreement reads the location and design will be defined and refined over a “multi-year” period with community input along with following state and local planning processes.
Although Caruso’s plans were not set in 2012, according to the agreement, the company released renderings in 2015 of what residents could expect from the luxury retail property.
A media representative with Caruso Affiliated did not return an email seeking comment about any possible future plans or a termination date of the purchase agreement.
A spokesperson for SDG&E speculated the deal could expire in summer 2017.
In the agreement, financial and any termination dates have been redacted, however, it notes the deal can be terminated before the speculated date if Caruso Affiliated notifies SDG&E it will no longer pursue development of the land.
The Los-Angeles based development firm spent nearly $10.5 million endorsing its plan for a luxury retail center and hiking trails along the south shore of Agua Hedionda Lagoon.
Given what we know from our experience with Caruso, he is working behind the scenes to find another way to get his development approved.
The BEST part of this, is that Caruso can still build the same shopping center without any input from city residents. Hell, if I were him I’d do it to satisfy the 48% that voted YES and as a big screw you to the 52% that voted NO.
So what will it take to get Caruso and all the other people who want to pave over Paradise out of Carlsbad? The Village/Barrio Master Plan, which may or may not be a Caruso sponsored set of projects, will have a far worse affect on Carlsbad than the mall on the lagoon would have had. There is a meeting on Wednesday, April 13th, at 6:00 pm in the Carlsbad city council chambers with the Carlsbad Planning Commission. If a paved-over four-story parking-garage filled Village and Barrio are not your vision of the future of Carlsbad, please attend the meeting and speak to the Planning Commission.
The term resident-led initiative is quite humorous. Measure A was deceptive from its birth to its defeat.
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