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City releases Village, Barrio master plan

CARLSBAD — The highly anticipated Carlsbad Village and Barrio Master Plan Update has at last been released for public review. The document is in its third edition as the city puts together a plan and vision for the two iconic neighborhoods.

The city engaged with residents in September 2014 and thousands of comments have been collected, analyzed and incorporated into the subsequent updates.

“City staff appreciates all of the community input thus far and has worked hard to capture the community’s priorities with this revised draft,” said Carlsbad Senior Planner Scott Donnell. “We feel we’re striking the right balance of honoring what people hold dear and want for these neighborhoods, while putting policies in place to make sure the Village and Barrio can continue to adapt and thrive well into the future.”

Some of the changes to the plan include making the overall tone, content and graphics more Carlsbad-specific and in line with the community’s character.

A sore spot for many residents had been the height limits increasing to 55 feet in the Village. Under the new plan, the city will maintain a 45-foot limit.

In addition, the plan calls for revised design guidelines and standards with more detail, drafting an implementation plan for public improvements, parking management and incorporating findings from the city’s Village, Barrio and Beach Area Parking Management Plan, which was approved in September 2017.

Some other recommendations include developing a more attractive entrance to the Village, public plazas at “key” intersections and creating a pedestrian promenade between State and Jefferson streets on Grand Avenue.

One of the plan’s central themes is mobility and parking, which the City Council has been grappling with for years. And while several projects are in the works along Carlsbad Boulevard, the master plan is dedicating resources for improvements concerning walkability and for cyclists.

The city has already installed 100 bike racks, and is proposing cycle tracks on Oak and Grand avenues along with the State Street alley. The parking-in-lieu program, meanwhile, is restricted to most of the Village and about three blocks in the Pine-Tyler mixed-use district.

Another proposal is four, 500-square-foot public plazas at the intersections of Carlsbad Village Drive and Carlsbad Boulevard, Carlsbad Village Drive and State Street, State Street and Grand Avenue and Carlsbad Village Drive and Harding Street.

As for the Barrio, recommendations include a shared civic space at Roosevelt Street and Walnut Avenue, improving traffic with roundabouts and strengthen walkability, improving beach access with new railroad crossings (specifically at Chestnut Avenue) and developing bikeways to connect the Barrio, Village and beach.

Improvements for easier access to the Coastal Rail Trail at Tamarack and Oak avenues is proposed, plus trenching the railroad tracks to incorporate those beach access points in the Barrio. Trenching, though, is a separate project and a decision is not expected for several years.

However, within the Village and Barrio the city presented eight Master Plan districts, which will be formed on shared characteristics such as land uses.

As for when the city will move on the plan, it could go before the Planning Commission this spring, and if approved, then to the council for final approval.

To read the entire plan, visit