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A vacant residential unit at 3050 Madison Street in Carlsbad Village will be demolished and a four-story mixed-used building will be constructed after the city council approved the proposal last week. Photo by Steve Puterski
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Despite parking concerns, mixed-use building gets approved

CARLSBAD — A four-story mixed-use building was approved for a major review permit by the City Council last week amid worries over parking and inclusionary housing.

Dubbed 4 Plus 1 Luxury Living, the mixed-use project is located at 3050 Madison St., where a one-story, two unit residential building is, and which is vacant. It was also used as a medical clinic, according to Austin Silva of the Carlsbad Community and Economic Development department.

The new building, meanwhile, will consist of 1,105-square feet of commercial space on the first floor with the four apartments above. The apartments range in size from 2,018-square feet to 3,018 with each having its own private deck with a maximum building height of 45 feet, Silva added.

“The project meets all development standards,” he explained. “There’s a 45-foot maximum and this is consistent with that.”

However, Councilwoman Cori Schumacher (no relation to councilman Michael Schumacher), who was the lone no vote, said the parking issue is concerning.

She said affordable housing in Carlsbad Village is an issue for the neighborhood and another reason why she couldn’t support the project.

“This is one of the most important areas for affordable housing moving forward,” Schumacher said. “Land is a resource. There will become a scarcity and need for that resource in the Village. And a limited number of dwelling units that we can locate to certain projects to increase density in order to have that affordable housing projects.”

Inside the building would be 10 parking spaces, eight total for the four units and two for guests.

The developer, Tony Tonekaboni, was approved to participate in the Parking-in-Lieu Fee Program, which allows for a credit and a one-time fee to be collected instead of adding parking spaces.

The Housing-in-Lieu aspect, meanwhile, is for projects with six or fewer units and a one-time cost of $4,515 per unit, Silva said. Since the property previously had two units on site and only two more will be added, Tonekaboni must pay $9,030.

“It’s a program where developers or business owners can buy a credit,” Silva said of the Parking-in-Lieu program. “They can also be used for future spaces. The Housing-in-Lieu … instead of providing an affordable unit you have the option to pay a fee for each (non affordable) unit.”

Barbara Rotella, who owns a physical therapy practice next door, said her business has had issues people parking in her spaces to patron other shops in the area.

“My concern with this is you have four units and you’re giving two spaces per unit,” she said. “The bigger concern, and something I think the city needs to address, is the Parking-in-Lieu. There was only one space available. It’s really been a problem for us in the past.”

Tonekaboni, who designed the project, said parking would not be a concern. He said commercial parking will be in front and not around from the back.

He also noted the site’s previous use as a medical facility, which should ease any concerns about parking.

“I think the building, the way I see it, is really nice and matches the area,” he said.

Councilman Keith Blackburn said the developer is following the ordinance and isn’t asking for any variance. However, Blackburn said he is sympathetic to Rotella and dealing with the issue.

The council also got an earful from an unidentified woman who yelled at them for gentrifying the neighborhood later in the meeting.

Mayor Matt Hall attempted to calm and silence the woman, but she refused to be and said it was a disgrace to approve the project. Police escorted the woman out.