The Coast News Group

Four stories allowed for Grand Pacific Resort

CARLSBAD — On Tuesday night, the City Council voted to approve a city ordinance change, allowing The Grand Pacific Resort to include four stories in a 45-foot building instead of three.

Height limits did not change, just the amount of floors that can be built in Carlsbad Ranch Planning Area 5, which is the small area along Grand Pacific Drive north of Legoland and south of Cannon Road.

The height limit is 35 feet unless an applicant gets a site-specific plan approval for 45 feet.

The maximum amount of rooms in the hotel will also stay the same, at 700, half of which can be hotel rooms and half of which can be timeshares.

Senior Planner Christer Westman said the four-floor buildings are common.

“There are several zones that allow 45 feet, so that’s not uncommon for other parts of the city of Carlsbad,” said Westman.

The ordinance change allows the Grand Pacific Resort owners to put in extra meeting space and food service amenities, said Bill Hoffman with Hoffman Planning and Engineering.

“It will be a much more enhanced site and a much better experience for a lot of clientele there,” said Hoffman.

He also said it will decrease the number of vacation villa buildings.

“The reason we want to have four levels instead of three is the additional level will allow us to decrease the footprint of these buildings and decrease the total number of vacation villa units by two buildings,” said Hoffman.

The top floor will also likely have better ocean views.

Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce President Ted Owen spoke in favor of the increase for the same reasons.

“The approval of the amendment will allow more open space on the sight because there will be less of a footprint,” Owen said.

The Planning Commission approved the level change in March.

Three people spoke out against the level change then but nobody spoke at the City Council meeting.

According to the report created by city staff, the hotel will cater to large groups of business professionals and the meeting market.

The visits generally combine business and recreation.

The hotel will be able to accommodate groups from 10 to 2,700 guests on the 52.8-acre parcel.