CARLSBAD — Nearly two dozen modifications for the Village and Barrio Master Plan were approved Aug. 20, thus moving the plan forward.
The City Council approved the plan, 4-0 (Mayor Matt Hall was absent), during its meeting, although the council directed staff to return with a work plan and resource strategy for potential future changes to the master plan.
The council approved the second segment of the plan after the California Coastal Commission requested the city adopt 23 modifications during its June 13 meeting. Forty percent of the new master plan resides inside the coastal zone, which requires the commission’s approval. The remaining 60% was approved by the city last year and is already active.
“The modifications have really more of a narrow purpose and that is to, in the Coastal Commission’s eyes, demonstrate consistency and implement the goals of the Coastal Act,” Carlsbad Senior Planner Scott Donnell said.
The council also approved six amendments for the master plan, which will come back in several months. If those changes are approved, they would go through the same process as the original plan; however, the current plan remains in effect.
Now, the plan reverts back Coastal Commission to confirm the City Council’s approval. Until then, property in the coastal zone remains under the old Carlsbad Village Master Plan and other existing land use and zoning requirements.
The commission’s action was more to maximize public access, prioritize visitor-serving areas and protecting and enhance the coastal environment. The commission is expected to approve the modifications later this year, according to the city.
Approval of projects, though, is split in the master plan as the City Council approves proposals in the Village, while the Planning Commission has final say for the Barrio.
However, an amendment package of six items was requested by Councilwoman Barbara Hamilton, and approved 4-0, which includes decision-making authority for the Village and Barrio.
“This is a different residential area than other parts of town because we are increasing density and development in the area and changing the character,” she said. “I think it’s important that council has an opportunity to review that and residents have that go to council.”
The other items include permitted uses, noting the live-work-play motto; parking-in-lieu fees to be distributed to specific parking areas through public-private partnerships; traffic impact analysis and mitigation fees including roadway areas outside the coastal zone; objective architectural and historical design standards; solutions and options to avoid housing-in-lieu payments and commit to building the Regional Housing Needs Assessment allotment; and an inclusionary housing policy.
In addition, Hamilton said a specific fund for multi-modal fund regarding traffic impact analysis would be included.
City staff will bring back a work plan in the coming months looking at those issues and if some of those can be incorporated with other policies and ordinances.
A timeline of four to six months was requested. Carlsbad Planner Don Neu said it could be done, although it would be tight. He said the timelines for the Local Coastal Program update, which is nearing public release, zoning ordinances and the Housing Element regarding the Growth Management Plan are major upcoming issues for the staff.
He said the zoning ordinance is slated to be released in early 2020 and if Village and Barrio master plan amendments take precedent, the other items would most likely be delayed.
“Six months would be a little tough for us,” Neu said. “I think the big item for us is really that architectural and historical designation issue.”