CARLSBAD — After the unveiling of the new Buena Vista Reservoir Park on Aug. 27, the city has officially put to bed the Poinsettia 61 Community Benefit Agreement.
The legal settlement between the City of Carlsbad, Lennar Homes and several nonprofit groups in 2017 allowed the development of more than 100 homes off Poinsettia Lane, a bridge connecting the road from Cassia Road to El Camino Real, habitat protection and a park.
The park is the final piece and the city officially opened it with a ceremony to highlight 3.1 acres complete with native plants, walking trails and a playground.
“It’s been a few years in the making, and we’re ecstatic with the results,” said Carlsbad Parks and Recreation Director Kyle Lancaster. “It’s a beautiful park, the design is unique and also takes into account environmental features.”
The proposal was the result of a lawsuit filed by North County Advocates in 2015 over the General Plan, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and Climate Action Plan over a development project from Lenna Homes on Poinsettia Avenue.
The city, along with Lennar Homes, Friends of Aviara, Friends of the Buena Vista Reservoir, Preserve Calavera and the NCA came together to resolve their issues in 2017.
The plan included Lennar Homes constructing 123 detached residences along Ambrosia Lane, finishing the Poinsettia Lane connection, adding a 3.1-acre park at the Buena Vista Reservoir and about 25 acres of open space to the city’s Habitat Management Plan at Veterans Park and off of Poinsettia Lane.
Additionally, the Poinsettia bridge was included to ensure a wildlife corridor runs underneath.
The work transformed what once was an area filled with a broken-down and unused reservoir. However, Lennar Homes, which constructed the park, incorporated the old water tank as a feature, along with pieces of concrete from the reservoir to construct grassy hills giving the park a more pleasing aesthetic, Lancaster said.
“The community really requested this,” Lancaster said. “We found a way with other entities that were part of the Community Benefit Agreement, and we’re extremely pleased with the end result.”
Mayor Matt Hall said although the projects took years, the final products are a benefit to the city, along with showing that many interests can work together to produce something all can enjoy.
Councilwoman Priya Bhat-Patel gave a brief history of the land, starting with a reservoir being constructed in 1918, which was used until the 1960s. However, the land sat unused for years.
During the celebration, the park was filled with dozens of families and kids, several of whom dropped in behind the council celebrating during the ribbon cutting.