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Calendar >  Carlsbad City Manager

Carlsbad City Manager

By   /  March 11, 2022  /  No Comments


March 10, 2022 –This week the Carlsbad City Council returned to in-person meetings, moving several projects forward that address residents’ top priorities, including growth, traffic and preserving community character in the Village and Barrio. Here’s a rundown of all of today’s topics:

  • 28 residents appointed to new committee focused on our future quality of life
  • Design standards are going to be strengthened in the Village and Barrio
  • Making area around Tamarack and Carlsbad Village Drive better for walkers, bikers and drivers
  • Voters will decide future of City Clerk position
  • New rules for political signs
  • Time-change reminder
  • Weekend rail service closure
  • Get involved: Upcoming meetings
  • COVID-19 updates
  • Celebrating female leaders near and far

Residents chosen for committee on growth, quality of lifeThis week, the Carlsbad City Council appointed 28 residents to serve on a community advisory committee that will help develop a new approach to managing growth in a way that protects Carlsbad’s excellent quality of life. Fourteen members and 14 alternates were chosen to get a cross section of community perspectives, including residents from each of the Carlsbad’s four City Council districts and members of appointed commissions. Why this is happening

  • For the past 36 years, Carlsbad has had strict standards in place for how, when and where new homes could be built.
  • Carlsbad is transitioning into a time when most of the major planned residential development is complete.
  • New state laws have reduced the ability of cities to deny new housing projects, and caps on the amount of housing are no longer allowed.
  • This means different tools are needed as we move into the future.
  • Just like in the 1980s, the community will once again play a major role in deciding how to ensure quality services, amenities and facilities are provided for the next 30 years and beyond.

Next steps 

  • The new committee will meet for about a year.
  • All meetings will be open to the public, livestreamed on the city’s website and include time for public comments.
  • I’ll let you know when the first meeting is scheduled and keep you updated as the committee works on this important task.

 Learn more

Design standards in Village and BarrioSpeaking of community involvement, the City Council appointed another committee this week, one that will help turn existing design standards for multifamily housing and mixed-use development in the city’s Village and Barrio areas into “objective design standards.” Why this is important

  • Having objective design standards will help the city preserve the unique character and charm of the Village and Barrio areas, while complying with new state laws designed to help ease California’s housing crisis.
  • Due to a shortage of housing in California, the state has streamlined the approval process for multifamily housing projects.
  • Under these new state housing laws, cities have less control over how many apartments and condos can be built and when.
  • However, cities can enforce design standards as long as they are considered objective.

What’s changing?

  • The committee won’t change things like building heights or how far buildings must be set back from the street.
  • Instead, it will look at the approved standards and add the specificity needed for them to be considered objective under new state housing laws.
  • The net result of this effort will be a stronger set of tools the City Council and Planning Commission can use to ensure new projects reflect Carlsbad’s unique character.

Next steps

  • The committee is expected to meet three times over the next year. All the meetings will be held in public with opportunities for community input.
  • Community members will also have other opportunities to share feedback on the objective design standards through an online survey and public meetings.
  • Once a draft of the new standards is ready, it will be available for public review and comment.
  • The project should be done in summer 2023. 

Learn more

Improving walking, biking and traffic flow at Tamarack and Carlsbad BoulevardHave you ever wondered why there is a bus stop in the middle of the street as you enter the Tamarack Beach parking lot? Are you tired of lining up single file to walk across the mouth of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon? These issues and more will be addressed by a project to improve the area around Tamarack Avenue and Carlsbad Boulevard. What’s changing?

  • A contract approved Tuesday by the City Council includes engineering and environmental analysis of three options for how this area could be reconfigured with a priority placed on safety for walkers, bicyclists and drivers.
  • Once that analysis is done, we’ll see which design performs the best.

Why now?You might recall that several years ago, the city worked with project neighbors and people who pass through the area often to make sure design options would address their needs and priorities. Since that time, the city had to work through some technical issues (and COVID intervened, requiring city resources to be temporarily reassigned). We’re now ready to take this project to the next step … Next Steps

  • Engineering design and environmental work will begin this spring and is estimated to be completed by early 2025.
  • After that, the final design will come back to the City Council for approval.
  • Projects along the coast go through more layers of approval, including the state’s Coastal Commission. As a result they tend to take longer than projects in other parts of town.

Voters will decide future of City Clerk positionThis June, Carlsbad voters will decide whether to join the other 80 percent of California cities that hire or appoint city clerks rather having them elected by voters. Of the 18 cities in San Diego County, Carlsbad, Oceanside and National City are the only ones that elect their city clerks. What’s a city clerk?The city clerk is responsible for publishing notices for public meetings and hearings, posting agendas and taking meeting minutes to comply with state open meeting laws. The city clerk also responds to requests for public records, administers oaths of office and other similar duties. Why consider a change?

  • Over the years, the city clerk job duties, requirements and legal responsibilities have become more complex.
  • In Carlsbad, city staff with the proper training and certifications handle the day-to-day duties, and the part time elected city clerk position has become more ceremonial in nature.
  • This change would save about $40,000 a year.

 One reason some people prefer the elected City Clerk model is that voters can hold elected officials accountable every four years. On the other hand, city professional staff are held accountable on a daily basis, but not directly by voters. Arguments for and against this change will be included with the ballot. More information

New rules approved for campaign signsTemporary political signs and other non-commercial signs will no longer be allowed on public property in Carlsbad. This move puts Carlsbad in alignment with other 14 other cities in San Diego County, with only Oceanside, Santee and Vista still allowing these kinds of signs. Why the change?

  • Since 2008, the city has allowed political signs to be placed in the public right-of-way (like along sidewalks and street medians) on major streets in commercial and industrial areas during campaign season, with certain restrictions.
  • Enforcing the rules has become increasingly time consuming and expensive.
  • Safety concerns have come up, such as people running into a busy street to put up a sign in the median and signs blocking views for drivers.
  • Complaints about the visual clutter of campaign signs have also increased, along with complaints about sign theft and vandalism among competing campaigns.
  • Candidates have access to many more ways to promote themselves these days, such as social media, making signs less important than they used to be.

 Political and non-commercial signs will continue to be allowed on private property and in traditional public forum areas (e.g., a person holding a sign in a public park).Learn more

Time to spring forwardDon’t forget, Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 13. While you’re setting your clocks forward an hour, city public safety officials suggest making these other quick changes to help keep you and your home safe.

  • Change the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Test smoke detectors monthly to make sure they work. (Smoke detectors should be replaced every 8-10 years, so check your unit for the purchase date.)
  • Recycle old batteries by putting them in a plastic bag and setting them on top of your recycling cart on trash day.
  • Make sure your home emergency kit is up to date. If you don’t have one, put one together this weekend.
  • Adjust the automatic timers controlling lights inside and outside your home. This will help save energy, too, as the days get longer.
  • Trim landscaping to improve visibility. Darker mornings mean more shadows that make it harder to see when you’re leaving for work, etc.
  • Change your morning outdoor exercise routine. Walk or jog with a friend, always carry your phone, stay in well-lit areas and wear reflective clothing so you’re visible to motorists.
  • Consider updating your automatic irrigation timer to make sure you’re not watering between dawn and dusk to reduce evaporation.

 It’s also a good time to review the City of Carlsbad’s emergency preparedness tips and resources.

Weekend rail closureThe North County Transit District asked the city to help get the word out about this weekend’s rail service closure.

  • All coastal rail line service will be suspended between the Oceanside Transit Center and Santa Fe Depot in San Diego this weekend for routine maintenance and rail infrastructure work.
  • The North County Transit District schedules these closures periodically so crews can work safely while making improvements and doing maintenance along the rail line.
  • Regular service will resume on Monday, March 14.
  • Because the weekend rail work could require speed restrictions afterward, COASTER passengers may experience delays of up to 10-15 minutes on Monday.

Get involved: Upcoming meetingsThe next City Council meeting will take place Tuesday, March 15, starting at 5 p.m. in the City Council chamber. Topics scheduled to be discussed include: 

  • An update on the city’s investments 
  • Putting a roof repair project at Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park out to bid
  • Annual progress report on how Carlsbad is meeting state requirements to ensure enough housing for people at all income levels and stages of life
  • Reducing weeds, trash and other hazards on private properties to lower the risk of fire 
  • Updating Carlsbad’s municipal code to reflect the new City Council district boundaries adopted by the Independent Redistricting Commission
  • Banning the placement of political and non-commercial signs in the public right-of-way (in medians and near curbs) (second reading)
  • Putting an item on the June ballot asking voters to make the City Clerk position a city employee rather than an elected position (second reading)
  • A work plan for the city’s efforts to foster and improve diversity, equity and inclusion among its employees  
  • An overview of the county’s mobile crisis response teams, which Carlsbad Police can now call to help people having behavioral health crises 
  • Appointments to the Carlsbad Tourism Business Improvement District, the Beach Preservation Commission and the Traffic & Mobility Commission 

 A link to the full agenda and staff reports will be available on the city’s website no later than Friday. You can watch the meeting live on the city’s website or cable TV channel.
City Council strategic planThe City Council is also planning a special meeting Wednesday, March 16, to continue work on its five-year strategic plan.

  • This meeting will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Faraday Administration Center.
  • We will be sharing the community input we gathered over the last couple of months (thank you!) and next steps in the planning process.
  • The agenda and additional information will be published to the website next week, and I’ll be sure to report back to you in next week’s update.

 These city boards and commissions also have upcoming meetings:

  • March 10, 6 p.m. – Housing Commission  
  • March 14, 3 p.m. – Economic Development Subcommittee  
  • March 14, 6 p.m. – Historic Preservation Commission
  • March 15, 9 a.m. – Legislative Subcommittee

COVID updatesAs promised, I will still provide weekly updates on COVID-19 as needed, but, thankfully, that need continues to decrease. 

The County of San Diego announced yesterday that it will be scaling back its contact tracing efforts and discontinuing the triggers dashboard. Instead, it will focus on the metrics outlined in the state’s SMARTER plan, which focuses on preparing for future variants and new viruses. 

Last week city public meetings in Carlsbad returned to an in-person format, and we have updated our health protocols based on the latest state guidelines and rules. We will continue to closely monitor things like local hospital capacity and maintain close communication with the County of San Diego so we know early on if anything is changing. 

Here is the latest COVID-19 Watch from the county.

Celebrating women in CarlsbadAt Tuesday’s meeting, the City Council recognized Women’s History Month, including the incredible contributions women make every day around the world and right here in our own city. 

I am proud to share that two of our city’s female employees were also recognized as part of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce’s Women of Impact series:

Crime Analyst Cindy Anderson has had public service in her blood since an early age. Cindy started her career as a Sergeant in the Marine Corps and served locally at Camp Pendleton. While there, she was awarded a scholarship which paid for her master’s degree. And as part of her degree, Cindy was required to complete an internship. She chose the Carlsbad Police Department, which soon led to her being hired as a part-time investigative assistant. Not long after that, she applied for the Crime Analyst position when the opportunity arose. Now, 15 years later, she is supervising the Crime Analysis Unit as a Senior Management Analyst.

Cindy’s unit identifies crime trends in the city and connects them to related crimes in the region. The thing Cindy loves most about her job is making a difference. She shared, “I love making a difference, knowing that because I remembered important details about a case or a suspect, I was able to make a connection that helped solve a case. I love the relationships I’ve established in the community as well as in law enforcement in doing this job. I also love that every day is different, but it is always interesting.” 

Communication & Engagement Director Kristina Ray has come full circle, returning to her hometown of Carlsbad 13 years ago, after starting her career working for two former White House press secretaries in Washington, D.C. Although her Beltway experience was exciting, she discovered her true passion for public service was at the local level.

In her current role, Tina loves getting to work with all our city departments on so many different issues. In addition to typical duties like overseeing the city’s website, social media and public engagement programs, she enjoys serving as a translator of sorts, trying to demystify government processes and jargon so everything the city does is transparent. What Tina really loves about her job is that, “I get to see up close how things work, but I also have a global view of the city as a whole. It makes me really proud to see the caliber of professionals – most of whom are behind the scenes – who work every day to make Carlsbad great. A well-managed city requires so many pieces working seamlessly together.” What makes me proud is opportunities like this to shine a light on our city staff and their dedication to their jobs.  You can read the full profiles here.

I’ll be back next week with more updates (including my top five city trails where you can enjoy the sunset now that you’ll have an extra hour of daylight to enjoy).

Carlsbad Connects app is an easy way to report things that need repair or attention around town, like potholes, sidewalk cracks, traffic light outages, graffiti and code enforcement issues. Submit service requests anonymously or create a free account where you can track progress and see what other people have reported.
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City of Carlsbad | 1200 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008


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