June 9, 2022
This is going to be a good weekend to stick close to the coast, with dangerously high temperatures forecasted for local deserts. Today I’m sharing some fun things to do while staying cool, plus several updates from this week’s City Council meeting:
- New water conservation measures in place
- Homeless program seeing measurable results
- New commission to engage with Police Department
- Outdoor dining remains popular post COVID
- Ready for your summer reading adventure?
- Take a StoryWalk in the park
- City employee is “San Diego Fair Community Hero”
- Upcoming meetings
- Another great excuse to get outdoors
New water conservation rules
By now you have probably seen images like this one of Lake Mead, showing the severity of the ongoing drought.
To meet state regulatory requirements and respond to these statewide drought conditions, the Carlsbad Municipal Water District is asking residents and businesses to take several actions to save even more water. For example, starting Friday, June 10, businesses and residents should water no more than three assigned days per week, except for commercial growers, nurseries and those using recycled water like golf courses and HOAs.
If your address ends in an even number – Monday, Thursday, Saturday
If your address ends in an odd number -Tuesday, Friday, Sunday
Apartments, condos and businesses – Monday, Thursday, Saturday
These rules come from our “drought response plan,” which all water agencies in California are required to have. For now, all water agencies in the state have been told to implement the conservation actions listed under a level two drought emergency. You can see the full list here. State officials said they’ll check in about 90 days to see how much water has been conserved and, if needed, require more stringent rules.
Keep in mind that depending on where you live, you might not be in the Carlsbad Municipal Water District service area. The City of Carlsbad is also served by the Vallecitos and Olivenhain water districts, whose rules might be slightly different. Find your water district.
NOTE: Whenever the topic of water use comes up, people rightly ask what the city is doing to save water. I am proud to say that Carlsbad has one of the highest per capita usage rates of recycled water in the region (this is why you might see parks and other areas being watered, even during a drought). Our city facilities use lower water use fixtures, and we constantly monitor for leaks, so no water goes to waste.
Homeless response efforts seeing positive results
During the third quarterly report of the fiscal year, covering January through March 2022, the city helped 12 additional people experiencing homelessness transition into permanent housing. Other progress for this three-month period, includes:
- 16 encampment cleanups
- 39 people placed in temporary shelters
- 309 people provided with information, referrals and other services to help them get off the streets
- Our police, including the Homeless Outreach Team, responded to 2,585 calls for service related to homelessness
The city’s homeless response team shared the progress Tuesday in a quarterly update on the City Council’s goal to reduce homelessness. Part of the goal includes providing regular updates to make it easy for the City Council and the public to track progress and adjust the program as needed. Read the full report
Some businesses keeping outdoor setups post COVID
Many restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores and other Carlsbad businesses that moved outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic will keep their expanded operations, based on data staff reported to the City Council Tuesday.
- In 2020, City Council voted to temporarily suspend certain land use standards to help support local businesses affected by health restrictions that forced them to close or dramatically curtail operations.
- This allowed businesses to either operate on city property such as sidewalks and the street, or private property like parking lots, or both, depending on the location.
As COVID restrictions began to lift, city staff sought feedback from businesses and the public about next steps. In 2021, residents and business owners who responded to an online survey generally supported continuing outdoor business activities.
- 88% of businesses said outdoor operations helped them recoup a portion of lost revenues
- Most respondents said they enjoyed eating outdoors and did not notice a negative effect on parking. About 40% of respondents thought the reduction in parking was noticeable
- 51% said they would like Carlsbad to have more private outdoor dining areas.
- About 37% of respondents did not want to see the city allow more curb cafes, and 19% wanted fewer than there are today
City staff will work with local businesses to provide direction and guidance if they want to make their temporary outdoor operations permanent. If businesses do not want to make their outdoor setups permanent, those within the Village and Barrio areas can continue to operate on city property until the public health orders are repealed, at a date not yet identified. Citywide, businesses can continue as is until Jan. 1, 2024.
Strengthening community engagement with the Police Department
The Carlsbad City Council voted Tuesday to form a new commission focused on maintaining strong public trust and confidence by serving as a body to facilitate conversations between police and community.
In January, the city hired the Office of Independent Review Group, a consulting firm specializing in the independent review of police practices and civilian oversight of law enforcement. OIR Group was asked to consider community-police engagement models throughout the country and make a recommendation regarding how the Carlsbad Police Department could utilize one or more to enhance community engagement and trust.
The OIR Group presented its report to the City Council June 7. Of the two options presented, the City Council decided to form a commission. The other option was to have the Police Chief make regular presentations to City Council regarding the state of the department, use of force data, notable events and community engagement.
The goal of the new commission will be to foster strong police-community relations. City staff will develop an ordinance for the City Council’s review later this year based on City Council’s feedback and the OIR Group’s recommendations. The ordinance will specify member qualifications, the appointment process, meeting frequency and other details. Once the ordinance is adopted and in effect, the city will recruit applicants and plan the first meeting.
I’d like to thank everyone who provided input to the city over the past couple of years as we have explored various ways to ensure our Police Department is meeting your high expectations.
Schools out, reading is in!
The library’s popular summer reading program is back, encouraging readers of all ages to spend some quality time with their favorite authors over the next few months.
- The 2022 Summer Reading Adventure runs June 13 through Aug. 6.
- This year’s theme is Read Beyond the Beaten Path.
This annual challenge lets participants log their progress and collect fun incentives along the way. The library has also put together several virtual and in-person programs like children’s story times, teen book clubs, STEM workshops and creative arts activities. Registration opens June 13.
Take a StoryWalk
As part of our 2022 Summer Reading Adventure: Read Beyond the Beaten Path, the City of Carlsbad is bringing a fun and unique traveling StoryWalk to four city parks this summer.
- StoryWalk tells the brightly illustrated, bilingual story, Call Me Tree, by Maya Christina Gonzalez, through a series of colorful signs that will be temporarily posted along a path at each park.
- Visitors can walk the path with family or friends and read the story together while enjoying some of the city’s beautiful open spaces.
June 13-26 – Holiday Park
June 27- July 10 – Calavera Community Park, near the new park entryway
July 11-24 – Aviara Community Park
July 25-August 7 – Stagecoach Community Park
If you’ve been following this newsletter, you know that I love any opportunity to highlight the dedicated staff that make up Team Carlsbad. Not only are they passionate public servants in their formal roles with the city, but they go above and beyond their daily lives.
So I’m proud to highlight one of our library’s part time reference and computer technicians Amanda Schoppmeyer, who was named a 2022 San Diego County Fair “Community Hero” for her philanthropic efforts donating items and supplies during the pandemic.
- Amanda, who has been couponing for more than 15 years, donated hundreds of items including toiletries, food and cleaning supplies to various nonprofit organizations.
- She also ran an online campaign, “Self-care for Healthcare,” providing snacks, toiletries, gift cards and other items to healthcare and other frontline workers during the pandemic.
- Her stockpile of items (all at discounted prices due to her couponing) is so extensive, she continues to donate to local charities and non-profits.
Please join me in congratulating Amanda on this well-deserved recognition.
Get involved: Upcoming meetings
The next City Council meeting will take place Tuesday, June 14, starting at 5 p.m. in the City Council chamber. Topics scheduled to be discussed include:
- An update on the city’s investments
- Approving a workers’ compensation settlement
- Appointing two members to the Village and Barrio Design Review Committee
- Buying back an affordable condominium to resell it to another eligible lower-income buyer
- An agreement with Community Resource Center to help homeless people and families in Carlsbad find jobs and get benefits
- Designating state funds for road improvements to projects to repair and replace damaged pavement and concrete around the city
- Authorizing bidding to replace the streetlights in various locations throughout Carlsbad
- A public hearing to adopt the city’s budget for the coming fiscal year that starts July 1
- The city debt management policy required by state law for the city to issue or restructure any debts, such as bonds or bank loans
- Approving the annual report of on fire inspections conducted by the Fire Department
- A discussion about the criteria for serving on the city’s growth management citizens committee
These city meetings are also scheduled for next week:
June 14, 9 a.m. – Legislative Subcommittee
June 15, 5 p.m. – Planning Commission
June 16, 4 p.m. – Beach Preservation Commission Special Meeting
All boards and commission meetings are now livestreamed on the city’s website and available to watch later.
National Get Outdoors Day
Finally, this Saturday, June 11, is National Get Outdoors Day, and with the weather heating up, it’s a great time to try one of our many city trails that are close to the beach.
Here are three Carlsbad trails – rated easy, moderate and difficult – that feature beautiful views and cool coastal breezes.
Length (miles): 0.70 – Easy — Access this trail on Windrose Circle, where there’s a small public parking lot. The trail runs along the bluff of the Batiquitos Lagoon, wraps around the residential community and ascends to Avenida Encinas through a set of concrete stairs. You’ll find some stunning views of the lagoon and the coastline, plus a pretty, shaded gazebo.
Length (miles): 0.5 Moderate — You can get to this trail from the north end of Garfield Street. (Street parking is allowed.) The trail runs along the north shore of the outer portion of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon, between Coast Highway and the railroad tracks. The trailhead has spectacular ocean and sunset views, and the trail is a great place to see shorebirds.
Length (miles): 2 – Difficult — The Aviara trail system is one of the most diverse in the city. The trails all have unique names that reflect a specific type of characteristic. Not surprisingly, the Eucalyptus Trail has lots of eucalyptus groves. The topography is steep in some areas, but the high points offer breathtaking views of the Batiquitos Lagoon and the ocean.
You can get more detailed information on these and other trails through our online portal, GoHike Carlsbad. It has interactive navigation tools and maps, so you can track where you are in real time as you’re hiking. P.S. Here’s a recap of last Saturday’s National Trails Day event at Hosp Grove.
Congratulations to all the recent grads out there, and I hope everyone has a great weekend.
Scott Chadwick, Carlsbad City Manager
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