|Aug. 18, 2022|
|As families throughout Carlsbad transition to their school-year routines, you’ll likely notice traffic patterns changing around your neighborhoods. Please be sure to leave extra time when you head out and take special care, especially in school zones. More on traffic safety below along with these updates:|
- Clean energy program growing
- Future City Hall
- Keeping crime rates low
- Village & Barrio design feedback
- Get paid for saving water
- Monkeypox resources
- The season’s final TGIF performance
- Fire Explorer openings
- Snores and S’mores a big hit
- Upcoming meetings
Keeping people safe as they move around our city, whether driving, bicycling or walking, is something we always keep top of mind. This time of year, as schools return from the summer break, we often share reminders about traffic safety.
As many of you already know, two terrible tragedies occurred in the last 10 days where bicyclists were struck and killed in Carlsbad. On behalf of the entire city, I want to extend my personal condolences to the families and their loved ones. I also want you to know that I fully recognize the inadequacy of words at a time of such profound grief.
Investigations are underway in both incidents, and we will share the results when they are completed. In the meantime, I implore each of you to:
- Eliminate distractions, whether driving, biking or walking. Phones, music, kids, pets – there are so many things that vie for our attention every day. Tragedy can occur in a split second.
- If you have an e-bike in your family, please make sure you understand the rules of the road, including new Carlsbad-specific rules passed by the City Council to improve safety.
- Allow extra time over the next few weeks to get where you need to go. Even beyond our borders, colleges and universities will be returning, which could affect freeway traffic.
- Be kind to one another.
You will be hearing more about traffic safety in the coming weeks, and I encourage you to become involved in this issue.
Clean Energy Alliance
Four more North County cities – Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos and Vista – have joined the Clean Energy Alliance, a greener energy alternative that has been serving Carlsbad residents since May 2021.
- The alliance is a “community choice aggregation” program that was established to provide residents and businesses cleaner power at competitive rates.
- The cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar and Solana Beach were the first to join when the alliance was formed in November 2019.
- SDG&E delivers the energy, but the alliance purchases the power first and builds in renewable energy sources to provide at least 50% renewable energy supply for customers.
In addition to joining the Clean Energy Alliance, we have implemented several new environmental programs, updated city laws and taken other steps to surpass our Climate Action Plan’s 2020 target, which was to reduce greenhouse gases 4% below 2012 levels. Now, we’re working toward the next target: to reduce greenhouse gases to 52% under 2012 levels by 2035.
Future City Hall
At this week’s meeting, City Council reached an important milestone by unanimously approving a new approach to replacing our aging City Hall. Long story short, the city organization operates out of several buildings throughout Carlsbad, some of which are aging and in need of repair. Others, such as our City Council chamber, don’t meet current needs.
The city owns several properties around town where we could build a new City Hall, but no clear consensus exists among community members about which location is best. In addition, COVID-19 has greatly accelerated changes in how people work and like to access city services. In considering these things, staff developed a new option for the City Council’s consideration.
The new approach approved Tuesday focuses on rebuilding City Hall and the Cole Library at their current locations while keeping the Faraday Administration Center. This hybrid option will provide:
- A larger, modern City Council Chamber
- New community meeting rooms and spaces
- A larger Cole Library
- Continued city services at the centrally located Faraday Administration Center
Not only is this option less expensive, it allows the city to proceed with selling other properties that had been kept as potential City Hall locations. That money can be used to build the new City Hall and library.
- Staff will now start the process of planning for the rebuilt City Hall and library, including updated cost estimates and timelines.
More details are included in the staff report.
Preventing crime in Carlsbad
The City of Carlsbad Police Department provided an update to the City Council Tuesday on the latest regional crime statistics, which show that Carlsbad’s violent crime rate remains lower than the county average, and property crimes have decreased 10% over the past five years, compared to 5% countywide.
- Police Chief Mickey Williams also shared an update on programs the Police Department has implemented to address crime trends, including catalytic converter thefts and bike thefts.
- The Police Department also has an active crime prevention education program to remind residents of steps they can take to reduce opportunities for crime, like locking their doors and windows.
Village and Barrio design standards
Last month we invited community members to weigh in on “objective design standards” for multifamily housing and mixed-use development in the Village and Barrio areas through an online survey and community workshop. On Monday, staff will present a report summarizing the feedback and key themes to the Design Review Committee, a group formed by the City Council to guide the development of these standards.
- The standards won’t change things like building heights or setbacks defined in the Village and Barrio Master Plan.
- They will add clarity and give specificity to what’s in the plan so Carlsbad can better preserve the unique character and charm of the Village and Barrio areas while complying with state laws designed to ease California’s housing crisis.
The committee meeting will take place on Monday, Aug. 22, starting at 3 p.m. in the City Council chamber. The full agenda and staff report are available on the city’s website.
What’s next? A draft of the new standards is expected to be ready for public review and comment in early 2023. The project is scheduled to be complete by summer 2023.
Earn rebates for saving water
As summer heat and the statewide drought continue, it’s more important than ever to take extra steps to save water. The good news is that a variety of rebate programs are available to Carlsbad residents and businesses, helping you save money and water at the same time.
Here are a few ways residents and businesses can earn rebates:
- Replacing your grass lawn with drought tolerant, native plants
- Switching to high efficiency washing machines or toilets
- Installing rain barrels to collect water from gutters
- Upgrading your sprinkler system
If you’re not sure where to start, you can sign up for a free WaterSmart checkup to receive personalized recommendations specific to your home or business.
For more information about how to conserve water, including the latest outdoor watering rules, visit the city’s water conservation webpage.
In one of my updates earlier this month, I shared that the county has declared a state of emergency due to Monkeypox spread. Since then, the county has released more guidance and helpful information on their website, including steps we can all take to prevent the spread of the virus.
- Know the signs and symptoms
- Limit close skin-to-skin contact
- Get vaccinated if you are exposed or at high risk
Our Fire Department is in regular contact with health officials, and I will let you know if anything changes that would affect our city. You can also text COSD MONKEYPOX to 468-311, to receive text alert updates from the county.
Last TGIF Concert of the season
It’s hard to believe our last TGIF Concert of the summer will be held this Friday at Alga Norte Community Park. We’re wrapping up a string of incredible shows with the 80’z All-Stars, a TGIF favorite and one of San Diego’s premiere tribute acts. Get ready for lots of dancing and singing along with the band.
Before I issue my usual reminders about parking and our free shuttle service, I want to take a minute to thank our community volunteers, hard-working city staff and the many city departments who worked so hard to make this season safe and fun for everyone.
Now, here’s what you need to know if you’re planning to attend Friday’s show:
- The field will open at 4 p.m. Concert starts at 6 p.m.
- Consider getting dropped off or carpooling to ease traffic.
- You can park offsite at 5815 El Camino Real and take our free shuttle to and from the concert site.
- The shuttle runs from 4:15 to 9:15 p.m.
- Don’t forget to pack a picnic – no food and drink vendors this season.
- Please leave your furry friends at home (service animals are welcome).
- It never hurts to bring bug spray just in case.
Fire Explorer program returns
The City of Carlsbad’s Fire Explorer program is back, and it’s a fantastic way to learn what it’s like to work in our Fire Department.
- Teens and young adults 15-20 years old can go behind the scenes to learn about daily life and career opportunities in fire and Emergency Medical Services roles.
- This volunteer program emphasizes character building, leadership, community service and physical fitness.
- Explorers will learn about fire department equipment, policies and procedures, and will participate in firefighting training scenarios and fire station ride-alongs.
Snores & S’mores a sweet success
Carlsbad families had a great time last weekend roasting marshmallows, playing games and sleeping under the stars at the city’s annual Snores & S’mores overnight campout at Aviara Community Park.
You can watch some of the highlights from this memorable event in this short video.
This fun and safe camping experience is one of our most popular summer events and draws both first-time campers and seasoned pros. Thanks to everyone who joined us and to our Parks & Recreation team who made it all possible.
Get involved: Upcoming meetings
The next City Council meeting will be held Aug. 30 at 5 p.m. in the City Council chamber. A link to the full agenda and staff reports will be available on the city’s website by the Friday before the meeting.
In addition to the Village & Barrio Design Review Committee meeting I already mentioned, here are the other city meetings happening next week.
|Aug. 22, 9 a.m. – Legislative Subcommittee|
Aug. 24, 4 p.m. – Library Board of Trustees
Aug. 25, 5 p.m. – Growth Management Citizens Committee
|Stay cool this weekend – it looks like we’re in for several more days of hot and humid weather.|