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Calendar >  Carlsbad City Manager

Carlsbad City Manager

By   /  January 13, 2023  /  No Comments


January 12. 3023

It’s been a wet start to 2023 here in Carlsbad with some reports of damage, but thankfully we have not been hit nearly as hard as other parts of the state. I’d like to give a big shout out to our city crews who have been out keeping our roads and storm drains clear and to our Fire Department for their quick response to people in need during the recent storms.More rain is on the way this weekend, so please continue to take precautions, especially on our roads. Today I’ll be sharing some information about road safety as well as these updates:

  • Appointment process for District 2 City Council vacancy
  • A new roadmap for economic growth
  • Sustainability by the numbers
  • Housing Commission to discuss homeless response plan
  • Grant funding for community organizations
  • See something that needs fixing? Try the CarlsbadConnects app 
  • An update on I-5 construction
  • Plan for road closures during the Carlsbad Marathon
  • A night out for teens, by teens
  • Upcoming meetings
  • City hours on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Safer streets by design

We have made great progress since the beginning of the traffic emergency accelerating street design projects (no pun intended). Some people have noticed the narrower lanes and expressed concerns about safety.

In the coming weeks we will be rolling out more information (still no pun intended) about how street design works to improve safety. For example, it may sound counterintuitive, but making lanes narrower causes people to drive more carefully. Wider lanes encourage speeding. So, if you feel a little uncomfortable driving on some of the newly restriped streets, please know that is by design.

Here is some background:

  • Most of Carlsbad’s transportation system was built during the last 35 years, coinciding with the city’s period of major growth.
  • The policies that guided this development were focused mostly on creating capacity on city roads so cars could travel without delays.
  • Today, Carlsbad’s transportation policies focus on protecting and enhancing the community’s quality of life, described in the core values of the Carlsbad Community Vision.
  • The community’s vision calls for better pedestrian and bicycle connections between neighborhoods, shops and other parts of the community and a balanced approach to road design that considers all users.

Carlsbad isn’t the only one changing its thinking about transportation. The state and federal governments have also shifted their focus to what is known as “complete streets.” Complete streets are streets that are safe and inviting for all users, including people of all ages and abilities, regardless of whether they are driving, biking, walking or taking public transportation.


City planners cite several benefits to the complete streets approach to transportation:

  • Safe and inviting walking paths and bike lanes encourage more physical activity, which, in turn, improves the overall health of community members.
  • Designing complete streets improves safety.
  • Fewer cars on the road and cars traveling more efficiently reduces air pollution.
  • When people walk and bike, they feel more connected to their communities. It’s easier to stop and chat with a neighbor or notice a local shop they might have otherwise driven right by.
  • Encouraging people to use alternatives to cars reduces the number of cars on the road, which helps with traffic congestion. 

City Council chooses appointment process for District 2 vacancy 

The Carlsbad City Council decided Tuesday to conduct an appointment process to fill the District 2 City Council seat left vacant when Keith Blackburn was elected mayor. Mayor Blackburn previously served as the District 2 City Council member for a term ending in 2024.  

  • Under the Carlsbad Municipal Code, the City Council had the initial option of holding a special election or using an appointment process to fill the seat.
  • Had the City Council decided on a special election, it could not have been held until Nov. 7 at an estimated cost of $275,000 to $475,000.
  • The code also specifies that a person appointed to a City Council position may not run for that same office until one year after the appointment ends.

District 2 boundaries

You likely remember that the city’s Independent Redistricting Commission approved new district boundaries last February, something that must be done every 10 years following the Census.

  • Because Keith Blackburn was elected by voters in the district boundaries in place in 2020, the California Election Code says those boundaries apply when considering eligibility for his successor. 
  • The new District 2 boundaries are effective starting with the 2024 election. 
  • Here’s a map showing how the boundaries changed. You can zoom in on the 2017 map if you are close to the border. Some neighborhoods did change districts in 2022. The overlapping colors on the map below are the areas that changed.

Provide input

District 2 residents are invited to submit topics they would like applicants to address during their oral presentations to the City Council at a special meeting Feb. 15 at 3 p.m. Email topics to the City Clerk at clerk@carlsbadca.gov by Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. Emails will become part of the public record and provided as part of the Feb. 15 meeting materials.

Here is a link to the application. The deadline is Feb. 2, at 5 p.m. The City Council is scheduled to review applicants at a special meeting February 15. Learn more.

New roles for City Council members

Also on Tuesday, the City Council voted to make City Council Member Priya Bhat-Patel the Mayor Pro Tem, who sits in for the Mayor when he is not available. The City Council also chose new representatives for a variety of regional agencies that handle issues such as water, transportation, energy and public safety.

The City Council did not choose new representatives for the San Diego Association of Governments Board of Directors at this meeting. The City Council plans to make those appointments once the District 2 vacancy is filled. Concerns were raised during the meeting that by waiting to make the SANDAG appointments, Carlsbad would not have a SANDAG representative in the interim. Upon further review of the resolution approving SANDAG appointees in January 2022, the resolution provides for the representatives appointed in January 2022 to continue in their roles until new representatives are chosen. 

This means Mayor Pro Tem Priya Bhat-Patel will continue as first alternate and Mayor Keith Blackburn will continue as second alternate until the City Council votes to appoint new representatives. Former Mayor Matt Hall was assigned as the primary member in January 2022, but because he is no longer serving as an elected official, he is ineligible to continue in this role. 

Roadmap for economic growth

Carlsbad’s diverse business sector is an important piece of our community character and a driver of our vibrant local economy.

On Tuesday, the City Council approved the city’s new Economic Development Strategic Plan, a roadmap to help our businesses and community thrive over the next five years and beyond. The plan includes four main economic development goals.

  • Support small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs
  • Develop workforce and attract talent
  • Grow and support key industries
  • Encourage placemaking and engagement

City staff developed the plan with input from Carlsbad residents, businesses, workers and organizations. We also conducted extensive market research, evaluated the city’s current economic development efforts and analyzed the pandemic’s lingering impacts. Read the plan.

Sustainability successes in 2022

Last year, Carlsbad saw major changes to the way we dispose of and recycle waste and other materials. These changes helped us comply with new state and local laws while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and becoming a more sustainable city. I’m proud to report that we are already making major progress.

In 2022, we collectively diverted nearly 40,000 tons of trash from the landfill: 

In 2022, we began requiring food scrap collection from residents and businesses due to a new state law and started to roll out new ordinances on the use of single use plastics and other materials harmful to the environment.

I know it’s been a lot to get used to in one year. Please know your actions really do make a difference! Learn more about our efforts to care for Carlsbad’s environment.

Housing Commission to discuss updated homelessness plan

Tonight at 6 p.m., the city’s Housing Commission will review an updated Homelessness Action Plan prepared following the City Council’s adoption of a 5-Year Strategic Plan.

  • The strategic plan includes an updated homeless response goal that reflects the work that has been completed on this issue over the past five years.
  • Staff is not proposing major changes to our approach.
  • Rather, the new plan addresses the updated goal, continues programs that have been successful and incorporates changes since the plan was first created in 2017.

You can read the staff report and draft plan and watch a recording of the meeting afterward on the city’s website or Cable TV channel.

Next steps

  • The Housing Commission will provide feedback to help inform the City Council’s consideration of the plan, scheduled for Feb. 7, 2023.

Grants for community projects

Part of the city’s strategy to reduce homelessness is to support local nonprofits that provide services. At Tuesday’s meeting, the City Council awarded the following grants: 

  • Catholic Charities (La Posada Shelter): $74,370 (shelter operations); $125,000 (shelter expansion); $25,000 (facility improvements)
  • Interfaith Community Service (housing and basic needs): $29,324
  • Community Resource Center (case management): $29,324
  • Legal Aid Society (fair housing): $20,000
  • Casa de Amparo (facility improvements): $150,000
  • Affordable Housing Fund (acquisition and resale): $443,094

App puts city services at your fingertips

Noticed a new pothole after all the recent rain? Discover a streetlight out? There’s an app to get them fixed. The CarlsbadConnects 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.

Last year, more than 1,800 community members reported issues that needed fixing.

Here’s a link where you can download the app. You can watch this video to learn more.

If you’re dealing with an emergency like a water main break, don’t use the app. Contact us if you need immediate help or would rather report something by phone or email.

Update on I-5 carpool lane construction

If you live close to I-5, you might notice a change in construction activity on the new carpool lanes. Caltrans and the San Diego Association of Governments are getting ready to move construction from the median, where it has been for the past several months, to the outside lanes and freeway shoulder. Before that shift can happen, crews need to remove some of the plants and trees near a few places on the freeway.

  • Work to remove vegetation is expected to start next week between Palomar Airport Road and Cannon Road along southbound I-5. Early next month, crews will start similar work between Las Flores Drive and State Route 78. Please note, construction schedules could change due to weather.
  • Work will be done at night, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. to reduce traffic impacts and for the safety of the crews.
  • If you live nearby or you’re traveling in the area, you can expect to see lights and hear some construction noise during these hours.
  • The vegetation removal work is expected to be complete by the end of February, and construction on the new carpool lanes is expected to wrap up in the summer.

If you’re traveling in the construction zone on I-5, please take extra care and slow down to 55 mph.Learn more.

Carlsbad Marathon this Sunday, some roads closed

If you’re planning to be out and about in the city this weekend, keep in mind that the Carlsbad Marathon, Half Marathon and Surf Sun 5K are all happening Sunday, Jan. 15. Several roads will be closed in north Carlsbad from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. on race day:

  • Southbound Carlsbad Boulevard between the north city limits at Buena Vista Lagoon to the south city limits at La Costa Avenue will be closed  
  • Northbound Carlsbad Boulevard from Poinsettia to the north city limits at Buena Vista Lagoon will be closed 
  • Marron Road between Monroe Street and Jefferson Street closed 
  • Monroe Street between Marron Road and Carlsbad Village Drive closed 
  • Jefferson Street between Marron Road and Grand Avenue closed (NOTE: Jefferson Street between Laguna Drive and Arbuckle Place reopens at 8 a.m.) 
  • Laguna Drive between Jefferson Street and State Street closed 
  • State Street between Laguna Drive and Carlsbad Boulevard closed 
  • Poinsettia Lane between Avenida Encinas and Carlsbad Boulevard closed
  • Palomar Airport Road between Avenida Encinas and Carlsbad Boulevard closed 

Learn more.  

Night out for teens

If you have a young teen in your family, there’s a fun event happening Friday at Pine Avenue Community Center planned by teens for teens. Friday Night Out includes pizza, ping pong, video games, mask making and music.

Friday Night Out – Friday, Jan. 13, 7-9 p.m. Pine Avenue Community Center Gym 103 3209 Harding Street Admission: $10 Geared toward 6th to 8th graders

This is a great way for teens to have fun and make new friends. They can register and learn more on the city’s website. Please help us spread the word!

Jan. 18, 5 p.m. – Planning Commission

City offices closed Monday

City offices will be closed Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but trash service won’t be delayed. Please make sure to put out your bins on your regular trash day.

Also on the holiday, city pools and the Senior Center will be operating on modified hours, open until 3 p.m. You can find a full list of holiday hours on the city’s website.

I’ll be back next week with more updates.

Scott Chadwick

CarlsbadConnects 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.

Read more

City of Carlsbad | 1200 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008


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