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Calendar >  Carlsbad City Manager

Carlsbad City Manager

By   /  February 2, 2024  /  No Comments

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News from the City of Carlsbad | Feb. 1, 2024

After seeing the damage caused by heavy rain recently in other parts of the region, you might be wondering about Carlsbad’s drainage system and what we do to maintain it. I’ll tell you all about that today, along with this news of the week: 

  • Keeping Carlsbad safe during a storm
  • Zoning changes mean more control over housing
  • Robertson Ranch Park survey now live
  • Finding Carlsbad’s 200+ EV chargers
  • Celebrating Black History Month 
  • Half-price museum passes now available
  • What’s on the agenda for the next City Council meeting

Staying safe during a storm Whenever we have bad weather here in Carlsbad, it’s a good idea to revisit the basics of safe driving, prepare for power outages and put away items that could cause damage during high winds. We have a complete “to do” list you can read on our website.

I also want to share some information about how the city helps protect your safety and property during heavy rain.

City drainage system Drainage is one of those basic city services that is often out of sight, out of mind, yet critically important, especially when a storm passes through.

  • For decades now, we have required new development to install high quality drainage infrastructure as a condition of approval.
  • In older neighborhoods, we have spent more than $50 million to add drainage improvements where none existed or replace old, corroded pipes with new more durable materials.

We have made significant progress, but these projects are not easy. Construction is expensive and usually pretty disruptive to traffic, local homes and businesses.

  • We work on projects every year, and have made significant progress.
  • We were even able to reprioritize some of this work during the COVID-19 pandemic so work in the Village could get completed while businesses were closed.

Over the next five years we have another $24 million worth of projects planned. Learn more

Regular maintenance – Drainage systems need constant attention to function well. Before a major storm, crews check pipes, channels and other infrastructure to make sure they’re free from obstructions that could block water flow.

Emergency response – Even with all this work, some low-lying areas can experience flooding during significant storms. That’s why the final key to managing drainage is to schedule extra crews to be in the field during storms (like today!). This includes staff who can remove fallen branches from the road and clear blocked drains. We even have a special truck, which is like a giant wet vac on wheels, prepositioned and ready to remove water if needed.

Residents can do their part by keeping an eye on gutters in their own neighborhoods and letting us know if something needs attention. You can use our Carlsbad Connects app or, if it’s an emergency call our 24/7 emergency line at 442-339-2197.

Zoning changes help Carlsbad retain more local control over housing – On Tuesday, the City Council voted to approve the rezoning of 16 properties around Carlsbad to meet new state housing laws. Because of this action, Carlsbad will not be subjected to a provision of state law called the “builder’s remedy,” which would have allowed developers to build new housing at any site and any density, with Carlsbad having little to no recourse.

This is all part of a slate of new state laws enacted to address the shortage of housing in California, especially affordable housing.

The City Council’s action did not approve any specific projects, and the city itself does not build housing. Instead, the city is required to ensure enough land is zoned for housing to meet the housing demand projected.

Who decides how much? – In our region, every eight years, the San Diego Association of Governments assigns a number of new housing units to each city based on state population projections, employment centers and other factors. In addition to the total number of new housing units, the requirements specify how much needs to be affordable to people with low incomes.

Then, cities need to update their housing plans to show how they will accommodate the new housing.

Community input – The City of Carlsbad started the process of updating our housing plan over three years ago with a citizens advisory committee. That was followed by public meetings, online surveys and other outreach that first focused on how the city should prioritize properties.

  • For example, the community generally liked the idea of converting industrial and commercial properties to residential more than allowing more density in existing single-family neighborhoods.
  • There was also more support for adding housing in locations already close to services and transit.

See the community input report

Once sites were identified, we asked the community to provide feedback on the selections. Through a series of meetings, some sites were eliminated, and others were added. In some cases, the density of a proposed site was changed. Here is a link to the final map.

What about Carlsbad’s Growth Management Program?

These changes in state law mean that we cannot enforce the housing caps that have been part of the city’s Growth Management Program since the 1980s. We also no longer have the option of putting a moratorium on building if infrastructure falls short of established standards due to development.

Although most cities are not happy with the loss of local control resulting from new state housing laws, Carlsbad is doing everything we can to protect the quality of life in our community through the tools we still have available. For example, last year the City Council approved a framework for a new Growth Management Plan. We are working on programs to help reduce the number of cars on the road, and we continue to preserve approximately 6,200 acres as natural habitat for sensitive plant and animal species.

If you’d like to take a deeper dive into state housing laws and other related issues, our Community Development Department has created short, informative summaries that are available on our website. LEARN MORE

Robertson Ranch Park survey now live – This week, we launched an online survey to gather feedback on design options for Robertson Ranch Park, planned for the corner of Cannon Road and El Camino Real.

Input gathered late last year was used to come up with the three design options.

  • Each one has a unique theme, although they share some common amenities like pickleball courts, playgrounds, quieter, natural areas, a jogging track and a large multipurpose sports field.
  • You don’t have to pick just one.
  • It’s most likely that the final design will include favorite elements of each.

3 ways to provide input

Take the survey through Feb. 23.

Come to a meeting where you can stop by stations to learn more about each design, chat with the park design team and share your thoughts.

Saturday, Feb. 10, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. City of Carlsbad Faraday Administration Center, 1635 Faraday Ave.

Participate in a virtual meeting where you can ask questions and provide feedback. Thursday, Feb. 15, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Register here to get the link

Finding EV chargers in Carlsbad – Environmental sustainability is one of the major goals in the City Council’s 5-Year Strategic Plan. One of the ways we promote sustainability is by installing EV chargers around Carlsbad and requiring certain new development to include EV chargers in their projects.

From time to time, we get asked how to find EV chargers in Carlsbad. We actually have over 200! The easiest way to find them is to visit plugshare.com on your computer or use the Plug Share app on your mobile device (you might get a pop-up window on your computer asking you to register for an account. If you don’t want to, just close that window and proceed to the site).

Here’s a map that shows charging station locations (there are less than 200 map pins because the pin just shows the location, and each location can have multiple chargers available). Colors refer to different types of charging.

If you’re new to electric vehicles or considering making the switch, here are some details about charging stations:

  • There are different types of charging stations, based on the type of plug your car uses and charging speed.
  • Some EVs have plug adapters that allow them to use more than one type of charging station.
  • There are also different companies that run charging stations, so if you have an EV, you will likely want to set up accounts through their apps so you’re ready to use whichever one is available when you need it (city-owned chargers use the ChargePoint network).

The City of Carlsbad has directly installed 28 public EV chargers so far, with another 10 planned for the Village in 2024. And, as part of our Climate Action Plan, we now routinely invest in EV charging infrastructure when we build or do major renovations at city facilities. Here’s where the city chargers are located:

Library celebrations in February

Celebrating Black History Month – February is Black History Month, and our libraries have put together special programs that explore Black history, celebrate the Black experience and highlight stories of Black Americans who have made a big impact in our world.

The first one is next Thursday, Feb. 8, when award-winning author Breanna J. McDaniel will talk about her new book, “Go Forth and Tell: The Life of Augusta Baker, Librarian and Master Storyteller,” a picture-book biography about the first Black coordinator of children’s services at the New York Public Library.

Breanna J. McDaniel – Thursday, Feb. 8, 6 to 7 p.m. Schulman Auditorium, Dove Library 1775 Dove Lane

Learn about other programs this month including two special genealogy classes and an author talk event on Feb. 17 with NBC News anchor Jeffrey Blount and novelist Piper Huguley, where they will discuss their latest books.

Celebrate museum month – In February you can also pick up passes at any Carlsbad City Library to save 50% on admission all month to more than 60 San Diego museums and other attractions, including LEGOLAND and the Museum of Making Music right here in Carlsbad. More information

What’s on the agenda for the next City Council meeting – The next City Council meeting will take place Tuesday, Feb. 6, starting at 5 p.m. in the City Council Chamber. Topics include:

  • Putting two projects out for bids: One to repair a 35-year-old retaining wall and make drainage and pedestrian safety improvements on Park Drive west of Bayshore Drive and the other to replace the backup generator at a wastewater pumping station that’s reached the end of its service life
  • An agreement for a project to replace aging drinking water pipes on the southern part of Adams Street, near the Agua Hedionda Lagoon, and nearby Hoover Street, as well as parts of Highland Drive and Cove Drive
  • An agreement with the Carlsbad Unified School District to provide Police Department school resource officers at local schools
  • The annual report on the city’s Housing Trust Fund. The fund, generated primarily through developer fees, provides financial support for projects and programs to help people with lower incomes and in need of affordable housing
  • A request from the North County Transit District to work with the city on parking options at NCTD’s Carlsbad Village Station. NCTD is working on a proposal to build a mixed-use development on its property there
  • Adopting an ordinance to change the zoning on 16 properties across Carlsbad to meet state requirements that cities have planned housing capacity to meet projected needs across all income levels. (This item includes several actions related to the city’s overall land use plans.)Adopting an ordinance to change the zoning on two properties to open space: an undeveloped hillside area at the end of Aura Circle near Kelly Elementary School and Buena Vista Reservoir Park
  • Annual work plans for the city’s Library Board of Trustees and the Arts Commission
  • An update from the Police Department on recent crime trends and how they are being addressed
  • A progress report on the implementation of the City Council’s 5-Year Strategic Plan and what is proposed for the fiscal year that starts July 1

The City Council encourages your participation. You can get agendas and staff reports emailed to you directly, and if you want to provide input, you can email council@carlsbadca.gov before the meeting or come in person and fill out a request to speak.

If you want to watch from home, we have three options:

  • 1.    Watch the meeting live on the website
  • 2.    Watch a recording of the meeting afterwards
  • 3.    Watch live or a replay throughout the week on the city’s cable TV channel, Spectrum channel 24 and AT&T U-verse channel 99

Boards and commission meetings are also livestreamed on the city’s website and available to watch afterward. You can see the meeting schedule on our city calendar.

I’ll be back next week with more updates. In the meantime, stay safe and please look out for one another, especially on our roads.

Scott Chadwick, City Manager

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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.

Carlsbad Connect

City of Carlsbad | 1200 Carlsbad Village DriveCarlsbad, CA 92008 www.carlsbadca.gov

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