September 23, 2021–This week in Transition into fall, we are focusing on making the city more environmentally sustainable, improving Carlsbad’s second busiest road (can you guess?), and starting construction on our newest dog park, among other work to support an excellent quality of life for our residents. Here are all the details…
Just a few updates since last week:
- The FDA stopped short of recommending that everyone who got the Pfizer vaccine get a booster shot at the eight-month mark. Instead, the agency decided to limit that recommendation to just those who are at an increased risk.
- California now has the lowest case rate in the country.
- The various metrics tracked by San Diego County are generally looking better, but several still exceed the targets. All of the charts showing any kind of curve indicate the surge has peaked. Here is yesterday’s weekly update from the county.
- But, before you hang up your mask, you should also know that health experts are worried about what will happen when the temperature starts to dip, and more people are indoors.
Carlsbad’s case numbers are following a similar downward curve as the countywide numbers. Thank you for helping to slow the spread. Please keep it up by following the advice of public health experts:
- Avoid crowds
- Wear a mask as an extra precaution when you’re indoors with people outside your own household
- Keep your distance from others when you are out and about
- Stay home if you have any COVID-19 symptoms
- Get fully vaccinated, if you are not already
City working on plastics ban, other sustainability initiatives This week, the City Council voted to declare a climate emergency and directed staff to return by the end of the year with an implementation plan and cost analysis for three new laws that support sustainability, which is one of nine core values that make up the Carlsbad Community Vision. The new laws would include:
- A ban on single-use plastics and polystyrene products, commonly called Styrofoam.
- A requirement that restaurants offering takeout provide straws, napkins and utensils only upon request.
- Prohibiting the release of balloons at civic events and promotional events or for advertising.
The City Council asked staff to include a 12-month period for the city to implement the changes so we could provide education and resources to the community and give businesses plenty of time to prepare.
Work beginning on new dog park Construction fencing is going up this week, and grading will start next week for the new dog park scheduled to open next summer at Poinsettia Community Park.
Undeveloped land near the park entrance will be re-graded into a large, gently sloped area for the off-leash dog park, with a shade structure and separate enclosures for large and small dogs. We’re also building a new restroom and a new parking lot with 37 spaces, including four EV charging stations, just south of the pickleball courts.
- Work will take place Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- You’ll still be able to use the rest of the park. The only minor impact will be to sidewalks between the pickleball courts and the basketball courts.
- All parking lots will also remain open.
First public hearing on redistricting tonight The city’s Independent Redistricting Commission will hold its first public hearing tonight. The focus is to get your input on communities that should stay together for the purpose of electing a City Council member, starting with next November’s election.
- The virtual hearing starts at 6 p.m., Sept. 23, via Zoom.
- You can also call in to provide comments. All of those instructions are on the redistricting commission’s website.
- If you just want to observe the hearing, it will be livestreamed on the city’s website and cable channel (Spectrum 24 and AT&T U-verse channel 99).
- You can also provide input through an online survey that will help shape district boundaries and/or email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
3 ways we are improving one of Carlsbad’s busiest roads We know traffic is one of the community’s top concerns, so we put together a quick update on how we’re improving one of Carlsbad’s busiest roads, including:
- Pedestrian bridge, sidewalk improvements at El Camino Real and Cannon Road
- New northbound lane, enhanced bike near Cannon intersection
- Widening between Poinsettia Lane and Camino Vida Roble
Thanks for your patience as this important work continues. (And great news: The southbound lane of ECR at Cannon Road is set to reopen ahead of schedule, probably in mid-October.)
Get the details
City supporting workforce development Workforce development is key to Carlsbad’s economic health, so it’s great to have organizations and programs in our community that train skilled workers. This week, the City Council voted to continue to lease a city-owned property on Las Palmas Drive to a long-time community partner, the MiraCosta College Technology Career Institute. Carlsbad has been leasing the 23,000-square-foot building to MiraCosta since July 2014. Since then, about 3,275 people have enrolled in the institute’s career-training programs.
City’s chief innovation officer receives Top Tech Award Last Friday we learned that our very own Chief Innovation Officer David Graham was named the 2021 Top Tech Award recipient for government during a virtual ceremony in San Diego. This award recognizes the incredible work David and our team have done to help lead Carlsbad’s strategic digital transformation, laid out in a roadmap approved by the City Council in 2019.
During the COVID pandemic, this work has allowed the city to use technology to support small businesses, spur economic development and advance public health initiatives that have helped keep our case rates among the lowest in the region. Thank you, David, and congrats on this well-deserved honor.
2 ways to observe National Public Lands Day This Saturday is National Public Lands Day, which sounds like the perfect time to get out and appreciate some of Carlsbad’s incredible outdoor spaces. The day marks the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort aimed at educating the public about the environment and natural resources and improving public lands for outdoor recreation.
- Volunteer at our trail cleanup. The city is hosting a cleanup at La Costa Glen Trail on Saturday from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. The work will include refurbishing the kiosk, trimming vegetation, repairing eroding trails, removing weeds and litter, and other needs. For questions or to RSVP, contact Michael Tully at email@example.com or 760-268-4724.
- Enjoy Carlsbad’s 67 miles of public trails. Our new online portal, GoHike Carlsbad, gives you all the info you need to plan your hike, including the length of each trail, degree of difficulty, where to park, and how to connect to other nearby trails.
Get involved: Upcoming meetings Last week, the state updated its rules allowing cities to hold virtual public meetings during the pandemic. The changes make it easier for the public to comment during public meetings via Zoom or by phone. The new process is explained in detail here. (We used it at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, and it went well!)
Here are some topics that are scheduled to be discussed at the next City Council meeting on Sept. 28:
- An agreement authorizing a city storm drain on North County Transit District property
- Renewing an agreement to provide police school resource officers to the Carlsbad Unified School District
- A contract with the Humane Society to care for pets belonging to people experiencing homelessness
- A contract for strategic planning for the Parks & Recreation Department
- An agreement to build affordable housing at a development on Aviara Parkway
- Documents required for the city’s new full-time emergency medical technician positions
- Updating the municipal code to reflect the city’s current management structure
- An update on the city’s program to offer hotel room vouchers to people experiencing homelessness
- Revising city laws to address quality of life concerns related to homelessness and public spaces
- How to form an advisory committee to help update Carlsbad’s Growth Management Plan
- The city’s accounting process for advances to the Crossings at Carlsbad Golf Course
- How to allocate unspent funds from last fiscal year’s budget
- Actions by City Council subcommittees on homelessness and municipal code changes
- An update on the city’s water and wastewater funds and expenses
- Considering whether to continue virtual public meetings or resume in-person public meetings
City of Carlsbad | 1200 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008