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Calendar >  Carlsbad City Manager News Update

Carlsbad City Manager News Update

By   /  April 8, 2022  /  No Comments

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April 7, 2022
In keeping with the Earth Month theme, this week I have news to share on new efforts to reduce plastic waste, keep downtown clean, protect our beaches and stay safe on the trails:
  • Moving toward a more sustainable Carlsbad
  • Focus on financial sustainability
  • Six ways you can help keep our beaches clean
  • Village and sea wall to get increased cleaning
  • Springtime trail hazards and how to avoid them
  • New ways to experience art in Carlsbad
  • Get involved through these upcoming public meetings

“Skip the stuff” to reduce plastic waste The City Council approved a new city law Tuesday aimed at reducing the amount of unused and unwanted single-use plastics that end up in landfills each year when people get food to go.

  • Starting June 1, restaurants and food delivery services in Carlsbad must only provide single-use plastic food ware like straws, utensils and condiment packets on request. This new law is based on a state mandate commonly called “Skip the Stuff.”
  • The city is going above and beyond the state requirement by also enacting a citywide ban on single-use plastic food ware and polystyrene containers. This will take effect July 1, but we’re giving businesses a year to transition materials until enforcement begins.

Why it’s important Offering plastic food ware items only when requested will reduce waste and save businesses money:

  • Keeps 1,196 tons of these materials out of the landfill each year
  • Reduces Carlsbad’s overall waste stream by 3%
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 0.73%, which is the equivalent of 369 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or 6,101 tree seedlings grown for 10 years

Of course, stopping their use altogether will have even greater benefits, and we’ll be working with our local foodservice businesses over the next year to make this happen.

More changes coming The new ordinance is part of a sustainability implementation plan approved by the City Council in December 2021. Future initiatives include:

  • July 2022: Organic materials recycling begins (food scraps, yard waste, etc.)
  • July 2023: A ban on the use of plastic beverage bottles for city facilities and city-affiliated events
  • July 2023: A ban on intentionally releasing balloons, like people do sometimes at celebrations and events
  • July 2023: Retail plastic bag ban
  • July 2024: Food establishment plastic bag ban

You can review and comment on the next three environmental ordinances, including restrictions on plastic bagsintentionally releasing balloons and using plastic water bottles at city facilities and events. Comments are due by April 22 to reducereuserecycle@carlsbadca.gov.

Later this month, staff will give City Council an update on our Climate Action Plan, which focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We’re in our fifth year of implementation, with an impressive list of accomplishments, all resulting in cleaner air for our community. More on that in a couple of weeks. 

More information Reduce, reuse, recycle

Focusing on the city’s financial sustainability Carlsbad’s definition of sustainability has often been referred to as the three-legged stool, with environmental, financial and social sustainability all being critical to the city’s future quality of life.

Some of you might have been asked to take a survey recently seeking your opinion about different ways the city could raise more revenue. We’ll be presenting the results of that survey in a couple of weeks, but since we’ve gotten some questions, I wanted to share a little background:

  • The city forecasts revenues and spending 10 years into the future so we can have plenty of time to make needed adjustments.
  • This approach has served the city well because we can be thoughtful about reducing spending or seek new revenues, before there is an urgent need.
  • During last year’s budget adoption, city staff presented data showing a projected shortfall of revenue in future years.
  • This was not a surprise – it’s largely due to transitioning from a growing city to one focused more on maintaining what has been built.
  • The City Council approved a project to study potential new sources of revenue so they could consider all the options. The survey was part of this effort to gather information.

Carlsbad has always been known for its fiscal health, and our goal is to keep it that way by planning ahead and providing the very best data available so the City Council can make informed decisions. More updates to come.

Six ways you can help protect our lagoons and ocean Carlsbad is proud to have two of only three beaches in San Diego County to get an A+ rating for water quality. You can help keep our ocean clean by preventing runoff from getting into the street, where it picks up contaminants on its way to the storm drain system (and eventually our lagoons and the ocean):

  • Check for runoff in your yard
  • Make sure sprinklers are aligned
  • Don’t overwater your yard
  • Use nontoxic products outdoors
  • Sweep instead of hosing down your driveway
  • Wash your car in your front yard (where water can soak back into the drain) or go to a carwash

Earth month events Our next Earth Month event is this weekend: 

Donate, don’t waste April 9, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.5815 El Camino Real 

This event gives Carlsbad residents the opportunity to donate items for reuse through Goodwill programs instead of sending them to the landfill. Items accepted at the event include small home appliances like toasters or blenders, housewares and home décor, small furniture items, sporting goods, electronics and gently used clothing, shoes and accessories. Registration is not required. 

Learn more about other upcoming Earth Month events.

Keeping downtown and our sea wall clean The City of Carlsbad will start pressure washing downtown Village sidewalks and the Carlsbad sea wall every day to help keep those heavily traveled areas clean and inviting. 

Right now, pressure washing takes place four days a week, with no service on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Going forward, it will happen daily, with the option to schedule a second crew to do spot cleaning downtown after holidays and large events. 

The changes were approved by the City Council on Tuesday. The pressure washing is done by a nonprofit company called Urban Corps, which has been providing pressure-washing services in Carlsbad since 2017. Learn more.  

Three trail critters more active in the spring Carlsbad residents love our natural open spaces and trails, but as the seasons change and temperatures rise, be sure to keep an eye out for rattlesnakes, bees and coyotes. 

Rattlesnakes According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, most snake rattlesnake bites occur between the months of April and October when snakes and humans are most active outdoors. And snakes aren’t just found in wildland areas – they may show up in parks, golf courses and backyards, especially those near undeveloped properties. 

While hiking on city trails, please remember the following:

  • Keep your dog on a leash under six feet long.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times and avoid distractions from your cell phone.
  • Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and do not wander off the trails especially into high grass or weeds.
  • Make sure you can always see the path ahead of you and look for snakes that might blend into the ground before picking up rocks or sticks.
  • If you encounter a rattlesnake on a trail, calmly back away and leave it alone.

Bees Some of you might remember several weeks ago we had to close one of the Lake Calavera trailheads because of swarming bees. Bees often swarm in late spring when they’re reproducing and searching for new places to build hives. Though most bees are not aggressive, they’ll sting if they feel threatened. The County of San Diego recommends following these safety tips, created by the University of California Cooperative Extension, to avoid a painful encounter:

  • If you see a swarm flying nearby, or clustered on the ground or the side of a tree or building, keep your distance and don’t disturb them. The bees are likely to move on soon. Notify others about the location so it can be avoided.
  • If you see a swarm of bees moving toward you, seek shelter if possible. If you’re caught in a swarm, move away and cover your face and neck for protection.
  • If you’re stung by one or more bees
  • Stay calm and don’t flail or swat at them. Scrape the stinger out as quickly as possible and wash the area to mask the smell pheromone smell, which could attract other bees.
  • Know where the nearest emergency room is in case you need it. Bee allergies are rare – only about 1 or 2 per 1,000 people are hyper-allergic – but it’s best to be prepared.

The City of Carlsbad does not remove bees from private property; that’s the responsibility of the property owner. If the bees are a concern on public property, please call the Parks Department at 442-339-2824. They will evaluate the situation and relocate the bees if needed. 

Find more information about honeybees on the county website and more information about Africanized honeybees on the state’s website

Coyotes Spring is also when coyotes give birth and start to raise litters, which can make them more defensive and territorial. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife suggests these precautions to avoid any conflicts with coyotes.

  • Never feed or attempt to tame coyotes. 
  • Keep your dog on a leash under 6 feet long. Never leave small children or pets outside unattended or let them wander far ahead of you while hiking.
  • Don’t hike alone and stay on the trail; don’t wander into tall grass.

 Learn more about how to keep coyotes out of your neighborhood on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website.
More information How to avoid human-wildlife conflictsCalifornia Department of Fish Wildlife  Overview of city trails: Carlsbad Trails webpage

Detailed info on where to hike, parking, etc.: GoHike Carlsbad portal

New art experiences await Dove Library exhibit Through April Carlsbad resident, 17-year-old Annika Brucia, has a collection of oil paintings on display in Dove Library as part of the city’s Pop Up Art: Showcasing Local Talent program. 

Annika, a student at Envision Visual Arts Conservatory at Crest Academy, created pieces that celebrate the diverse people and places in Carlsbad while exploring themes of nature, human emotion and memory.

This collection of art was inspired by those things she missed most during the COVID lockdowns. 

Learn more Pop-Up Art: Illustrate your own artist book scroll

Saturday, April 9, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children’s Garden at Dove Library

The world of art and books intersect at this Pop-Up Art event where participants explore art elements such as line, shape, texture, and form, while considering the idea of a “book” in a completely different and unexpected format. All art supplies are provided. Learn more.

“The Tap Dance Widows Club” Showtime @The Schulman Saturday, April 9, 7:30 p.m.

Schulman Auditorium at Dove Library This live dance performance and engaging documentary reminisces about Old Hollywood and the power of dance to heal a broken heart. It tells the story of a group of widows who, while sharing grief, discover dance and movement is their saving grace. Learn more.

Get involved: Upcoming meetings The next Carlsbad City Council meeting Tuesday, April 19, starting at 5 p.m. in the City Council chamber. The full agenda and staff reports will be available on the city’s website no later than the Friday before the meeting. Meanwhile, these city commissions and committees are meeting next week:

  • April 11, 5 p.m. – Community Development Block Grant Committee
  • April 12, 9 a.m. – Legislative Subcommittee
  • April 13, 1 p.m. – Golf Lodging Business Improvement District Committee
  • April 13, 1 p.m. – Tourism Business Improvement District Committee
  • April 14, 4 p.m. – Beach Preservation Commission

Please take it easy during this short but intense heatwave. We should be back to seasonal temperatures by the weekend. And I’ll be back next Thursday with more updates.

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