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Calendar >  Carlsbad City Manager Update

Carlsbad City Manager Update

By   /  February 22, 2024  /  No Comments


News from the City of Carlsbad | Feb. 22, 2024

This week I’ll be providing updates on recent storms, how we’re meeting the City Council’s environmental sustainability goals, seeing rock ‘n’ roll royalty up close and personal, and other news of the week. Here’s the full rundown:

  • Understanding storm-related emergency proclamations
  • Homes and businesses can get assistance for storm-related losses
  • Progress reported on environmental sustainability goals
  • Yep, smart water use still important, even with the rain
  • Chestnut underpass is getting a whole new look
  • Volunteer trail event set for Saturday
  • Go behind the scenes with Rock ‘n’ Roll legends
  • What’s on the agenda for the next City Council meeting
  • Kindness, Carlsbad-style

Understanding storm-related proclamations – The city recently approved three storm-related proclamations of local emergency. Here’s some background about the emergency proclamation process and why the city took these actions:

  • The California Government Code allows cities to proclaim a local emergency based on established criteria, including when there are “conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property.”
  • These emergency conditions can exist citywide, like our recent traffic safety emergency, or in specific parts of the city, as was the case the last couple of weeks.

The City Manager has the authority to make the emergency proclamation, although the City Council must ratify that proclamation within seven days. Then, the emergency is subject to continuous review by the City Council until it is terminated.

When an emergency has been proclaimed, the city can streamline contracting procedures and obtain emergency permits from federal and state agencies to complete the needed work. 

Current status – One of the recent emergency proclamations allowed the city to quickly repair a split storm drain pipeline on Carlsbad Village Drive near Pontiac Drive. Getting this work done now prevented damage to the road and lengthy road closures. The repair work has now been completed, and the City Council will be asked to terminate the emergency at its next meeting.

The other two sites involved in the emergency proclamations already had longer-term projects in the design and environmental review process. One involves repairing a slope along El Camino Real north of Tamarack Avenue. The other is to clear the Buena Vista Creek concrete channel near the mall off El Camino Real.

  • The emergency work will not eliminate the need for the longer-term projects, which will continue in their design and environmental processes.
  • But because of the multiple heavy storms in late January and early February, the city needed to take some immediate actions.

You can read more about how emergency proclamations work on the state’s website.

In the meantime, I would like to thank city staff for keeping an eye on the city during each major storm, identifying potential problems, quickly mobilizing and working together effectively when emergency measures are needed. 

Assistance for residents and businesses with storm-related losses – Residents and business owners who suffered storm-related losses between Jan. 21 and Jan. 23 can apply for assistance online or call the FEMA hotline at 1-800-621-3362.

  • Assistance could include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover.
  • This assistance is available only for damage that occurred between Jan. 21 and Jan. 23, because these dates cover the time period of the storm that resulted in a federal emergency declaration.

FEMA will also establish disaster recovery centers in the county to provide in person guidance on available resources. Once locations are determined, you can find them on this mapLEARN MORE

Progress reported on environmental sustainability efforts – In week two of our deeper dive into the major goals of the City Council’s 5-Year Strategic Plan, let’s look at environmental sustainability.

The city presented its first annual progress report on the strategic plan at the Feb. 6 City Council meeting, which you can watch online if you’d like all the details.

Here’s the five-year vision for “Environmental Sustainability and the Natural Environment” from the plan:

“Thanks to the city’s strategic approach to environmental sustainability, Carlsbad is seen as a model for how to leverage partnerships and innovation to achieve climate and environmental goals. City residents and businesses feel supported in their own environmental sustainability efforts, whether it’s complying with new mandates or taking advantage of opportunities to go above and beyond. As a result, the city has met or exceeded goals for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions, reducing what goes to landfills, keeping creeks, lagoons and the ocean clean, and protecting native habitat and natural open space.”

Some of the major environmental initiatives in the strategic plan include:

  • Updating the city’s Climate Action Plan, which sets measurable goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions generated in Carlsbad. This is on track to be completed later this year.
  • Increasing citywide electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Two dozen new chargers are scheduled to be added to the Village this year.
  • Managing the city’s drainage system so pollutants don’t end up in our oceans and lagoons. We received an A rating once again last year for ocean water quality.
  • Launching the city’s first organics recycling program. Food and other natural materials decomposing in landfills are a significant cause of greenhouse gases. We now have a program to turn this organic waste into compost instead.
  • Rolling out new restrictions on single-use plastics while working with restaurants and other businesses to ease the transition to sustainable products.
  • Adding an average of 500 new trees to the city through 2026.
  • A program to limit the use of pesticides in city-maintained landscaping, including parks.
  • Monitoring and managing the city’s habitat preserve system to meet biological standards.

The city’s environmental efforts are some of the most highly regulated and technical work the city does. We have a biologist and arborist on staff, as well as experts in watershed protection, hydrology and a host of other specialties. Here’s a quick snapshot of what this work looks like in a typical year.

You can read more about our sustainability efforts and see the year-one progress report on our website. We also have links to available rebates and incentives to help you do your part to protect our beautiful environment here in Carlsbad.

Next week, we’ll take a look at efforts to preserve Carlsbad’s unique community character.

Smart water use as important as ever, even after heavy rains

Whenever we see significant rain here in Carlsbad, it’s usually followed by someone saying, “well, we need the water.” It’s true, we do always need more water. However, for a whole variety of reasons, rain falling in Carlsbad doesn’t have as significant of an effect on our long-term water reliability as you might think.

  • One reason is that although some rain goes into local reservoirs, most of the rainfall runs off into the ocean. The good news is that reservoirs statewide are above average for this time of year.
  • Another reason local rainfall isn’t going to solve our water supply challenges is that most of our water supply comes from Northern California and the Colorado River.
  • ·Finally, the amount of snow north of us makes a big difference. You can see from the map below that even though there has been a lot of rain, snow levels are still below normal (you can look at this animation on the NASA website to see how the snowpack changes over the years).

Carlsbad city leaders have long been actively involved in water issues, recognizing the critical link between a reliable water supply and our quality of life and economy.

  • Starting about 25 years ago, we were heavily involved in making the desalination plant a reality, which today provides about 10% of the region’s water supply.
  • The plant is the result of a public-private partnership: a private company owns the plant, and the San Diego County Water Authority distributes the water.

Recycled water is another area where Carlsbad has been a leader.

  • Last year, we delivered 1.1 billion gallons of recycled water to customers like HOAs, golf courses and others who need water for non-drinking purposes.
  • Each gallon of recycled water used saves a gallon of drinking water.
  • We deliver more recycled water per capita than any other city in our region except for San Diego.

Expanding the recycled water system …. If you’ve been near Poinsettia Lane and Black Rail Road recently, you’ve likely seen some construction activity. This is a new recycled water reservoir tank that will support our ongoing recycled water operations.

You can learn more about how we use recycled water on the city’s website.

Upcoming city construction ….. The new water recycling reservoir is just one of our city construction projects now underway in Carlsbad. Our construction map is updated weekly to show where big projects are taking place, including any that may affect traffic.

Check the map each week to see where road work is happening so you can plan ahead and take an alternate route. Remember, the map only shows city projects, not work being done by utilities or private companies.

Chestnut underpass is getting a whole new look – Last week, Caltrans and the San Diego Association of Governments started on a big project to remake the Chestnut Avenue underpass beneath Interstate 5. Over the next 15 months, the underpass will get a whole new look with wider sidewalks, new landscaping, public art and extra room separating bike lanes from cars. (If you’d like to be involved in the public art process, give us your email and we’ll let you know how.)

The underpass will still be open during construction, but you still might want to go a different route if you can.

  • Most of the construction will happen on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Until the project is finished, parking won’t be allowed in the underpass or within 300 feet of the Pio Pico Drive crosswalk.
  • During construction, the NCTD bus stop at Pio Pico and Chestnut will move 200 feet to the south.
  • The whole project should wrap up by summer 2025.
  • Sign up for project updates. If you have questions or concerns during construction, call SANDAG at (844) NCC-0050.

See an overview of the underpass project on our website. The work is part of SANDAG’s North Coast Corridor Project, also known as Build NCC, which includes widening Interstate 5 and a host of other improvements in communities along the freeway. 

Enjoy the outdoors at a trail volunteer event Saturday

If all this rain has left you wanting to get outdoors, consider joining other local residents for a trail volunteer event this weekend:

Kelly Trail Volunteer Event

Saturday, Feb. 24, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. – Kelly Drive Trailhead (Corner of Kelly and Park), 4903 Park Drive

  • Check in at the Kelly Drive trailhead.
  • The city provides all the tools you need, plus training.
  • Volunteers will help clear debris, regrade some low spots in the trail and cut back vegetation.
  • Wear closed-toe shoes and long pants to protect against bugs and branches.
  • Bring water, sunscreen and gloves. (If you don’t have gloves, we can provide them.)
  • There should be plenty of parking along the street.

RSVP by emailing Sarah Czech or calling 760-859-0331.

A back stage pass to candid moments with rock ‘n’ roll royalty…..Last month, readers of this update got a sneak peek at the new exhibit at Cannon Art Gallery, featuring original photos of iconic rock legends like Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, B.B. King, Joan Baez and The Grateful Dead. 

If you haven’t gone already, or just can’t get enough, Saturday is the perfect time to head over. The gallery is hosting an opening reception with live music and a hands-on art activity celebrating the new exhibition: “Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Images of an Era – The Photography of Baron Wolman.”

Wolman was the original staff photographer for Rolling Stone from 1968-1971.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Images of an Era

Photography of Baron Wolman opening reception Saturday, Feb. 24

Cannon Art Gallery – Dove Library, 1775 Dove Lane

Hands-on art activity, noon to 2 p.m. • Opening reception, 3 to 5 p.m.


What’s on the agenda for the next City Council meeting

The next City Council meeting will take place Tuesday, Feb. 27, starting at 5 p.m. in the City Council Chamber. Topics will include:

  • An agreement with the County of San Diego to share emergency medical services data from the Fire Department while protecting patient information
  • Extending the term of an agreement with the company that installs special equipment in the city’s police vehicles. The extension is needed due to delivery delays.
  • Obtaining state-authorized credits for qualifying electric vehicle charging stations the city provides for public use. These credits can be traded and sold to help fund city environmental initiatives.
  • Continuing local storm-related emergencies to remove debris from the Buena Vista Creek channel and repair a slope between El Camino Real and Trieste Drive. Local emergencies must be renewed every 30 days until the emergency is over.
  • Ending the emergency proclaimed to repair a damaged storm drain pipe on Carlsbad Village Drive near Pontiac Drive. The repair has been completed.
  • Appointing one member to the Agricultural Conversion Mitigation Committee, which reviews and recommends approval of grants for projects that improve the coastal environment and projects that preserve agricultural uses in the city’s Coastal Zone. The money comes from development fees.
  • An update on Carlsbad’s economic and financial conditions in the second quarter of the current fiscal year, October through December 2023
  • An agreement with a consulting firm to redesign Tamarack Avenue from Carlsbad Village Drive to Carlsbad Boulevard to encourage slower speeds while making walking and biking more inviting, as called for in the city’s General Plan
  • Considering a request for a City Council discussion on issues related to McClellan-Palomar Airport

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

Spreading kindness in Carlsbad and around the world

The City Council hosted local students, principals and others in the school community recently to recognize the Great Kindness Challenge.

The Carlsbad-based nonprofit Kids for Peace launched the challenge back in 2012, with the goal of building a worldwide community of kind, compassionate and empowered young people. It began with three Carlsbad public schools and has since expanded to all 50 states, 115 countries with 20 million students participating.

I’m proud – but not surprised – that something so special would launch right here in Carlsbad and I’m glad to see the program getting the recognition it deserves.

Even though the program is aimed at kids, their checklist of ideas is something everyone can use to spread kindness all year long. I’ll start by saying “thank you” to the readers of these weekly updates. The Carlsbad City Council has made community engagement a top priority. That starts with people like you taking the time to follow what’s going on and sharing that information with your friends and neighbors. Your involvement makes a difference, and it makes us a better city.

Scott Chadwick, City Manager

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


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