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Calendar >  Carlsbad Government Affairs Committee Hears from Several Proposals for 2023

Carlsbad Government Affairs Committee Hears from Several Proposals for 2023

By   /  December 8, 2022  /  No Comments

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TR Robertson -On the agenda for the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee were three presentations. The first was a proposed Ponto Road Storage Redevelopment project, followed by a Post-Election Wrap-up from the West Region of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and finally a proposal for a Chamber sponsored Candidate Academy Ad Hoc Committee.

John La Raia, V.P. of Government & Community Strategy for HG Fenton and Ryley Webb, also from HG Fenton, gave a power point presentation concerning a proposed development at 7290 Ponto Road in Carlsbad. This is the current site of a former defunct storage and railroad storage development, now acquired to develop into a proposed 86 high end townhome site. The area is just below the Cape Ray Resort Hotel complex. HG Fenton has developed projects in San Diego County since 1906. They have developed 1,200 businesses, 3,500 homes and 18 apartment communities during this time. The development will include 2, 3 and 4 bedroom 2 and 3 story townhomes. They will average 1,100 to 2,100 sq. feet, 2 car garages. There will be a 30% mix of public and private open space and some of the townhomes will have roof top decks. There will also be 19 guest parking spaces. Thirteen of the units will be affordable housing and rental prices will average $1,600 to $2,000 a month. There will be a dog park, a pickleball court and a Tot lot. HG Fenton has held three official community meetings and the hope is for the project to go to the Carlsbad Planning Commission by February of 2023. If all goes well the anticipation is for a 2025 completion with residents able to move into the project. The Carlsbad Government Affairs Committee voted to support this project.

 Next on the agenda was a report from Jennings Imel, Executive Director, West Region of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Jennings said there will be a large frosh class entering into Congress for the first time as Congresspersons. He also said there was a bit of a surprise in the November election with the Republican party not winning as many positions are anticipated. At 222-213, Congress will be a Republican House. He said the main issues to be dealt with in January concern the economy and inflation. There was not much of a surprise on the Senate side with the elections and the Senate will be a Democratic majority Senate. The U.S. Chamber is currently looking at who they will be able to work with effectively in both Congress and the Senate. He said there is a need to build a coalition to make things work and he is confident they will be able to build relationships with pro-business officials. Jennings said another issue is that there will be new leadership in both the Senate and House. Issues they want to deal with in looking at policy deal with retail crime, inflation control, domestic production, work force shortages, independent contractor issues. One key development was the avoidance of a railroad strike that would have crippled the nation. One significant bill that is on the ballot in 2024 was the proposal to raise Fast Food wages to $22 an hour, a measure the U.S. Chamber opposes.

Carlsbad Chamber CEO Bret Schanzenbach reported on the desire to create a committee to discuss and set guidelines for a Candidate Academy Ad Hoc Committee. This committee would set rules and regulations for establishing a Candidate Academy, run by the Chamber, that would provide information and guidance for people interested in running for public office. Bret pointed out the need for citizens to understand what they are getting into when running for public office, how to campaign, what it means to run for public office and several other issues when running a campaign. They hope is to start this academy in the fall to help those wanting to run for an elected position in 2024.

Legislative Reports:

Jason Harber from the City of Carlsbad – At the recent City Council meeting, discussion was held on establishing the Police Community Engagement Council and Roadway and Ebike Safety Committee. At the December 13th meeting there will be the swearing in of the newly elected Mayor and council positions as well as a discussion of the City’s Legislative Platform. At the January 10th meeting the Economic Development Strategic Plan will be discussed as well as the reorganization of committee assignments for council members. Also, the District 2 vacancy position will be discussed. There was a discussion of the importance for Ebike safety laws, requirements for helmets, obeying traffic laws and the possibility of requiring licensing of Ebikes. It was reported that an Ebike safety training program was recently held at Torrey Pines High School.

Bret Schanzenbach, CEO Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce – On December 14th, the Chamber will host a Volunteer Committee Happy Hour Celebration from 5-7 to thank all committee members who have volunteered for the large number of committees the Chamber sponsors. 2023 will be the Chamber’s Centennial Celebration with a number of activities planned such as a Thank You Block Party in August 2023.

The next Government Affairs meeting will be January 4th.

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