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City Of Carlsbad Updated Parks & Recreation Department Master Plan

By   /  September 5, 2023  /  No Comments

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Updated Parks & Recreation Department master plan

Following thousands of public comments, four community meetings, several focus groups, an online survey, social media polling, intercept interviews and a scientific survey, an updated Parks & Recreation Department master plan is now ready to be presented to city commissions for review in September, followed by final consideration by the City Council. The updated plan outlines parks and recreation priorities for the years 2023 to 2030.

Following the city’s current parks and recreation master plan, adopted in 2015, the city completed several new and expanded parks and recreation projects, representing a total investment of more than $25 million, including:

  • A community center, ornamental gardens and community garden at Pine Avenue Community Park
  • The city’s first outdoor pickleball courts, an arena sports field, and an expanded playground at Poinsettia Community Park
  • A dog park, along with an added restroom facility at Poinsettia Community Park
  • An entryway with an outdoor fitness circuit and picnic areas, and a community garden at Calavera Hills Community Park
  • A gathering space with a stage, picnic areas, catering facilities and restrooms at Aviara Community Park

A main focus of the updated plan is to maintain the city’s existing parks, programs and facilities at their current high levels of quality and to complete major projects underway. These projects include Veterans Memorial Park, Robertson Ranch Park and the renovation/replacement of the Monroe Street Pool. The updated plan also proposes that staff seek City Council direction to build additional outdoor pickleball courts at one of the city’s existing parks.

Carlsbad residents give the city high marks for parks and recreation, based on a scientific survey conducted as part of the master plan update:

  • Among residents who said they had a need for either a neighborhood park or community park, the vast majority (95% and 97%) said that need was being met, either fully, mostly or partially.
  • 91% of residents rate the condition of parks, fields and facilities as good or excellent.
  • Two thirds of residents said they are very satisfied or satisfied with the value they receive from the city’s Parks & Recreation Department, with 7% saying they were dissatisfied.
  • When asked how to improve or renovate parks, the top responses were to add more shade, lighting and family picnic areas.
  • The park facilities most important to residents are community parks, neighborhood parks, off-leash dog parks, outdoor swimming pools and outdoor pickleball courts.
  • About 60% of residents would like to see the city increase funding for parks and recreation, but 20% or fewer said they’d be interested in funding specific improvements.

The updated plan reflects the fact that the city is not projecting the same level of growth as it has seen in the past, meaning developer fees to fund new amenities will be less. In addition, the city is currently projecting a General Fund structural deficit as soon as fiscal year 2028. As a result, the city is looking for opportunities to reduce ongoing spending and enhance revenues.

In terms of funding future parks investments, the updated plan proposes that staff complete a study to modify developer fees which could be set aside for construction costs. New parks and recreation facilities would also require increased funding for ongoing maintenance and operations.

Recently, a citizens committee studying growth management recommended keeping the current park standard of 3 acres per 1,000 residents. Some committee members wanted the city to also explore adopting a standard based on how far each Carlsbad resident lives from a park. City staff will provide more information on the service areas of existing parks and recreation facilities and an overview of such an initiative when it presents the updated department master plan to the City Council.

In addition to reflecting community priorities, the updated master plan considers demographics, industry trends, the city’s five-year strategic plan, the capital improvement program and staff input when recommending future investments in parks and recreation.

Next steps

  • The updated master plan will be presented to the city’s Senior Commission and Parks & Recreation Commission for review and acceptance on Sept. 18, 2023, at 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., respectively. The public is welcome to provide comments during these meetings.
  • Members of the public may also submit written comments by noon on Sept. 18, 2023. All comments received will be provided to the Senior Commission and the Parks & Recreation Commission, and subsequently to the City Council.

More Information

City of Carlsbad | 1200 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008

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