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Comments Still Welcome on Village and Barrio Master Plan

Updated January 1, 2016 -- The City of Carlsbad held a series of meetings from December 15th through December 17th to present a draft master plan for the downtown Village and Barrio areas that establishes a vision for future development and land uses in the two historic neighborhoods. The meetings and workshops took place at the Carlsbad Senior Center on Pine Avenue as well as at the Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort Village Terrace meeting room above the Daily News Cafe.  City staff and consultants Dover Kohl held the two meetings and three workshops over the course of three days and all were open to the public.

The master plan focuses on enhancing neighborhood character, community gathering spaces and economic vitality, based on ideas that came out of an intensive public outreach effort last year. Hundreds of community members participated in hands-on design sessions, an online forum, technical sessions and public meetings. 

Those who were unable to make the meetings are encouraged to review the draft plan at www.carlsbadca.gov/villagebarrio and provide comments directly to city staff. The community has until Jan. 15, 2016, to review the draft plan and provide comments.

The master plan includes conceptual ideas, meaning further consideration and development will be needed before they could be implemented. Among the concepts included in the plan are new access opportunities that could result from putting the coastal railroad tracks through the Village and Barrio underground in a trench. If that occurs, the master plan envisions streets that presently dead end on both sides of the railroad could be connected over the tracks. The tracks currently are at street level, and there are no crossings between Carlsbad Village Drive and Tamarack Avenue. The San Diego Association of Governments is adding a second parallel track along the coast and has agreed to study the option of trenching the tracks below ground level, at the City of Carlsbad’s request. 

Other ideas for the Village include:

  • Make Grand Avenue more pedestrian-friendly by creating a promenade.
  • Create public plazas at the Grand Avenue and State Street intersection and other places.
  • Improve streets and sidewalks west of Carlsbad Boulevard, benefitting drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.
  • Tunnel beneath Interstate 5 to connect Grand Avenue to the east side of the freeway. 

Ideas for the Barrio include:

  • Along the streets, add trees and pedestrian-scaled lighting.
  • Construct a roundabout at Tamarack Avenue and Jefferson Street to create a gateway to the Barrio and beach.
  • Ensure new development is in keeping with the current character of the area. 

One purpose of the master plan is to rejuvenate the Barrio, so it includes development standards and design guidelines to help meet that goal. According to Scott Donnell, a city planner who is managing the project, the city decided to combine the Village and Barrio under one master plan to enhance connectivity between the two areas. 

The plan also focuses on alternatives to traveling by car, such as walking and biking. The city already has emphasized making the Village and Barrio more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly by placing more than 100 bike racks and corrals in both neighborhoods, and by making it easier and safer for pedestrians to cross Carlsbad Boulevard and Grand Avenue. The plan also includes ways to increase parking in the Village and Barrio and ideas for emerging transportation choices, such as a shuttle systems and ride sharing. 

The Village and Barrio Master Plan will update and replace the Carlsbad Village Master Plan and Design Manual, which was adopted in 1996 and has been revised periodically since. 

The comments received during the review period will be considered as part of the preparation of the final master plan in early 2016. After the final plan is prepared, the Planning Commission and City Council will hold formal hearings to consider adopting it. These hearings are planned for spring of 2016. 

The draft master plan is available on the city website, www.carlsbadca.gov/villagebarrio. Copies are available for review at the city’s libraries and City Clerk’s office.