The Carlsbad City Council approved a series of agreements at their March 14 meeting that will enable the missing link of Poinsettia Lane to be completed; create new trails; increase the amount of protected habitat in Carlsbad; create a neighborhood park on the site of the long- abandoned Buena Vista Reservoir; and resolve a lawsuit filed by North County Advocates on the city’s General Plan update and Climate Action Plan.
The resulting agreement includes the following components:
As a condition of the development, a proposed 123 unit detached condo project, Lennar Homes completes the Poinsettia Lane connection between El Camino Real and Cassia Street.
Future development on Ambrosia Lane adjacent to the Aviara Oaks middle school and elementary school campuses is eliminated from the Lennar Homes project.
To address environmental impacts of the project, Lennar Homes protects habitat in the project area and restores habitat in the area of Aviara Community Park and the future Veterans Park. In all about six acres of land is added to the city’s habitat preserves, beyond the amount already in city plans.
The city reclassifies about three acres of land currently slated to be developed into a park as habitat preserve. The land is located at the future site of Veterans Park off Faraday Avenue, near Cannon Road.
To make up for the three acre decrease in developable park land at the Veterans Park property, the city changes the use of a three-acre abandoned reservoir site near the corner of Buena Vista Way and Highland Drive from future housing to park land.
Lennar Homes pays for and builds a neighborhood park on the site of the former Buena Vista Reservoir. The city will maintain the park.
The City of Carlsbad and North County Advocates incorporate these terms into a larger settlement of a lawsuit challenging the city’s General Plan update and Climate Action Plan, which were approved in September 2015.
North County Advocates and the City of Carlsbad settle the lawsuit on the General Plan and Climate Action Plan.
The Lennar Homes Poinsettia 61 project was also approved Tuesday by the City Council. The project could start construction as soon as the end of this year. Under the terms of the agreements, the Poinsettia Lane connection and the new park would be completed within 30 months of construction beginning on the Poinsettia 61 project. The City Council also directed staff to work with the surrounding neighborhoods to address any traffic concerns related to opening of Poinsettia Lane to through traffic.
The new park at the Buena Vista Reservoir site will undergo the city’s park development process, which includes involving the community in the design.
Under the city’s Growth Management Program, developers must pay for and build infrastructure needed to accommodate development.
Lennar Homes’ development would result in the completion of Poinsettia Lane, between Cassia Road and El Camino Real.
Lennar Homes’ Poinsettia 61 is the third project to be proposed for this site. If it does not get approved, the future connection of Poinsettia Lane will be postponed, and another developer could build homes along Ambrosia Lane adjacent to the Aviara Oaks middle school and elementary school campuses.
Completion of Poinsettia Lane will reduce traffic flows on Cassia Road and improve traffic flow on El Camino Real and Ambrosia Lane.
Buena Vista Reservoir Site
The city owns a 3.1-acre site in a residential area of northwest Carlsbad with a reservoir that has not been used for many years.
As part of a strategy for maximizing the public benefit of city-owned properties, in 2014 city staff proposed selling the property to a private party who could develop it in accordance with the land use rules in the area, which currently allow for about 14 home sites.
Neighbors opposed the sale and asked the city to consider turning the property into a park. The City Council delayed the decision to sell the property while neighbors worked with city staff to identify a way to pay for the park.
The city’s Growth Management Program specifies how much park land will be created based on the number of people living in an area. Developers provide money to fund the parks based on the number of future residents of their developments.
Since city has already met the requirements for park space in the northwest part of the city, prior to this proposal, no funding source existed to build a park at the Buena Vista Reservoir site.
“Poinsettia 61” Project (Lennar Corporation)
The Lennar Corporation submitted an application to build 123 detached condos in the area where Poinsettia Lane does not connect to El Camino Real.
As a condition of development, the project needs to replace 3.1 acres of Habitat Management Plan preserve area and provide for additional habitat mitigation.
The project will require Lennar Homes to complete the missing link on Poinsettia Lane, and the developer plans to complete the linkage of the northwest trail system with neighborhoods in the southeast.
Habitat Management Plan
The city’s Habitat Management Plan guides the design, management, monitoring and public use of the natural habitat preserve system within the City of Carlsbad.
Under the plan, 5,970 acres of natural lands have already been preserved for plants and animals. The city’s goal is to set aside 6,478 acres of natural habitat by the time all major new development has occurred in the city (called “build out”).
All cities in California are required to have a General Plan, which specifies how land will be utilized, and a Climate Action Plan, which describes how they will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Carlsbad City Council approved an update to the city’s General Plan and adopted its Climate Action Plan in September 2015.
North County Advocates sued the city over the environmental analysis and mitigation for the General Plan update and Climate Action Plan and the General Plan’s compliance with the city’s Growth Management Program.