During an update at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the Carlsbad City Council directed staff to work collaboratively with the community to develop options for the future use of 22.5 acres of land at the southeast corner of Carlsbad Village Drive and Victoria Lane in the Calavera Hills neighborhood. The city is taking ownership of the property as part of a lawsuit settlement over the Quarry Creek housing development.
The land is part of a larger property called Village H, a name that comes from the original development map for Calavera Hills. The 61-acre Village H property is divided by Carlsbad Village Drive. The area north of Carlsbad Village Drive is protected habitat now owned by the city, with an approximate .4-mile public trail.
The 22.5-acre southern section of the property has an approximate .5-mile trail that had long been planned as part of the citywide trails system. Although the property has been privately owned with a fence and locked gate, community members have over the years used the area to gather and walk with their dogs off-leash. Currently, off-leash dogs are not allowed on the property, and leashed dogs are allowed only on the designated trail, under city and county laws.
The short-term plan is to close the 22.5 acres south of Carlsbad Village Drive for a few months to complete needed maintenance and improvements and then to open the trail to public use, likely by the end of July. During this time, the city will hold a public workshop and provide other opportunities for input from the community to begin developing options for the long-term use of the southern section. Over 40 percent of the southern section of Village H is protected habitat.
Local residents who came to Tuesday’s City Council meeting spoke about the important role this section of the property plays in creating social connections in the neighborhood, allowing kids to be in nature, and providing exercise and socialization for their dogs. Some of the issues that will be discussed during the planning process include protection of the native habitat on the property, preservation of wildlife corridors through the property, and consideration of people who live immediately adjacent to the property.
City Council members urged staff and community members to brainstorm together to come up with creative options that could be presented this fall to the City Council.
Information about the planning process timing and other details will be available in the coming weeks.