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Veterans Memorial Park Q&A

The Veterans Memorial Park site is located southeast of Agua Hedionda Lagoon. It’s bordered on the south by Faraday Avenue and on the west by Whitman Way. The total park site is 91.5 acres. Just over half of that land, 48 acres, can be developed with park amenities; the rest of that land, 43.5 acres, is protected habitat that can’t be developed. 

What is a park master plan?
A master plan is the first step in the park planning process. It includes the general uses that will be included and where they will go on the park site. 

When will the new park be done?
The exact timing will depend on what the ultimate design ends up being, but a general estimate would be around five years. The master planning process takes around two years and will be followed by the detailed design, specifications and final permitting of the park, which should take another year or longer.  Public bidding and construction would then take another couple of years to complete. 

Why does it take two years to complete a master plan?
The master plan includes a lot of technical and environmental studies of the future park site, a public planning process and regulatory approvals. There are three phases to the park master planning process:

  • March – December 2019:  Public input on priorities for the park, development and review of conceptual park design   
  • January – May 2020: Development and submittal of the Conditional Use Permit and environmental report
  • June – October 2020: Final approval of the master plan through Planning Commission and City Council

Who will decide on the final park plan?
The Carlsbad City Council will approve the final park plan.

Where does the name Veterans Memorial Park come from?
In 1989, The Carlsbad City Council voted to name the future park to Veterans Memorial Park and place a marker/archway at the entrances to the park indicating that the park is a memorial. 

How much will it cost to build the park, and where does that money come from?
About $23 million has been set aside to build the park. The money comes from fees assessed to new development, starting in 1991.  

Why is this park being planned now?
The Carlsbad Growth Management Program sets forth policies to ensure that adequate city facilities and city services are provided as residential development occurs.  These facilities and services are specified in 11 public facility performance standards, covering items such as parks.  The Carlsbad City Council created the performance standards through adoption of the Carlsbad Citywide Facilities and Improvements Plan in September 1986.  The parks performance standard is three acres of community parks or special use areas per 1,000 population within the park district.  There are four parks districts within Carlsbad, which correspond to the city’s quadrants. 

Pursuant to the Citywide Facilities and Improvements Plan, the 91.5 acre Veterans Memorial Park site will equally count toward satisfying the parks performance standard in all city quadrants (i.e., 22.875 acres applied to each city quadrant).  Because of this community park’s size and central location, Veterans Memorial Park is intended to serve as a regional recreation source.  To ensure the parks performance standard continues to be met or exceeded in all four quadrants, Veterans Memorial Park is being master planned at this time.    

How will the city decide what features the park will have?
When deciding what the park will include and how it will be designed, park planners will take into account:

  • The site’s topography and other physical features
  • Community needs, values and priorities
  • Amenities already provided by other community parks
  • Natural habitat areas that need to be preserved and not disturbed
  • The amount of money set aside in the city budget to build the park
  • The ongoing cost of operating and maintaining the park

What kind of park will it be?
Veterans Memorial Park is a “community park,” meaning that it is meant to serve the entire city. Based on the community’s needs and priorities identified in the Parks & Recreation Master Plan, along with the site’s features and constraints, some of the park’s elements could include:  

 Passive Recreation:
  • Trails with trailheads, vista
         points and rest areas
  • Passive open turf
  • Multi-use plaza
  • Benches/seating
  • Walking and multi-use
         accessible paths
  • Native garden
  • Picnic areas
  • Public art
  • Interpretive signage
  • Active Recreation:
  • Outdoor fitness
  • Climbing walls
  • Obstacle course
  • Bike pump track/agility course
  • Playgrounds
  • Exercise/parkour stations
  • Bocce ball
  • Frisbee golf

    Structures and Utilities:
  • Restrooms
  • Maintenance buildings
  • Concession stand
  • Shade structures
  • Small performance stage
  • Veterans Memorials
  • Parking lot and drop-off area
  • Storm water quality   treatment areas



    Are there uses that won’t be considered, and why?
    Some of the site’s constraints will restrict future uses:  

    Sensitive Habitat

    Portions of the site are protected habitat
    areas. As a result, the following uses won’t
    be considered:
    • High mast sport field lighting
    • Invasive and nonnative plants
    • Solid, continuous fencing restricting         wildlife movement
    • Especially noisy uses

    Hilly Terrain

    The park site is very hilly, which means the following uses aren’t appropriate:

    • Sport fields
    • Buildings with a large footprint such as a community center or amphitheater
    • Swimming pools
    • Large sports courts