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Village & Barrio Master Plan

The Village and Barrio are the historic heart of our city, representing Carlsbad’s past, character and culture. The Village and Barrio Master Plan sets forth a vision to honor the very best of these two neighborhoods while adapting to changing community, environmental and economic needs.

The Village and Barrio Master Plan also establishes the vision for the ideal future character and development of the two areas and sets forth the strategy or “roadmap” for achieving that vision. This plan has been developed in consultation with the Carlsbad community through an iterative process that began in 2013. It is an evolution of previous policies and guidelines for these areas, rather than an entirely new direction.

The Village and Barrio Master Plan replaces the Carlsbad Village Master Plan and Design Manual, which was approved in 1995 and was revised periodically. In the Barrio, the new master plan also replaces previous General Plan land use designations, zoning designations and zoning standards.

Master Plan Amendments

On Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, City Council directed staff to take next steps to modify Carlsbad’s Village and Barrio Master Plan.

Amendment to Modify Project Approval Authority
The City Council voted on Feb. 16, 2021 to amend the Village and Barrio Master Plan to change the decision-making authority from the Planning Commission to the City Council for all future development projects in the Barrio.

The objective of the change in approval authority was to ensure development permits are subject to the same level of review and approval throughout all areas of the Village and Barrio Master Plan. Previously, City Council approval was only needed for development projects in the Village and the Planning Commission approved projects in the Barrio.

With the amendment, all future projects in both the Village and the Barrio will now require approval by the City Council. Projects will still go to the Planning Commission for review first and the commission will have the opportunity to provide recommendations for the City Council's consideration.

The amendment to the Village and Barrion Master Plan is effective immediately outside of the Coastal Zone.

Other Amendments
In an effort to ensure future development in the Village and Barrio aligns with the community vision, the City Council directed staff to hold a Planning Commission meeting to gather community input on the following master plan issues. The meeting was held on Nov. 4, 2020.

  •  Addition of permitted uses that foster a live, work, play community (i.e. post offices, grocery stores, hardware stores, pharmacies, farmers markets)
  • Parking in lieu fees and public/private partnerships for parking structures
  • Traffic impact analysis and mitigation fees in the plan area
  • Other related issues of concern with the plan 

More information about the specific issues listed above is included in the City Council staff report. 

The City Council also directed staff to:

  • Pursue development of objective design standards.
  • Evaluate housing in lieu fee payment alternatives and a Village and Barrio specific inclusionary housing policy   

Any changes to the master plan will go through the same approval process at the original Village and Barrio Master Plan, which includes review by the Planning Commission and the City Council, and approval by the California Coastal Commission if the changes impact land use in the coastal zone.

In the meantime, the Village and Barrio Master Plan approved by the Coastal Commission in October 2019 remains in effect.

Next Steps

  • The California Coastal Commission will need to approve an amendment to the city's Local Coastal Program to make the decision-making authority change effective for projects in the Coastal Zone.

A public meeting with the City Council will be scheduled to discuss the following:

  • Consideration of a work plan, timeline and resourcing strategy to address remaining master plan issues.
  • Options for development of objective design standards, including the formation of an ad hoc design review committee.


Master plan details map

Quick Links

Approved plan 
At a glance 
Questions and answers
City Council staff report on decision making authority (Feb. 16, 2021)
Public input and plan chronology 
Parking study and management plan 
Carlsbad Village Double Track Project 

More Information

760-602-4610 or planning@carlsbadca.gov