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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 has been revised periodically since, most recently in 2017. In the Barrio, the new master plan also replaces 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 first step is a proposed amendment to the master plan and the Local Coastal Program to require future development projects in the entire master plan area to be reviewed and approved by City Council. Currently, City Council approval is not needed for projects in the Barrio.

The amendment would shift approval authority for development projects in the Barrio from the Planning Commission to City Council. The Planning Commission would instead recommend approval or denial of projects to City Council.

Written comments on the proposed amendment can be sent to the following address through April 17, 2020:

Planning Division
1635 Faraday Ave.
Carlsbad, CA 92008

The Carlsbad Planning Commission will review the amendment at its March 18 meeting at 6 p.m. Planning Commission meetings are held in the Council Chamber at City Hall, 1200 Carlsbad Village Drive.

Other Amendments
In an effort to ensure future development in the Village and Barrio aligns with the community vision, the City Council also directed a temporary ad hoc design review committee be formed to develop objective design and architectural standards.

As a final step, the City Council directed a public hearing be scheduled for a future Planning Commission meeting to gather community input on the following master plan issues recommended by City Council:

  • Addition of permitted uses for development that fosters 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 specific parking structures
  • Traffic impact analysis and mitigation fees in the plan area
  • Housing in lieu fee payment alternatives and a Village and Barrio specific inclusionary housing policy
  • Other related issues of concern with the plan

Ad hoc design committee recommendations and community input gathered at the Planning Commission public hearing will be brought back to City Council for consideration, probably at separate meetings. More information about the specific issues listed above is included in the City Council staff report.

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 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

  • City staff will process an amendment to the master plan regarding requirements for Planning Commission and City Council review. Public hearings will be held.
  • City Council will discuss composition for the ad hoc design review committee at a future meeting.
  • City staff will schedule a Planning Commission meeting to gather community input as specified by the City Council. Following this discussion, staff will return to City Council for consideration of a work plan, timeline, and resourcing strategy to address remaining master plan issues.


Master plan details map 

Quick Links

Approved plan 
At a glance 
Questions and answers
Public input and plan chronology 
Parking study and management plan 
Carlsbad Village Double Track Project 

More Information

Scott Donnell, Senior Planner
760-602-4618 or scott.donnell@carlsbadca.gov.