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Q & A

What is a master plan and how is it reviewed and approved?

A master plan is a focused planning document that provides direction and standards for land use and development that are specific to a particular area. It does this through graphics, text and tables. Because it is a document that regulates land use and development, it must be consistent with the city’s General Plan and must be reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission and City Council. For the Coastal Zone portions of the Village and Barrio, the master plan must also be approved by the California Coastal Commission.

What is the difference between the General Plan and the proposed Village and Barrio Master Plan?

The General Plan is a city-wide planning document and serves as a blueprint for all land use and growth in Carlsbad. All land use documents, including the proposed Village and Barrio Master Plan, must be consistent with the General Plan. The General Plan recognizes the unique qualities of the Village and Barrio and encourages revitalization of these neighborhoods.

Unlike the broad, city-wide coverage of the General Plan, the Master Plan centers on the specific needs of two distinct Carlsbad neighborhoods only – the Barrio and the Village. The Master Plan implements the General Plan and guides land uses and development in a way that is tailored to each neighborhood.

What happens to the existing Village Master Plan and Design Manual?

The Village Master Plan and Design Manual, originally approved in 1995, will remain in effect for the parts of the Village in the Coastal Zone until the plan completes the Coastal Commission approval process. 

What are the boundaries of the Barrio?

Generally, the boundaries of the Barrio are considered to be north of Tamarack Avenue, south of Oak Avenue, east of the railroad and west of Interstate 5. 

What is "smart growth" and a "smart growth opportunity area"?

Together, the Barrio and Village neighborhoods are a “smart growth opportunity area” as designated by SANDAG, the San Diego Association of Governments. They are so designated because of their proximity to transit (e.g., the Coaster/Amtrak station), compact land use and grid street pattern, and flat topography that are excellent for bicycling and walking. Both neighborhoods represent an opportunity to accommodate smart growth, new residents and businesses located in close proximity to one another in a compact, walkable environment.

Smart Growth refers to a series of planning principles and strategies that support compact urban development that is environmentally sensitive, economically viable, community-oriented, and sustainable.

Although every community must define what Smart Growth means to them at the local and regional levels, there are generally 10 core principles which have been adopted by SANDAG.

  • Mix land uses
  • Take advantage of compact building design
  • Create a range of housing opportunities and choices
  • Create walkable neighborhoods
  • Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place
  • Preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty and critical environmental areas
  • Strengthen and direct development towards existing communities
  • Provide a variety of transportation choices
  • Make development decisions predictable, fair and cost effective
  • Encourage community and stakeholder collaboration in development decision