Park-starved Carlsbad wins one. Council votes for peaceful place
— to be paid for by developer
Marty Graham, March 16, 2017
Carlsbad city council on Tuesday night (March 14) unanimously
approved a settlement plan that will create a new park at the
chain-link-fenced Buena Vista reservoir and will resolve a lawsuit
against the city over alleged gaps in its general and climate
a win for everyone," said attorney Everett Delano, who
represented plaintiff North County Advocates in the suit.
new park will sit on three acres on the northeast side of
Carlsbad, to be funded with $3 million from Lennar Homes,
Inc., as part of the developer's required mitigation for its
Poinsettia 61 project that puts 123 new condos on Poinsettia
Lane. Lennar is also going to pay for habitat restoration
in Veterans Park, according to the settlement.
reservoir really is an old reservoir, with a huge concrete
holding pool that has fallen into disrepair. The city has
fenced it with signs to keep people out and has considered
selling the land to developers an idea that was met
with fierce resistance in 2014 from the park-starved neighborhood
near the old cement pond.
County Advocates filed the lawsuit in 2015, alleging among
other things that the city wasn't meeting its own goals for
providing parks and open spaces for residents. By 2016, settlement
negotiations had bogged down stuck on the argument
of whether or not the city was in compliance.
Lennar's obligations to mitigate as part of the near-coastal
development opened a door to reach a settlement and create
park space, Delano said. By the time the negotiations became
public, Friends of Aviara, Friends of Buena Vista Reservoir,
and Preserve Calavera were all involved in the settlement,
which also enhances habitat at Veterans Park and Aviara Park.
Carlsbad's newer master-planned communities, old Carlsbad
does not have many smaller neighborhood parks," said
Mary Anne Viney, who heads Friends of Buena Vista. "Instead
of building houses on the site of an abandoned reservoir,
this would provide a way to fund the creation of a peaceful
place where residents can enjoy Carlsbad's natural beauty."