Reached in Quarry Creek Suits
Developer agrees to shrink project,
lower building heights, buy land for open space
David Garrick, December 29,
controversial Quarry Creek housing development cleared a large
hurdle last week when developer Corky McMillin Cos. made several
significant concessions to settle lawsuits filed by environmentalists
agreed to shrink the project, lower some building heights
and buy 60 acres of nearby private hiking and recreation land
so it can become permanent open space owned by the city of
concessions were enough to persuade environmental group Preserve
Calavera to settle lawsuits it filed against the city for
allegedly approving the project without adequate review of
its effects on traffic and sensitive land.
Preserve Calavera and city officials all praised the settlement
as a fair compromise that will allow construction of the sprawling
project to begin as early as late next year.
is really a win-win-win for everybody, said Escondido
attorney Everett Delano, who filed the Preserve Calavera lawsuits
four weeks after the Carlsbad City Council approved the project
in early April.
Creek will include 636 condos and apartments on a 156-acre
site along the south side of state Route 78 and west of College
Boulevard. Before the settlement, 656 units had been planned.
allows a well-designed project that meets a critical housing
need in our community to move forward, while providing Carlsbad
residents with increased access to open space and trails,
Mayor Matt Hall said.
biggest concession was buying 60 acres of mostly undeveloped
private land at Carlsbad Village Drive and Victoria Avenue.
Called the Village H land, the property has been
fenced off for nearly five years after serving as a popular
hiking area for decades before that.
Milich, a senior vice president for McMillin, declined to
say how much the property cost. He said McMillin thought preserving
the land was the right move.
is great for the community because it creates an open-space
corridor, he said. It was a top acquisition target
for the city and Preserve Calavera.
said McMillin officials were satisfied with the
compromise and pleased that the project can move forward.
were willing to accommodate their additional requests,
the number of units will decrease the amount of traffic generated
by Quarry Creek, he said.
also agreed to lower building heights and change the landscaping
in the northern portion of the site known as the panhandle.
Those changes will help preserve views of the Marron Adobe,
a ranch house that dates back to the 1850s.
the Preserve Calavera attorney, said that concession was a
particularly good example of mutual compromise because his
clients had initially wanted no development at all on the
Nygaard, president of Preserve Calavera, said she was pleased
with the compromises. But she also said her groups efforts
to preserve nature in the Buena Vista Creek Valley for future
generations had just begun.
really see this as just one step in a long-term effort to
preserve the heart of that valley, she said. Its
going to take many more years of work.
group also fought the adjacent Quarry Creek shopping center,
which opened in 2004, to keep the development as far as possible
from a waterfall sacred to American Indians.
said McMillin still must secure some permits from wildlife
agencies, estimating that process would be complete next fall.
He said ground could be broken in late 2014, with the first
homes complete in early 2016.