City Council Approves Quarry Creek Project

Council members voted in favor of all 656 units proposed for development on the former rock quarry site.

After months of heated debate between open space advocates and affordable housing supporters, the Carlsbad City Council Tuesday night unanimously approved all 656 units proposed for development on the former rock quarry site located on the border of Carlsbad and Oceanside.

Earlier in March, the Carlsbad Planning Commission recommended approval of the plan proposed by developer The Corky McMillin Companies but suggested the project be limited to 600 homes and avoid development of the undeveloped portion of the land known as the panhandle. During the City Council’s March 26 meeting, many community members also campaigned for a downscaled project, expressing concerns about the development’s impact on the site’s open space, historical significance, density and traffic. The developer insisted that 656 homes were necessary to make the project viable.

The City Council voted for all 656 units but agreed to prohibit construction on the westernmost end of the 156-acre site south of state Route 78 and west of College Boulevard. Council members said the project will help the city meet affordable housing requirements, and roughly two-thirds of the site will be left as open space.

Prior to the vote, Mayor Matt Hall recalled how Carlsbad created “rigorous standards” for developers in the 1990s, and said the Quarry Creek project “meets or exceeds all of those standards.”

Councilman Mark Packard agreed and said city staff has applied the same standards to all projects. 

“When our staff has stated that a development meets all the standards … then that should tell all of us that if it were built the way that it’s proposed, it would turn out being a desirable and as good of a neighborhood and community as we have in all of our other parts of the city because they are applying the same, consistent standards,” Packard said.

Councilwoman Farrah Douglas said she lived in an Oceanside home off of College Boulevard and near Quarry Creek for 23 years before moving to Carlsbad.

“For 23 years, I watched the rock mining there. The pollution, the noise, the visual blight,” Douglas said. “Every once in a while, I would pray that the quarry would go away – that something better would come because it devalued our homes.”

Douglas continued that she believes the project “is a good project because it preserves El Salto Falls.”

 “It won’t be wilderness, but it will be kept,” she said. “It’s going to have natural greenery around it. It’s going to be beautiful.”

In other council business:

  • The City Council approved an ordinance that will require stops on Las Flores Drive at its intersection with Pio Pico Drive.
  • Council members approved an amendment to the city’s regulations on construction hours.
  • Council members also approved an amendment to the zoning ordinance, thus accepting and administering the Coastal Commission’s suggested modificationto the city’s Local Coastal Program. 
  • The City Council held a public hearing on the housing and community development needs of lower income households within Carlsbad. Council members accepted public comments on the various proposals that have been submitted for funding under the city’s Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership Program. 
  • The City Council gave presentations of proclamations in recognition of National Library Week, Arbor Week, National Volunteer Recognition Week and Celebrate Carlsbad Day at Legoland.
Skip Stein April 03, 2013 at 02:05 PM
When is our (?) Carlsbad City Counsel going to actually represent the residents of Carlsbad and not continue to be a 'pawn' for the developers who simply want and are continuing to rape the open land for their profit. Maybe the Carlsbad City Counsel should just go into private secret meetings with the developers to want to rape our land in the future and not listen to any of us who want to preserve the Carlsbad open spaces. These ongoing policies of the Carlsbad City Counsel sure do resemble PAYOLA of the past... I am now and continue to be, very disappointed in our local Carlsbad City government.
glenn bernard April 03, 2013 at 02:46 PM
People new to the City don't know about the dueling Ballot Props from the mid-80's. One group of everyday citizens did not like what they saw coming, so they wrote the "Slow Growth Plan." The Lewis-Kulchin City Council were bothered by "the people," and were not content to simply encourage a 'no' vote. The L-K Council then wrote their own ballot prop, supporting as much development as the developers wanted, and called it "The Growth Management Plan." The L-K Council then spent tax dollars to mail out propaganda to herald their own "plan," while making the people's plan, of course, look bad. The L-K'ers and the Developers got what they wanted, and then repeated the process 7 years ago when some everyday people were concerned about the Flower Fields. Thus, 7 yrs ago the Peoples' "Save the Flower Fields" was opposed by Lewis-Kulchin with "Preserve the Flower Fields." As I have said before, Carlsbad was a better place to live before it became a city in 1952; disincorporation is only a ballot prop away.
Frankie Laney April 03, 2013 at 03:03 PM
Will it still look like the photos that are included with this story? If not, it's a depressing story to hear.
al wanamaker April 03, 2013 at 04:01 PM
your comment, though well meaning and indicating a sense of frustration, ignores the reality of the pressures for increasing density by groups outside of Carlsbad. The State and County have pressured Carlsbad and other cities to increase density, using various threatening measures to insure compliance. I applaud Carlsbad for taking a slow-growth approach but the fact is that increased density is a fact of life we have to live with. So the City can fight the law in court, spending lots of taxpayer monies and in the end, losing the battle. or it can try to plan the best solution possible to comply with the law. don't like it? change the law.
Tim 0'connor April 03, 2013 at 05:28 PM
I have a black and white picture I took in 1968 from Palomar airport. Rolling hills and one oak tree were all that could be seen. Beautiful for sure. Now Carlsbad looks like Los Angeles - Money Talks and BS walks.......
16YearsNow April 03, 2013 at 05:45 PM
Let's not get all melodramatic about this... Carlsbad is a far cry from looking anything like Los Angeles.
patch mom April 03, 2013 at 06:24 PM
The Quarry Creek project sounds like a disgusting mess to me. Did anybody read the environmental impact report ? I certainly hope the city gives us some notice when the blasting is scheduled.
Christine Bevilacqua April 03, 2013 at 07:47 PM
Skip Stein April 03, 2013 at 09:20 PM
I have a couple more comments to make on the Quarry Creek project vote by the Carlsbad City Counsel, if I may. In the recent past I posted a comment about using the vacant land along El Camino Real and College area, that has already been raped of its natural beauty by developer grading toward the quota set forth for development. Did that comment fall on deaf ears? Could it be that McMillin did not have the option on that land and therefor not want to develop those particular parcels? Why did the City Council not look toward this land that has sat vacant for years since the recession? I would be that pressure from McMillin could be in the mix. In the article today a passage "The developer (McMillin) insisted that 656 homes were necessary to make the project viable. My response to that statement to the developer would be ...I guess if want to develop the land as we, the City Council, have suggested with only 600 homes, then you will simply reduce the massive profit margin a bit. If not, find another parcel to rape... Oh, but I forgot, the Carlsbad City Council caved in to the developer! Since when do they, the land developers, decide what Carlsbad is to do with our land? TODAY!!!
Skip Stein April 03, 2013 at 09:34 PM
This area is slightly off area to Quarry Creek, but how about the Carrillo Ranch canyon of 800+ acres that once was a working cattle ranch until the 1970's, now it is a canyon full of homes...
Skip Stein April 03, 2013 at 09:39 PM
I am not afraid of Carlsbad city incorporation, what concerns me is the lack of respect the Carlsbad City Council of today and yesterday, give to the residents and our land. My vote for disincorporation or a new City Council, that would respect the residents wishes of Carlsbad, would be YES!


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