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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.
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
BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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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