Registrar confirms signatures for Carlsbad ‘85/15’ measure

North Coast Current

A developer-backed citizens initiative that calls for a shopping center and open-space preservation at the south shore of Agua Hedionda Lagoon has enough signatures to move forward, the county registrar of voters told Carlsbad city officials.

The city made the announcement Aug. 13.

If approved by voters, the Agua Hedionda South Shore Specific Plan, often referred to as the “85/15 Plan,” would place a Nordstrom-anchored shopping center on 15 percent of the property with the remaining 85 percent set aside as open space, according to the city and initiative backers.

According to the city’s announcement, the initiative required 9,784 signatures from registered Carlsbad voters, or 15 percent of total number of registered voters in the city. Initiative proponents submitted petitions with 20,479 signatures on July 8, the city reported. The registrar checked 12,331 signatures before confirming the required number, and was not required to verify more signatures beyond that.

The Carlsbad City Council is expected to consider adoption of the registrar’s finding on Aug. 18, the city’s announcement said. The City Council could then adopt the initiative without alteration or put the measure on the ballot and call a special election.

The initiative proposes a comprehensive plan for land use on a little more than 203 acres east of Interstate 5 between the south shore of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon and Cannon Road, which includes current strawberry fields. While 155 acres of that land is designated open space, the other 48 acres have a commercial designation, according to the city. Developer Caruso Affiliated would build its shopping center on half of that 48 acres, with the other half going toward open space, the city said in its announcement. In that context, the advertised “85/15 Plan” refers to the full 203 acres, not the 48 acres open to development.

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