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Point of View: Call ‘85/15’ what it is, and let Carlsbad vote on it

A+development+and+open-space+plan+on+the+south+side+of+Agua+Hedionda+Lagoon+in+Carlsbad+is+the+subject+of+intense+debate+in+the+community.+%28Google+Earth+image%29
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Point of View: Call ‘85/15’ what it is, and let Carlsbad vote on it

A development and open-space plan on the south side of Agua Hedionda Lagoon in Carlsbad is the subject of intense debate in the community. (Google Earth image)

A development and open-space plan on the south side of Agua Hedionda Lagoon in Carlsbad is the subject of intense debate in the community. (Google Earth image)

A development and open-space plan on the south side of Agua Hedionda Lagoon in Carlsbad is the subject of intense debate in the community. (Google Earth image)

A development and open-space plan on the south side of Agua Hedionda Lagoon in Carlsbad is the subject of intense debate in the community. (Google Earth image)

Roman S. Koenig

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2013_COLUMN_KOENIG_RThere is no such thing as a shopping mall in harmony with nature.

No matter what slick pseudo-campaign advertising tells you, such development is not in harmony with its environment. Yet that’s what the proponents of Carlsbad’s so-called “85/15 Plan” for the Agua Hedionda Lagoon area want you to believe, despite their preposterous assertion in recent television campaign commercials (for something that wasn’t even on the ballot and, frankly, was never intended to be).

This is not an anti-development or anti-commerce rant, though.

Carlsbad needs a new shopping mall? Fine. There’s an opportunity to preserve a fair amount of Agua Hedionda Lagoon land and local strawberry fields in the process? Maybe the proposal really is the best of both worlds, with as little environmental damage as possible. But Carlsbad residents may never have a chance to vote on it thanks to a recent City Council decision.

Most disturbing with this movement in Carlsbad is the misleading and propaganda-like terminology used to push the project.

Pro-plan advertisements have touted a shopping and entertainment center “in harmony with nature.”

The “85/15” initiative proposes a land-use plan for about 203 acres east of Interstate 5 between the south shore of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon and Cannon Road, which includes 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 Nordstrom-anchored shopping mall on about half of that 48 acres, with the other half going toward open space, according to a city announcement. In that context, the “85/15 Plan” refers to the full 203 acres, not the 48 acres open to development.

According to language in the official “Agua Hedionda South Shore Specific Plan,” the shopping mall portion will have a maximum building floor-area of 585,000 square feet, with four parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of gross leasable space. That’s potentially at least 2,000 parking spaces — a field of blacktop and/or garages, not strawberries or native habitat. And Nordstrom is no small- or medium-sized tenant. Parking brings with it plenty of environmental issues, such as car pollutants and trash. The initiative language explains steps to mitigate those concerns, but the point is that no such shopping project is in harmony with nature.

Advertise this project for what it is — a shopping mall and open-space proposal. There’s no need to douse the language in perfume, unless proponents have an unspoken expectation that residents won’t buy it. The Carlsbad City Council, with its Aug. 25 green light, has denied the community that test.

The City Council’s unanimous vote approving the plan shows that the community’s elected leaders have also ingested this commercial Kool-Aid.

By approving the “85/15” measure itself, the City Council has taken away residents’ right to vote on the project, instead opting to believe that 15 percent of signatures on a developer-sponsored initiative constitutes a representative majority view of the community. The council also seems to believe that the state’s mandated environmental review process is irrelevant.

That in itself is questionable political leadership. It’s made worse by Councilwoman Lorraine Wood’s assertion that the shopping mall project “is compatible with my vision and my values,” reported in local news media outlets. While Wood and the council are elected to act for the residents who vote them into office, they also have an obligation to let an initiative process — a community vote — on an issue proceed regardless of their personal visions for the city.

A petition drive is now underway demanding a community vote on the initiative. Citizens for North County, a nonprofit group, launched its effort Aug. 31 and must get nearly 10,000 signatures by Sept. 24 to force a special election on the plan (which itself, remember, was touted as an initiative).

Carlsbad residents should sign this petition regardless of whether they support Caruso’s development. An initiative is an initiative. Put it to a community vote, as it was supposedly intended.

Already, this effort has been met with more slick television spots by the developer-backed proponents.

The commercial Kool-Aid might be strawberry flavored, but Carlsbad residents should take it with more than a grain of salt.

Roman S. Koenig is editor and publisher of the North Coast Current. Columns are the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of North Coast Current ownership. Comment below or submit letters to the editor at letters@northcoastcurrent.com.

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35 Comments

35 Responses to “Point of View: Call ‘85/15’ what it is, and let Carlsbad vote on it”

  1. Don Burton on September 6th, 2015 9:08 pm

    Bravo Roman for presenting a clear, concise, and cogent analysis of this issue. We are out there gathering signatures VOLUNTARILY while Caruso is once again filling the airwaves and mailboxes with his lies. Even his supporters are running scared, trying to block people from signing our petition (in some cases using physical intimidation and force). How despicable! But they’ve learned from their master. In their eyes the ends justifies the means. Just remember, all of Carlsbad is now watching. They started this; we’re going to finish it. And when we’re done, some elected officials’ careers will also be finished.

  2. Lisa Gunther on September 8th, 2015 3:18 pm

    Our elected officials are doing the right thing for Carlsbad. They are upholding the will of the people from Prop D. An initiative/special election will cost the people/taxpayers of Carlsbad a half million dollars. We don’t need that money wasted. This project IS a win for the environment and the people of Carlsbad. Do NOT sign the petition. Don’t waste taxpayer money. People of Carlsbad, don’t waste your money.

    This IS a shopping mall in harmony with nature. The land will all get cleaned up. Weeds will all be removed. Indigenous plants replanted. Walking trails will allow us all to enjoy this land and views of the lagoon. Run-off water will be treated. It’s not now… and that is why the lagoon is a stinky mess. Why is everyone up in arms over this? Prop D was already voted on to allow a shopping mall TWICE as big. Caruso is only building out HALF as much as could be built out. The strawberry fields will shift over and that family business will actually have a chance to thrive due to the new customers! Don’t sign any new petition. The City Council unanimously supported this – they were all elected by the people. The people already agreed and voted on developing this land years ago under Prop D. Let this beautiful gift to Carlsbad move forward.

  3. Andrew Wright on September 9th, 2015 9:54 am

    Lisa,

    Jimmy Ukugawa is a stooge that has been bought off by Caruso. He is a wealthy man and will be much wealthier at our expense. He has a sweet deal with Caruso. The ironic part about this whole thing is that we are the one’s that can or will save his farming land – NOT Caruso!. This development is not gift…. its a trojan horse filled with 18 million plus visitors per year and their pollution. Just think of that traffic trying to squeeze its way thru coast hwy past Terramar and Cannon! Admit it – You just want to have an Orange County style mall like south coast plaza so you can over spend on your credit card for things that will be outrageously expensive. Make no mistake about it – this is a complete hose job by a giant LA developer who has used the Calif initiative process to intentionally mislead the people of Cbad.

  4. TC on September 9th, 2015 10:00 pm

    Can you site where the visitor estimates come from? 18 Million averages to 50k per day, just for reference Disneyland averages 40k daily. Sounds a bit much…

  5. Jason Oziel on September 6th, 2015 10:07 pm

    Well said my friend. Call it what it is and stop with the smoke and mirrors. LET THE PEOPLE VOTE!!!!

  6. Lisa Gunther on September 8th, 2015 3:19 pm

    The people have already voted. Prop D…. look it up.

  7. Jason on September 10th, 2015 7:17 am

    Very familiar with Prop D Lisa but thanks for your suggestion. And just as we voted back then, we should vote on this major issue. It is something that reflects all of Carlsbad and quite frankly, anyone that drives thru Carlsbad. It’s bigger than just Jimmy.

  8. Rafael on September 7th, 2015 9:40 pm

    Where is the link for the petition?

  9. Lisa on September 8th, 2015 12:19 am

    Referendum must be signed in person by registered Carlsbad voters. But anyone can volunteer to help. Security help is appreciated. All signature gatherers are volunteers.
    Locations for the Week of Sept. 7th are:
    Tuesday Sept. 8th, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
    Stagecoach Community Park
    3420 Camino de los Coches
    Wednesday Sept. 9th, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
    Alga Norte Community Park
    6565 Alicante Road
    Thursday Sept. 10th, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
    Poinsettia Community Park
    6600 Hidden Valley Road
    Friday Sept. 11th, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
    Calavera Hills Community Park
    2997 Glasgow Drive
    Please report any pro-planners who harass you or prevent you from signing.

  10. Olivia on September 8th, 2015 2:47 pm

    Good information to get out to the community. Please keep posting signing days, times and location information.

  11. Don Isbell on September 8th, 2015 8:56 am

    http://www.citizensfornorthcounty.org/locations.html
    You have to go to one of these locations and sign the petition in person. Can’t be done on-line.
    The non profit organization sponsoring this referendum is Citizens for North County.
    Kudos to them!

  12. Lance Hansen on September 7th, 2015 11:24 pm

    Well said, I was unaware of the maneuvering involved until now…. Residents should’ve had a vote and I hope they will. Am I correct in assuming only Carlsbad residents are allowed to sign the petition and to vote ?

  13. Andrew Wright on September 9th, 2015 9:55 am

    yes. that’s correct.

  14. Michael Blue on September 8th, 2015 7:00 am

    This is an unspeakable act of irresponsible behavior of our elected officials. If they represented the people, they would have called for a vote. I dont like to be force fed, where do we sigh the petition?

  15. Melinda on September 8th, 2015 12:57 pm

    Locations for the Week of Sept. 7th are: Tuesday Sept. 8th, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Stagecoach Community Park 3420 Camino de los Coches Wednesday Sept. 9th, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Alga Norte Community Park 6565 Alicante Road Thursday Sept. 10th, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Poinsettia Community Park 6600 Hidden Valley Road Friday Sept. 11th, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Calavera Hills Community Park 2997 Glasgow Drive Please report any pro-planners who harass you or prevent you from signing. – See more at: https://www.northcoastcurrent.com/columnists/2015/09/06/point-of-view-call-8515-what-it-is-and-let-carlsbad-vote-on-it/#sthash.36NtL2ce.dpuf

  16. C. Gunderson on September 8th, 2015 5:04 pm

    The Sky Is Falling! The Sky Is Falling!!! 🙂
    If this mall is built the skies will turn black. The highways will be backed up for 100 miles and women will no longer be able to bear children! The city of Carlsbad will most certainly be destroyed!
    I’ve been around a long time kids and I’ve heard it all. Humans simply don’t like change and many will fight it at every turn. But alas. Change is constant and never ending.
    Remember when Costco wanted to open? Oh my goodness, people were up in arms trying to stop that giant from ruining our quaint city. Well Costco was built and people accepted the change. Now only a short time later the parking lot is full everyday of the week with happy Carlsbad shoppers.

    Remember the dreaded Legoland?! That was most certainly going to destroy Carlsbad. All the traffic was going to choke our poor city and there would be no survivors. Just broken pieces of lego and not a soul in sight. As we all know. All the terrible things that were supposed to happen to the environment, traffic etc. etc. etc. Never Happened. 🙂 Legoland is now an accepted part of our beautiful city.

    There will be no environmental impact with this new mall. Everything I’ve read says just the opposite. The area will be improved.

    This new mall is coming so we better brace ourselves for doomsday. Or just accept it as a wonderful new place to enjoy. 🙂

  17. Andrew Wright on September 9th, 2015 10:01 am

    This mall will generate appx 18Million visitors per year…. Lego land has 2 million. You are a fool if you don’t think this will cause major traffic and pollution issue. It sits right on top of a VERY sensitive habitat. Lego land has been stellar, is low density, and well designed as its hidden from everyone’s view. The Mall will look like Frankenstein on our Lagoon. It does not belong there. How nice will the 3k parking structure look ? do you even know how large that is ? I do, I work at a place that has them. they are UGLY !

  18. Tyler Nelson on September 8th, 2015 6:14 pm

    I like the 85/15 project and think it is exactly what Carlsbad needs.

    A farm to table restaurant on the perimeter of a growing field seem a lot like a great restaurant and tasting room in our state’s wine region. Thumbs up from me.

    Plus I think we should support and respect the recent unanimous decision of Carlsbad’s dedicated City Council who approved the 85/15 Plan after more than four months of review. Their decision was supported by a professional third party analysis, which was followed by a comprehensive review by the planning dept. staff and more than six hours of deliberation and testimony.

    I encourage my fellow Carlsbad residents to support the project and do NOT sign the referendum petition.

  19. Dane Pearson on September 8th, 2015 6:34 pm

    I am a proud graduate of Carlsbad High ’11, recent college graduate, and current resident of Carlsbad. I firmly believe in the 85/15 plan as a gift to our community, open space, trials, educational opportunities for our children, improvement to the water filtration system and water shed, preservation of agriculture and farming. Caruso is a quality person with integrity. He and his staff started 3 years and learned, listened to our community, and developed an outstanding plan. It would be best for Carlsbad not to sign the petition.

    Don’t sign the petition because corporate interests abroad (will not call out any in particular) are trying to kill Jimmy’s family strawberry farming business and because our much-trusted city council voted unanimously to support the 85/15 Plan after hearing from Carlsbad residents and thoroughly reviewing it. It would be best for Carlsbad not to sign the petition.

    The 85/15 Plan means Jimmy Ukegawa’s beloved family business is safe and Carlsbad’s strawberry farming is ensured for generations to come.

    The 85/15 Plan means 176 acres of new access to open space for Carlsbad families at no cost to taxpayers.

    The 85/15 Plan means new lagoon water protection that safeguards the habitat, wildlife, and the families who use it.

    Signing the petition means Carlsbad loses the iconic Strawberry Company, our strawberry farming heritage, and protections for coastal agriculture.

    Signing the petition means Carlsbad loses an opportunity for hiking trails and an outdoor education center for our families.

    Signing the petition means Carlsbad loses new ways to protect the Agua Hedionda Lagoon’s habitat and wildlife.

    Don’t let outside interests overturn our respected city council.

    I urge to not sign the petition. Do the right thing for Carlsbad.

  20. Tim Van Klaveren on September 9th, 2015 1:09 pm

    Dane,

    I respect a young man like yourself expressing your opinion. Your opinion matters. School taught you about democracy at some point, and your opinion is the most important part.

    However, your opinion is full of caruso propoganda and half truths. Its your opinion and your right to speak it, but it’s flat out wrong.

    Outside corporate interests? Wrong. I paid 30 bucks yesterday so that i could buy my packet to collect signatures. CNC is printing them without any money. They are relying on the volunteers to fund this.

    Trying to kill jimmys farm? Wrong. Nobody wants jimmy gone and prop D protects him. He inserted himself in this battle and he is unfortunately losing customers. I feel he’s doing what he feels is best for his family. I’m doing what i feel is best for mine. Btw, can you point me to the part in the initiative where it says jimmy will be the farmer?

    Loses new ways to protect the lagoon? You’ll have to explain that one. The carlsbad watershed network disagrees with carusos environmental study.

    Hiking trails? Do you know what we’re getting? It appears to be a 2.5 mile loop with the return leg ON cannon. Cannon is not scenic. And no environmental group is required to manage them as promised.

    You’re young and im not much older. We should be smart enough to see through the propganda on both sides and form our own opinions. Read the initiative and the 9212. And please quit spreading the flat out lie of corporate interests. They don’t yet exist.

  21. Thomas K. Arnold on September 8th, 2015 11:50 pm

    Let me present a contrary position – here is a column on the matter I wrote for the Seaside Courier that explains my views quite succinctly, with a few minor post-pub edits (given Westfield’s belated denial of any involvement in the anti petition drive):

    Common sense has prevailed. The Carlsbad City Council is to be commended for doing what’s right for Carlsbad and voting to adopt the Agua Hedionda Specific Plan at last Tuesday night’s council meeting, which attracted a record crowd of 133 speakers, both pro and con.

    As I’ve said before, the Caruso Affiliated-backed Specific Plan is a great development proposal, the result of three years’ worth of community meetings, presentations and conservations between the developer and Carlsbad residents. The city’s iconic strawberry fields, which voters fought hard to protect in 2006, will be saved. The public will finally gain access, through trails and picnic spots, to the open space that accounts for the vast majority of the property – and it will remain open space, true open space, for perpetuity, under the watch of a conservancy. The sensitive lagoon environment will be protected and the water quality, enhanced. And of the 48 acres of land, zoned for commercial development, that Caruso could be building on, the company is going to limit the footprint of their low-profile, open-air shopping, dining and entertainment complex to 26 acres.

    The Specific Plan, brought before the council by a successful petition drive, would most likely would have won at the polls. And the fact that the council decided to adopt it outright instead of putting it up for a public vote was a smart decision, saving the builder the $500,000 cost of a special election and saving the citizens of Carlsbad from thousands of campaign signs cluttering up the streetscape.

    More importantly, the council did what our elected representatives are supposed to do: make the hard decisions for us. The dangers of direct democracy have been made all too apparent by California’s generous initiative process, which saw voters approve a $10 billion “bullet train to nowhere” in November 2008, at the height of the global economic meltdown and, at the same time, implement a ban on same-sex marriage that a federal court later found to be unconstitutional.

    I’m still amazed, and somewhat ashamed, at the bitter and disingenuous campaign waged by opponents of the initiative, largely through social media. So much wrong information was spread around that it was difficult to counter, and even if the facts were presented as plainly and simply as could be, there were those who refused to accept them. Even worse were the personal attacks leveled against the developer, supporters, council members and even strawberry grower Jimmy Ukegawa – the man behind the very same strawberry fields Carlsbad voters nine years ago fought hard to protect.

    On the misinformation front, critics maintained Carlsbad voters in 2006 said they wanted the entire 200-plus acres to be preserved as open space. Wrong. Proposition E could have effectively done that, but most likely would have been overturned by the courts because the land is privately owned and 48 acres already had been set aside for commercial development. Arbitrarily rezoning that land as open space, or for agricultural use, as Prop E would have done, would have constituted an illegal “taking” of private property, which is why the city drafted its own proposition, Prop D, that let stand the rights of the property owner. Proposition D passed, and in addition to allowing development on 48 acres stipulated that agricultural use on the rest of the land be “encouraged,” but only as long as it was feasible. And Ukegawa himself will be the first to tell you that the clock was running out, and if it wasn’t for Caruso he’d most likely be forced to close up shop.

    Opponents also charged that the “slick” mailers sent out by Caruso in support of the proposal were misleading, because they focused on the open space. Of course they focused on the open space – between habitat and strawberry fields, that’s 85% of the entire property! As soon as Nordstrom was locked in as the mall’s anchor, Carlsbad citizens were promptly notified in another mailer that came with a drawing of the proposed project.

    On the nastiness front, I’m still appalled at what I saw, and read, on Facebook and Nextdoor Carlsbad. The charge was led by cowards who refused to reveal their identity, and many of the comments were from people who don’t even live in Carlsbad. Personal cell phone numbers of the mayor and council members were posted publicly; accusations of payola were leveled against everyone who supported the proposal – even me. Just two days ago, I saw a post by the administrator of the leading agitator Facebook site, Carlsbad Locals Against The Agua Hedionda 85/15 Plan, in which he referred to me as “Green Acres” Arnold – an insult (Arnold the pig, remember?) I haven’t heard since grade school. And a hardworking campaign consultant who worked on Mayor Matt Hall’s campaign was vilified for her work on behalf of Caruso – heck, her personal cell phone, too, was made public.

    This is hardly the “Carlsbad way” that for years has guided the decision-making process in Carlsbad. I’m almost glad former Mayor Bud Lewis wasn’t around to see it. He would have been most disappointed.

  22. Kate Joiner on September 9th, 2015 1:52 pm

    Mr. Arnold. I respectfully disagree. As a reporter you should have done more homework and not labeled a large portion of out community as outsiders. Everyone has a right to their own opinion and as a journalist, it would have been nice to see some balance in your stories.

  23. JASON POSTELNEK on September 9th, 2015 1:44 am

    Carlsbad residents should sign the petition whether they are for or against the plan. Gathering enough signatures to force a referendum does only exactly that, no more and no less.

    My concerns with the plan are as follows:

    1) If the plan is as good as advertised, why was it necessary to use such slick and deceptive marketing to spin this? If the plan is worthy, it should stand on its own merits. Instead, as if we are too stupid and uninformed, this project was given the full Madison Avenue marketing treatment tageting the most likely voters in Carlsbad.
    2) We as a community need to thoughtfully consider whether we want Carlsbad to be a Nordstrom destination for the millions of shoppers from around Southern California. Growth is inevitable. New housing, Legoland, and Costco have been mostly positive and welcome additions. To allow the lagoon area to endure another massive commercial development with the kind of non-local traffic and other impacts that Nordstrom will generate is irresponsible. Another mall will not be as welcome. There are no plans to expand Interstate 5 for a decade. This is a huge decision for the community, and it should not be taken lightly.
    3) The characterization of Carlsbad residents opposed to the plan as outsiders is completely insulting, demeaning and false. The plan’s proponents are reacting to the opposition with a lot of the same kind of smear tactics voters all around this country have grown sick and tired of. Again, if the plan is sound and can stand on its merits, then why not use plain, transparent language and tone?
    4) No environmental impact survey as required by law? I believe that is a terrible idea.

  24. Kate Joiner on September 9th, 2015 1:47 pm

    Here is what is MOST frustrating. Proponents and the City Council do not believe that people were told lies to get signatures. Bottom line, that is why this is such a big mess. The lies. Even when the City Coucil was alerted to the tactics of the canvassers, before making their decision, they turned their backs on their constituents. Mud slinging aside, we were lied to. We just want to vote as we were promised. The canvasers should have said what was truth in the initial Caruso proposal, • if you sign this petition you will NOT get a chance to vote, the Strawberry Fields will not change, and we will be build a mall with our own environmental report and bypass California standards”. But we were lied to time and time again. We did not harras anyone but now that the truth is out, we want our right to vote.

  25. Developers Wife on September 10th, 2015 6:22 am

    You are absolutely correct. We all were duped and misled by Caruso’s signature gatheres a few months ago. I didn’t sign it, but they were incredibly pushy and full of wrong information. My husband, a retail developer just like Caruso, answered the door when they came to our house and couldn’t believe all the misinformation. He develops strip malls and was and is disgusted about Caruso’s deception and taking advantage of the CEQA loophole. We didn’t sign it after the real facts came out from 10 minutes of a developer asking the right questions, but when we found out that our six, yes six neighbors all over 80, were misled and bullied into signing that was what completely made me get involved with the effort to get the word out about this new petition/referendum to let the people vote. Sign the petition/referendum. It’s not backed by any corporate money as the million dollar Caruso commercials would like you to believe. It’s backed by hard working Carlsbad residents who want all of us to have the right to vote on this. Go find a place to sign.

  26. North Coast Current on September 10th, 2015 10:02 am

    A note from the moderator:

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  27. North Coast Current Comments Moderator on September 10th, 2015 10:09 am

    A note from the moderator:

    Thank you for your contributions to this North Coast Current discussion. Please note:

    1) Please remain civil in the comments. Posts containing repeated name-calling, personal insults, shouting (all-caps) and threats will not be approved.

    2) Multiple posts by one person repeating the same information verbatim will not be approved. Often, it’s a re-send because of a technical problem, and that’s understood. However, multiple posts of the same thing under several replies constitutes a flooding of the comments section and will be declined.

    Thank you,
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  28. Greg gutierrez on September 10th, 2015 7:23 pm

    The best way for our community to heal is to put this poorly thought out megamall to a vote. We will protect our lagoon.

  29. Bridey Hooley on September 11th, 2015 5:31 pm

    Put the mall somewhere else in Carlsbad. The lies, deceit, blatant corruption and manipulation are despicable by our Carlsbad City Council. I’m not against change. But I am FOR protecting the environment. It’s all we have, people. For our kids. For our grand kids.

    A huge mall and parking lot will dwarf the lagoon — plus—the lagoon already has two major industrial complexes on it. The power plant and the desal plant.

    Now a mall?

    Can’t you people shop elsewhere?

    It’s pathetic the way you supporters of the mall are salivating. I’m worried for you. Get a life!!

    Thank you to the author, sincerely. I hope the people will rise up.

  30. Don Burton on September 11th, 2015 9:22 pm

    Just got back from signature gathering. I make it a point to inform people that I am a volunteer. I do not pressure anyone to sign unless they are sure about what they are signing first. Results of being honest and forthright…overwhelming success. Gathering lots of signatures, meeting lots of great people whom I now consider my neighbors even if they do not live on my block. The irony of this whole situation is that what seemed to be dividing our town is actually bringing us together. The spirit of democracy is alive and well in Carlsbad. Thank God and God Bless America. People died for our right to vote. This is a fight worth waging and we win no matter what because we are standing up for what is right! Don’t be fooled by supporters who make the specious argument that other developments did not come to a full vote. Other developments did not use the initiative process and therefore did not need to come to a full vote. More twisted logic from people who do not understand what it means to tell the truth.

  31. Don Burton on September 11th, 2015 9:24 pm

    Two last comments:
    1. We have a farm-to-table restaurant in Carlsbad. It’s called Bistro West and it’s excellent.

    2. There are NO outside interests at work here other than Caruso. If Dane or anyone else would like to provide PROOF to the contrary, I will empty my bank account and give it to him. CNC is all volunteer. No one is being paid, and no support is being provided by any outside corporate interest.

  32. laurice on September 12th, 2015 9:04 am

    My question is why do we think 18 million visitors would come to shop at this Nordstrom? Orange County has their own so does Riverside and even San Bernardino how many miles would you travel to go shopping? Legoland and the California coastline are much bigger draws then shopping malls for tourists, while they may visit while here they certainly are not going to come here just to go to the store. Many local Carlsbad business depends on tourist traffic I live in the Village and know of 2 business that went out of business because of the work being done on Grand Ave which caused a slow down in tourist shopping. My daughter and Sister-in-law and other friends and family (we talking major shoppers ) have not once asked to go to the mall while visiting from out of town. Now my personal opinion is we probably don’t need another mall but the land is going to be developed so think about what could go there instead. A Housing projects that would cut all but it’s residents from enjoying the lagoon how about a Hotel or maybe a business park with large gray buildings that just sit there for years with only a 1/4 of the units in use? I like open space just like any one else does but as of yet I have not found a way ( other then the place that rents the jet ski on tamarack ) to actually enjoy the lagoon up close. I would like to know the opinions of those that live right along the lagoon and what they know about the project

  33. the dave on September 12th, 2015 3:32 pm

    I think everyone realizes there must be some under the table payoffs to whoever approved this. I have no proof or evidence – other than circumstantial of course – but WHY would this be forced through with propaganda and all the decision making about it left to a small group of people.

    Why else would they decide to override the wishes of the people they represent – if it wasn’t for personal gain. I’m sure whoever’s gonna build the mall has a huge slush fund for such things and if you think it didn’t happen here, you probably don’t understand what’s going on in much of the world.

  34. Margaret Pate on September 12th, 2015 5:11 pm

    I’ve seen and heard all the vitriol from both sides. What I wonder is this: if the 85/15 plan doesn’t go through, then what? Does anyone who has spent a minute and a half in Carlsbad actually think the city will just leave everything as it is? I just haven’t seen anyone tell us what the alternative is. What I do know, however, is that Carlsbad has never seen a blade of grass it didn’t want to “manage,” so I suspect that the alternative would be that it would ALL go to some sort of building project. At least this one allows us to keep some open space. I’ve lived here since 1962 when there was only a population of 20,000, and I’ve seen all the changes. Change WILL come, like it or not.

  35. Jay on December 13th, 2015 4:19 pm

    This area has been designated as commercial zoned land! If the 85/15 plan is voted down, you’ll likely be fighting against a future developer pushing a 50/50 plan! Zero question the 85/15 project is the absolutely best outcome. Additionally, Curuso has already shown (by previous projects) their world-class approach to developing properties. I see this property as a very refreshing alternative to the typical Westfield cookie-cutter track shopping mall we see around San Diego.

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Point of View: Call ‘85/15’ what it is, and let Carlsbad vote on it