Two downtown residential condominium buildings with a mixture of market-rate and affordable housing, ground-floor commercial space and underground parking got the go-ahead for construction last week from the Carlsbad City Council.
The Carlsbad Station project will cover 1.76 acres of the city block between State and Roosevelt streets, north of Grand Avenue and a half-block walk from the Carlsbad Village train station. The site includes several different lots with eight buildings constructed between 1947 and 1981, some which are occupied by long-time tenants such as Hennessey’s Tavern that could resume business in the new structures.
The two four-story buildings will include 79 residential condominiums ranging from 14 one-bedroom units, each with 747 square feet, to four four-bedroom units, each with 2,877 square feet. Twelve of the condos will be reserved for occupants who qualify for affordable housing and will be indistinguishable from the market-rate condos. Four commercial units will occupy the ground floor, and the underground parking will have 143 spaces.
Frontage along Roosevelt and State streets will get new curbs, gutters, sidewalks, bike racks, street trees and landscaping.
The City Council voted 3-1 Tuesday to approve a tentative tract map and site development plan for the project, with Councilwoman Cori Schumacher opposed. Schumacher said the city should be “more prescriptive” with its affordable housing requirements, such as specifying whether the affordable condos should be for sale or for rent. City officials said those details will be determined later.
Mayor Matt Hall and a number of long-time Carlsbad residents praised the project.
“You truly went far and beyond,” Hall said of the applicant McKellar McGowan, a San Diego real estate development firm. “I like the architecture and that you will bring back some existing tenants.”
Parts of the two buildings will be set back from the street to make them appear less tall than they really are. The side facing Roosevelt will only have three stories at the street, and the side facing State will only have one floor at the street, with the upper three stories set back 50 feet. A pedestrian promenade will connect Roosevelt and State streets between the two buildings.
Several speakers said the project is an example of “smart growth,” in which more dense residential development with affordable homes is built near public transit, jobs and services.
“This is exactly where a mixed-income project should be located,” said Angeli Calinog , a policy manager for the nonprofit public transit advocate Circulate San Diego.
“This is one of the best projects we’ve seen in many, many years, and the first one to use the new Village and Barrio Master Plan,” said Gary Nessim, a Carlsbad Village business owner. “It fits the community very nicely.”
While all the speakers at the council meeting supported the project, a few residents wrote letters in opposition.
“It’s sad to see major developments taking over our beach town,” wrote lifelong resident Adam Faringhy. “I beg of the City Council to slow their pace and consider saving some of our local landmarks.”
Others said the project would increase traffic congestion and force out more small businesses.
But most were in support, including Christine Davis, executive director of The Carlsbad Village Association, a nonprofit that promotes business and culture in the Village.
“While a large project, it has been thoughtfully broken into smaller pieces to blend into our downtown environment,” Davis wrote.
The guy who bought the Carlsbad firehouse for $803,333 in July, 2019 (there were 28 offers) has resold it for $1,275,000. Here is the HGTV tour that starts as they roll up to the original listing (we know how HH works – he has already bought the house before filming and they are faking this tour):
Let’s continue to watch how the quaint old beach town of Carlsbad is being redeveloped by big money and a laissez-faire city council – so far, it looks like a grab-bag (an assortment of miscellaneous items):
CARLSBAD — The city finalized its policy regarding accessory dwelling units to reflect changes in state law.
During its Sept. 1 meeting, the City Council approved amendments to the zoning and municipal codes, in addition to the Village and Barrio Master Plan and Local Coastal Program.
The changes to the city’s municipal code align with six new state laws aiming to spur construction of ADUs, or “granny flats,” and create more affordable housing options for residents.
Don Neu, Carlsbad city planner, said ADUs are secondary residential units on an existing property and the city’s recent approval is keeping in line with the new state laws.
The latest California laws (AB 68, AB 881, SB 13, AB 587, AB 670 and AB 671) allow for ADUs on any lot with single-family or multi-family dwellings to include junior ADUs — units within the walls of a single-family home with a maximum size of 500-square feet — along with ADUs, which are detached units up to 1,200-square feet.
Other changes include setbacks, heights, lot coverage allowing for 800-square-foot units and prohibiting ADUs being used as short-term rentals, Neu said. Also, homeowner’s associations must allow both types of ADUs and state-mandated Housing Elements must include incentives for ADUs, Neu said.
“The processing time to act on a permit request for an accessory unit has been reduced from 120 days to 60 days,” Neu said.
The council also approved the attached ADUs to be 50% of the main dwelling or a maximum of 1,200-square feet, whichever is less. For detached units, 1,200-square feet is the maximum, which is in line with state law, Neu said.
These new guidelines also regulate height limits, which are 16 feet for both detached and attached units, and the city will default to the height allowed by the current zoning. As for landscaping, city ADUs must apply the same requirements as applied to the development of the property, while the architecture must be consistent with the main dwelling.
As of Nov. 2019, Neu said there were 425 ADUs in the city with rent running between $1,416 for a studio and $1,618 per month for a one-bedroom unit. Of the 425, there are 184 that are deed-restricted for lower-income residents and the rest are counted as affordable to moderate-income households.
“These were accessory units that were constructed to satisfy the inclusionary ordinance,” he said.
According to the staff report, the new state law also includes a requirement for the California Department of Housing and Community Development to review the city’s accessory dwelling unit ordinance for compliance.
The city will be given 30 days to respond and indicate if it will either change the ordinance to comply with the state housing department’s findings or adopt it as-is. If no response is made within 30 days, the state may notify the attorney general the city is in violation of state law.
Nicely renovated one-story 3br home with attached guest house in very private setting located near everything – all for $999,000!
Hardwood floors, stainless kitchen, massive walk-in closets, two fireplaces, central A/C, and it’s tucked away in a culdesac-like spot off the beaten path. No HOA, & no power lines. On the map it looks close to El Camino Real, but it is remarkably quiet. Master br down, & master up (in guest house). Great for multi-gen, work-at-home, distance learning, etc.
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