Friends of Aviara supports SOS for Open Space, a campaign to encourage the Carlsbad City Council to spend the moneys set aside a decade ago to preserve our natural habitat. Please go to Petitions to register your support for SOS.
State court rules City of Carlsbad acted "arbitrarily and capriciously" in approving 2005-2010 Housing Element, which included plans to put high density housing adjacent to the Aviara Oaks School Campus and El Salto Falls.
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In 2009, developers of the PonteBello project (formerly The Bridges at Aviara) and the City of Carlsbad unveiled a proposal to build assisted living facilities on two sites adjacent and northeast of the Aviara Oaks Middle & Elementary Schools.
The 15-plus buildings split between two campuses would accommodate 428-units at one site along Poinsettia plus a minimum of 76 affordable housing units on the corner of Ambrosia and Conoso – making it one of the largest, most ambitious such facilities in the nation.
Friends of Aviara -- a grassroots group of neighbors in Southern Carlsbad -- was formed and filed suit over inclusion of the project in the city's 2005-2010 Housing Element. On March 17, 2011, a state court agreed, saying the city acted "arbitrarily and capriciously" in including the project in its Housing Element. The battle to put a more appropriate project on this piece of land continues.
Because the proposal is not in compliance with the planned community and zoning standards that have governed development of Carlsbad over the last decades, the property would have to be rezoned from low-density, single family housing to high-density, multi-unit housing. This would allow the parcels to accommodate semi-commercial operations. The project effectively creates an island of commercial activity surrounded by single-family neighborhoods, schools, parks, previously preserved open space and environmentally sensitive areas.
In December 2009, the Carlsbad City Council began removing obstacles to the development by approving changes to the 2005—2010 Housing Element, and specifically pledged to the state that affordable housing units in the PonteBello project would be used to meet the state’s low-income and affordable housing goals. According to Carlsbad’s senior city planner, the inclusion in the Housing Element gives the PonteBello project “the presumption of validity.”