City Council Thumbs Up Downtown

by The Editors on November 8, 2007

We have to admit that there is something frightening about allowing the Carlsbad City Council to make any decisions related to “design” or “architecture.” That said, in a vote of 3-0 the Carlsbad City Council Tuesday night approved a revised master plan and and design guidelines changes to Carlsbad’s Village, according to an article in the San Deigo Union Tribune. Councilmen Matt Hall and Mark Packard did not vote because they own property in the Village.

“The council voted, instead, to allow building heights of 45 feet if at least 50 percent of a roof is sloped. . . The council also voted to allow commercial buildings in much of the redevelopment area to be built up to the sidewalks, as long as their upper floors are tiered back. But the council is requiring the first floor of residential buildings to be set back from sidewalks an average of 10 feet. . . . The council also . . . approved a compromise to allow up to 35 [residential] units per acre [previously it had been 23].

The only thing the council rejected (thankfully) was a proposal let developers put in 15 percent fewer parking spaces “if their projects gave incentives to use public transportation” whatever that means.

[Link: San Diego Union Tribune]

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

BDUB November 8, 2007 at 9:28 am

Please clarify Carlsbadistan…

In these votes, does majority win?

I ask because you stated that Matt Hall and Mark Packard did not vote because of property which they own in the Carlsbad Village area. Wouldn’t that make a vote of 3-2 or do they have the option not to vote rather than vote against?

Why wouldn’t Matt and Mark vote against this?

The Editors November 8, 2007 at 10:45 am

When the City Council votes on an proposal, members of the council who may have “conflicts of interest” with the topic being discussed usually “recuse” themselves from the proceedings (as Matt and Mark did because they have a direct financial involvement with the topic). Recusal is defined as: “the act of abstaining from participation in an official action such as a legal proceeding due to a conflict of interest.”

We’ve always had a problem with this because in effect, what recusal does is eliminate potential “no” votes.

For example, if you were on the City Council and at the same time being paid as a “consultant” by a desalination plant manufacturer then whenever a vote came up regarding a desalination plant you’d have to “recuse” yourself from the vote. Which in effect means that the desalination plant manufacturer had purchased your ability to vote “no” on the project because you can’t vote at all.

Ideally, it would be great if City Council was made up of people who have no personal business interest in the community at all and could make completely objective decisions on everything, but if that was the case, why would anyone want to be on City Council. The reality is: they wouldn’t.

BDUB November 8, 2007 at 11:30 am

…another “gray area” that serves as a political sanctuary for the elected council that run our city. Its sad that we see this happen on a large scale down to our own communities and can’t really do anything about it!

Conflict of interest or not, our elected council people should be forced to make either a “yes” or “no” votes. Isn’t that why they are there in the first place. I am surprised any votes at all get made with all the swindling that goes on!

Shouldn’t all information be publicized concerning council members and any consultant issues that they are involved with which relate directly to propositions on the board. Also, shouldn’t a council person vote for the good of the city, whether it involves the desalination plant or the village master plan rather than their own interests?…duh!

Our Council really needs to stand back and ask themselves what they really think is good for Carlsbad!

Thanks for the response Carlsbadistan! A network of minds is slowly forming in our village and your website can be a crucial tool in it formation. Congrats on the 32 votes and I am looking forward to the stickers!

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