Group Hopes To Save Village H

by The Editors on April 14, 2009


A stretch of private land in Calavera Hills that local residents had hoped the City of Carlsbad would buy and turn into a park has been sold to Thompson Co. of Nevada, according to a story in the North County Times. And the new owner plans to subdivide the 60 acre property.

This has made a group of local residents upset enough to launch an anti-developement website called And they are blaming the Carlsbad City Council for not honoring the wishes of its own Open Space Committee.

For over ten years, residents around Village H and from elsewhere have done everything they can to lobby the Council and City to preserve the property., in its original incarnation several years ago, was a focal point for this effort (with much work by as well). . . .As a result, three Council members now serving who served then (Lewis, Kulchin, and Hall) all expressed a willingness to preserve the land. But despite their Open Space Committee ranking the property as tied for #2 in the entire city (as worthy of acquisition) and despite the landowner making two very low offers to the City (one reportedly only $300,000), the Council — in a legally questionable closed-door session last year — declined to buy the property.

While we believe for the most part that private land owners should be able sell their land to whomever they want it is strange that the City would pass on a parcel that they obviously had interest in. For more info, click the link.

[Link: Save Village H]

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

any April 14, 2009 at 6:57 pm

City of Carlsbad has dragged it’s feet for over 6 years now, ignoring the will of the majority of there citizens who passed prop C in 2002 stating for acquire open space. In my book (unlike the cities) open space means natural land. The City is on a collision course with the undeveloped land that people require vs. undisturbed land that sensitive plants and animals need to survive. Village H helped alleviate the tremendous preserve felt by the regional preserve at Calavera. The bars that are now encircling Village H remind me of the debacle of “art” that was once at the Pine St. beach. Let them be a reminder to all citizens who used this area, and their children who will now be using the streets of this cities priorities. Unfortunately the city missed a golden opportunity to rezone this land between owners, and history reveals that this parcel preempted the requirement for increased Community Facility land. It would have merely taken putting it on an agenda, making a motion and getting 3 out of 5 votes. Insurmountable when it comes to conservation of natural resources in CBD.

any April 14, 2009 at 7:01 pm

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to a land acquisition fund for Carlsbad only, go thru the San Diego Foundation and put the money in the Rosebrook Fund started and controlled by Preserve Calavera. Or go online to Preserve This incredible group who fought valiently to attempt to get the city to buy this land, and they themselves who offered to chip in 20k for it’s purchase has had to step up to the plate and attempt to buy and spearhead acquisitions – where the city “leaders” will not. It is due in large part to their efforts that 135 acres in the Buena Vista Valley have been preserved, now owned by DFG. What we need is a high end fundraiser to bring some big bucks in to expand the Calavera preserve by purchasing a couple properties that are still being farmed, before the city sets it’s minions to work converting them to housing.

CrestOfCalavera April 15, 2009 at 10:53 am

This is outrageous. The city had the opportunity and should have purchased the land for $300k. This trail is one of the reasons we bought a home in Calavera Hills. According to one city official we spoke to the city didn’t purchase the property because they would have to seal it off from pedestrian access as a preserve. Well, at this point I don’t see the difference, except, now we might get to deal with the traffic and noise of a mega church on top of losing our beautiful open space.

carlsbadistan rocks April 15, 2009 at 12:25 pm

The city could have spent $300,000 for an area that hundreds, if not thousands, of people enjoy. The land was basically being given away to them, for the taking.

I guess Mayor Buddy can spend hundreds of millions of dollars on an overpriced, money-pit golf course that no one uses, but $300,000 for a plot of land that is used by many, and is true Open Space, was too expensive. Right.

To_be_a_consumer_or_a_citizen April 15, 2009 at 1:48 pm

I need a “Don’t blame me, I voted for Evan” bumpersticker.

I guess we have plenty of open space under empty office building roofs?

Hippie Chick April 15, 2009 at 8:06 pm

My dog and I use this beautiful meadow often for walks. Since Carlsbad basically permits dogs to roam virtually no where but a single cramped dog park, this loss of land is heartbreaking. People, young and old, running, walking, with or without pups use this piece of nature, as do the nesting owls and ,do I dare say, the Gnatcatcher.

The City Council should be ashamed of themselves..preserving Carlsbad’s open spaces..yeah little slots of space wedged between deep canyons or wetlands. What open spaces can people use?

Nature Lover April 16, 2009 at 8:13 am

What is even more outrageous is the fact that on March 6, 2009 the city of Carlsbad
received a letter from the real estate agent making a last ditch offer from the
owner of Village H (Brookfield Homes) to buy the property. The offer, after taking into the account the mitigation credits, would have cost the city next to nothing. It was turned down. Less than a month later Village H had sold and a fence was going up. A comment was made by a council member that there is a lot of misinformation going around about Village H. That is because there is a lot of secrecy going on with our City Council.

Fenced out - looking in April 16, 2009 at 11:13 pm

Check out the 2004 video on – It pretty much summarizes how people STILL feel about this property. There were many families with young children and babies featured in the video. It’s sad they’re going to lose such a natural, and for the most part, safe playground. No more “Enchanted Forest”. Sadder still is the City Council – why bother with surveys of what Carlsbad citizens want – such a joke.

Nature and Doggie Lover April 17, 2009 at 3:39 pm

This is so disappointing and frustrating. I live within walking distance of this area and we go there often. It’s a wonderful neighborhood community area and developing on it would destroy the nature and beauty that the community enjoys every single day. Now we have nowhere to enjoy neighborhood trails and these money grubbing fools don’t care. Nature is the best church there is as it represents the epitome of God’s creation and taking this piece of land away from the neighborhood residents is myopic and cruel.

Carlsbad is like Heavean or used to be-- April 17, 2009 at 5:46 pm

I have lived and enjoyed it here at the Creat for over 18 years. One of my favorite and spiritual places has been walking past the beautiful scenery that we still have at the corner of Carlsbad Village Drive and Victoria. I enjoy seeing all the dogs at play and this really is one of the few palces they can run freely and enjoy themselves. So many of our children, dogs, and adults, come here to get exercise, meet, feel free, relax. destress and be healthy! Not to mention all the wildlife. I along with most of my neighbors and many that live in Carlsbad Heights are extremly upset about thiis.

Shame on the City Council for not buying this propery and keeping it for open space. Let’s all try to band together and do what we can to preserve one of the last open spaces we may see in Carlsbad. Thank you all.

The Non-Pearly Gates April 18, 2009 at 11:15 pm

This has to be the most beautiful piece of property in Carlsbad, not only for it’s physical attributes but for the wonderful things that happen here. Children actually using their imaginations, safely at play, people of all ages sharing time together (not via the internet or cell phone). When I moved here several years ago this haven replaced my favorite preserve in the Midwest, over and above the Carlsbad oceanfront walk, and it has now been taken away, suddenly and needlessly. Is this the Southern California idea of “progress”? Maybe you can lock all of those coyotes in that howl in the canyon each time the sirens pass. Would you feel safer then?

Dana & Marsha Eyre April 19, 2009 at 3:10 pm

We’re recently moved in to this community (after having lived in Coronado, and overseas before that) but are long time visitors with family in the community. So we well know the history of North County development. The short-sightedness of the City Council in not purchasing this property is deeply disappointing. Unfortunately, it’s not surprising. As a native Californian, with many years watching city councils throughout the state, it isn’t news that a council can’t see, or maintain, what makes a place unique and desirable. Instead, they seemed determined to turn individual towns into faceless blurbs. The fact that the council turned down an opportunity to pick up the property at a reasonable price, in a closed door session, is deeply disappointing. I look forward to opposing the development, and holding the council accountable at the next election.

To_be_a_consumer_or_a_citizen April 19, 2009 at 7:19 pm

The council gets another chance to do the right thing Tuesday night when Alga Norte come up again. Please come to City Hall at 6 and support the park. If you can’t make it, email, call or write the council and let them know where you stand. Major
issues: endless wait lists for swim lessons, upcoming demolition of the existing skatepark with no replacement, affordable places for family recreation. The council needs to hear from all citizens now!

Jan Statman April 20, 2009 at 6:59 am

I moved to Carlsbad, from San Juan Capistrano, in 1985. I moved here to be able to send my children to great schools and to get away from the congestion of Orange County. When I moved here there was a slow growth plan…very cool. I had two great dogs then and I have two great dogs now. We walk together numerous times a week and we ALWAYS go to this great wooded area. It is so peaceful, no cars speeding up Elm, oops another over-priced fiasco, Carlsbad Village Dr. The cost of that re-naming could have almost bought this property. Now I am told that we will lose this trail and area. I walk my dogs and me there constantly…always on a leash. I meet people and we talk, I know my dogs LOVE this area and part of our walk.
The way things are going here we’ll have Orange County South in a few years and no where to go peacefully. This great town is growing too fast. There are too many people and buildings going up and we can’t stop it. I know the city needs money to survive but come on people, where is the quality of life going to? The ocean is dirty, more and more homes being built and businesses. The traffic is getting ridiculous and will get worse.
I think the solution is to say good bye to our Mayor and his cohorts and elect people who actually give a damn about our quality of life. Shame on our city council for allowing this great piece of land be purchased. I hope you all have nightmares over what you are doing to this great town. Are tax revenues worth our quality of life?

GO Lewis, Kulchin, Hall, Packard,and Nygaard! April 20, 2009 at 9:23 am

I guess I’ll be the lone voice here supporting Lewis, Kulchin, Hall, Packard, and Nygaard: As soon as they, me, and other like-minded real estate investors make our tidy sums, we’ll express our regrets then, but not now. Develop, baby, develop!

Andrea April 20, 2009 at 9:28 am

We live in the Villas, have walked and taken pictures of this trail . . . someone mentioned a ‘Mega’ church, anyone know which one that might be? What a waste of the shrinking bit of nature we have come to enjoy.

I can’t imagine the noise of construction, the heavy equipment and trucks rolling in and out of here, right in front of our condo complex. I feel even more blessed to live on the canyon edge on Winthrop . . . but that won’t keep the noise down or the disappointment in our City. What will happen to the home values of those who live on the edge of that property?

green April 20, 2009 at 11:06 am

Let your city council know that Carlsbad needs more than just hotels and empty office buildings. People need places to go with their pets and families and to come together as a community.

The city just released figures that Alga Norte Park can now be built for millions less and tomorrow night at 6 p.m. (Tuesday April 21) city council will be voting on whether to go forward.

Alga Norte Park will have a dog park, ballfields, hiking trails, a swim complex because kids in Carlsbad wait for months on a list for lessons, and a skatepark to replace the Orion park which is going to be torn down.

Kulchin and Blackburn are pro-park. Maybe Lewis, Packard, and Hall are reluctant to commit because of the golf course issues. Ironic that if the 3 of them block the park AGAIN, that’s what they’ll be remembered for: what a crappy legacy. Not a help to Hall-for-Mayor either. Would probably be enough to get others into the race and with a built-in organization of very frustrated voters.

Let’s pack city council to show them the faces and opinions of the voters!

Carlsbad is like Heavean or used to be-- April 21, 2009 at 11:23 am

Hi All,

I wanted to let you know that the North County Times has decided to publish my article. I added a paragraph regarding peace of mind and how a “quiet” neighboorhood is imperative for successful living.

It will be published sometime before the weekend, so please pick up a copy, or check to read it. I do plan on starting a petition soon. I am not sure what this will accomplish at this point, since this is a private company, however we can at least get the ball rolling in the right direction. I appreciate all your support! Thank you!

Walker April 21, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Remember the bars!

Strong, PERSISTENT, grass roots activism was responsible for reversing a City Council decision. I still remember MANY vehicles displaying bumper stickers expressing distaste for the bars. is one source for bumper stickers.

Perhaps tonights City Council meeting would be an opportunity to remind Council that a lot of us prefer natural, less expensive open space more than developed park land.

Joe April 23, 2009 at 8:35 pm

What an OUTRAGE this blunder by the city counsel has become! How could they pass up a $300k offer?? Really?? SHAME ON YOU Counsel members for not living up to your word and doing what you were elected to do which is represent the people and citizens of this community!! WHY did we vote to acquire more open space when the exact opposite is taking place?? I am very suspicious of these back door secret meetings. Maybe someone is be paid off here huh?

Village H is one of the BEST reasons to live in Calavera Hills and speaking as a resident of the Crest Development, the property I live in is directly on the canyon and I get sick to my stomach at the thought of losing this wonderful and precious preserve. My entire family has utilized and enjoyed the canyon for many years and is one of the main reasons I live in my property. Another reason is also because of the serene view and quick access to this beautiful place.

As a local Realtor I can tell you that YOUR PROPERTY VALUES WILL DECLINE SIGNIFIGANTLY if this property is built upon in ANY manor!! Like it is not enough with the state of the economy and home prices already, but now we will be forced into losing something so valuable to the residents of this community that has brought families, friends, and neighbors together for so long. It is a shame to think that we are now faced with the possibility of a Church or Senior Living Facility in our backyard on top of the nuisance of construction and added traffic!! I can not believe what is happening and encourage each and every person to take action and flood the city counsel with complaints and petitions to forcibly take back the property by changing the zoning so that nothing can be built there and then maybe the new owner would sell it to the city, the community could raise the money to buy the it and donate it to Preserve Calavera, or worst case scenario, take the property through Eminent Domain.

As a local Real Estate & Mortgage professional I am willing to donate my time and services in any way possible to see that our beloved canyon stays the way it was intended to be. I can be reach via email at

Dave April 24, 2009 at 12:24 pm

There were three Carlsbad Police cars and a City of Carlsbad truck at the H about a week ago. The Police and Carlsbad employee were chatting with the men who were building the fence. What was up with that?

CrestOfCalavera April 24, 2009 at 3:53 pm

The city stopped completion of the fence because the owner didn’t file a permit for the construction of it or notify the city in any way. Also, the inspector came by and saw the manner in which the fence was being constructed and noted several safety issues (welding safety, tools on public sidewalk, visual impedence for drivers).

This is probably just a temporary stop to the work. Expect trail access to be sealed off sooner than later.


A local neighbor April 24, 2009 at 4:41 pm

Well, I guess someone has to be the politically incorrect one here and wave the BS flag. As I recall it was local NIMBYs who shot down the daycare that was needed by new families in the Calavera areas, that this section of land was set aside as part of the permit.

The newly arrived dog owners now are peeved that they dont get to keep their own illegal little dog park. Well, I am not feeling sympathetic. I too used to take my kids there to walk, until the flies and stench got so bad, and the big dumb Labs running loose almost knocked my toddlers off their feet. Or, the aggressive ones that like to fight.

I drive by the fence every day – the foto on the website is misleading, as is the history, which shamefully, the NCTD swallowed hook, line, and sinker like they have in past on stories emanating from PC. The actual fence now is much more attractive than the barbed wire fence across the street enclosing the open space, and much more attractive than the faded splintered pole fences elsewhere.

Do we all have to sing kumbaya here, and complain about nature, when most of this site WILL remain open for coyotes to run thru, and please no more sob stories from PC about how they need an expensive undercrossing – coyotes have expanded their range all over the US, to such a degree that biologists consider them the most well adapted urban habitat species…no need to “protect” them.

Oh, yeah – dont forget – the open spaces and connectors here were designed for avian habitat – the California Gnatcatcher, which quite happily flies over the fence.

Can we keep the eye on the ball here – the City has more recreational users than a bunch of batty old ladies in sunhats. When you buy a piece of land, it costs money to run, a lot more money than you expect and right now there is a hiring freeze on. The same people who jump up and down screaming about losing their favorite NIMBY spot that was always going to be a church, will be the ones complaining about the extra taxes to pay for the ranger, dog-poop collector, invasives weed removal, and all the other unseen but very real costs that we have to bear when we set land aside.

This kind of cheap trick is what turns young people off from using the word “environmentalists” – dont take my word for it – go to any Sierra Club meeting and you’ll see nothing but old guys with pony tails…

fred flintstone April 24, 2009 at 4:47 pm

There was a UFO parked next to the dog trail yesterday. Whats up with that.

…..grummble grumble green somethin’


CrestOfCalavera April 27, 2009 at 10:11 am

Thank you “local neighbor”. Finally someone on the City Council has the guts to be honest with us and say what they really feel, albiet, off the record.

a local kid April 27, 2009 at 2:56 pm

I really wish that they’d tear down that fence. My friends and I would play there, build forts, and give us something to do outside. Even if they build the church, can they at least leave a trail to the open area? My friends and I know a secret back trail,multiple actually, but we would prefer not to use those and stay legal. 300,000 dollars for that land sounds like a lot, but considering my allowance is 10 dollars as month, and the city probably could easily afford it, why didn’t they buy it? I would be pleased if i was told.

a local kid April 27, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Sorry, I made a few errors.

a local kid July 22, 2009 at 6:56 pm

thanks to the wonderful fencebuilders, village h has just burned

Trailblazer July 19, 2012 at 8:45 am

Here’s a link to the Village H video I created with my photos.

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