Carlsbad, CA–The La Costa Town Center at the intersection of Rancho Santa Fe Road and La Costa Avenue won final approval from the City of Carlsbad last week–leaving a number of La Costa residents prepared to fight city hall. They are concerned about safety issues–and also the values of their La Costa and Carlsbad real estate.
The proposed development will offer 284,400 square feet of shopping, banks, two gas stations, a large office project and a couple of medium density neighborhoods on the 83-acre site that fronts residential La Costa Avenue and heavily-traveled Rancho Santa Fe Road. The builder, Aspen Properties, will be limited to a 100,000 square-foot anchor store (which would diminish the possibility of a WalMart). Instead, the builder claims the La Costa Town Center will be something closer to the upscale Carlsbad Forum or the Del Mar Plaza.
The proposed center is situated to serve all of La Costa, South Carlsbad, San Elijo Hills, Rancho Santa Fe and Encinitas–but local residents fear the impact of more than 25,000 extra cars on roads that would service the center. Over the last few years, La Costa Avenue residents have already complained to the City of Carlsbad about:
1. Children who attend La Costa Heights Elementary School and who live north of La Costa Avenue must cross that busy street if walking or biking to school. Where is a crosswalk attendant when one is desperately needed?
2. The road surface on La Costa Avenue is already shredded from heavy construction traffic that occurred during construction of La Costa Oaks. Has the City of Carlsbad budgeted for the repair and resurfacing of La Costa Avenue once construction of La Costa Town Square is complete?
3. That the City of Carlsbad allows for a speed limit of 45 miles per hour in a residential zone is beyond Third World carelessness. La Costa Avenue is lined with driveways on both sides with residents and 45 + mph drivers who are forced to dodge each other at all hours.
As many see it, La Costa Avenue either needs to be tamed with stop signs, school crosswalk guards and speed enforcement–or the City of Carlsbad should purchase homes on the street and thereby eliminate the driveways–and hazards– that feed into it. This would also allow the city to straighten the street, which would help to eliminate accidents that occur due to unseen obstacles and allow for a bicycle and pedestrian bridge spanning the stree. This might also negate the need for a crosswalk attendant for school children–and would help eliminate potential personal disasters.
These arguments and others have been presented at an untold number of meetings with the City of Carlsbad–and most La Costa residents and dissidents feel their pleas have fallen on deaf ears. They are tired of the accidents, of speeding cars flipping over onto driveways, of mailboxes and other structures being wiped out-and the hazard of potential injury to children crossing the street.
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