Council OKs development in La Costa, irks neighbors: San Diego UT

Council OKs development in La Costa, irks neighbors

By Michael BurgeUnion-Tribune Staff Writer

2:00 a.m. August 20, 2009

CARLSBAD — After wrestling with the definition of a “big-box store,” the Carlsbad City Council unanimously approved a combined shopping, housing and office development in La Costa.Neighbors who opposed the 83-acre project at La Costa Avenue and Rancho Santa Fe Road, which will include a 284,000-square-foot shopping center, expressed dismay at the council Tuesday night.“There are a number of things we can do to stall the project,” Patricia Bleha, a spokeswoman for North County Advocates, said after the vote. She said the group has hired a lawyer and is contemplating its next step.“It won’t get off the ground for a while,” Bleha said. Called La Costa Town Square, the project would also include 64 single-family houses and two office buildings, as well as the shopping center on the northeast corner.

The council eliminated a proposal to build 128 condominium units on 10 acres on the northwest corner of the intersection.Neighbors were upset at a proposal to build a 98,000-square-foot, two-story retail store as part of the center. It would create 25,000 new vehicle trips into and out of the center.The property has been zoned for a commercial center since the 1970s.About 75 people attended Tuesday’s council hearing, and 17 spoke, nearly all of them opposing the project.They said additional traffic would pose a safety hazard for students driving to and from nearby La Costa Canyon High School.“We have three schools in the area. We’re talking about public safety,” said Paul Marangos, of La Costa. “We’re going to create a killing field. These are our kids that are going to be out on the street with 25,000 more cars a day.”Residents challenged the city for conducting its traffic count during July, when school is out. READ MORE VIA San Diego UT

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