Oct. 20, 2022

Today we celebrated the completion of the rebuilt Fire Station 2 in La Costa with a fire hose “uncoupling ceremony.” Find out about this fire service tradition plus the following news in today’s update:


  • Traffic emergency extended
  • Preserving historic properties in Carlsbad
  • Village and Barrio design standards 
  • Voter registration deadline nears
  • Imagine a Day without Water
  • County issues vaccine reminder
  • Day of the Dead at Leo Carrillo Ranch
  • Free concert at the Schulman Auditorium
  • Get involved: Upcoming meetings

New Fire Station 2 complete

Residents in south Carlsbad now have a new fire station almost three times as big as the 1960s-era one it replaced, accommodating a larger crew, modern firefighting equipment and emergency vehicles to meet the community’s public safety needs.


  • Fire Station 2 was rebuilt in place, on the corner of Arenal and El Camino Real, just north of the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa.
  • Going from 3,600 square feet to 10,000 required close collaboration with the station’s neighbors and some creative design work. Fire engines now exit the station directly onto El Camino Real.
  • In 1969 when the station opened, it was home to one firefighter who responded to about 250 calls a year.
  • Today, Fire Station 2 accommodates a crew of five that responds to more than 4,000 calls annually.


As part of a City Council public safety goal, the temporary station set up during construction of Fire Station 2 will now move to the site of the old power plant to create a temporary Fire Station 7 on the coast. The long-term plan is to find a site for a permanent Fire Station 7, west of the railroad tracks to serve the busy coastal area.


A fire service tradition

Instead of a ribbon-cutting ceremony, our City Council presided over a fire hose uncoupling ceremony at today’s event. Uncoupling is a fire service tradition when opening new stations. Two hoses that had been hooked together are separated (“uncoupled”), similar to when firefighters finish extinguishing a fire, they unhook the hoses, drain the water and put the hoses back on the fire trucks to be ready for the next time they are needed.


More information.

Traffic emergency extended

It’s been nearly two months since the city proclaimed a traffic safety emergency, and I am very proud of everything we have been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time.

  • Our response has focused on the “three Es” of traffic safety – education, engineering and enforcement.
  • This has included e-bike safety classes and other traffic safety education; making bike lanes wider and more prominent throughout the city, focusing on areas with the most collisions reported; and increasing enforcement of traffic safety rules for cars, bikes and pedestrians.


But there is more work to do, which is why the City Council voted at this week’s meeting to extend the emergency proclamation. By law, the City Council must review the emergency at least every 60 days and take action either to extend it or end it.


Prioritizing projects

Even before the emergency proclamation, the City Council had directed staff to expedite several traffic safety related projects, including traffic circles in the Barrio, more visible crosswalks along Carlsbad Boulevard, and others in the city’s Sustainable Mobility Plan.

  • That plan is focused on, among other things, changing roads throughout the city to better balance the needs of all users.
  • This is part of a national trend (and City of Carlsbad policy) to focus more on moving “people” in all the ways they may want to get around, rather than the older traffic engineering approach that focused mostly on moving cars.


We have received some questions from people concerned that the traffic safety emergency might affect the timing of traffic projects the City Council had already prioritized. Don’t worry, this is not the case:

  • An emergency proclamation allows the city to quickly redeploy resources where they are needed most.
  • We are also able to execute contracts and procure materials through a streamlined process.
  • As a result, we have expanded our capacity to address traffic safety needs overall.


If you ever want to know the status of city projects, take a look at our website – we have a projects page that highlights ones most of interest to the community.


Feedback wanted

We have two opportunities next week for you to provide feedback on dozens of additional activities the City Council may consider to further address traffic safety.

  • These were presented to the City Council Sept. 27 as part of the Safer Streets Together Plan.
  • At that time, the City Council approved projects and initiatives where funding had already been identified, either through the $2 million they approved Aug. 30 (unspent funds from the fiscal year 2021-22 budget) or by reprioritizing work in this year’s budget. 
  • The City Council asked staff to get input from the public, the city’s Traffic & Mobility Commission and the Planning Commission on the options that would require new funding. 


Special meetings have been scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 27:


1 p.m.

Planning Commission special meeting


5 p.m.

Traffic & Mobility Commission special meeting


Both will take place in the City Council chamber, 1200 Carlsbad Village Drive, and be streamed live on the city’s website. If you would like to provide input, you can email the commissions before the meeting or speak at the meetings during the public comment portion of the agenda.


[email protected]

[email protected]


City staff will then present the feedback to the City Council, which will provide direction on next steps at an upcoming meeting.


Reducing speeding in Carlsbad neighborhoods

Last week I provided some information about different ways traffic engineers can reduce speeding in neighborhoods. This week I am sharing a video about our Residential Traffic Management Program, which provides a structured process to address neighborhood speeding (plus cut-through traffic and other issues):

  • When community members contact the Transportation Department with concerns, city engineers schedule an evaluation of the street involved.
  • Based on what they find, they can offer neighbors options, starting with the easiest and quickest solutions up to solutions that might require construction work.

You can find out more about this program on our website.


Tamarack speeding

I mentioned recently that we have started to work with neighbors along Tamarack between Skyline and Adams on short term solutions to speeding. If you travel in this area and want to provide feedback, we have an online survey open through next Monday, Oct. 24. Before you do, check out the virtual drive showing you where the proposed speed cushions and raised crosswalks would go.

Voluntary program to preserve historic properties in Carlsbad

Preserving and honoring the city’s rich history are key components of the Carlsbad Community Vision. History is also an important part of maintaining Carlsbad’s unique character, which is one of the goals in the City Council’s new strategic plan.


  • On Tuesday, the City Council approved changes to the Carlsbad Municipal Code (a collection of city laws) to establish a local Mills Act Program.
  • The Mills Act encourages the restoration and preservation of historic buildings by allowing interested owners to receive a break on their property taxes in exchange for their historic preservation and restoration efforts.
  • Participation is 100% voluntary.
  • Properties 50 years old and older are eligible for the program, with some exceptions.


The City Council also directed city staff to work with the city’s Historic Preservation Commission to explore and develop additional incentives to encourage historic preservation throughout the city.

Learn more.

Committee to discuss Village and Barrio design standards

Another way the city is working to preserve community character is by establishing objective design standards for multi-family and mixed-use buildings (usually with business below and apartments or condos above). 

  • City planners are developing these standards for development citywide.
  • Due to their special historical and cultural significance, the Village and Barrio were singled out by the City Council for additional community engagement.
  • A design review committee is currently working with staff to develop the design standards for future development in the Village and Barrio.


The Citizens Design Review Committee will hold its third meeting next week to give input on architectural styles. You are welcome to come or watch on the city’s website.


Citizens Design Review Committee meeting

Tuesday, Oct. 25, 3 p.m.

City Council chamber

1200 Carlsbad Village Drive


You can find the full agenda and meeting materials, as well as how to participate, on the city’s website.

Voter registration reminder

As the Nov. 8 election rapidly approaches, I want to share a reminder of some key upcoming dates from the County of San Diego Registrar of Voters:


Monday, Oct. 24

Deadline to register to vote. You can update your voter information or register online.


Oct. 11 – Nov. 8*

You can drop off your signed and sealed mail ballot at all three city library locations during regular hours:

  • 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday
  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Saturday

*Note on Election Day, Nov. 8, you can drop off your ballot at libraries from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Nov. 5 – 7, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

There are nine voting centers in Carlsbad, although you can go to a center in any location in the county. See the full list.


Nov. 8, 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

All voting center locations will be open longer hours on Election Day.


For details about what’s on the ballot in Carlsbad, see the Election Information page on the city’s website.


As I mentioned a few weeks ago, recent changes in voting laws mean you have several options for when and where to vote.

Imagine a Day without Water

Today water agencies throughout the country invite the public to “Imagine a Day without Water.” We may not have major infrastructure failures and similar challenges faced by other regions, but we are vulnerable to water shortages due to drought.


I know many of you are already taking steps to conserve water, and I want to say thank you. If you're looking for more ways to save, here are some suggestions:


  • Take advantage of water-saver rebates and incentives to replace your thirsty lawn, inefficient appliances and more.
  • Sign up for a free home WaterSmart Checkup.
  • Carlsbad Municipal Water District customers can register to receive leak alerts and monitor their real-time water usage.
  • Report water waste in our community by emailing [email protected].


Learn more.

County urges people to get COVID, flu vaccines

This week, I’m passing on some information from county public health officials who are renewing their call for all county residents to get vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19, as well as getting their seasonal flu shot.


  • Respiratory illnesses typically increase during fall and winter, when people start to gather more indoors, so county officials say now is a good time to increase your protection.
  • The updated bivalent COVID boosters are designed to protect people from the worst outcomes of COVID-19, including hospitalization and death. Recent county data shows people who are vaccinated and boosted are substantially less likely to die of complications from the virus.
  • The county is already seeing a rapid and early start to flu season. Local hospitals have noted an increase in emergency room visits due to flu, as well as respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV – a type of severe cold virus that often spreads through school-age populations.
  • In addition to getting vaccinated, you can help prevent the spread of illness by:

  • Washing hands thoroughly and often
  • Staying away from sick people
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cleaning commonly touched surfaces


Learn more on the county’s website.

Day of the Dead at Leo Carrillo Ranch

If you haven’t visited the City of Carlsbad’s Leo Carrillo Historic Ranch Park lately, October is a great month to stop by. In honor of the traditional Day of the Dead holiday, the historic hacienda is dressed up with colorful decorations and a customary ofrenda table dedicated to the Carrillo family.


The main building of the hacienda is open for visitors from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays through Sundays until Nov. 2, and a special Open House is planned next weekend. No tickets are required.


Open House

Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 28-29

9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park

6200 Flying Leo Carrillo Lane


Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is a traditional Mexican holiday celebrated by honoring deceased friends and family. The holiday is observed by building private altars using marigolds, personal items, and favorite foods of the departed.

Blame Betty concert at the Schulman

If you’re looking to liven up your weekend, come to a Saturday concert at the Dove Library’s Schulman Auditorium featuring the high-energy rock n’ roll band Blame Betty.


Showtime @ The Schulman

Blame Betty

Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m.

Seating is first come, first served.



Blame Betty was formed in 2019 by guitarist and vocalist, George Comes, drummer and vocalist, Jim Buehl, and bassist and vocalist Bobby Villa. The band performs a mix of rockabilly, roots rock and surf music, putting its own spin on some of the best music of the 1950s. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Get involved: Upcoming meetings

The next City Council meeting will be held Nov. 8 at 5 p.m. in the City Council chamber. A link to the full agenda and staff reports will be available on the city’s website by the Friday before the meeting.

There are a couple of other meetings coming up next week, in addition to the ones I have already mentioned.



Pumpkin Plunge

Before I sign off, I wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone who helped make our annual Pumpkin Plunge a big success last Saturday. Kids and families gathered at Alga Norte Aquatic Center for games, prizes and a floating pumpkin patch where every child got to lasso a pumpkin and take it home. The night ended with an outdoor movie on the big screen and more swimming in the heated pool.

Stay safe and have a great weekend, Carlsbad.


Scott Chadwick

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