Carlsbad opponents of a controversial lagoon-adjacent development have delivered referendum petitions with 9,074 signatures to the city clerk, in a bid to have City Council’s recent approval of the project overturned or placed before voters.
A statement from the city of Carlsbad said signatures delivered Sept. 24, along with 723 requests to withdraw signatures, will next be reviewed by the county Registrar of Voters for verification. If at least 6,523 signatures are valid – 10 percent of registered Carlsbad voters – City Council will be required to either repeal their recent approval or place it on a future election ballot.
The county registrar has until Nov. 5 to determine whether petitions have the required valid signatures.
At issue is the fate of the Agua Hedionda 85/15 Plan, which was unanimously approved by City Council but still requires review by the California Coastal Commission.
The lagoon plan was put forward through an initiative process by a group known as Preserving Carlsbad Open Space the Right Way, which includes developer Caruso Affiliated. It calls for building a Caruso-proposed, open-air retail and entertainment center anchored by Nordstrom on a 26-acre portion of a 203-acre site near the Agua Hedionda Lagoon.
Most of the rest of the site, about 176 acres near Cannon Road off Interstate 5, would contain new open-space, recreation and public access amenities.