Agua Hedionda Lagoon is poised to become the backdrop for yet another nauseating acquisitive gluttony of commerce in an outdated mode of brick and mortar.
This is NOT what Carlsbad wants OR needs.
I stand in firm opposition to Caruso Affiliated 85/15 plan to build a Nordstrom-anchored monstrosity of a shopping center on the lagoon at the strawberry fields, in complete and utter disdain for its ecological and environmental importance to the sensitive ecosystem.
In SoCal, we live very close to a lagoon called Agua Hedionda, (not the uber-romantic tropical blue lagoon in Kauai where my husband and I spent a magical pre-honeymoon in 1993) but this little lagoon of ours was named by the first Spanish explorers. The odor they reported might have come from a nearby Indian village, a sulphur spring, or possibly from decayed matter on the shores of the lagoon.
If you’ve ever been stuck in the muck, which is like quicksand in some spots, or if you’ve tried to wash the dried mud off a dog, you’d know it has a distinctively pungent odor.
Stinking waters for sure.
Still, it’s important historically for the Kumeyaay Native Americans AND the environment, and many of us are disturbed and concerned about the rumblings of development and a shopping center.
The developers seem to be trying to circumvent the standard process and place the development directly to the voters through the initiative process.
Hmm…something else smells in Carlsbad, don’t you agree?
Did you know that in November 2000, Agua Hedionda was designated as a critical habitat for the tidewater goby?
The San Diego Reader published a compelling article about this potential development: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2015/may/29/stringers-carlsbad-strawberry-fields-development/
From the article: Some say the initiative tactic used by big developers is a ploy to sway a generally uninformed electorate; or, in some cases, hoodwink them with slick or misleading campaigns. Additionally, councilmembers usually get a little nervous when angry mobs of voters show up at public hearings, usually opposed to large-scale development projects. Thus, councilmembers are more likely to follow public sentiment and vote against a project.
But Carlsbad residents should have seen this coming ten years ago, when voters passed another initiative, Proposition D. The measure set aside as permanent open space 300 acres along Cannon Road, which included some of the strawberry fields and the hills above the lagoon. Some Carlsbad activists say voters were duped, thinking open space was a good thing, but not realizing the rest of land could then be rezoned as commercial.
Learn about Prop D: http://www.smartvoter.org/2006/11/07/ca/sd/prop/D/
Just because some of Carlsbad voters may have been mislead by the 2006 Prop D’s real motives is no reason to give up and allow this shopping center on the lagoon under the power lines.
And come ON, do we really need MORE traffic congestion?
While I dug around for more information, I discovered an interesting read from 1976, California Department of Fish and Game U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s coastal wetlands report, The Natural Resources of Agua Hedionda Lagoon.
I discovered some interesting data about how important is was — and IS — to protect the lagoon’s rich environment and heritage; to preserve and enhance its natural resources.
Read it here: http://aquaticcommons.org/552/1/natural_resources_of_agua_hedionda_lagoon.pdf
Excerpts from the study:
Long-range resource management in the southern California lagoons and estuaries must be based on an understanding of the interactions of ecological factors involved, including human use.
PROBLEMS AND CONFLICTS OF USE
The greatest threat to the present status of Agua Hedionda Lagoon and its environs is the continuing pressure for development of the lagoon and its watershed. The demand is for three principal types of development: 1) recreational 2) residential 3) industrial.
The City has prepared a very good and quite complete environmental impact report (EIR) that defines land uses in light of the environmental information available on not only the natural resources of the lagoon, but also on water and air quality, agriculture, aquaculture, archeological sites, energy conservation measures, as well as noise, traffic, visual resources, utilities, community services and recreation facilities. The EIR on the specific plan also speaks well to the relationship between local, short-term uses of the resources as opposed to preservation, maintenance and enhancement of the long-term productivity of the environment of the lagoon area. The specific plan EIR also enumerates the environmental effects which cannot be avoided if the project is implemented. These include: 1) a decrease in the amount of open space, 2) alteration of natural land forms, 3) removal of a small portion of the remaining natural vegetation, 4) displacement of some of the resident animal populations and partial destruction of their habitat, 5) an increase in erosion potential through vegetation cover removal, an increase in demand for recreational facilities, etc., 6) some problems in water quality maintenance and 7) increased human encroachment on sensitive natural and scenic areas. The EIR reflects the City of Carlsbad planning department’s awareness of and concern for the area’s natural resources. For the EIR also contains many sound mitigation measures for the impacts on the environment identified in the report. The EIR went into the review process in June 1976, and will be reviewed by several appropriate agencies, including the Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Which brings us to right back to that odor, the stench of back door politics at work.
A couple of groups have emerged to help organize those of us who not only do NOT want our city to be further sullied by unnecessary development that’s killed most of what made Carlsbad unique, but is troubled by Caruso’s attempts to bypass the city’s usual planning and public hearing process and circumvent city municipal codes.
What can we do?
- GET INVOLVED!
- Send the Carlsbad City Council a PINK ROSE and urge them to let the people vote on the Caruso Affiliated Agua Hedionda 85/15 Plan. (1200 Carlsbad Village Dr. Carlsbad, CA 92008) (I brought a rose with a note attached to the council offices but the receptionist didn’t really didn’t want her picture taken as she accepted it.)
- Join Carlsbad Locals Against The Agua Hedionda 85/15 Plan https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carlsbad-Locals-Against-The-Agua-Hedionda-8515-Plan/782521181866712?fref=ts
- Join Citizens For North County http://www.citizensfornorthcounty.org/
- Attend protests, meetings.
- Vote/recall these politicians out of office!