As of December, 2013, Preserve Calavera settled with McMillin developers and the City of Carlsbad over the Quarry Creek development. As part of the settlement, McMillin agreed to purchase Village H with the intent of turning over the property to the City of Carlsbad as permanent natural open space once all the permits for the Quarry Creek development have been issued. The city will open access to historic public use trails once this has been done. Village H, which years ago was tagged as a potential property for acquisition as natural open space, finally will be so designated thanks to the settlement.
The official press release from the City of Carlsbad’s website follows:
Public to get more open space and trails from Quarry Creek settlement
The City of Carlsbad, the Corky McMillin Companies and Preserve Calavera have reached an agreement that will settle litigation over the City of Carlsbad’s approval of the Quarry Creek Project and provide more open space and trails to the public.
As part of the settlement, McMillin has purchased property known as Village H, an approximately 60 acre parcel on the corner of Carlsbad Village Drive and Victoria Avenue, in the Calavera Hills community. After McMillin receives its permits for the Quarry Creek Project, McMillin will transfer the property to the City of Carlsbad, at no cost, to use as open space and trails for the public.
“This settlement agreement allows a well-designed project that meets a critical housing need in our community to move forward while providing Carlsbad residents with increased access to open space and trails,” said City of Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall. “I appreciate everyone’s willingness to work through their concerns in a positive and productive manner and keep the focus on the public good.”
The Village H land, which is mostly vacant except for a small RV parking area, had been used by the public for many years as an unofficial trail and open space area. When the property was sold in 2009, the new owner put up a fence preventing the public to enter. Although the city had identified Village H as a future public trail site, the previous property owner was not required to allow access to the trail until a small portion of the land was developed as a “community facility,” such as a church or day care center. Once the City receives title to the property from McMillin, the city will be free to open the trail to public use.
“We have worked for over 12 years to preserve the heart of the Buena Vista Creek Valley, including the watershed and regional wildlife movement corridor. This settlement agreement is an important step in the right direction,” said Diane Nygaard, president of Preserve Calavera.
Preserve Calavera, a group whose mission is to protect, enhance, and restore the natural resources of coastal north San Diego County, filed two lawsuits in May challenging the project. The settlement agreement does not include any judgment on the validity of the legal claims.
The Quarry Creek project will be reduced by 20 units, to 636 residential units, and also includes a 1.5-acre “community facilities” site, a 1.3-acre park and ride site, 72 acres of natural open space and supporting infrastructure. It is located on a 156-acre site adjacent to the Quarry Creek shopping center, south of Route 78 and west of College Boulevard in Carlsbad. Much of the site was used as a rock quarry for many years. The property is also home to Buena Vista Creek, which includes El Salto Falls, a sacred site of the San Luis Rey Band and the Luiseno tribe.
Among the terms of the agreement, McMillin has also agreed to several changes to the grading, building heights, street and landscaping along northernmost portion of the project site known as the panhandle. These changes will help reduce impacts on the adjacent natural lands and preserve views from the Marron Adobe, a historically significant site located northwest of the project site.
To see a video about Village H go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSlwrI7y1Eg