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Draft design standards ready

Post Date:05/19/2023 5:30 PM

Preserving Carlsbad’s unique community character is one of five goals in the City Council’s 5-Year Strategic Plan. That’s why the city is working with the community to update the language of design standards for apartments, condos and mixed-use projects.

The proposed objective design standards, which will help ensure new apartment, condos and mixed-use development projects built in Carlsbad meet objective criteria for building and site design features, are ready for public review.

The objective design standards do not include any changes to existing development standards such as building heights, density or setbacks and the standards will only apply to future apartment, condo and mixed-use projects.

New state housing laws streamline approval of multifamily housing development projects to help ease California’s housing crisis. By creating objective design standards, the City of Carlsbad will be able to ensure projects fit in with the overall character of the city. The city's existing standards have been updated where needed to meet the state's definition of "objective" since existing subjective design standards are not enforceable.

Citywide objective design standards will apply to all areas outside of the Village and Barrio. A separate set of design standards and architectural styles have been created specifically for the Village and Barrio, two of Carlsbad’s oldest neighborhoods.

What's changed?
Some of the city’s existing design guidelines were subjective and open to interpretation. These have been replaced with design guidelines that are written objectively so they can be uniformly applied without requiring the subjective judgment of decision makers.

The draft Village and Barrio objective design standards include seven proposed architectural styles developed based on input gathered from the community last summer and the citizens Design Review Committee formed by the City Council to guide the creation of the design standards for the Village and Barrio areas. 

Public input
The city is seeking feedback from the public on the draft standards for both areas of the city. Feedback can be provided via mail or email through June 19, 2023, to:

Shelley Glennon
Associate Planner, Community Development
1635 Faraday Ave., Carlsbad, CA 92008

Review the draft Village and Barrio objective design standards
Review the draft citywide objective design standards

The citizens Village and Barrio Design Review Committee formed by the City Council, will meet to review and provide input on the draft design standards for the Village and Barrio areas on Thursday, May 25, at 4 p.m. The committee may hold an additional meeting to complete its review in June if needed.

Village and Barrio Design Review Committee meeting
Thursday, May 25, 4 p.m.
City Council Chamber
1200 Carlsbad Village Drive
Watch online

Community members who would like to learn more about the citywide objective design standards are welcome to attend an informational webinar, which will be held via Zoom. A recording of the webinar will be posted on the city’s website after. 

Citywide objective design standards virtual webinar
Monday, June 8, 5 p.m.
Via Zoom
Register online

Next steps
July 2023: Planning Commission public hearing(s) for both projects
August 2023: City Council considers approval of final objective design standards 

More information
Village and Barrio objective design standards webpage
 Citywide objective design standards webpage
Common questions
Village & Barrio Master Plan
Shelley Glennon, Associate Planner,, 442-339-2905

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