Carlsbad hit with pair of lawsuits
, October 29, 2015
CARLSBAD — A
Carlsbad nonprofit group has filed a pair
of lawsuits against the city relating to the controversial
Agua Hedionda South Shore Specific Plan, otherwise
known as the 85/15 plan, and the General Plan.
The suits are separate, but North County Advocates
attorney Everett DeLano said they were filed last week
in Vista Superior Court due to time restrictions.
NCA's suit against the city calls for a temporary restraining
orders or injunction preventing the city from implementing
the 85/15 plan.
“This is challenging the initiative as basically being
too broad,” DeLano said. “There's a bunch of constitutional
limitations on what an initiative can and
can't do. The initiative does is says essentially,
this is the project we are going to do, an you city,
you residents, don't get to ever make any future decisions.”
said the initiative proposed by Caruso
Affiliated and approved by the city earlier this year,
vague” and “beyond the power of the electorate to adopt.”
resident group — Citizens For North County — gathered
more than 9,000 signatures opposing the
project, which were submitted the city
clerk's officer and forwarded to the San Diego County
Registrar of Voters office for verification. The county
verified 6,523 signatures on Tuesday.
The City Council must place the controversial 85/15
referendum on its next agenda to accept the county's
verification. The council can then either abandon the
action or place it on a public ballot.
“There's never going to be an opportunity for the city
or the residents or anybody to ever have any discretion
on what that will be,” DeLano said of the plans. “Potentially,
the initiative is taking away forever the rights of
the city … or residents. To take it that far is unconstitutional.”
Carlsbad Communications Manager Kristina Ray said the
city does not comment about litigation.
As for Caruso Affiliated, spokeswoman Janette Littler
of Callidus Consulting, said the firm had no further
comment other than a statement provided to The Coast
reads: “The referendum put forward by Citizens for
(sic) North County was consistently portrayed to its
supporters as an opportunity to ‘let people vote.' However,
it was never simply about voting, it was
an effort by a small group of opponents
to simply take away the benefits of the 85/15 Plan by
killing it altogether. Then when the Escondido-based
attorney for Citizens for North County filed a baseless
legal action against the City of Carlsbad to have the
85/15 Plan thrown out altogether, without a vote. More
than 20,000 people signed a petition in support of the
85/15 Plan, which the City Council (sic) approved unanimously.
Now Citizens for North County and North County Advocates
want to have courts decide how to run the City of Carlsbad
instead of its city officials. We're sure that the residents
of Carlsbad will now see the actions of
these groups and their intent for what they really are.”
As for the General Plan, DeLano said the action filed
against the city's Growth Management Plan approved by
voters in the 1980s.
“They've tried to weasel their way around the Growth
Management Plan,” he added.
In addition to objections over the General Plan, NCA
President Pat Bleha and NCA Vice President Howard Krausz
are claiming numerous negative impacts to the area and
city should the plan go through.
Among those are promises of open space and being a
low-density community, increased traffic, water supply
and quality of life.
“I lived here in 1986 and know how hard the residents
of Carlsbad fought to get the Growth Management Plan
adopted,” Bleha said. “We were promised that we would
always be a low density residential community
with 40 percent open space and that public
services and facilities would be in place where and
when they were needed.”