Ponto Community Development

Ponto Update 2/16

For current and upcoming news and events, pertaining to all major development projects at our nearby Ponto beach area, you can sign up for Newsletters and contact the Ponto Beachfront Development Review Committee at Ponto Locals

Ponto Update 12/2015

Several Ponto Beachfront Development Review Committee members met with Mayor Matt Hall and Assistant City Manager Gary Barbario in November to discuss and review the upcoming Ponto projects. Basically, the City wants us to work with the developers and expects the developers to embrace working with us if they want their projects to progress and succeed.  Unfortunately, the City did not embrace the Committee's suggestion of developing a Specific Plan for the Ponto Area which would coordinate and direct through planning legislation (and help implement the Ponto Village Vision Plan) all projects in that area.

The property for the resort to the south of Avenida Encinas has closed escrow and that development will be moving forward now as well.

Between now and the end of the year, Hilton Sher and his small team will be developing a website for us which will include information on current and upcoming Ponto projects.  It will also inform people on how they can help.

In the new year, the Committee will meet with the Coastal Commission regarding the Shopoff project (to the north of Avenida Encinas) and possible trails, then begin setting up regular meetings with Shopoff and the City.  The Committee will also look to meet with the developer of the resort property to the south of Avenida Encinas.  The Committee will have a Committee meeting in the new year to discuss actions for moving forward.

The Ponto Beachfront Development Review Committee Submits a Letter to City Council on the General Plan Update 9/21/2015

FROM:  Jim Nardi, San Pacifico HOA President, on behalf of the Ponto Beachfront Development Review Committee

Re:      City of Carlsbad General Plan Update

The San Pacifico Homeowners Association represents a community of approximately 1,000 Carlsbad citizens living in 500 homes in southwest Carlsbad adjacent to the future development property known as the Ponto Beachfront Village.  The ultimate development of this southern coastal gateway into Carlsbad will not only have direct and substantial impacts on the San Pacifico neighborhood, but will have a lasting impact on a unique local coastal resource that is such an important part of the Carlsbad lifestyle and the tourism industry.

For the full document here

Ponto Beachfront Development Petition 8/7/2015

If you have not already signed the petition to the City of Carlsbad expressing your concerns about future development at Ponto Beachfront, please sign our petition asking the city to develop Ponto right!  Please feel free to encourage your Carlsbad friends, family members and neighbors to also sign our petition.  We have over 400 Carlsbad residents joining this effort and want to continue to add names before the City Council acts in September.

Ponto Beachfront Development Review Committee Update 7/31/2015

The Committee has been hard at work to ensure that the concerns and comments of the San Pacifico Community is heard during the discussions and debate occurring on the City of Carlsbad's update to the General Plan (the main land development planning document for the city).  The General Plan update will greatly impact how the Ponto Beachfront is developed.  The committee has been meeting regularly to plan how best to get feedback from our community and communicate that with the Mayor, City Council, Planning Commission, key city staff and potential developers of the Ponto Beachfront. 

 Thank you to all residents who took time to fill out the survey on your thoughts regarding the proposed development of Ponto Beachfront.  We had a significant response and will be sharing the results on the San Pacifico website in the coming weeks.  We will also be sharing the results and specific comments to Shopoff, the developer who currently has a proposal pending at the Planning Commission, and sharing that letter with the Mayor, City Council, Planning Commission and city staff.  Results show great concern over housing density, increased building heights, lack of commercial development that would be beneficial to our community, increased noise and traffic and lack of open space, among other issues.  As the proposed development continues through the process we will be reaching out to the San Pacifico Community to continue to get your feedback.

On July 4th, the committee began collecting petition signatures from both our community and other Carlsbad residents to show the overwhelming concern over changes to the General Plan that would allow for development we are opposed to.  In just 10 short days we collected over 400 signatures!  This petition and a letter were sent to the Mayor, City Council, Planning Commission members and city staff prior to the public hearing held on Saturday, July 18th.  It made a big impact and as a result, recommendations to the General Plan update were changed.  While the General Plan update has not gone to a final vote before the City Council and is not yet in a form that is fully satisfactory, the committee will continue to work with city staff to ensure our collective voice is heard.  We continue to gather petition signatures and hope to have it available so you can help with these efforts on the San Pacifico website in the coming weeks.

The committee also called a community meeting on Wednesday, July 8th that was attended by over 100 residents!  At that meeting the committee shared the proposed development of Ponto Beachfront and shared initial survey results and the concerns shared by our community.  At that meeting we encouraged residents to attend the public hearing on July 18th to show the overwhelming citizen concern.  We will be holding another community meeting in August and will post the date on the San Pacifico website and put up signs once a date and time have been set.  The meeting will give an update of the General Plan update as well as our communications with the developer, Shopoff, to date.

Committee members attended the public hearing on Saturday, July 18th and testified before the joint meeting of the City and Planning Commission as to our concerns regarding changes to the General Plan and  its potential impact to the development of the Ponto Beachfront.  The consistent theme was to develop Ponto right, make it a legacy that we can be proud of for generations and to not move to quickly simply to get it developed.  With over 100 Carlsbad residents, many from the San Pacifico community, in attendance, our voice was certainly heard!  Thank you to those who took time out of their weekend to attend.

Committee members have also attended Planning Commission meetings as they continue to discuss the General Plan update and move towards a final recommendation to the City Council.  We have met with Shopoff, the developer currently proposing to develop Ponto West and East., to hear from them about their development vision.  We will continue to try to work with any developer interested in developing Ponto Beachfront to ensure Ponto is developed right.  We will continue our efforts to ensure our voice is heard and our concerns are taken into account throughout this process.  We encourage residents to get updates on the San Pacifico website and to attend San Pacifico community meetings to find out more.

Ponto Beachfront Development Review Committee 

Take the survey

Ponto Beachfront Development Committee

The San Pacific Commuity Board has set up a Committee whose purpose is to provide community input and feedback to the city of Carlsbad and project developers on the Ponto Beachfront Development which neighbors our community.

In this location you can find the latest news from this committee as well as links to download documents related to the Ponto Development.

Summary of Meeting with City of Carlsbad, Community & Economic Development, Planning Division

Date and Time: May 14, 2015 from 9:00 to 11:00 am
Attendees: Jason Goff (Associate Planner), Jean S Camp, Steven Goddard, Tricia Macri (Homeowners)
Project: Ponto Beachfront Development Plan
Purpose of Meeting: To better understand the existing Zoning with respect to the proposed new development plan
Summary Prepared by: Jean Camp, with review by Steven Goddard and Tricia Macri

  1. Zoning: The area in question is zoned P-C (Planned Community) and subject to a Master Plan Amendment and General Plan update.  The area is currently “Unplanned” in the City’s planning documents.  The Ponto Beachfront project falls under part of the Poinsettia Shores Master Plan.  To date, the Planning Department has used the Ponto Vision Plan as the Guiding document for zoning and development of this site, as the Pont Vision Plan had previously been approved and accepted by the public, Planning Commission and Council.  The Coastal Commission had rejected the Ponto Vision Plan, so the plan was not completely approved.  According to Jason Goff, the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the prior development project should still be acceptable to use (though I would expect it might need to be updated.)
  2. Site and Specific Density of Residential Units – Eastern part of site: There are 2 different zoning designations being considered for the site.  Currently, the developer is suggesting that the eastern section of the site (east side of Ponto Road) be R-23 which mandates 15 to 23 dwelling units per acre.  (You must have a minimum of 15 dwelling units and cannot exceed 23 units.  Multiple connected units are allowed, but NO vacation rental is allowed).  The City of Carlsbad’s Growth Management Range for R-23 sets the acceptable dwelling units at 19 dwelling units per acre.  While the gross area for development is 7.24 acres, the net area for development (after you remove the roads, etc) is only 6.55 acres; therefore there should be 124 dwelling units on the eastern part of this project.  The developer is suggesting 149 units or towards the high end of the range.  The Planning Department would have to reallocate dwelling units from other areas/projects in order to allow this extensive density on this part of the site.
  3. Site and Specific Density of Residential Units - Western part of site: The western part of the site (west of Ponto Road and at the corner of Avenida Encinas and Highway 101) was originally slated to be C-2 or General Commercial.  The Ponto Vision Plan expected this part of the site to be mixed use with commercial being the primary use and residential being the secondary use.  This developer is suggesting the zoning be changed to R-30 and General Commercial, with more residential than commercial.  R-30 mandates 23 to 30 dwelling units per acre.  (You must have a minimum of 23 dwelling units and cannot exceed 30 units.  Again NO vacation rental is allowed).  The City of Carlsbad’s Growth Management Range for R-30 sets the acceptable dwelling units at 25 dwelling units per acre.  While the gross area for development is 3.80 acres, the net area for development (after you remove the roads, etc) is only 3.07 acres; therefore there should be 76 dwelling units on the western part of this project.   The developer is suggesting 42 units which is well below the minimum (70 dwelling units) that would be required if this section of the project is to be zoned R-30.  The commercial space being suggested is currently approx. 13,000 sq feet.  Jason Goff will have to look into why the developer is suggesting an R-30 zoning when the dwelling units being proposed do not meet the minimum dwelling units required for this zoning.
  4. Lot Coverage: The developer is below the City’s lot coverage requirements.
  5. Affordable Housing: 15 % of the project will be required to be “affordable” housing. The developer proposed 30 affordable housing units.
  6. Building Heights: The zoning proposed allows 35 feet maximum height, but architectural projections can be greater than 35 feet if there is no living space below.  The developer is proposing 40 feet heights (with living space below) and 3 stories.  The Planner reminded us that if the building heights are reduced for 3 stories to less than 40 feet, the buildings might look “squished.”   There does not seem to be any limits on the use of the roof decks.  (While it would be nice to have story poles used to show heights, Carlsbad does NOT and will not require them.)  The 3 story buildings may “loom” over Avenida Encinas near the train tracks and Jason is encouraging the developer to at least have 2 stories closer to the road itself. The existing grade on the site is approximately 50 feet above sea level.  It is my understanding that the developer is also looking to add 5 feet of fill, then have 40 foot buildings with roof decks.
  7. Views: The City of Carlsbad does not have protected view planes or view easements.
  8. Traffic and Parking: The Planning Department is looking to have a traffic circle added to the Ponto Rd/Avenida Encinas intersection.  The Planning Department would also like to connect Ponto Road to Highway 101.  A traffic plan will need to be done, reviewed and approved before this project gets final approvals. Additionally, the City will work with the developer to improve/widen Ponto Road, thus adding more on street public parking (62 parking spaces which is more than the 41 parking spaces currently available on street.)   The Ponto Vision Plan did not have parking on Ponto Road.  Regarding underground and on site parking for residents/commercial – I am aware that there are currently 2 parking spaces per dwelling unit, plus some guest parking for a total of 415 parking spaces on site.  There will be separate entrances to the parking area for the commercial space – one entrance off Ponto Road, another off Avenida Encinas between Ponto Road and Highway 101.  This commercial parking will be underground and secured/gated off from parking for all the residents.
  9. Sidewalks, Bike Lanes and Landscaping: The Planning Department is encouraging the developer to widen the sidewalk on Avenida Encinas adjacent to the project so that existing homeowners will have better walking access to the beach.  Bike lanes/traffic may be discouraged on Ponto Road, since there are bike lanes on Avenida Encinas as well as Highway 101.  Landscaping will likely be used to soften the bulk of the structures; a separate landscape review will take place at the City’s offices.
  10. Architecture: The Ponto Vision Plan suggests modern and coastal Contemporary type architecture.  Jason Goff believes the current plan meets those general guidelines.
  11. Type of Commercial / Retail Use and Amount:  The developer commissioned a study in August 2013 of existing retail and demographics to see what type and the amount of commercial development that might be supported on this project site.   The Recommendation page is attached for your use.   According to the City’s own Economic Development review, they believe the site may not support as much commercial retail as previously planned.
  12. Water Meters and Drought:  The Carlsbad Municipal Water District sets the requirements for water meters and usage.  I understand that there are 4 stages for review and issuance of meters – where Stage 3 is when the Water District stops selling water meters and Stage 4 stops ALL development.  (I understand we are in Stage 2.)  With respect to the drought and this development, this item needs further review and discussion with the Water District.
  13. Current State of Development Review:  Public Notices for the project have been sent to homes within 600 feet of the edge of the project’s property line.  There are a total of 17 Planning Permits being required for this project.  Jason Goff has alerted the developer as to what is incomplete in the package submission to date.  I assume the developer is working to send the missing information as soon as possible.
  14. Communication:  Jason Goff needs input from us sooner than later, though the process is just beginning.  Jason Goff suggested all comments be sent to the developer’s representative at:
  15. Mike Howes at Howes Weiler and Associates, 2888 Loker Ave East, Suite 217, Carlsbad, CA  92010, 760-929-2287. 
  16. NOTE:  We should copy / cc the Planner, Jason Goff, Associate Planner, City of Carlsbad, Community & Economic Development Planning Division, 1635 Faraday Avenue, Carlsbad, CA  92008, 760-602-4643 on all communication sent to the developer.  This will help insure Jason is aware of all community input.
  17. Other:  We also briefly met with the Engineering Department (Christopher Glassen) and obtained electronic copies of the Flood/FEMA maps and topographic maps.