Wonderful news about the Buena Vista Lagoon Enhancement Project Final EIR!! Carlsbad City Council, on November 7, unanimously voted to prepare a letter of support for SANDAG staff’s recommendation that the Saltwater Alternative be selected as the preferred alternative.
Several months ago, City of Carlsbad Councilwoman Cori Schumacher took the lead on organizing an informational session about SANDAG staff’s work on the BVL FEIR, which would be presented at a City Council meeting. This presentation would inform the public and Council about the FEIR’s results and SANDAG’s recommendations, and offer a chance for council members and the public to ask questions. Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall is a SANDAG Board member, one of the 18 voting Board members who will be making the final decision on the alternative for the BVL Enhancement Project, and thus this presentation would also present any information that may be helpful for making a decision.
At this Council meeting, Keith Greer (SANDAG staff) made a presentation about the Final EIR and explained why the Saltwater Alternative was chosen. Following the presentation, three speakers voiced support for the saltwater alternative: two from Buena Vista Audubon, and one from the Buena Vista Lagoon Foundation.
After the presentation, Ms. Schumacher submitted a motion to direct staff to draft a letter supporting the saltwater alternative. Councilmember Blackburn seconded that motion (commenting that he lives by the lagoon and the mosquitoes are a problem). Councilmember Packard noted that because the BV Lagoon Foundation agreed to support the saltwater alternative, he would also support it. Council then voted unanimously to prepare a letter of support for the SANDAG staff’s saltwater recommendation.
This is great news, and because Mayor Matt Hall is the SANDAG Board member and voting rep for Carlsbad, we are delighted to know that he will support the saltwater alternative at the SANDAG Board of Directors meeting in January. SANDAG staff will present their recommendations for the Saltwater Alternative at that meeting, and the Board will take a vote on one of the alternatives. However, it is important that the Final EIR is certified once the Board votes. The other issue is that funding is not in place yet. This is normal-projects need to be “shovel ready” in order to receive funding, so the project itself needs to be planned first. Once this project is certified, funding opportunities can be selected.
Buena Vista Audubon wishes to thank Councilmember Cori Schumacher for her hard work over the last few months in organizing the SANDAG presentation and making sure that it got on the agenda in a timely manner. And for her motion that Council support the saltwater alternative. We also thank the other City Council members and Mayor Hall, as well as the Buena Vista Lagoon Foundation, for their support of the saltwater alternative, and also Keith Greer and SANDAG staff for their hard work on this project.