Changes in Carlsbad: successful innovations or impending doom?


Daisy Galindo

Construction workers working on the new roads along Cannon.

Megan Overbey, Writer

As of 2016, Carlsbad has almost doubled in size since 1990. Everyone knows Carlsbad as a small beach town, but that is soon to change. With the rising amount of tourists that come to Carlsbad–3 million visitors vacationed in Carlsbad in 2013–the city is forced to adapt to the increased population.

Not only is size increase important, but it is also crucial that Carlsbad modifies itself to fit our modern society (Seaside Courier). One of the many changes coming to Carlsbad is the expansion of McClellan-Palomar Airport. As many Carlsbad residents know, Palomar Airport does not function for commercial flights. Within the plan to update the airport, the biggest operation would be extending the length of the runway. The question is, who will pay for this development?

“The FAA might cover 90 percent of safety improvements, but much less to extend the runway. Most of that cost would fall to the county. If public money is used, it remains unclear whether the improvements would benefit private corporate jets more than the commercial airlines used by the general public,” (KPBS).

As seen in a recent town controversy, Carlsbad was offered the chance to upgrade the city by a Los Angeles developer. He proposed adding an upscale mall on the land of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon. There were strong feelings on both sides, but ultimately, in a close vote, the people of Carlsbad chose to vote against the addition of a new mall. Does this mean the citizens of Carlsbad are tired of the change? How do they feel about the other impending changes that the city is faced with?

Carlsbad is a small town that is enriched by local flare and unique businesses, but that is now being disrupted by the corporate takeover of our city. The beloved Armenian Cafe, in a prime location right along the beach, is going to be replaced by a new Marriott Hotel in 2017.

“By the end of the year we’ll be out of here,” cafe owner Eddy Shakarjian said. “I don’t want to think about it, it’s going to be a sad one,” (Fox 5).

The city of Carlsbad can also expect to see one, if not two, new fire stations in the near future. Fire Chief Richard Lopez initiated work on the latest fire station a month ago and will have an expected finished date of August 20th. The city received two grants totaling to $80,000, but the city has to pay for the remaining $1,420,000 from their own general fund (Current-Argus).

The main libraries that serve Carlsbad, the Georgia Cole Library and the Dove Lane Library, will both be under more construction at some point this fall. The city is putting up $11,000,000 towards modernizing the libraries to fit to the needs of the citizens in this new technological era.

“Improvements will focus on enhancing community gathering and include a “living room”, improved wireless and power access, additional seating, a café, more self-service stations and a new Friends of the Library Bookstore, which raises money to support the library. A new feature at the Dove library will be a tech lab that includes a versatile learning center equipped with cutting-edge technology. The redesign will include six collaborative study rooms. Patrons will be able to reserve these rooms as well,” (City of Carlsbad).

Ready or not, here they come, changes are upon us. It is natural for many to be initially hesitant to change, unsure of what the modifications will mean for the future. Since the beginning of time, the number one most important survival skill is the ability to evolve. If our city is not progressive, it is possible that our city will loose it’s pristine reputation. According to Carlsbad’s Mayor Matt Hall, our city is in the top three in the whole state of California for quality of life, environmental progress and business prosperity. It is absolutely necessary that we come together as a city and embrace this transformation.