Carlsbad City Council Meeting April 14th 2020

Dear Friends,

Village H has been scheduled for review as part of the Carlsbad City Council agenda on Tuesday, April 14th.  As you may know, City Council meetings are all being conducted virtually now with no live participation and the only allowed means of providing citizen input is by email.

As a result we are requesting that you take the following action, as soon as possible, but definitely prior to the start of the meeting:

Action:  Draft and email as shown below

Email Address to send to:

Email Subject:  Village H Off leash Trail Use

Email Message Text:

Please read this message into the record at the City Council meeting:

Dear Mayor and Council Members,

Our family is one of hundreds who have waited patiently for the past year to have the Village H trailed restored to its historic use for our Off leash dogs and our families.  Please take the required steps to keep this project moving forward, including implementation of the proposals submitted separately by Dr. Tom Watson.

{end of email message}

Background Information:

Since the last council meeting on this topic, Lonnie Smith who has been the leader of our group, became unable to continue in this role due to a family health emergency.  At that time, he requested that Tom Watson assume this role on a temporary basis until he is able to continue.

Since that time Tom has been following the city’s progress in planning for this project, including a detailed review of the staff report and several meetings with Diane Nygaard of Preserve Calavera.  (Preserve Calavera has a legal right to approve any planned use of the property).

The staff report (available for review on the city Village H website) includes 2 potential design options: 1) The “Staff Option”, 2) The “Staff and Preserve Calavera Option.”  It requests that the council give guidance on which option to pursue.

The “Staff Option” is not sensible, won’t be accepted by Preserve Calavera, and won’t be pursued.

The “Staff and Preserve Calavera Option” restores the Off leash trail use to the trail (yeah!), but with several caveats:

                -The Off leash use only extends to about the midway point of the trail, because the land beyond that is designated as “wilderness” and therefore it is not legal to use this land for anything other than a city trail

- The Off leash use only includes the “upper trail segment”, since the “lower trail segment” is proposed to remain a city trail, where only on-leash dogs will be allowed.

-The plan includes a parking lot, restroom, and EV-charging station

-Preserve Calavera has included a list of 17 “required modifications” to the plan.  The great majority of these modifications are favorable to our group, including elimination of the parking lot, restroom and EV-charging station

Based on the plan review, Dr. Watson has developed a comprehensive proposal that will be submitted to the council prior to Tuesday’s meeting.  Highlights include:

  1. A point by point response to the 17 proposed modifications by Preserve Calavera (substantially supporting the requests from Preserve Calavera)
  2. A proposal to initiate a city action to change the land designation of the remaining portion of the trail from “wilderness” to something else that would allow for eventual Off leash use.  Although this effort would probably take considerable time, it is important to initiate since the trail is clearly not a “wilderness” area and this step will be required to secure eventual Off leash use of the entire trail
  3.  A proposal to include in the design phase consideration of a “shared use” mode of operation in which use days and hours would be established for On leash and Off leash use.  The advantage of this approach is that would allow for all trail users to enjoy the entire trail in a loop configuration, and wouldn’t require construction on a barrier to separate the loop segments.
  4.  A proposal to form an ad-hoc committee to oversee the design phase, including representation of Village H user community

If you have questions about this request or any of the contents of this message, please feel free to email Tom Watson ( and he will attempt to answer all inquiries as soon as possible.

Stay Safe and Healthy.




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