The City of Carlsbad currently operates out of a number of buildings spread across the 39 square mile city. The idea of a consolidated city hall is meant to address a number of needs:
Many city buildings are old, require significant maintenance or don’t meet modern standards.
The public is often confused about where to go for what when accessing city services.
City staff waste time driving from building to building when they need to work together.
Several times a year, the City Council chamber is not big enough to accommodate everyone who wants to attend a meeting.
The “civic center” part of the project is intended to take advantage of a new city hall to also serve community needs and priorities, such as places to gather, meeting space and other uses.
As the city has grown, leaders anticipated needing to modernize and expand city facilities. A new city hall would be paid for with money collected from development fees over the past 30 plus years that can only be used for this purpose. This means the city will not need to raise taxes or take out a loan.
Future workforce and customer service needs will drive the design of the administrative space that makes up a new city hall. The potential civic center uses will depend greatly on public input. The city is asking community members to weigh in on the following topics:
How could the city support its core values with community spaces, activities and amenities as part of a city hall project?
What types of public spaces and activities would you like to see more of in Carlsbad?
When you are out and about in Carlsbad, where and when do you most feel the greatest sense of community?
What do you most like in existing spaces in Carlsbad that should be considered in creating new spaces? What do you dislike that should be avoided?
The city is considering four locations, all city owned, for a new city hall and civic center.
Existing city hall location, including Cole Library and nearby lots to the north and east
Pine Avenue Community Park western parking lot
Existing Faraday Center location in the Carlsbad Research Center Business Park
Former Farmers Insurance building at the corner of Faraday and El Camino Real
Based on the information gathered, the city’s project team will see how the proposed uses could lay out on each property by developing conceptual site plans. These will then be shared with the public and the City Council for input. City staff will then present the final concepts in the first half of 2019 so the City Council can choose a location. Once a location is selected, the city can move forward with planning for the other three sites, which could include selling or leasing the properties or putting them to another use, depending on what’s allowed at each site.