What About People?
The Carlsbad City Council has exempted 10 proposed planned communities from the strict guidelines contained in the city’s new General Plan. These 10 projects are in addition to five previously approved master-planned neighborhoods, bringing to 15 the number of projects exempted from the new guidelines involving lower densities.
Developers have argued their plans were in the works before the city rewrote the General Plan and that it would be “unfair” to have them comply with the new rules.
The State Supreme Court has ruled that cities have the right to preserve whatever “character” their citizens choose. A city also has the right to grow at an orderly and deliberate rate and to preserve its open spaces. These rights of the people were perceived by the court to be superior to the rights of developers and speculators.
Therefore, if a city’s General Plan is changed, then the developers must be flexible enough to follow and comply with that change.
Paragraph one of any real estate investment agreement between an investor and developer states that there are substantial risks involved in any real estate project due to the nature of this relationship between cities and developers.
The citizens of Carlsbad changed their General Plan because they were not happy with the rate of growth nor the density of growth in their city. Therefore, developers, regardless of the status of their project, must follow suit. That is the intent of the law, and it appears Carlsbad’s citizens will have to fight to protect their rights because their City Council is not doing it for them.
GILBERT F. NOBLE