Carlsbad city leaders agreed Tuesday to investigate a property dispute between lagoon residents and paddleboarders Tuesday.
The Carlsbad city council unanimously approved a resolution to direct staff to perform a comprehensive investigation into all Agua Hedionda Lagoon use and property ownership bordering the lagoon.
People who have lived and worked around the lagoon for years have expressed numerous concerns ranging from an influx of visitors causing parking problems to new paddle boarding instructors putting paddlers in potential danger.
Josh Cantor the CEO of California Water Sports, located along the lagoon, says ever since paddle boarding became popular a few years ago, he’s seen more paddle boarding instructors hold classes at the lagoon.
“The biggest thing is no accountability,” Cantor told NBC 7. “Companies are showing up and they're bringing a trailer with 20 boards and setting up on the beach. Nine out of ten of those guys could be doing something right, but if not, and they're not held accountable, not insured, they open themselves and the city to a lot of liability.”
The owner of one of those paddle boarding schools is Matthew Poth.
Poth could only speak for his company 2 Stand Up Guys, but said he knows he’s operating his business legally and safely. He told NBC 7 he always has an instructor in the water with the student and if there are more than one, there's an average of a one to five, teacher/student ratio. Ultimately, he believes he’s doing nothing wrong.
“That area is public access. As far as Carlsbad is concerned, I’m certified to the gills. I’m just using that public access area to do what everyone else is doing paddle, and I’m doing it safely.”
The next part of these lagoon disputes will involve the city.
At a council meeting Tuesday, Carlsbad city councilmembers agreed to investigate who owns what and how the land is being used.