Registrar Releases New Results in Carlsbad Special Election

The San Diego County Registrar of Voters released a new batch of results in Measure A or the 85/15 plan at issue in Carlsbad

On Friday, the San Diego County Registrar of Voters released a new batch of results in Measure A or the 85/15 plan at issue in Carlsbad.

Carlsbad residents went to the polls to vote on the controversial "measure A" that would have developed the Agua Hedionda Lagoon area.

The San Diego County Registrar of Voters' Office has been counting thousands of provisional ballots, which require additional review before counting. Approximately 2,250 ballots still need to be counted.

The registrar said 51.52 percent of Carlsbad residents have voted no on the measure, and 48.48 percent have voted yes. Another update is expected Monday.

The registrar has 30 days to certify the election results.

The plan, created by developer Rick Caruso, would build an outdoor shopping center that would overlook the Agua Hedionda Lagoon and sit where the strawberry fields once grew. 

The "Yes on Measure A" effort was a well-funded campaign backed by Caruso, while the opposition was supported by a grassroots campaign run by those who did not want a mall on the stretch of fields. 

The Carlsbad City Council approved the project unanimously in August, but after opponents gathered signatures, the council agreed to put it to a city-wide vote and opposition has been fierce.

Through a signature drive, Caruso bypassed the typical extensive environmental review, known as CEQA, and the public input that goes along with it.

Proponents of the Agua Hedionda project, including the owner of the Carlsbad Strawberry Company, say the shops will be built on about 30 acres, leaving 85 percent of the land reserved for things like hiking trails, an outdoor classroom, amphitheaters and natural space.

Opponents say moving forward without an environmental plan could set a precedent for development decisions across the state.

If the measure does not pass, land-use would remain as is today and the development company can resubmit its development plan or end its contract with SDG&E. Another party could purchase the area.

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