Carlsbad is a seaside resort city in the North County section of San Diego County, California, United States. The 2009 population was estimated by the California Department of Finance to be 104,652. Carlsbad was incorporated in 1952, in large part to generate sufficient funding to connect with the water pipeline running through San Diego County, but also to avoid being annexed by Oceanside. It is one of the highest-income places in the country.
The city has drafted ordinances protecting sensitive wildlife habitat, becoming one of the first municipalities in the State of California to do so. The city has also pledged to protect a specified amount of land within the city limits from development of any kind and spends significant funds to restore habitats destroyed by newer development projects.
Carlsbad is located between the major cities of San Diego and Los Angeles. Its coastal location, scenic beauty, low population density, thriving commercial sector, abundance of upscale housing, and high performing school districts have made Carlsbad one of the most expensive housing markets in the United States. Land is also at a premium; as such, real estate commands prices high even by Southern California standards, with median home prices in the $1,000,000's in 2007.
Carlsbad's history begins with the Luiseño people who located one of their villages, Palamai, near what is today Agua Hedionda Lagoon. In the 1880s a former sea captain named John Frazier dug a well in the area. He began offering his water at the train station and soon the whistle-stop became known as Frazier's Station. A test done on a second fresh-water well found the water to be chemically similar to one of the most famous spas in Europe, at Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad), Czech Republic.
To take advantage of the find, the Carlsbad Land and Mineral Water Company was formed by a German-born merchant from the Midwest named Gerhard Schutte together with Samuel Church Smith, D.D.Wadsworth and Henry Nelson. The naming of the town followed soon after, along with a major marketing campaign to attract visitors. The area experienced a period of growth, with homes and businesses sprouting up in the 1880s. Agricultural development of citrus fruits, avocados and olives soon changed the landscape. By the end of 1887, land prices fell throughout San Diego County. However,the community survived on the back of its fertile agricultural lands.
The site of John Frazier's original well can still be found at Alt Karlsbad, a replica of a German Hanseatic house, located on Carlsbad Boulevard.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 40.8 square miles (105.6 km²) of which, 37.4 square miles (97.0 km²) are land and 3.4 square miles (8.7 km²) are (8.24%) water, the majority of which is contained within three lagoons and one lake.
The northern area of the city is considered to be part of the tri-city area, which consists of northern Carlsbad, southern Oceanside and western Vista.
The northwestern quadrant is Carlsbad's oldest region. The quadrant is located north of Palomar Airport Road and west of El Camino Real and is concentric with the ZIP code 92008. Though there are some newer developments, the area features many more established single family homes, and in some cases, apartments and condominiums. The fact that many areas in this quadrant existed many years ago is apparent by the fact that some streets (notably Highland Drive) lack sidewalks and/or street lighting. In the case of Highland Drive, however, the city has made the decision to omit improvements to preserve the street's country-like feel.
Hosp Grove, a grove of trees relatively untouched by development and now designated by the city for recreational use, is located in the northwest quadrant, along with the Buena Vista and Agua Hedionda Lagoons. The Buena Vista Lagoon is one of three the subject of controversy. The Concerned Citizens of Carlsbad is currently floating a Petition to stop the city council from rezoning the fields into new homes and a state of the art City Hall complex. San Diego Union Tribune article
The northeastern quadrant is located north of Palomar Airport Road and east of El Camino Real. With the exception of one shopping center, the area is almost exclusively residential. Because of the city's increasing population, the area was recently assigned the ZIP code 92010 by the U.S. Postal Service. The quadrant has many condominiums and single family homes. Some of the units are quite established while others, particularly in Calavera Hills, are currently under construction.
The southeast quadrant is located south of Palomar Airport Road and east of El Camino Real. It is the newest quadrant in Carlsbad and also one of the most expensive. It has many planned communities and million-dollar homes. Some notable communities in the southeast quadrant include Bressi Ranch, La Costa Ridge, La Costa Greens, the Villages of La Costa, which includes the completed planned community of La Costa Valley, and the nearly completed La Costa Oaks. The ZIP code of the southeast quadrant is 92009.
La Costa refers to both a residential community of Carlsbad and the world-class golf and tennis resort and spa that thrives at its center. The community is located primarily south of Alga Road, east of El Camino Real, north of Olivenhain Blvd. and west of the north-south portion of Rancho Santa Fe Blvd. The La Costa Resort and Spa consists of two 18-hole golf courses, resort hotel and condominium units, 19 tennis courts and related retail businesses. Dr. Deepak Chopra operates the Chopra Center located at the resort. La Costa the community is mostly residential, with shopping centers, upscale boutiques and fine dining restaurants. Because of overlapping district lines, schools within the community may be located in one of four school districts. La Costa Canyon High School and San Dieguito Academy serve residents of Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe and other surrounding communities, along with the southernmost portion of Carlsbad. The popular San Elijo Middle School and San Marcos High School serve students on the north side of the golf course. Real estate in La Costa is priced well above the average for both California and San Diego County.
La Costa's development began in 1965, when Irv Roston and a partner of the Desert Inn hotel in Las Vegas purchased 3,500 acres (14 km²) of the scenic area. A golf course was developed and homes began to be sold. The 90-room Rancho La Costa Inn was built to accommodate the visitors. Then, the Spa was added and ultimately, another 2,000 acres (8 km²) were purchased as the Inn grew in size. Sports Shinko, a Japanese company, bought the Resort in 1987. After years of decline, it was purchased in 2001 by KSL Resorts, a California resort hotel group, who totally revamped the La Costa Resort, spending in excess of $140 million.
Each February since 1999, La Costa Resort and Spa has hosted the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, one of the World Golf Championships events. The 2006 edition of the event was the last at La Costa. The Acura Classic, a WTA professional women's tennis tournament, was held at La Costa for many years, until recently being sold back to the WTA.
The southwestern quadrant is located south of Palomar Airport Road and west of El Camino Real. The area is a mixture of business and residential communities. Because of the city's increasing population, the area was recently assigned the ZIP code 92011 by the U.S. Postal Service.
Aviara is a resort community in the hills of southern Carlsbad, overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Batiquitos Lagoon. The community has a total area of 1.6 miles² and is just north of Encinitas and west of La Costa. Just outside of Aviara at El Camino Real lies a movie theater, restaurants, jewelry boutiques, a branch of the Carlsbad City library, U.S. Post Office, and several salons. Aviara is located at .
At the heart of the 1,000 acre (4 km²) Aviara community is the Four Seasons Resort Aviara, a 331-room, five-star hotel. Guests enjoy spectacular views, famous lush tropical grounds, a popular Lobby Bar, personal services, shops, a renovated spa area and a world-class golf course.
As of the census of 2000, there were 78,247 people, 31,521 households, and 20,898 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,090.2 people per square mile (806.9/km²). There were 33,798 housing units at an average density of 902.8/sq mi (348.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 86.55% White, 0.96% African American, 0.42% Native American, 4.24% Asian, 0.20% Pacific Islander, 4.65% from other races, and 2.99% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.72% of the population.
There were 31,521 households out of which 30.7% contained children under the age of 18, 54.3% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.7% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of single individuals and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The mean household size was 2.46 and the mean family size was 2.96.
23.3% of residents were under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 31.9% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.0% 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 95.8 males. Among those 18 and older, there were 92.8 males for every 100 females.
According to a 2007 Census estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $79,444, and the median income for a family was $100,932. Males had a median income of $54,826 versus $39,415 for females. The per capita income for the city was $34,863. About 3.4% of families and 5.9% of the population fell below the poverty line, including 7.3% of those under age 18 and 3.6% of those age 65 or over.
According to estimates made by the CBRE Demographic Report in 2005, an estimated average household income for Carlsbad neighborhoods (92008, 92009, 92010, 92011) were $106,459, $108,364, and $111,483, respectively.
In the state legislature Carlsbad is located in the 38th Senate District, represented by Republican Mark Wyland, and in the 74th Assembly District, represented by Republican Martin Garrick. Federally, Carlsbad is located in California's 50th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +3 and is represented by Republican Brian Bilbray.
Carlsbad voters in 2008 approved making Carlsbad a charter city. City government is led by an elected mayor and four council members, elected at large. Mayor Claude "Bud" Lewis has been mayor since 1986 and on the council since 1970. Unfortunately Carlsbad does not have term limits. Other council members are Matt Hall, Mark Packard, Ann Kulchin and Julie Nygaard, a former councilwoman who was appointed last year to replace Norine Sigafoose, who resigned, for personal reasons, with 18 months to go. Nygaard was appointed with the promise that she would not seek re-election. In the fall of 2008 Kulchin announced she would seek an eighth four-year term. Also in the race, for Kulchin's seat and the open seat vacated by Nygaard, were publisher and veteran journalist Thomas K. Arnold, police sergeant Keith Blackburn and print shop owner, and planning commissioner, Farrah Douglas. They were joined by a pair of longshots, college student Evan Delaney Rodgers and retired Marine Glenn Bernard, who has run before. Aided by endorsements by the increasingly powerful Carlsbad firefighters union, Kulchin and Blackburn won. Blackburn set a new record for campaign expenditures, pouring nearly $100,000 into his successful campaign. Douglas finished third, and Arnold came in fourth. Glenn and Rodgers came in fifth and last, respectively. It should be noted that Rodgers vowed to spend less than $100 of her own money on the campaign and succeeded. Both Glenn and Rodgers vowed right from the start not to use plastic campaign signs for ecological reasons.