Nearly five acres of vacant land in northern Carlsbad could be home to a future apartment complex after a zoning changed approved by City Councilors.
Tuesday night Carlsbad City Council agreed to change the zone of the property from Residential 1 (R-1) District to Residential 2 (R-2) District at the northeast corner of West Church Street and Lamont Street.
“The Residential 1 District is intended to accommodate moderate density single-family residential development and to provide land-use protection for areas that develop in such a manner. There shall be a maximum of one primary residence per lot for R-1 Residential District Zoning,” read City of Carlsbad zoning rules.
Residential 2 District was intended to accommodate higher density single-family housing units, duplex’s, mobile home parks, subdivisions and multiple family units, cited the zoning rules.
R-2 provided land-use protection for areas that see development of more than one dwelling, according to the City.
Property owner Henry Bhakta from Clovis planned to build a 50 to 65 apartment complex on the rezoned property, according to City of Carlsbad planning documents.
City of Carlsbad Director of Planning, Engineering and Regulation Director Jeff Patterson said R-2 was the appropriate zoning for Bhakta’s plans for multi-family residences.
“We strongly support continued development in Carlsbad, especially when it comes to the creation of affordable housing, and we look forward to working with the owner and developer on this project,” said Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway.
No construction timeline was offered at Tuesday’s meeting and a study conducted earlier this year by the Carlsbad Department of Development (CDOD) indicated a need for more housing as the community continued to grow with various industrial activity.
“The CDOD is supportive of this move by the City Council. Eddy County and Carlsbad still have a tremendous need for workforce housing. It remains a top concern for many of our employers,” said CDOD Executive Director John Waters.
As of April, Carlsbad’s apartment occupancy was at 92 percent of nearly 1,800 units available, wrote Waters in a report to the organizations board of directors.
Waters noted apartment units were under construction across Carlsbad in April as two existing complexes were in the process of adding a collective 110 units.
“All of Carlsbad’s affordable or income-based apartments are currently rented out,” he wrote in his April report.
In the same report, CDOD Marketing Director Jeff Campbell noted assistance was made along with the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) to find temporary housing for 13 interns.
Campbell said CDOD members assisted with the search in April.
Waters said additional housing in Carlsbad could be available in the future.
In a May report to CDOD’s governing board, he said a developer and builder based in Dallas planned a visit to Carlsbad this summer to assess the market for permanent entry-level housing and possible upper-middle income housing.