Blue Line

Home > News

Planning Commission backs Legoland proposals

North County Times

Original Article »

December 06, 2007

CARLSBAD -- Kids who can't get enough of Legoland during the day could have the option of an overnight stay at the Carlsbad amusement park under a proposal that's now headed to the City Council.

The option of hosting pirate-themed campouts, along with a second proposal to speed the city approval process for any new rides at the park, won approval from the city's Planning Commission in a 6-0 vote Wednesday night.

The City Council will review Legoland's plans early next year, and the company also needs approval from the state Coastal Commission because the park is within its coastal review region, city Senior Planner Van Lynch said.

Legoland, which opened in 1999, occupies a 128-acre parcel roughly bordered by Palomar Airport Road to the south and Cannon Road to the north. Its main entrance comes in off Cannon Road.

As they reviewed the park's proposals Wednesday, commissioners remarked that the place, which takes its name from Lego building blocks, was hugely controversial before it was built. People said at the time that it give the city a trashy tourist look reminiscent of the area around Disneyland. That's why city officials mandated, among other things, that any new ride proposals go through the city's extensive public hearing process, they said.

But in the years since the park has opened, Legoland's operations have generated little controversy. Few people even come to the public hearings for the new ride proposals, much less comment negatively. Wednesday's event was typical -- one person from the public spoke, and he said the overnight campouts sounded great and urged the city to jump on the idea.

Commission Chairwoman Julie Baker said Legoland has earned the right to have more flexibility when adding new rides. Commissioner Bill Dominguez agreed that the park's history so far had been good, but said he had concerns about the future because the park's ownership changed in 2005.

The new owner -- Merlin Entertainments Group -- is "really untested at this time," Dominguez said, adding he believes the city made a promise to the community to tightly control what happens at the park.

"I will lend my support, but I think those things need to be said," he added.

The proposal to go before the City Council calls for a faster-track approval process for new rides within the park's core 35-acre interior -- the reviews would be handled at the city staff level rather than going through a full-scale public hearing process. The change would mean that projects such as the recently added pirate-themed water-play region would not require a public hearing. However, adding something like a huge roller coaster would trigger the public meetings, Lynch said.

Under the current restrictions, Legoland also hasn't been allowed to have overnight guests. It's now asking for permission for a campground program that could accommodate up to 275 people a night in 80 to 85 tents. Park general manager John Jakobsen said the nightly campout sessions would mostly take place during the summer and would only be open to amusement park visitors.

Blue Line
Company Info  |  Contact Us  |  Terms  |  Privacy  |  Links
Copyright© 2011-2023 - Burketech. All Rights Reserved.
ParkInfo2Go is not affiliated with the Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios, Six Flags or
any of the other Theme and Amusement Park operators featured on this site.