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UTC Wannabe Unwanted
(continued from July issue)
Ann Gardner | Via Latina

 

10 story “mid-rise.” Rendering by Elkus Manfredi Architects Ltd., Boston, Mass., in their brochure:
A Main Street for Carmel Valley

 

We do not want to become another UTC community! That’s the message the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board sent to the City of San Diego in a twelve-page letter outlining what should be covered in the environmental review for the Kilroy Realty Corporation’s proposed 2 million square foot project at the corner of Del Mar Heights Road and El Camino Real. The site is currently zoned for a 510,000 sq. ft. office development, and the Planning Board is asking the City of San Diego to require an environmental review that includes alternatives to the much larger, mixed-use development.

“The setting along Del Mar Heights Rd., High Bluff Dr., and El Camino Real was designed to be consistent with the low-key and well-landscaped ‘parkway’ goal of the (our) community plan. The roadway experience here was designed to prevent the experience of UTC drivers (and residents) who are towered over by tall, monolithic apartment and office buildings. The proposed height (and size of the Kilroy project) is uncharacteristic of this area….”

The Planning Board noted that the “North City West (Carmel Valley) Community Plan” was controversial from the beginning, “with many nearby communities and even City staff and elected officials concerned about the densities proposed on natural hills and valley.”

“Even so,” the Board continues, the area was “master planned so that development would occur with predictability… and as been amended to relocate schools away from power lines, to allow varying uses in some office buildings, to preserve open space and to generally improve uses within some neighborhoods. However no proposal this massive and inconsistent with all plans for Carmel Valley has been presented.”
The Board suggests that an Environmental Impact Report include:

1.”An alternative which includes mixed-use retail (restaurants, play areas, entertainment) on a smaller scale and without the three large structures (the l0-story office towers and the 10-story hotel).
2. “An alternative which is compliant with the community plan designation of Commercial/Office (510,000sq.ft.)
3. “A reduced development alternative which includes retail, some housing, restaurants and entertainment.”

The Board’s comments were submitted to the City’s Development Services Department as an initial step in the environmental review process required by the California Environmental Quality Act. The comments, along with other public input, will be incorporated in a Draft Environmental Impact Report that will then be distributed for public review and comment in “roughly three to six months” according to the City.


 
 

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