October 2012 home page

Scaled Down Paseo?
Bob Fuchs | Newcrest Point, Carmel Valley


Kilroy’s Elephant scaled down
by how much?  Kilroy's Elephant first
appeared in the Sandpiper in March 2012

A recent email sent to people known to oppose the proposed One Paseo project promoted one of the candidates for San Diego District 1 City Council by saying the candidate believes in a “scaled down version” of the project.

The most obvious question about this quoted phrase is “scaled down by how much?” The answer, unfortunately, cannot readily be found in the project’s 4,500+ page Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) and the reasons why it cannot, illustrates the developer’s continued efforts to confuse, mischaracterize and mislead the public about the project.

The California Environmental Quality Act, which governs the issuance of DEIRs, requires that DEIRs be written in “plain language” and analyze “reasonable alternatives“ so that decision-makers and the public can understand the negative impacts from a project that cannot be mitigated below a level of significance.
The City’s Traffic Impact Study Manual, which the DEIR’s traffic study claims to follow, specifically requires that scenarios should be evaluated for “Buildout Community Plan Conditions” and “Buildout Community Plan with Additional Site Traffic (if project deviates from Community Plan).” These two scenarios are conspicuously absent in the DEIR!

These omissions specifically avoid providing a traffic analysis that includes the largest remaining traffic generator in the community plan area (Del Mar Highland Town Center’s entitlement for an additional 150,000 SF entitlement of retail building). However, using the traffic study’s own methodology to project the traffic at Del Mar Heights Rd. and High Bluff Dr. after the major remaining entitlements were built, traffic would be at Level of Service F, a level at or exceeding the maximum carrying capacity of a road—even after building the proposed mitigations. This is an unacceptable level according to City standards and will result in frequent breakdowns in traffic flow because the number of vehicles entering this section of road exceeds its capacity. This is before the addition of any traffic from One Paseo’s requested increase in entitlements.

Many comments to the One Paseo DEIR note that the DEIR failed to include a Reduced Density/Intensity alternative. This egregious omission, combined with numerous procedural errors such as one identified above, are fundamental violations of CEQA, but more important, make it extremely difficult to reasonably answer the question of “scaled down by how much?”



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