Ann Gardner | Via Latina
As we go to press, the February 27th public hearing on the controversial One Paseo Project, a 1.4 million square foot mixed use development on Del Mar Heights Rd just east of I-5 zoned for only .5 million sq. feet of office space, has been rescheduled to a “date uncertain.” Frisco White, Carmel Valley Planning Board chair, said the date, time and location of the next One Paseo meeting will be announced “after facilities have been secured.”
The meeting was to provide the public with additional information on the project’s traffic impact, an estimated 23,000 average new daily car trips (ADT), in the area. Project opponents claim the new ADTs are underestimated and, in any case, would irrevocably snarl traffic exiting from I-5, tying up both west and east bound cars on Del Mar Heights Rd. In the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), Kilroy Realty claims the One Paseo traffic issues will be resolved by widening Del Mar Heights Rd., adding more traffic lights and installing new left and right turn pockets. Traffic engineers from both the Project and the City were to have been available to explain and answer questions.
It is the Planning Board’s role to consider community input, review the Project and make recommendations to San Diego planning staff on how well a proposed development complies with the area’s adopted community plan. Their recommendations are also forwarded to the final decision makers, the San Diego Planning Commission and City Council. The Council must certify that the Final EIR has sufficiently considered alternatives to reduce significant environmental effects, or that the benefits of the project outweigh adverse impacts that cannot be reduced by the project.
If approved, the One Paseo Project would require General Plan, Community Plan and Precise Plan amendments, rezoning and a Conditional Use Permit. The Draft EIR has indicated that the development would have adverse impacts, including traffic circulation, that cannot be resolved by the project. On their website, Kilroy negates the impacts commenting “It should be noted that such impacts would likely be present under almost any development scenario reviewed in the Draft…”
A local group, “What Price Main Street?” disagrees. They support mixed use rather than office space only, but continue to object to the Project’s bulk and scale. “If we need a Trader Joe’s fine. I’m all for it. But make it conform to the size stated in the Carmel Valley Community Plan. That’s why we have a Plan,” one resident commented. That sentiment was echoed at the last public meeting attended by San Diego Mayor Bob Filner who surprised the over 500 standing room only crowd with “The Community Plan is a contract which this project (One Paseo) violates!”
According to our sources, the Planning Board will not take a vote on the project until the Final EIR is published, and with sufficient time for them to review. City staff says the Final EIR is expected to be released in May.