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Back to the Drawing Board:
Too Little About Too Much 
Ann Gardner | Via Latina

Residents scrutinize reduced One Paseo plans and want more information. Photo Ann Gardner.  Click on image to enlarge.

Draft plans for “The New One Paseo” got angry feedback from the almost 200 residents attending the August 19 Carmel Valley Planning Board workshop. “I left my red (No On This One Paseo) shirt in the car. I wish I had worn it,” one said. Most expressed their frustration that the project was still “too large” (1.1 million square feet scaled back from 1.4 million) and still generated burdensome traffic (14,000 daily trips compared to 26,000 in the original) and no public transit. The successful referendum drive that derailed the San Diego City Council’s February 23 approval of the controversial development went unacknowledged in the swelling criticism. Only comments by Board members seemed to bring the dialogue back to providing input on what residents want.

Ken Farinsky, founding member of What Price Main Street and recent appointment to the Board, got to his feet and pleaded for more constructive feedback. “I won’t vote for a project the community doesn’t want,” he said,” but I am disappointed that all we have heard is how awful (the plans are). We need to hear what you want here. We don’t need 500,000 sq. ft. of more office space (current zoning),” he said. Echoing fellow Board member Gary Levitt he emphasized the need to think ahead to future community needs such as transition housing for ‘empty nesters.’ “Not all of us want to leave our community when we outgrow our bigger homes,” Levitt commented. “I am disappointed that Kilroy was not more creative in these proposals.”

Kilroy Realty is presenting redesign options as a result of reaching an agreement with three community litigants to downsize the project after a successful referendum drive required the San Diego City Council to either reject the project outright or put it to a citywide vote. Although the developer wants to complete community review of the reduced plans and get all the necessary approvals by the end of this year, the Carmel Valley Board was clear they expected more changes and additional community review. There was generally unanimous agreement that there was little difference between the three options presented at this first community workshop. All included 1.1 million square feet and 14,000 daily traffic trips; compartmentalized office, retail and residential spaces rather than a more creative mix of uses; no connectivity to the Highlands Shopping Center across El Camino Real nor sufficient pedestrian/bicycle emphasis. Everyone wanted to see elevations and 3-D images. Del Mar Heights residents expressed concern over increased emergency response time from Fire Station #24 east of I-5. One Board member asked Kilroy if they would be willing to provide a fire station on the west side.

Frisco White, Planning Board chair, announced that another community workshop will be scheduled in October. Check the Sandpiper website for updates.


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