Ann Gardner | Via Latina
As we go to press the controversial, long standing One Paseo project is being reviewed by the San Diego City Council for a third time. Compared to the latest plan, the new project is reduced from about 1.5 million square feet to 1.2 million, but has approximately 44 % less projected traffic (because retail use, the greatest generator of traffic, is reduced proportionately more than other uses), reduced heights and bulk and wider setbacks.
None the less, in January the Carmel Valley Planning Board did not approve this reduced project (5 to 5 split vote); the square footage is still twice what is allowed by existing zoning. However the local group most actively involved in opposing the original project, What Price Main Street (WPMS), has issued a statement that reads in part:
“WPMS has worked with Kilroy (Development Corporation) to see that the original impacts were greatly reduced and (to) …ensure that residents of Carmel Valley and…the surrounding areas had the opportunity to provide input to the new design. We understand that not everyone will be happy but believe this is a project the community can live with. It is a reasonable compromise…”
The compromise was jump started by a citywide referendum drive that gathered enough verified signatures (51,796) to force the San Diego City Council to either rescind their February 2015 approval (7-2) or go to a citywide vote. Planning groups from throughout the City joined Carmel Valley residents in solidarity to oppose the project. On May 18, 2015 the Council rescinded their approval and referred the project to a process of community input and dialogue with the developer.
Del Mar residents and City Council, Del Mar Heights and Terrace residents represented by the Torrey Pines Community Planning Board and Council Chair Sherri Lightner, were actively involved in this process. Del Mar and the Torrey Pines Board sent in their concerns as early as March 2012 when the One Paseo Draft EIR was released. Kilroy representatives met recently with the Torrey Pines Board to explain one of the project’s “community enhancements:” replacing a 40-year-old traffic light technology along Del Mar Heights Road from east of I-5 to the Mango Drive intersection with a state of the art GPS adaptive traffic signal program. The improvement is asserted to move the projected increase in traffic, and allow emergency vehicles to manage the signals, more effectively.
Given the Council’s approval of a larger project in 2015, we expect the New One Paseo will have been approved by the time you are reading this article but will it be unanimous this time?