SAN DIEGO -- With 7 to 2 vote, the San Diego City Council approved a controversial 23.6-acre mixed-use development proposed for Carmel Valley.
For 7 hours supporters and opponents debated before the San Diego City Council and city leaders deliberated on how to vote.
150 people spoke in favor and against the project which was passed with 2 crucial amendments.
The $750 million One Paseo development will encompass nearly 1.5 million square feet of floor space, including more than 600 units of multi- family housing, retail and offices south of Del Mar Heights Road, between El Camino Real and High Bluff Drive.
The project by Kilroy Realty would be composed of 10 buildings ranging from two to nine stories, and would include a cinema, landscaping and nearly 3,700 parking spaces.
City officials asked developers to provide a synchronized traffic light system to mitigate traffic concerns.
And 10% of affordable housing required to be built in the area near the development will be required to be constructed onsite.
Opponents, who created a website, contend the development will destroy the affluent neighborhood in northwest San Diego with its “urban size and scale.''
“The size and scale are not appropriate for Carmel Valley,'' said Nancy Novak, a 28-year resident of the area. “The environmental impacts are significant and unavoidable, and there is no feasible mitigation.''
The concerns center on increased traffic in an already congested area. Many of the opponents said they could accept a scaled-down project, at around 60 percent of the proposed floor space.
Marcela Escobar-Eck, a land-use consultant for the developer, said floor space has already been reduced from 1.8 million square feet, and the height of the tallest buildings were lowered by 10 percent. She said the design also includes nearly 11 acres of open space, including a town green, pocket parks and walking paths.
“The project before you today is the product of six years of community engagement, which resulted in considerable refinements to get to the right balance of uses that will enhance the community life and deliver much-needed middle-class housing near the major job centers in the northern part of the city,'' Escobar-Eck said.
Supporters said the development fits in with the “City of Villages'' land-use concept approved by the City Council several years ago to guide so- called “urban in-fill'' projects.
At an October hearing, the city's Planning Commission voted to forward the project to the City Council without recommendation for passage. The commissioners issued 11 suggestions, including limiting the heights of buildings, preventing an increase of vehicle traffic generated by special events, and expanding a shuttle system for the area.