City approves controversial One Paseo development

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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.

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  • Freddy

    I never get these people who oppose these new developments. You moved to Carmel Valley, a place not there 20 years ago and now you want no more development? So it was ok for you to move there when the place was all new but now you want no more development?As a sixth Generation San Diegan I don’t want you here! See how stupid that sounds? Without new development cities would go broke.

    • David

      To the Author … You might want to check your facts by stating that the “Plan” called for only 500,000 square feet of development … Kilroy ‘s reduced plan is three times that amount. They have spent $60 million lobbying for this project and have had as many as 10 PR firms/lobbyists retained.

      There is no mass transit. There will be gridlock … The average commute according to Kilroy’s own number will be increased by 20 minutes … You can’t “de jure” create a neighborhood instantly … In North County people use cars period. The size of the development is the same as UTC on 1/3 the space … Kilroy collected 25,000 signatures from San Diego voters. The opposition 6,000 from Carmel Valley residents. The population of Carmel Valley is about 30,000. The population of San Diego is 1.4 million. So … 20% of Carmel Vally residents signed the petition Against and less than 2% of San Diego residents were For.

      The San Diego City Council should be ashamed of their actions yesterday. This precedent has loopholes that will now allow any developer to increase the size of their development by a significant percentage without Council approval and sometimes without even a clerk’s signature.

      • D

        Wrong – many Carmel Valley residents support the project but were too busy working yesterday to attend the meeting. Those sad faces belong to the aging population that oppose change regardless and don’t appreciate the bigger picture – that SD needs to become a 21st century city. If you despise traffic, then walk – and One Paseo will now give many local residents (such as me) the option to walk to a town center and leave the car at home. Furthermore, what this article forgot to mention was that the entire opposition movement was primarily funded by the owner of the competing shopping mall across the street who even bused in paid demonstrators.

        • David Carnevale

          To D … I will start by assuming that you do not work for Kilroy, any of their paid consultants, PR firms, architects, construction firms or unions. It is interesting that you “stumbled upon” this article while at work and did not have an alert on One Paseo articles set up … Or did you?

          There were also many who did not support One Paseo who were working and could not come. The busing you referred to was an attempt to cut down on traffic and save people $20 to park. As I waited in line to get in, I was amazed by the large number of union construction workers that appeared all at once. I’m sure each and every one of them came of their own accord and were also not organized or paid in any way. As Shakespeare wrote in his play Julius Caesar … Mark Antony said, “For Brutus is an honorable man”.

          I drove down to the event myself since there is no public transportation nearby in Carmel Valley and there will not be for at least 20 years. You can’t walk 10 – 20 miles to work. When, or even if, public transportation comes to Carmel Valley, it will be at least 20 years from now and by then you will be much older and wiser. Between now and then the average commute for those who need to drive to work will be increased by approximately 25 – 30 minutes each way (not my estimates … Kilroy’s).

          The funding you referred to totaled a little over $1 million compared to the $60 million Kilroy has paid. That does not include their PAC which has donated considerable sums to the funds of every San Diego City Council member. I listened to their disclosures in person yesterday and they all stated that they could make an impartial decision. Those words rang hollow to me. There is no way they could have assimilated over 6 hours of testimony and comments and even rendered a decision last night. It was orchestrated propaganda and a shallow attempt at appearing to listen to the public that would make some foreign governments proud.

          Additionally, having attended several meetings of What Price Main Street, those involved are all residents of Carmel Valley who donated countless hours of their personal time. At no time did any developer seek to influence the proceedings. But i assume that since you know quite a bit, that you could have mounted a similar effort on another issue you endorse with no money at all..

          If you are truly a Carmel Valley Resident close enough to One Paseo to walk, you also know that today you can easily walk to Del Mar Highlands Town Center (wait .. you mean we already have a town center?) which has a great cinema, many restaurants and fast food establishments at a variety of price points, a drug store, two food markets, a gas station, clothing stores, a bakery, a shoe repair shop, hair salons, banks, a juice bar, etc. What else do you think you will get in what Kilroy has proposed?

          • terry

            Well said, David. The spin doctors from PR firms kept saying project opposition rejects progress and is not forward looking. Flat wrong, opposition states very clear and repeatedly it is the tremendous size of the project, 3 times the original plan, that is not acceptable. This decision is a clear example of corporate greed hands down win over citizens and hard working families.

        • Dave W

          D – are you serious? so everyone had to work? Not one proponent of the project who lives in the area could make it to speak?? I suspect you’re lying in some way. Where do you live that you can walk to the area as there are no nearby housing developments that have a short walk to it?? Why exactly are you a fan of the project? sure Highlands supported the opposition – they actually built their project according the rules – Kilroy disregarded the rules and lined the pockets of the City Council to get their way. How about we meet over coffee sometime in CV? I’m guessing you’ll have to drive a long way to get there you hack.

  • E

    More natural habitat being destroyed. Increased traffic on already hostile roads. Developers don’t give a shit about the big problems this will create!!

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