City gives final approval for One Paseo development

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Original drawing of One Paseo project.

SAN DIEGO – The One Paseo development project, which generated a storm of opposition from residents of Carmel Valley, has been given final approval by the San Diego City Council.

Leaders of the opposition say they’ll mount a campaign to overturn the action.

The $750 million One Paseo development would encompass nearly 1.5 million square feet of floor space, including more than 600 units of homes, shops 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 include a movie theater, landscaping and nearly 3,700 parking spaces.

The council voted 7-2 vote in favor of the project last month, but only if the developer designated about 60 residences as affordable housing and a way is found to lighten the resultant traffic.

Around 400 people, including some current and former elected officials, attended the Feb. 23 council meeting to speak about the proposed development, for which plans have been in the works for several years.

Opponents, who created a website at, contended the development would destroy the affluent neighborhood in northwest San Diego. Their concerns centered on increased traffic in an already congested area, saying it could hamper emergency response times. Many said they could accept a scaled-down project.

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 was lowered by 10 percent. The design also includes nearly 11 acres of open space, including a town green, pocket parks and walking paths.

“The project … 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.

Brian Brady, senior project manager for Kilroy Realty and a Carmel Valley Planning Board member, said there was overwhelming support for One Paseo, and inaccurate statements regarding traffic, scale and land use issues were “thrown out there” with no reasoning behind them.

In a scathing response following the approximately six hours of public testimony and council debate, City Council President Sherri Lightner said the project would “dramatically alter the character of the neighborhood” and cause “horrendous and unmitigable traffic impacts.”

However, Councilwoman Lorie Zapf said One Paseo would bring more affordable housing for middle class residents, and the area would benefit from the retail and office areas.

“We need places for our teachers, our police officers, our military families, where they can afford something without sinking half their income into a place and also not have to work two jobs,” Zapf said.

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  • La Jolla Admin & Bookkeeping

    Hey Lorie Zapf…. Where is this affordable housing going to be? I live in Carmel Valley now and there is no “affordable housing”. This vote has nothing to do with affordable housing. It has everything to do with ramming more traffic, noise and congestion in an area that’s already saturated almost to a breaking point. And the real reason our council members voted yes is for the tax money the city desperately needs, because they consistently spend every penny they bring in. Just follow the money…this is the reason this debacle will be built.

  • Wlov

    “We need places for our teachers, our police officers, our military families, where they can afford something without sinking half their income into a place and also not have to work two jobs,” Zapf said
    Our police average a salary near $76,000’s after just 4 years on the force and the military gets most of their housing paid for. Lorie Zapf sounds like a shill for large developers. This is evident by thousands of protesters against this high density complex and over 400 people showing up for the council meeting to protest there too. The community wrote a master plan and this development is 3 times the density with no improvements to infrastructure, libraries, schools or parklands. Where are the children that are packed into this monstrosity supposed to play, in the street? Our landfill is going to close in 7 years because it will be at capacity. We already have water shortage, how is this going to help? If Lorie Zapf is not looking out for the interest of the community maybe it is time for a recall election!

    • Crystal Ballew

      Zapf who waffled on high density in her district? Look for this scenario to play out in neighborhoods throughout San Diego in the near future. Rest assured, your community concerns will be completely ignored. One Paseo is an oversized, emission generating, green-washed development that does nothing to improve air quality. No Public Transit and 4,000 parking spots.

  • Freddy

    I love how all the protesters live there now but want the door shut behind them! I get it, you’re there but you want no one else to be able to live there. How about all of you non Californian’s move back to where you all came from? See how stupid that sounds? Although if someone would please gather all the liberals and take them back east I would appreciate it.

    • natelan

      I agreed with everything you said, until you opened your pie hole about liberals. Liberals own California, beyotch. Your people are still wearing burlap sacks in the Ozarks, moron.

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