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    Eventually, city leaders will decide whether to approve a large urban-style development in Carmel Valley. Key to that decision could be determining whether the project even qualifies as the sort of smart-growth project the city says it wants.

    San Diego’s general plan aims to accommodate future population growth by concentrating new housing in dense developments within the city’s urban core and near public transportation.

    It’s meant to combat the city’s affordability issues by increasing housing supply, and to create walkable, transit-oriented communities where residents don’t rely on cars.

    But it isn’t clear whether One Paseo — a 23-acre, $650 million project in Carmel Valley by Kilroy Realty — counts as a clear-cut win toward that end, even if the city’s environmental review calls the project a “unique opportunity” to achieve that goal.


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    It’s dense, but it isn’t at all connected to the city’s public transportation system. It’s in an established community, but that community isn’t anywhere near the city’s urban core. It’ll have bike facilities and pedestrian-friendly promenades, in addition to over 3,000 parking spaces. It’s nowhere near the downtown employment center, but it is near Sorrento Valley’s high-tech jobs cluster.

    It’s essentially a pop-up downtown, located in the suburbs. Some have called it a “suburban retrofit.”

    But one potentially revealing element to the question of whether the project and its 600 condos, 500,000 square feet of office space and 200,000 square feet of retail space fits within a push for a more urban San Diego is that some of the loudest advocates for urbanization aren’t lining up to support it.

    Sam Ollinger, executive director of Bike SD, a group that advocates for cycling-friendly projects, told Kilroy her organization wouldn’t endorse One Paseo because the project is primarily car-centric, even if it does have a protected bike lane.

    “I truly appreciate all the work and time invested toward making this project give the illusion that it makes Carmel Valley a bike-friendly community,” she wrote. “Auto-centric projects are by default bicycle unfriendly.”

    One Paseo did receive the endorsement of the MOVE Alliance, a collection of groups advocating things like public transportation and smart growth, in spite of the project’s reliance on cars.

    Jack Shu of the Cleveland National Forest Foundation — the organization that successfully sued the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) because its long-term transportation plan didn’t invest enough in public transportation and fell short of state carbon emission requirements — also opposes the project.

    “What I think of it is, it’s a trendy development that may have the look or feel and maybe the terminology of what future development should be like, but in reality and in most ways it is still a development for a car-centric system that is unproductive to our long-term goals,” he said.

    Bruce Appleyard, professor of urban planning at San Diego State University, cautioned against taking a binary view.

    “I would say that this is better than the alternative of just a monolithic single-use, a 500,000 square foot office complex, that likely would do even less for the area’s suburban character,” he said. “It’s not going to be a panacea that turns everyone into walkers and bikers overnight, but it’s better than the alternative and it seems to me an honest attempt to urbanize a suburban area.”

    It’d be better to build a large project like this in the existing urban core, Appleyard said, and yes, ideally you’d put it on a well-connected transportation network.

    But he said it’s important to focus on One Paseo’s achievements as well: Some of those 600 condo dwellers will avoid some car trips they’d make in a traditional suburb; the developer says it’ll run shuttles to the Coaster station; it’s a good option for Car-2-Go and ride-sharing options to replace some traditional car trips; and some nearby residents will be able to bike or walk over, especially kids and teenagers.

    Carmel Valley’s planning group is expected to decide Thursday whether to give the project its stamp of approval. A few months from then, the City Council will eventually need to make its decision.

    Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the public transit advocacy group that endorsed One Paseo.

      This article relates to: Land Use, One Paseo

      Written by Andrew Keatts

      I'm Andrew Keatts, a reporter for Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you'd like at andrew.keatts@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0529.

      118 comments
      Jack Shu
      Jack Shu subscriber

      The question that needs to be asked is, why did council members Gloria, Alvarez and Cole vote in favor of One Paseo given its flawed planning, opposition from the community and negative environmental impacts when the same flip side arguments were the reasons they pushed for the Logan Heights plan update last year?  Marti Emerald had no problem supporting Lightner, she seems to place communities, good planning and the environment ahead of politics.

      Todd Mackett
      Todd Mackett subscriber

      Here's the deal.  I grew up here in the '70s.  I-5 was 4 lanes then and it's 4 lanes now.  Anyone who commutes from North County to Sorrento Valley or SD might as well sell their cars and walk.  I've seen the traffic increase every year.  Each and every community that gets built along I-5 promises to do something about traffic.  Remember Olivenhein, Fairbanks Ranch, La Costa, east Carlsbad, redeveloped Encinitas...And guess what? In 40 years not a single lane has been built on I-5 (carpool lanes are worthless and don't count because they don't reduce traffic).  And barely enough high schools built, just to keep up.

      As soon as One Paseo is built, then you basically cut off North County from Sorrento Valley and SD.  It will take 2 hours to commute from Carlsbad (currently almost an hour) to Sorrento Valley.

      As kids, we'd go to the beach in Del Mar, park on the beach high tide line and drink a beer watching the sunset.  Now, pay for parking (if you can find one), avoid Del Mar's parking police, and watch the hoodlums graffiti Powerhouse Park, because the schools will be so overrun, nobody will know how to spell.

      A very modest scaled down version of 1/4 Paseo would be welcome.  Is Kilroy going to build a new high school?  A new middle school?  Or are they just looking the other way and make our currently crowded schools overrun?

      Of course the city council is paid off.  Of course Kilroy is out marketing citizens.  They don't live here, why do they care?

      stclairp
      stclairp subscriber

      The City has a good General Plan and very good City Council policies with respect to growth.  So why isn't new development and infill more appealing to neighbors?  Largely because the City won't stand behind its own plans.  First, good plans are killed by nosy neighbors and a CEQA process that rewards mediocrity and compromise.  Second, most developer's plans are designed to benefit the developer and investors--not the public.  So things like walkability, net-zero energy utilization, water recycling, dedicated bike lanes and affordable housing are left out.  Third, the city is largely unwilling to request new parks.  While the city appreciates dedication of parkland, it lacks staff and budget to maintain parks.  So much of what should be public infrastructure ends up being "privatized"-ie. for the benefit of those who live in or use a project.  But the project's impacts are felt much more widely.  City plans call for "co- location" of jobs and housing--and putting all of this near transit.    Yet there are few instances in which such a project has cleared the hurdle of Community Planning Groups who must approve changes in land use--even when those changes are designed to conform to the vision of the adopted General Plan.  It can cost upward of $1,000,000 to obtain Community Planning Group concurrence with a plan change.  It can take half a decade.  Even then, the project must pass muster with the Planning Commission and City Council.  Is One Paseo an example of a good project?  No.  It is suburban in location yet at city densities.  It is not close to transit.  The retail jobs it will create will not pay enough for workers to live in its condos or pricey apartments.  Do we need more office buildings?  Probably not.  Gensler, an international architectural firm, believes existing office structures can be retrofitted to meet the needs of expanding firms--usually at lower cost than new construction--and often in older parts of town well served by transit and more affordable housing.  

      Fred Schnaubelt
      Fred Schnaubelt subscriber

      @stclairp You are mostly right, but if the City has a good General Plan why are there 46,000 applicants on the Housing Commission's waiting list? Why has San Diego gone from one of the most affordable cities in the nation to one of the least when formerly the median price home cost less locally than nationally? The city and county own more than 61% of the land in the county. You are correct, the city's eyes are bigger than its stomach for digesting and maintaining all the park land and open space it has extorted. The city wants to co-locate housing and jobs but for hundreds if not thousands of years most people have preferred not to live and work in the same neighborhoods which is why the majority of people live 22 to 24 minutes from work (for decades).  Planning Groups are indeed a major obstacle ever since they replaced political party grass roots organizations.  Mass transit absolutely must have density to be successful and yet planners, politicians and community planning groups work diligently to reduce density at every opportunity.  One Paseo will not pay workers enough to live in its price condo and apartments.  Do you honestly believe the people who live in La Jolla, Del Mar and Rancho Santa Fe work in those communities? As far as retrofitting office buildings go, in 40 years in the business never yet found an instance where retro-fitting is more economical. And the only people who know if we need more office buildings is after they are built do they make money or lose money.  The majority of high rise buildings (and regional shopping centers) do not show a profit for ten years when leases turn over, but Insurance companies buy them because they can not be built for the same price 10 years in the future, especially in the same location, location, location


      stclairp
      stclairp subscriber

      @Fred Schnaubelt @stclairp The General Plan sets forth excellent goals and City Council for the most part has adopted good policies.   Affordable housing has been shamefully excluded from most neighborhoods by citizens who have opposed re-zoning.  The problem is not the General Plan.  The larger problem is unwillingness of the Community Planning Groups to amend Community Plans to allow affordable housing and of the CPG's, Planning Commission and City Council to create adequately zoned land for affordable housing.   You and I have been involved for decades.  But younger people are far more likely to adopt an urban or high density life style than our generation at that stage in our lives.   City flatly refused workforce housing in Sorrento Mesa where acres of industrial land used for one-story warehousing could have supported 1,200 affordable and work-force housing units.   As for "recycling" of buildings, particularly office, this will become far more common when restrictions on new building go into effect--for example storm water management requirements.  You are correct about cost.  Costs are rising.  Thus, recycling buildings--like solar power, wind energy and recycling materials--becomes economically feasible.   We have the General Plan we need to be a more efficient, caring, and economically dynamic city.  The Community Planning Groups need to join the 21st century and stop thwarting change.  

      stclairp
      stclairp subscriber

      @Fred Schnaubelt @stclairp The General Plan does call for affordable housing.  The GP is not the problem.  The problem is Community Planning Groups, the zoning code and unwillingness at the Planning Commission and City Council level to manage the tyranny of the CPG's.   Fred, office buildings will begin to be recycled.  You hit on the exact reason:  cost.  Costs to build new are accelerating.   Younger people want to live close-in and enjoy higher densities and walkable communities.  Older office buildings are frequently in more centrally located areas and when modernized will meet growing demand.  

      Fred Schnaubelt
      Fred Schnaubelt subscriber

      @stclairp @Fred Schnaubelt  I'm impressed with your blind faith in planning. Before the zoning code went from 12 pages to 280 plus pages there was an abundance of affordable housing.  The problems you correctly cite are endemic to planning and not aberrations.  Two things are required:  free the free market and recognize that planners cannot make intelligent decisions for millions of people --- in a timely manner --- when people will get married, divorced or die, when they require one-bedroom apartments, or four bedroom homes, when they will have children and when boys and girls will require separate bedrooms, all of which can be determined by the price system signaling when there is a shortage of one-bedrooms and a shortage of 2, 3, or 4 bedroom dwellings. If you have occasion you might read "Planning For Freedom," or "The Road to Serfdom," or Bureaucracy, the one by L.V.Mises that describes the difference between Profit Management and Bureaucratic Management.  You are on the right track. Private developers have incentives to lower prices and increase quality whereas planners and politicians have incentives to raise costs.  SEE James Buchanan's Nobel for "Public Choice Theory."

      Q2014
      Q2014 subscriber

      Since all of these "dense housing" projects appear to be upper end apartments/housing, how is this helping the housing situation? Even if the required percentage for low income, it's a paltry sum. This type of "housing" benefits the high income earners and the developers, and will force the lower and middle income earners further and further out into the fringes.

      Diogenes
      Diogenes subscriber

      The traffic impact "mitigations" proposed by Kilroy involve widening roads and computerized traffic signal controls to handle the additional estimated 20,000 additional automobile trips per day generated by the proposed project.

      The first assumption is that roads will be widened on Via de la Valle and 56 Freeway. There is no assurance that this will happen.

      The second assumption is that controlling traffic flow with computers will work at peak traffic hours. Unfortunately, experience has shown that slow moving pedestrians cause the "green wave" of traffic to become "saturated." These traffic systems work until the flow breaks down into bumper-to-bumper traffic.

      With emergency traffic preemption devices for emergency vehicles, motorists become confused or fail to yield the right-of-way; then traffic accidents block traffic in all directions.

      The proposed project is too large for the community. A smaller mixed-use project would provide the same benefits without the traffic jams. This is what happens when a 100% auto-dependent mixed-use infill project is crammed into suburbia. Reduce the size to a million square feet. Why does the project need to be three times the present zoning?

      I have lived in Carmel Valley for over ten years. I enjoy the access to I-5 and the 56 Freeway. That is why I live here - ease of access to freeways. Such a massive and dense project will cause long delays getting to or from the freeways.

      msginsd
      msginsd subscriber

      @Diogenes Here in Rolando we've just had a massive and dense project double the population of our small neighborhood.  There's a second project just a block away nearly the same size.  I have lived here for over 50 years.  These projects will cause long delays getting groceries, pharmacuticals, frozen yogurt, and gas.


      See how that works?

      Diogenes
      Diogenes subscriber

      Emergency services will be delayed getting over the Freeway overpass at I-5. San Diego is considered to be high risk for fire all year round because of the drought and climate change. The fire station is east of I-5.

      Many aging people live on the west side of the I-5 Freeway. Response times will be slowed. That will cost lives.

      Climate change is an unfortunate reality, according to state, federal and international law. These policies, including SANDAG policies are being totally ignored in regard to greenhouse emissions.

      We do not need any development that is 100% automobile-dependent because that prevents San Diego from meeting its greenhouse gas emission goals.

      This town is well-known for making deals with developers with clout downtown. Revolving-door lobbyists, slick PR, astroturfing bloggers, etc.

      Just wait until traffic is bumper to bumper, and residents are sitting in the hot summer sun waiting to get on and off the freeway. Then tell me how much fun shopping is. You will run your air conditioning full blast for half an hour during the Fair and the two horse racing seasons.

      Derek Hofmann
      Derek Hofmann subscribermember

      @Diogenes "Nobody drives on the I-5 anymore. It's too crowded." --Yogi Berra

      Q2014
      Q2014 subscriber

      It will be interesting to see how much the rents will go up--especially, since the "need for more housing" seems to fall in the high end range. Lower or middle income affordable housing will be non existent.

      Fred Schnaubelt
      Fred Schnaubelt subscriber

      @Q2014 Isn't interesting how people who advocate mass transit work diligently to reduce densities that are essential to making mass transit work. About how  the housing market works when not prevented by government planners and politicians --- when I was 20 and first married my bride and I moved into a North Park one-bedroom apartment.  The previous occupant had just moved to a 3-bedroom house in Clairemont whose previous occupant bought a brand new home in Mira Mesa. Every person I know started out in a "used" apartment.

      A University of Michigan study, “New Homes and Poor People” affirmed that the construction of 1,000 new dwelling units, both homes and apartments, makes it possible for 3,545 households to move to better accommodations.  Of the 3,545 moves surveyed, 1,290 were by low and moderate-income families.  This is the essence of upward mobility and how the free market works. People start out in cheaper older apartments and move up as their income increases.  There is no moral justification for low-income families living in brand new housing, the most expensive consumer item in our economy.  Some government subsidized housing in San Diego costs more than $500,000 per apartment.  So expensive, only the poor can afford to live in it.

      Mark Giffin
      Mark Giffin subscribermember

      Most pro density groups seem to have an all or nothing approach to these kinds of developments yet wonder why the get so much resistance.

      Most communities don't care for it. Density is a dirty word.

      Walt Brewer
      Walt Brewer subscribermember

      Fred:

      I suggest, as your extensive experience would expect, you have surfacd a higher level of planning issues, smart growth context or others and corresponding performance.

      I believe in many of the Regional and Nation objectives to reduce energy use and emissions. Quite aside from the global climate question they are important to energy independence and living conditions. Though it is a challenge to minimize higher prices.

      But I believe there is now considerable evidence HOW to accomplish this, as smsrt growth promotes, is seriously flawed. Especially about its core principles about tramsportation and associated community design. It is time they, and the decision process be reviewed.

      My comments here are a part of that approach.

      Whatever te “brand name”, what have we learned in specifics for the various developments in the Region; many having been approved with smart growth promises. Some I believe required referenda, and quantitative performance values.

      Walt Brewer
      Walt Brewer subscribermember

      For Fred:

      I suggest, as your extensive experience would expect, you have surfacd a higher level of planning issues, smart growth context or others and corresponding performance.

      I believe in many of the Regional and Nation objectives to reduce energy use and emissions. Quite aside from the global climate question they are important to energy independence and living conditions. Though it is a challenge to minimize higher prices.

      But I believe there is now considerable evidence HOW to accomplish this, as smsrt growth promotes, is seriously flawed. Especially about its core principles about tramsportation and associated community design. It is time they, and the decision process be reviewed.

      My comments here are a part of that approach.

      Whatever te “brand name”, what have we learned in specifics for the various developments in the Region; many having been approved with smart growth promises. Some I believe required referenda, and quantitative performance values.

      Fred Schnaubelt
      Fred Schnaubelt subscriber

      @Walt Brewer Thank you Walt. The operative sentence is the (smart growth promises). Something to think about:   "There is a wisdom in the free market a trillion times greater that in any discrete group of planners and politicians.

      Walt Brewer
      Walt Brewer subscribermember

      Going back a dozen or so years, even pre-historic smart growth, there have been similar dust ups about density, intra and inter mass transit, traffic congestion etc, etc,. (Names? MM. S4,etc?) After years of experience now, have the performance numbers been collected and evaluated against consistent smart growth criteria? How about surveys of residents to find likes/dislikes? And adjacent communities?

      What lessons have been learned that might help set the design boundaries for new like this?

      Sounds like I am talking down to experienced planners, with many personal experiences. But have cogent evaluations related to a baseline such as smart growth been collected?

      Fred Schnaubelt
      Fred Schnaubelt subscriber

      @Walt Brewer The most noteworthy accomplishments of "Smart Growth," is that it raises the cost of housing, forces low income families and minorities out of the area, reduces auto transportation, increases "cold starts" and "hot soaks" and thereby adds to air pollution, and requires more tax subsidies for displaced households.  All significant un-intended consequences to make a few people feel good who are not responsible for the results (and heartaches) of the policies they advocate. Just one more way that wealth is redistributed from low income people to better educated upper income elites, yuppies, puppies, and millennials, etc.

      robertfreund
      robertfreund subscriber

      A community should grow and change with new opportunities. While we certainly could use a few more restaurants and another theater  in Carmel Valley, the project scale is excessive because the developer is piggybacking 1.2 million square feet of his money-makers, office towers and apartments/condos, on top of those restaurants and theater. The developer admits this huge scale will create unsolvable traffic problems in the middle of the community and completely change its character. It will also delay emergency medical services, overcrowd our schools and other public facilities. The Concept is great, but the developer needs to propose a smaller version that better fits the community!

      Derek Hofmann
      Derek Hofmann subscribermember

      @robertfreund If you're correct that the office towers and apartments/condos are "money-makers", then the tax revenue easily solves the other issues you bring up. So it all works out nicely.

      robertfreund
      robertfreund subscriber

      @Derek Hofmann @robertfreund  Great idea in theory. However in practice the potential fixes are out of the City's control, they belong to CALTRANS and are neither approved, nor funded, nor  planned before 2030 even if they were. What will you do for the next 15 years? And at that point projections show they won't resolve the magnitude of traffic problems that tripling the scale of One Paseo creates. And fyi, the incremental taxes that increasing the project size would produce are a very, very tiny fraction of the cost of any solution.

      Derek Hofmann
      Derek Hofmann subscribermember

      @robertfreund Yes, it's funny how the city requires developers to build more parking than the market wants, and then the city wonders how all the traffic suddenly appeared.

      robertfreund
      robertfreund subscriber

      @Derek Hofmann @robertfreund  Actually parking itself doesn't create traffic, the customers and residents drawn by the businesses and homes it's intended to accommodate create the traffic. This congestion is exacerbated by UNDER-parking which, even with the City's requirement, THIS One Paseo will still be based on actual usage analysis and compared to the center across the street. Better approach: a much smaller project. I'd be happy to get you a copy of the project FEIR if that will help.

      Derek Hofmann
      Derek Hofmann subscribermember

      @robertfreund You wrote that "parking itself doesn't create traffic," but there's plenty of evidence[1][2] that abundant, free parking encourages people to drive, so it's pointless to debate this point.

      It's true that a shortage of parking creates some traffic as people circle around looking for a space, but as anyone who understands supply and demand well enough to read a demand curve knows, a shortage is caused by setting the price below market equilibrium. Fixing that doesn't require adding supply, despite what Big Oil and those in the construction industry would have you believe. If you have any questions about how prices and shortages are related, I suggest enrolling in Economics 101 at your local community college.

      [1] Mildner, Strathman, and Bianco, "Parking Policies and Commuting Behavior," Transportation Quarterly, Vol. 51, No. 1, Winter 1997, pp. 111-125.

      [2] Morrall and Bolger, "The Relationship Between Downtown Parking Supply and Transit Use," ITE Journal, February 1996, pp. 32-36.

      Fred Schnaubelt
      Fred Schnaubelt subscriber

      @Derek Hofmann @robertfreund 

      Very good Derek.

      Just substitute parking for horse in Ben Franklin's ditty.


      “For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
      For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
      For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
      For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
      For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
      And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.” 

       For want of parking  thousands of affordable homes were lost ...


      And should homebuyers decide when they buy or abstain from buying a home how much parking they personally desire?

      robertfreund
      robertfreund subscriber

      @Derek Hofmann @robertfreund  Pricing was never an issue in the original exchange so I have no argument with your "lesson" in Economics, it's just extraneous to this discussion. Especially since the parking at One Paseo will almost certainly not be free. I agree that adding more parking will create some additional traffic, just you've conceded that a shortage of parking does the same. But Econ 101 does have some lessons on elasticity. The point relative to One Paseo is that the City designates parking requirements in a conscious effort to meet an equilibrium point of convenience/inconvenience to customers, tenants and residents of a development at full occupancy. Contrary to your earlier point, those customers, tenants and residents ARE the market, and they almost invariably want more parking, which is a component of the studies that drive City decisions on how much to require. So once again, as it relates to One Paseo, the amount of parking the City requires is not arbitrary, but rather a direct result of their experience with market demand for parking as it relates to the types and sizes of One Paseo's components. Obvious solution: reduce the overall build-out and the market will demand less parking, enabling the City to require less and traffic will be reduced--and that doesn't even require Econ 101.

      Fred Schnaubelt
      Fred Schnaubelt subscriber

      @Fred Schnaubelt Derek, Yes!  I have somewhere a copy of San Diego's Zoning Code from 1964, a total of 12 pages, I think.  By 1994 there were over 200 pages as everyone who is not responsible for the results of their opinions gave their input.  During that period of time San Diego went from the most affordable home market in the country to consistently one of the 10 least affordable as the city council declared no longer would the professional home builders decide when and where to build housing but the city would along with the NIMBYs..  Just one of the side effects of Managed growth, planned growth, no growth and smart growth.  And people wonder why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

      Fred Schnaubelt
      Fred Schnaubelt subscriber

      @Derek Hofmann @robertfreund Gentlemen, you both are right. Robert is speaking about the "free market" where all transactions are voluntary and therefore moral. A generic market, that Derek alludes to  can include the government or gangsterism (Mafia) which rely on coercion and extortion, by third parties and the initiation of force to generate outcomes that can't be derived from voluntary exchanges.  Hence the book, Our Enemy the State, by Albert J. Nock

      http://archive.lewrockwell.com/orig3/nock1.html

      Todd Mackett
      Todd Mackett subscriber

      @Derek Hofmann@robertfreund Derek, that's the most stupid argument I've every heard.  Who do you work for? Density creates parking problems.  It's pretty darn simple.

      Mike Delahunt
      Mike Delahunt subscriber

      The rendering (not shown on this page) looks like a nice place to live. Walk or bike when you want to, and have your car handy too. Kind of like a mini-urban environment without the urban problems. Where do I sign up?

      robertfreund
      robertfreund subscriber

      @Mike Delahunt  Unfortunately the scale of the development--3X the approved size generating 4X the traffic--will bring the urban problems you don't want, specifically traffic gridlock. Sign up if you don't plan on commuting to anywhere else, otherwise be prepared to spend 20 minutes just trying to get to and from the freeway.

      Matty Azure
      Matty Azure subscriber

      Illusive and of no substance.

      Signed,

      "Kilroy was Here"

      Don Wood
      Don Wood subscriber

      Only in San Diego would a developer have the gall to call this proposed project "smart growth".  It's nowhere near and existing urban center. It's miles from the nearest true public transit routes. If this developer is able to pass this proposal off as smart growth, then any developer can call any site anywhere in the county "suburban retrofit" and get it upzoned to cram more density on it. As I've said before, in San Diego, we don't practice "smart growth", we practice "stupid growth".

      Sara_K
      Sara_K subscribermember

      Let's consider all the "best" uses for this plot of land, and rule them out because they don't generate profit so are therefore unrealistic.

      Let's consider all the "worst" uses for the land, and rule them out because they're too intensive for the majority of the community to embrace and/or not all these options comply with zoning and environmental laws.


      Now, consider One Paseo. It's not the best; it's not the worst. But it's definitely not a hallmark for "sustainable development" or "smart growth," which is why some environmentalists take exception to those descriptors in this instance. It cheapens and greenwashes the meaning of those phrases at a time when the community at large is still trying to define them. It likely sets a lower bar than is acceptable for climate stabilization.

      It's not the worst project that could be conceived and is better than some atrocities (like Accretive), but it is absolutely appropriate for active transportation, public transportation, community-building advocates to articulate concerns and criticisms as San Diego defines its future. I applaud folks like Sam Ollinger for daring to have a better vision for the region. Without such dedication, projects like One Paseo won't get better and we will be tied to last century's failed planning paradigm.


      Nobody wants pavement-covered, L.A.-style gridlock or its 80's era air pollution for our shared San Diego, but without drawing the line and collectively learning, that's where we're headed as a region. One project doesn't make or break it, but it can set the tone for a more appropriate planning standard. How we define it matters.

      Greg Martin
      Greg Martin subscriber

      @Sara_K In viewing the parcel that would house this proposed project, it's surrounded by classic sprawl development on all sides.  This project, as currently proposed, would be far better than anything that surrounds it.  If it's of sufficient size to justify a north-south transit service to connect to existing transit services, that would be a plus for the whole area.  But without a transit connection, almost every trip in or out of that area would have to be by auto.  In that context, it would be far better to build a similar amount of housing along existing transit corridors than in the proposed One Paseo location.  

      Jack Shu
      Jack Shu subscriber

      @andy_keatts @ollingers @vosdscott The regional planning issue is here is that as State Laws address VMT and LOS, our local planners are trying to interpret or redefine to favor certain developments or avoid dealing with VMT reduction.  Cities and local communities want to count local VMT but not travelers who go through their area or travel from outside the area.  However that's the kind of VMT we need to reduce given how much they contribute to pollution and congestion. Cities need to think and act regionally if they are to really resolve their neighborhood  problems.

      ollingers
      ollingers

      @andy_keatts it discusses traffic counts and resulting vehicle congestion but not the mitigation measure. Don’t see that addressed there

      ollingers
      ollingers

      @andy_keatts should clarify: it is evident to those who know about LOS, but it’s not to those who wouldn’t/don’t understand

      andy_keatts
      andy_keatts

      @ollingers additionally, LOS as basis for EIR and mitigation is a result of current state law, not Kilroy discretionary decision, right?

      ollingers
      ollingers

      @andy_keatts yes, if I follow you correctly, (LOS replacement, VMT, has not been formally adopted).

      andy_keatts
      andy_keatts

      @ollingers Right, so you're asking for story on state law vis-a-vis One Paseo, not one about Kilroy's decisions on One Paseo.

      ollingers
      ollingers

      @andy_keatts which isn’t a law but just established practice. No legal basis (to my knowledge) to rely on LOS. But there will be re: VMT

      ollingers
      ollingers

      @andy_keatts @vosdscott so the opposed seem like traditional NIMBYs (which is possible), instead of understanding the issues around traffic

      ollingers
      ollingers

      @andy_keatts @vosdscott no they are opposed to traffic increase (ignoring opposition about bldg structure itself) which is about mitigation

      andy_keatts
      andy_keatts

      @ollingers well, we are working on something on the proposed LOS/VMT change. It probably won't center on One Paseo though.

      robertfreund
      robertfreund subscriber

      @ollingers @andy_keatts  The developer admits that the mitigation measures available to him are insufficient to solve the resulting traffic congestion.