This post has been updated.
The San Diego City Council won’t vote on the controversial One Paseo project at the end of this month after all.
The Council was set to vote Jan. 27 on Kilroy Realty’s $650 million project to build office spaces, shops, restaurants and condos on 23 acres in the middle of suburban Carmel Valley.
But that’s not going to happen. The vote has been delayed and the new hearing date has not yet been set.
City project manager Renee Mezo said Council President Sherri Lightner did not send out a required public meeting notice Wednesday – notices must go out two weeks before a scheduled meeting date, according to the city’s municipal code.
Kilroy spokesperson Rachel Laing said the delay is unnecessary.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
Dumbing this project down to make it just another strip mall may satisfy those who are in favor of no-growth, but it won’t give us the upscale town center that Carmel Valley actually needs.
Rachel Laing talks like the San Diego City Council has never moved a meeting to accommodate the community before. She might be forgetting City Council meetings held in La Jolla, such as hearings on the La Jolla Hillel House project or La Jolla Children’s Pool rope barrier hearing.
By your example, as long as the opposition lives in an affluent community, by all means accommodate away!
Personally believe the meeting should be in the community for a successful outcome. The planning commission was unable to approve the project and passed it on to city council with a list of the items they couldn't get past. These issues are also referred to as recommendations to make it acceptable. Anyway, the noted issues are essentially the same as those raised by the community (density, character, traffic) and remain unreconciled. The traffic mitigation is inadequate and the EIR says so. The traffic mitigation has many outside dependencies that may or may not be realized due to litigation over the regions transit plan. It's in everyone's best interest to continue to work together to find a reasonable compromise, likely similar to the Carmel Valley planning boards recommendation of approx 1 million square feet housing, retail and office space. Their proposal meets the projects objectives: mixed use with increased density in the community. A slap dash project will be a failure for all.
Moving the hearing to the community that will be affected by the Council's vote is, imo, a brilliant and brave move by Council President Lightner.
Public participation in the community planning process has always been lacking for various reasons. Removing one more hurdle (travel, cost, parking) from the burdens associated with public participation is not only necessary, but should be precedent- setting for all community plan or development updates/amendments, etc. county-wide.
What I hear from residents in Carmel Valley is similar to what we in Bay Park, Bay Ho, and Overlook Heights would like to see; we want a 'Model Community.'
A model community is one in which all of the Regional Comprehensive Plan, General Plan, and local Community Plan goals are given equal implementation in a balanced approach to development of the complete community.
A balanced approach prevents implementation of a single goal to the exclusion of others equally important. Only one segment of the community benefits when this happens. For example, only developers benefit when green building practices, traffic mitigation, zero-net energy goals, or water retention and re-use are sacrificed on the altar of high density.
And more pertinent to this conversation, a balanced approach to community planning begins with engaging more residents in the process. Residents need to know which goals the City and County want to implement today, and which ones are being kicked down the road for future generations to implement.
Laing's response to the change of venue for the vote is most telling of all; why would having crucial votes by council members taken in, and in front of, the residents of the community it will directly affect be considered a "privilege?"
@James LaMattery Exactly, we should be balanced. We should have more housing near transit stations in BayHo as well as others. These buildings should be at least 10 stories to ensure there is enough supply to reduce traffic.
All communities need to build more housing for the projected growth in population. And we can't shove it all downtown. State law requires us all to create housing, and each community can't stick to our old community plans that do not meet the new required housing goals. The traffic management system that the applicant is proposing to pay for will more than mitigate traffic congestion. The opposition is well funded and has tried unsuccessfully to poo-poo the proposed next-generation traffic mitigation system.
@ScottinSanDiego The City Planning Commission hearing made it clear we residents aren't the only ones "poo-pooing" Kilroy's proposed traffic mitigation system: 1. Full traffic mitigation depends on additional freeway connectors that are not scheduled for completion until 2030 at the earliest. 2. The Environmental Impact Report shows significant and unmitigated impact to multiple intersections and road segments, and while Kilroy has offered to pay for a "synchronization system", implementation of said system has not been guaranteed nor committed to by the city or Caltrans, and even the city planning commission agrees it can't fully solve the problem. Synchronizing signals could help the traffic congestion we CURRENTLY have along Del Mar Heights road, but the suggestion that synchronization will "more than mitigate traffic congestion" or solve the gridlock of One Paseo's four-fold increase in traffic flies in the face of both common sense and data analysis.
So thoughtful of Kilroy to offer to urbanize a suburban community for the good of the state (I guess this at least debunks their old PR line, that they are doing it for the community!). However, the over-reach, complications and inappropriateness of this particular proposal are not a reasonable nor acceptable solution.
@ScottinSanDiego You can try to rationalize Kilroy's proposal as civic-mindedness rather than profit-driven, but no one will take you seriously.
Why should a publicly traded REIT want to earn a return for its investors? Public employee pension and retirement plans be damned!
The PC did not poo poo the project. On the contrary. They made suggestions to strengthen the plan which Council can address. Traffic system is widely touted, and mixed use reduces VMT, facts mentioned by commissioners. Office project would have none of the community benefits that we want.
@Sharon Gehl @Carmel Valley Resident @ScottinSanDiego I don't think you've been paying attention. I'm not sure whom you are referring to as "those people" you are so sure residents want to keep out, but this has nothing to do with keeping people out of Carmel Valley, and everything to do with maintaining an integrated balance between infrastructure and density. The problem is, the density of this proposal is too great for the infrastructure that was planned for and exists in this community (including not only the schools, which by the admission of the PC, were never even consulted regarding overcrowding!). It also calls for a traffic solution that would only partially mitigate the problem (and that's assuming Caltrans approves it, which they have not). The other major component of the solution involves Caltrans modifications that won't occur until 2030. Four times the traffic with only partial mitigation for the next fifteen years?! This would be unacceptable to ANY community!!!!
With all of the data exposing the flaws and overreach of Kilroy's current urban proposal for this suburban community, distilling the opposition to nothing more than "whining" is not only unjustified, it's laughable. The "No" vote by three community planning boards was reasoned and well-explained, and no one has indicated the slightest interest in scaring away developers. What HAS been expressed is a call for development that actually integrates into the community, which the current proposal does not. If this is what you consider whining, there is little room for reasoned discussion. Neither of your responses reflect an understanding of the actual issues involved, so we will have to agree to disagree.
@Mark Giffin You've got to be kidding. There's a reason communities have community plans. Density is planned in conjunction with infrastructure, and that is why Kilroy's current proposal was rejected by the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board, and was not endorsed by the City Planning Commission.
Not a whole lot of port traffic/industry in Carmel valley so no regional impact.
I think you should continue trumpeting the "tax-subsidized" position though. Surely they will see the light on how their hard work and efforts to live in their homogenous neighborhood just doesn't generate enough revenue for the city altar of "downtown"
Its not all about city tax revenue Derek there is that pesky little thing called Quality of life. The residences of carmel valley, just like clairemont, have their own vision of what that should be and .....
surprise,surprise...it isn't the urban one.
I stand with the people of Carmel valley and what ever their vision is.
"It's easy to have a high quality of life when somebody else is paying for it. But shouldn't we expect more from wealthy neighborhoods like Carmel Valley?"
They already do pay their fair share to live there so no they should not be penalized extra.They should not be penalized for working hard to get ahead and living where they wish.
@Mark Giffin "They already do pay their fair share to live there..."
Obviously they don't pay their fair share or they wouldn't need a subsidy (welfare) from downtown.
I wonder how many Carmel Valley residents complain about their taxes going to people on welfare? That would be ironic.
Barrio Logan got screwed. Maritime industry lied and San Diego's sucker voters bought it to the detriment of my fellow residents. The shipyards are going nowhere. No jobs would have been lost because of the new community plan. As a matter of fact many of those jobs that they say we're going to be lost have gone to Mexico due to corporate greed and not the Barrio Logan community plan. And my fellow residents continue to get poisoned here.
Tell that to my fellow Barrio Logan residents that came up with a new community plan. I'm sure most Carmel Valley residents voted against Barrio Logan. I hope the city council votes against their wishes. And I hope I get a chance too.
The business/developer lobby has learned that, given enough money to spend, it can get just about any allegedly "grass roots" petition enough signatures and just about any Council action reversed through a referendum. The initially-populist reforms of initiative, referendum, and recall have been turned on their heads.
@Mark Giffin The tax revenue brought by such a land-efficient development would be a net benefit to the region as a whole, but the nearby residents of the project are more concerned about how it would change the "nature" of their sprawling, tax-subsidized, homogenous neighborhood. Should all of San Diego be allowed to vote on this the same way we voted on Barrio Logan's plan, or should only Carmel Valley residents be allowed to vote on it?
@Mark Giffin It's easy to have a high quality of life when somebody else is paying for it. But shouldn't we expect more from wealthy neighborhoods like Carmel Valley?
If you haven't, read this piece about One Paseo in Sunday's U-T by Ray Ellis: A missed opportunity for smart growth in Carmel Valley http://bit.ly/1tRXz4X
@Tony Manolatos The title seems misleading, but the op-ed makes great points. "The most telling detail about One Paseo is the bulk and scale of the proposed project. Kilroy wants to develop 1.4 million square feet, nearly three times the density allowed under current zoning, which would generate nearly four times the traffic our streets were designed to carry.
It would be one of the densest projects in Southern California, and the city would have to create a new zoning category to accommodate the density. One Paseo would be five times the size of Del Mar Highlands, located across the street, but on two-thirds the land. Picture University Towne Center — but on 23 acres instead of 77.
How refreshing to have a City Council representative looking out for her constituents. I commend Council President Lightner on this move that will allow the community most affected by this project to have a fair chance at having its voice heard.
Any reason you can think of that she couldn't have proposed it before she became the City Council President?
Would Todd Gloria ( and his staff) have failed to secure a meeting place so announcements could go out with the required advance notice? Just wondering.
“Why (is it) this affluent suburban community that gets this privilege?” Interesting quote from the Kilroy spokesperson that shows how much they value having constructive dialogs with local community.
The One Paseo proposal is on its way to a City Council vote despite being voted down by three local community planning boards and losing the endorsement of the city planning commission because of it's size and scale and the associated traffic problems that city planners have admitted can't be fully mitigated for at least 15 years, if not longer. Residents are not opposed to developing the land in question. Residents are opposed to the current Kilroy One Paseo mega-development plan because it still proposes a density appropriate for downtown, but not appropriate by any stretch of the imagination in a suburban community. We welcome the day Kilroy understands the difference between the two, actually DOES listen to Carmel Valley residents, and submits a plan that integrates into the community rather than trying to redefine it as urban. If they were not interested in developing something consistent in size and scope with a suburban community, they should not have purchased the land.
It's funny how the community first opposed it for not having enough parking, and when the developer added parking, the community opposed it because accommodating all those cars will increase congestion on Del Mar Heights Road and the I-5 onramps.
I guess it's true that you can't please everyone all of the time!
@Derek Hofmann This project has been opposed for its size since day one along with the traffic it would bring.
@Kerry Key @Derek Hofmann Although Kilroy has modified their original plan their current proposal is still too dense for a suburban community. From the UT op-ed: "As they say, the devil is in the details...Kilroy wants to develop 1.4 million square feet, nearly three times the density allowed under current zoning, which would generate nearly four times the traffic our streets were designed to carry. It would be one of the densest projects in Southern California, and the city would have to create a new zoning category to accommodate the density. One Paseo would be five times the size of Del Mar Highlands, located across the street, but on two-thirds the land."
@Carmel Valley Resident "Kilroy wants to develop 1.4 million square feet, nearly three times the density allowed under current zoning, which would generate nearly four times the traffic our streets were designed to carry."
That's easy to fix. Let them build less parking if they want to. Totalitarianism is a bad thing, right?
@Carmel Valley Resident If I were on a planning board, I would work on eliminating laws that prevent us from building places like this: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kbenfield/for_smart_growth_not_all_urban.html (except the last photo)
Laws that destroyed vibrant places like this: http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2014/12/11/port-arthur-in-decline
Los Angeles thought the only way to prevent a shortage is to increase supply, completely neglecting the role of demand in creating shortages, so they got themselves into an arms race between traffic congestion and road construction. And by prioritizing automobile traffic flow above all else as Carmel Valley residents are attempting to do by opposing One Paseo, they neglected livability and that's why it's not a very nice place to live. Hopefully San Diego can learn from their mistakes.
@Carmel Valley Resident Actually, Los Angeles was created by too much zoning, not too little. Mandatory setbacks, parking minimums, density limits, those kinds of things that make a city look like a wasteland like in my second link above. Everything was built according to a rigid plan, and by no coincidence it's a depressing place.
When you visit old cities in Europe, you don't see homogenous, cookie-cutter streets like you see in American suburbs, you see streets that are more organic in the way they look and the way they were designed from the bottom up. Yet we're not allowed to build that way in most of the USA. We've replaced architectural character with conformity.
There are better ways to build a city than by micromanaging. We could start by replacing single-use zoning with Japanese style zoning. Why should I be prohibited from building a home next to a factory? Shouldn't it be the other way around? http://urbankchoze.blogspot.com/2014/04/japanese-zoning.html
It seems we've forgotten that central planning is not as great as communism would have us believe.
@Derek Hofmann @Carmel Valley Resident One does have to wonder why you are so interested in changing the character of Carmel Valley. If you are so enamored with an urban setting, focus your interest on one of the many urban settings. It is incredibly presumptuous to desire to change the nature of a community that made no bones about what type of community it was designed to be from the get-go. Those of us who chose to live in this type of community will fight to preserve that design plan. Thank goodness the city governments in Europe choose to preserve what they have; if U.S. private developers had their way, those buildings would be torn down and converted to condo towers in the blink of an eye..
@Derek Hofmann @Carmel Valley Resident You do realize those cities you pine for were built before technology created high rise buildings and ever-taller skyscrapers which created the kind of density issues that, without appropriately planned community infrastructure and limitation, lead to some of the ugliest cities known to man. It also calls for a willingness (or the unwilling necessity required, which is how I view it) to live in a high density area, which many of us do not have. Those high density areas are very lucrative for the developer, but hold little other redeeming value in my opinion, which is why I prefer to live in Carmel Valley.
@Derek Hofmann @Carmel Valley Resident I am amazed that you actually think getting RID of laws and planning boards would achieve or maintain lovely communities (through free-enterprise alone) like the examples you gave. Forgive me, but that is very naive. It was the days of fewer laws and no planning boards that gave us cities like Los Angeles; urban sprawl thanks to unregulated and unplanned development.
Here's how supply and demand works; those who do not find Carmel Valley a very nice place to live, live elsewhere. Those of us who enjoy the community that was planned and created here, do. And since the housing market is strong here, I would say it's working just fine.
There was a well thought out development plan for Carmel Valley; a balance between community size (both commercial and residential) and infrastructure. If in your opinion urbanization would "improve" this community, you are denying and blind to the very essence of the well-thought out community that supply and demand created here.
So my second guess, since you obviously don't appreciate the importance of regulating and overseeing development by private entities, is that you are either affiliated with a developer or you are a developer wannabe. If so, good luck with that.
Paris generally prohibits buildings higher than Hausmannian six floors in the central area, pushing taller ones out toward the Peripherique ring road highway system.
@Derek Hofmann @Carmel Valley Resident There are many other areas in San Diego where a One Paseo scale project could be built and it would work with the existing infrastructure (i.e. a dense grid of roads and public transit), but Carmel Valley is not one of those places. Kilroy is looking to strike gold by building near, as their spokesperson put it, an "affluent suburban community".
@Kerry Key Density of people or buildings doesn't cause traffic congestion. Density of automobile parking spaces causes traffic congestion.
Once you understand that, it should be obvious that it isn't the number or size of buildings in One Paseo that will burden the roads, it's the number of parking spaces that Carmel Valley requires. So when Carmel Valley requires them, aren't they shooting themselves in the foot?
@Carmel Valley Resident When it's no longer legal to build nice places like this, you have to admit there's a problem: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kbenfield/for_smart_growth_not_all_urban.html
Unfortunately Haussmann's six floor height limit is why Paris is so expensive that minorities have to live in poverty stricken suburban ghettos.