Carmel Valley: Five people and issues to watch in 2011

By Karen Billing/Staff Writer

Welcome to 2011. Here are five Carmel Valley people and stories to watch this year.

James “Jim” Peabody
Since Superintendent Peabody officially took over the Del Mar Union School District in May, a sense of calm has appeared to come with him. At board meetings, Peabody’s 40 years of experience in education shines—he is knowledgeable, informative and genuinely seems to care about the students. Peabody also has a great sense of humor and when his mike is on, everyone is entertained.

This year Peabody’s biggest task will be finding a new home for the district office. The district has to be out of the Del Mar Shores property by May and Peabody is currently overseeing a potential purchase of a building on El Camino Real.

Shopping center shakeups
Big changes are coming for the Carmel Valley-area’s shopping centers. Flower Hill Promenade is gearing up to start its renovation by mid-year, which will add a Whole Foods Market and mark the finale for the UltraStar Cinemas there. Del Mar Highlands Town Center’s UltraStar Cinemas will take a brief intermission for about six months while the center overhaul continues, bringing new eateries, shops, gathering spots and improved parking. Kilroy Realty continues planning its mixed-use center across the street from Del Mar Highlands, called a “Main Street” for Carmel Valley.

James Rahon

James Rahon (Courtesy/SDSU)

The Torrey Pines High 2009 grad is part of the San Diego State Aztec basketball team, currently ranked a dizzying seventh in the nation. The 6-foot, 5-inch guard is averaging 7.9 points a game off the bench. Undefeated at press time, the SDSU Aztecs are readying to make a run for the NCAA tournament in March where SDSU has never won a game. It might be worth a trip to Viejas Arena to check out the Aztecs and former Falcon Rahon—their next home game is Jan. 12, taking on UNLV at 7 p.m.

Pacific Highlands Ranch
Will 2011 be the year that Pacific Highlands Ranch grows up? Since Prop C passed in November, freeing the community from the Interstate 5/Highway 56 interchange project, residents look forward to the changes it might bring. San Diego City Council will review a program for phased development this year. Will those vacant lots finally become the long-awaited community and neighborhood parks? Will the earth move on the Town Center on Carmel Valley Road that promised a grocery store, shops, movie theater and restaurants?

The I-5
A decision is expected this year on the Interstate 5 widening project planned for the freeway from La Jolla Village Drive to Oceanside. Caltrans estimates that by 2030 commute times on the I-5 could increase from 39 minutes to 80 minutes if no improvements are made to the freeway. Their solution includes options to add four to six HOV lanes and Carmel Valley planners have compared the widening to creating a “sea of asphalt.” The expansion will have a big impact on the area—Carmel Valley’s planning board believes the project’s walls, ramps and bridges could impact the local environment, homes, business and the coastal character of San Diego.  In 2011, Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration will review and respond to the multitude of comments from the 1,000-plus-page draft environmental impact report and decide whether or not to go through with the project and which expansion option to choose.

Related posts:

  1. Carmel Valley police captain details crime issues
  2. City updates Carmel Valley panel on Kilroy project
  3. Carmel Valley planning board letter opposed I-5 widening project
  4. Prop. C key ballot for Pacific Highlands Ranch, Carmel Valley
  5. Carmel Valley saw change and progress in 2010

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Posted by Scott Reeder on Jan 5, 2011. Filed under Carmel Valley. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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