One Paseo violates the law of the land

By Dave Roberts

I am not against development. I am against over-development. That’s why my vote on the currently-proposed One Paseo project, if I had one, would be a No.

But as a county supervisor representing much of the north coast, I have no authority over plans to intensely develop 23 acres in the heart of Carmel Valley.  This is for the San Diego City Council to decide.

And though there is much to like about a project with anchor tenants that appeal to families, it is way too big. For that reason, I joined hundreds of residents in opposition at a planning board meeting last week.

As I noted in my testimony to the Carmel Valley Community Planning Group, One Paseo snubs the law of the land. San Diego Mayor Bob Filner agreed. It’s about the zoning.

Zoning laws are the result of careful planning – a balance of residential and commercial needs and the ability of public infrastructure to support them.  I want to defend quality of life in my district. That’s what zoning does.

How lopsided is One Paseo? Just look at the numbers.

Current zoning (the law of the land) allows for 500,000 square feet of building space at the One Paseo site at the southwest corner of Del Mar Heights Road and El Camino Real. Kilroy Realty, the project’s developer, has proposed a 1.4 million-square-foot project. That’s a 180 percent increase.

Imagine if a homeowner came forward with plans to triple the allowable size of his or her house. Planning authorities would show the applicant the door and neighbors, in all likelihood, would reach for the tar and feathers.

But that’s what Kilroy is asking for: approval of a project that’s nearly three times bigger than San Diego’s zoning law allows.

The developer’s representatives will point to reductions made from earlier submittals, but those reductions were from their original proposal to quadruple the allowable square footage. Neither proposal mitigates an inevitable crush of traffic on Del Mar Heights Road. Studies show delays to reach Interstate 5 would be significant and unmitigable.

What will that traffic jam mean for daily commutes to work and school and what will it mean to emergency response times? Significant and unmitigable impacts.

The developer is selling One Paseo as a walkable community. Maybe, but most people would still need a car to get there. Public transit service for Carmel Valley is more than a decade away.

The sheer size of the proposal has inflamed many residents. Last week’s meeting drew an overflow crowd to the Canyon Crest Academy auditorium.  After nearly two hours of testimony, the planning board continued its meeting until Feb. 28 for board deliberations and an advisory vote.

Clearly, residents want a project they can live with – and also live, work and play in. So there must be a compromise out there.  The first tracts in Carmel Valley were built 30 years ago. At the time, the community was known as North City West. Today, Carmel Valley has established an identity of its own and, as it should be, is protective of its zoning.

That’s why I am joining opponents of the currently-proposed One Paseo project and am calling for the city of San Diego to uphold the law of the land. Let’s find a project that improves our quality of life in Carmel Valley.  — Dave Roberts represents the Third District on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

Related posts:

  1. One Paseo: Traffic jams for Carmel Valley
  2. Mayor’s presentation at One Paseo meeting out of line
  3. Torrey Pines planners release statement on One Paseo amendment
  4. Ceaseless vigilance required on land-use rights
  5. One Paseo will help community’s economy

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Posted by Staff on Jan 31, 2013. Filed under Letters, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Comments for “One Paseo violates the law of the land”

  1. Janette Littler

    Mr. Roberts:

    In your piece you say as a county supervisor “I have no authority” to legislate in Carmel Valley land issues. That is exactly right! It is a point that was brought to your attention during the election when you lied at a public event about your role and the Coastal Commission’s role.

    You have no credibility. You knew then what you know now: this is a matter for others to decide. You don’t even live in our neighborhood or city, for crying out loud!

    An honorable representative of ALL Dist. 3 constituents would have held his or her tongue and listened to community input. Instead you have disrespected us with your presumptuous self-promotion.

    I live within walking distance of this proposed project. I have lived within 4 miles of my current home since 1987. I care deeply about my community and I WANT ONE PASEO!

    I want consumer choice. We need more retail and entertainment options. The glorified strip mall we now have is over-crowded and underparked for all practical purposes. We need more housing to accommodate projected needs. Where will our children live after graduation? In one of our $1.5M homes???!

    It is irresponsible to ignore community needs. Further, it is the worst kind of hubris to ignore the HUNDREDS of community members who attended the Jan. 24th meeting in SUPPORT of One Paseo.

    I am comfortable with the density and appreciate the reduced project now before us. And I am more than comfortable with the $6M in traffic mitigations that are required before the first building permit is issued–mitigations we will never enjoy absent the private investment being offered. You may disagree. Fine. But it is not your call, as you noted.

    Please keep your mouth shut and respect the process and Carmel Valley residents. You do not speak for me or for many, many others who have invested our lives here.

    To reiterate: I want One Paseo in my neighborhood. I do not want you to visit us again because this falls far, far outside your lawful purview.


      Mr. Roberts:

      Janette Littler’s letter of January 31, 2013 is right on and I agree with her completely!

      I’ve been a resident here since April of 1984 and have participated in the growth of this community. One Paseo will be a great addition to this neighborhood. I can easily walk to the site from my house on Lower Ridge Road and not worry about parking. Trader Joe will also be a plus.

      I’m tired of the negative comments from community activists and politicians
      that curtail progress, opportunity, shopping and entertainment options for
      residents of this community, especially those who don’t live here. One Paseo will create more jobs for this community.

      More traffic is the big negative touted by the objectors. Well, the traffic is here
      already because the homes are here. So, why not provide more shopping and entertaiment options for the residents, and more tax revenue for the money
      hungry government. Try parking during certain day times at our current “over crowded strip mall.” It’s a joke, especially over the holidays when I had to drive to Vons on Mango or to shopping on Via de la Valle.

      So, stop jacking around the people at Kilroy and the residents who live here.

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