Del Mar Highlands expansion?

As a resident of Carmel Valley, I have a vested interest in how our community will deal with inevitable growth into the future. That is why, after hearing that the Del Mar Highlands Town Center may soon expand, while not providing a single traffic improvement or mitigation effort, I became alarmed.

What I have learned is that the Highlands management appear to have the right to add about 150,000 square feet of retail to their existing shopping center. That is the equivalent to about the size of a Walmart or Target supercenter. Having said that, I am interested to find out if and when Donahue Schriber plans on making this type and size of expansion, and, if so, have any plans been discussed or reviewed at any planning meetings recently.

As someone who relies on the Highlands to meet daily needs, I find that type of growth inconceivable especially considering the horrendous parking problems that already exist there. Moreover, I also learned that the Highlands apparently would not be required to make any traffic improvements. In fact, Elizabeth Schreiber, the center’s GM was quoted in this very paper saying “…traffic improvements associated with the build out of the Del Mar Highlands Town Center have already been made.” Really? Traffic improvements? Where?

I am certainly not anti-development, but I think it is worth taking a close look at how such an expansion of the Highlands would impact our community – especially when we get zero new benefit from it, just more traffic and even worse parking problems.

Greg Klima

22-year Carmel Valley resident

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Posted by Staff on Jun 21, 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.

9 Comments for “Del Mar Highlands expansion?”

  1. Frohman

    I hope its not true that they are going to expand. But based on what I’ve seen there lately, looks like they are already making room. I practically park at the library to get my morning coffee.

  2. Rick Castro

    What? They can’t be serious. I can’t think of a time when I’ve gone to Del Mar Highlands and had to drive around and wait for a car to leave their parking space so that I could park. It’s ridiculous as it is. And now they want to add more retail? Where will they add more parking? Unless they go underground there’s no way they can add 150k of retail AND more parking.

    This seems incredibly irresponsible for the Del Mar Highlands Management to move forward with this plan. This is bad for the Town Center shoppers and bad for Carmel Valley residents.


  3. Donahue Schriber has a retail monopoly in CV! They are clearly putting their business interests ahead of the community’s interests in hopes to expand their strip mall and put campaigns together to kill any competition. As a someone who lives and works here, I personally dread going into the Highlands shopping center due to existing traffic madness. The Highlands parking lot is nuts, and you have to time your visits outside of lunch time, or after school hours when the mini-van crowd swarms the lot. Any expansion to this area needs to come with measurable traffic improvements!

  4. VP

    I am not in any way in favor of a Del Mar Highlands expansion. I have relied on that center for over 6 years for daily needs, e.g. groceries, dry cleaning, postal service etc. The recent upgrade is beautiful. However, along with tht cam an unexpected nightmare. Parking is impossible and discourages use of the center all together during evening hours. More important to me, is the arrogant attitude of the center ownership and management. They have not accepted accountability for the traffic issues and have publicly stated they are not responsible for nor do they have any interest in solving what is now and will be in the future a worsening problem.

  5. Carolyn Chase

    Del Mar Highlands Town Center (DMHTC) & Donahue Schriber (DS) now are the worst neighbors in Carmel Valley.

    As noted above, their parking lot is one of the most dangerous, pedestrian-unfriendly places in our neighborhood. I completely oppose their proposed 150,000 sq. ft expansion.

    Yes, they are entitled to build! build! build! — and can thow up more cinder block retail structures without further public input, but they absolutely should not.

    I call on Del Mar Highlands Town Center & Donahue Schriber to demonstrate an authentic concern for our community : turn your 150K sq. ft. into open space . We greatly need more open space at that location to offset the parking lot mayhem that infects the entire property.

    Please break up that monolithic concrete and asphalt strip mall blight with walkable, bikable space where we can gather in calm leisure. (And that water feature near a dangerous traffic corridor doesn’t count! That thing is a tragedy waiting to happen!!! It is no small or irrational fear that little ones and distracted shoppers will be the literal casualties of DMHTC-DS’s ill-conceived land use.)

    If DMHTC-DS were good neighbors, they would jump at the opportunity to do what the community planning group and civic leaders should have insisted upon at the outset of this property’s development: COMMIT ALL 150,000 SQ FT TO OPEN SPACE.

    I hope my CV neighbors will join me in pressing DMHTC-DS to do the right thing.

  6. Meredith V

    The ridiculous part is that a huge plot of open land is sitting across the street, undeveloped, while the already bloated highlands project continues to expand. This is absurd! Why can’t One Paseo press forward? Yes, it’s more development(with more traffic) in the neighborhood, but it adds diversity and options to our growing community. Plus, the One Paseo shopping center is set up to be pedestrian and bicycle friendly. Are the developers of Del Mar Highlands that selfish to stunt the growth of any competitors, at the expense of our neighborhood? This is so aggravating!!!

  7. Rick W

    They’re basically trying to hold the community hostage so they can expand. Plain and simple, end of story.

  8. Katie B

    Anyone who says that One Paseo should press forward “sure it’s more development with more traffic” but that “diversity and options” makes up for it is not living in this community and trying to run in for a loaf of bread at Ralphs at 3pm! One Paseo SHOULD NOT press forward just because there is already a disaster across the street that may press forward without any input from residents. That’s not a valid argument. That’s like saying, well, we already have 1 giant mess on our hands, so let’s just go ahead and add another.

  9. gina v

    Um, everyone take a chill pill. its not that bad. i think the buzzy busy mall is a good sign of economic growth and and we should should embrace it, most of the country would kill for what we have!!!! If you don’t like how busy it is at “rush” hour – then go when its not as busy – simple…just like the freeways. Have a nice day!

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