By Karen Billing
A sizeable draft environmental impact report (EIR) on proposed development One Paseo has been circulating for nearly a month as Kilroy Realty continues its efforts to create a “Main Street” for Carmel Valley. The EIR gives the opportunity for people to weigh in on what it might mean for the community.
“We’re focusing on working with the local planning board and community to make sure the plan that moves forward is something that is embraced,” Robert Little, vice president of development at Kilroy Realty said.
The city has extended the comment deadline to May 29 and the plan will be discussed locally at the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board at its meeting tonight (April 26) and at the subcommittee level.
Little said they anticipate a lot of comments and they will have to address them all to move on with the process but said they are very excited to be at this point.
“It’s a lot of work but we’re very happy because the whole CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) process is the critical part to getting the project moving,” Little said.
One Paseo is planned for the lot on El Camino Real and Del Mar Heights at 1,857,440 square feet of development. There will be 270,000 square feet of commercial retail, 557,440 square feet of commercial office, a 100,000-square-foot hotel and 608 multi-family residential units. There will be a total of 4,809 parking spaces throughout the project in underground parking, one above-ground parking structure and small surface lots.
At the heart of the plan is a “Main Street” for Carmel Valley, with a walkable center of shops, restaurants, offices, residences and a movie theater.
Janette Littler, a Carmel Valley resident who said she would feel the impacts as well as anyone at her home on Townsgate Drive, said she loves the idea of Carmel Valley getting a “community landmark.”
She attended one of Kilroy’s workshops and was impressed by how they interacted with the community and wanted to become involved.
“I really do support this,” Littler said. “I want to make sure it happens.”
While there are some that like the project and how it could change Carmel Valley, an opposition group called What Price Main Street has also formed to take a stand against the mixed-use development that they feel is way too big for the community,
“Nobody is opposed to the concepts in their plan,” said opponent Bob Fuchs. “But expanding something four times what is currently entitled with token improvements creates impacts felt by the whole community. That concept is hard to get across, especially in the face of their PR campaign that’s misleading and misrepresenting.”
“It’s easy to say ‘We’d love to have a Henry’s and a Main Street’, whatever it is,” opponent Ken Farinsky said. “But it’s so hard to explain the impact of this project and how big it is.”
Since the 4,500-page draft EIR was released on March 29, Fuchs has spent significant time going over the details and researching — he estimates he spent about five hours a day on it and that’s “just scratching the surface.”