Letters to the Editor: Ten former CV planning board members oppose One Paseo

Ten former Carmel Valley Community Planning Board members who held office during the decades Carmel Valley was being built out oppose this project as the most massive and inconsistent with all plans for Carmel Valley ever presented.  They also question why crucial impact studies, including traffic, requested by city planners early on have not been provided.  They addressed the following letter to the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board and to city council member Sherri Lightner:

“We, the undersigned former members of the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board, have grave concerns not only about the massive nature of the proposed One Paseo project and its impacts on the community, but as much about the way it is being processed by the Development Services department. Many issues have been cleared administratively even though the absolutely crucial studies recommended by the staff to be provided early in the process have been provided late in the process or not at all and not subject to public review.

“In our tenure on the Board, we have confronted numerous proposals by developers for increases in density that would have been detrimental to the community and largely staved them off or worked out a reasonable compromise. In these endeavors, we always felt that City staff treated the community interests fairly and that there was a level playing field. Looking over the history of this project’s review by Development Services, we cannot see that same level of fairness and openness. While, in the past, it may have been appropriate to wait for a Draft Environmental Impact Report to be released by the City staff before undertaking review and action, we feel that the one-sided influence of the developer in what is by far the largest change in the Community Plan ever considered, compels us to ask that the Board undertake immediate action to ensure that the community interests are recognized and protected.

“The August 2011 Cycle No. 27 Issues Report (Long Range Planning) Issue No. 2 clearly spells out the “two most significant issues” with the proposed development, namely that the Community Plan and Precise Plan do not provide for a regional commercial center and the related development intensity.  Issue No. 4 of the same section states that “Development intensity will be evaluated based upon potential impacts to the community or region, including those related to traffic, community character/aesthetics, water supply, public facilities.  Staff recommends that required technical studies be provided early in the process as a staff recommendation for a less intense land use concept and alternative land use designation could result if the proposal is found to have undesirable impacts on the community.”  This recommendation was made in Cycle 5, approximately two years ago. As of Cycle 27, these studies have apparently not been provided and the issue is not cleared.  Likewise, Issue No. 20 entered in July 2009 reiterated the call for a traffic study, as of Cycle 5, “as soon as it is available”.  By Cycle 27, no traffic study has been provided.

“Issues 81 through 93 of the Long Range Planning Section deal extensively with the scale and character of the proposed project and describe it as significantly more dense than the surrounding community ending with the recommendation that the proposed project be scaled back and an alternative be found to conform with the prevailing neighborhood character. A report made by an attendee of a December 15, 2011 “informational meeting” hosted by Kilroy Realty indicated absolutely no effort on the part of the developer to consider the recommendations made by Long Range Planning.

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