By Cynthia Dial
No one likes change. However, the recently proposed change for Carmel Valley known as One Paseo, a proposal to build a Main Street in the heart of the city featuring shops, restaurants, residential alternatives and office employment, is one about which I am very excited.
As a 13-year Carmel Valley resident, I see this change as one that will give the community its heart. As a veteran travel journalist, my job is to travel the world in search of its most special cities, towns and villages, which I share with readers. With no exception, the common denominator of each of these communities is its core, its downtown center, its village area. And to date, Carmel Valley is missing this element.
I know change is difficult, with some residents resistant to any alteration of Carmel Valley. The Eiffel Tower, World Trade Center, the Louvre’s glass pyramid and San Francisco’s pyramid all met with similar opposition. And soon after their construction, all were embraced, all were considered iconic.
Project developers have listened to the voiced concerns of residents that traffic will be increased and have addressed these concerns with plans that would help alleviate and control the additional traffic. And the positive benefits certainly outweigh those negative: more jobs, a wider tax base, increased local business opportunities — all at no cost to residents, since Kilroy’s development would be fully funded by private investors.
Isn’t now the time for our community to take the necessary steps to make Carmel Valley as special as its residents deserve it to be? And if not now, when?