Carmel Valley residents voice opinions on pros and cons of One Paseo project

This rendering from the EIR shows One Paseo looking north on El Camino Real. Courtesy
This rendering from the EIR shows One Paseo looking north on El Camino Real. Courtesy

By Karen Billing

The Carmel Valley Community Planning Board’s regional issues subcommittee tackled the One Paseo draft Environmental Impact Report at its May 2 meeting. About 60 people crowded the meeting room of the Carmel Valley Library, a mix of opponents and proponents for One Paseo — proponents were wearing green “Support Main Street” pins.

Subcommitee co-chair Anne Harvey said the purpose of the regional issues meeting was to discuss if the EIR accurately describes the impact on the community, good or bad. It was not a forum for project advocacy or opposition.

photo
This rendering from the EIR shows One Paseo looking west on Del Mar Heights Road. Courtesy

The subcommittee’s response to the EIR will go before the planning board for approval on May 24 at 7 p.m. They are considering a larger venue than the Carmel Valley Library and should there be a venue-change it will be posted outside the library and in this newspaper (as well as this newspaper’s website:

www.delmartimes.net

).

Comments to the EIR are due by May 29.

“It’s good to hear everybody’s perspectives and what they would like to see in the board’s comments to the city,” board member Chris Moore said.

The One Paseo development 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 of commercial office, a 100,000-square-foot hotel and 608 multi-family residential units. There will be a total of 4,089 parking spaces throughout in underground parking, one above-ground parking structure and small surface lots.

The regional issues group is taxed with gathering input on EIR subjects, such as community character, transportation/traffic, land use consistency, public facilities/services and the proposed project alternatives.

Community character and traffic are the two areas the EIR determined to have significant, unmitigatable impacts.

The way the community plan was written is that there are zones for different uses. As Harvey said, some people don’t like the old concept and think the uses should be mixed, others like set zoning and knowing what kind of uses they can expect. This particular property is zoned for office and entitled for 510,000 square feet of corporate offices.

When co-chair Jan Fuchs asked the audience if anyone had any comments on community character, one woman piped up with: “I would like to get one.”

Some view One Paseo as spoiling community character with gridlocked traffic and too much density and tall buildings—it was pointed out that the proposed 10-story building right on El Camino Real is nothing like neighboring structures in the area, the tallest being eight stories, set back from the road and up against the freeway.

Others were excited about what the new development could bring in character.

One resident thinks of the project the way he does the “refreshed” Del Mar Highlands. He said the Highlands updates were a positive change, the restaurants are full and he enjoys walking around.

“It’s a lovely place to be, the way I imagine this new project will be,” he said.

Ken Farinsky said the photos in the project’s PR campaign and those included in the EIR are misleading as far as scale.

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