At the Feb. 27 meeting of the Carmel Valley Planning Board about the One Paseo development, the chairman requested the developer, Kilroy Realty, provide them with a scaled (3-D) model of the project, and the Kilroy representative agreed.
On March 22, I went to the Kilroy office and asked to look at the model. The first two people I talked with denied that any model existed; however, the third person I spoke with (Brian Brady) explained that they do have a model, but cautioned that it is out of date. (The model is based on Kilroy’s earlier proposed development of 1.4 million square feet.)
When I viewed the model, I was astonished and disturbed to see that the high-rise buildings are crammed together, leaving very little space between them. Even worse is that these massive buildings are at the edges of the property, walling it off from the neighborhood. Although the tallest building in Kilroy’s current project is 8 stories, and not as high as the 10 stories originally proposed, this modest reduction doesn’t come close to complying with the carefully planned, low-rise character of our treasured neighborhood.
Kilroy’s fancy ads promote One Paseo as a walkable, people-scaled development — a haven where residents can meet, eat, and relax, and children can frolic amidst flowers and greenery. But the model clearly reveals that the public plaza and green areas occupy only a tiny area, and the main public space is surrounded by the tall buildings. The overall effect is more like a crowded alleyway (where sunlight would be shut out for a good part of the day) than the spacious, amenity-filled “main street” that Kilroy has so fervently touted.
Deceptively, none of Kilroy’s picturesque drawings of One Paseo even hint at the 5-to-8-story buildings that would surround the central plaza.
Kilroy should be honest with One Paseo’s neighbors and the planning board, and let us all see exactly how the project would truly look — as only a model can do. How else can the board make a well-informed, reality-based decision about the project?
On Aug. 8, the planning board will meet again to discuss One Paseo. On behalf of everyone who lives, works, and/or shops near the One Paseo site, I challenge Kilroy to do the right thing, and show us all an updated project model, as promised.
Resident of Del Mar Highlands