One Paseo meeting in Carmel Valley draws large crowd, a variety of strong opinions voiced

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The crowd at the Jan. 24 Carmel Valley Planning Board meeting. Photo/Karen Billing

By Karen Billing

Everyone has a passionate opinion on Kilroy’s proposed mixed-use development One Paseo in Carmel Valley — even new San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.

Filner stopped by the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board’s (CVCPB) overflow crowd of more than 400 people at Canyon Crest Academy on Jan. 24 to state his opposition to One Paseo. Filner said that Kilroy’s request to build larger than the 500,000 square feet they are entitled to amounted to breaking the contract agreement of the community plan.

“I don’t understand how anyone starts off with four times what the community plan says. I don’t know how you start with that,” Filner said. “It’s now reduced to 1.4 million, so now it’s three times what the plan says…I think this is an incredible expansion of what the community had in mind and I don’t see any reason to reform the contract that we had in mind with the city of San Diego.”

As it is an advisory board to the San Diego City Council, the Carmel Valley planning board will make a recommendation on One Paseo at its Feb. 28 meeting. The City Council will have the final say.

San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts, who also does not have a say in the final project, also attended the meeting and expressed his dislike of One Paseo as it is currently designed.

“I personally believe that the project still does not fit the community character of Carmel Valley,” Roberts said. “We all understand what quality of life is and what quality of life isn’t. A project three times the zoning doesn’t work for this site.”

One member of the audience said she felt it was “disheartening” that the city and county representatives made their case against One Paseo before hearing any of the community input and also when they don’t have a vote in the project.

District 1 Councilmember Sherri Lightner was also in attendance, although she stated she could not take a stance on the project until it comes before City Council.

Those in favor of the project wore “I support One Paseo” stickers while opponents donned ones that read “Save Carmel Valley.” Frisco White, CV planning board chair, allowed 45 minutes of public comment for the project and 45 minutes against, and attempted to maintain a level of respect between the two sides.

The planning board was reviewing the revised One Paseo plans for the first time since seeing Kilroy’s draft environmental impact report (DEIR) plan version in May.

“Over the last five years we’ve had thoughtful, constructive discussions to ensure One Paseo fulfills the needs and goals of the community,” said Steve Scott, senior vice president of Kilroy.

Scott said they have heard and tried to address concerns about traffic, building heights, walkability, sustainability and bringing Trader Joe’s to Carmel Valley.

“You’d be surprised at the number of comments that wanted us to bring Trader Joe’s to the community,” Scott said, in response to some audience grumbling. “We feel our revised project is compatible and balanced with the community.”

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