In the Aug. 1 issue of the Carmel Valley News, Kilroy Realty’s ad suggested that One Paseo could be Carmel Valley’s Cedros, Del Mar Village or Little Italy. Then on Thursday evening, Aug. 8, at a special meeting of the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board, the Kilroy Realty team presented to the board and approximately 200 attendees, the “extraordinary,” “new community benefits” that are planned as part of One Paseo They stated that many of these benefits were in answer to criticisms that there was little connection between the project and the community.
So how are they going to connect the project with the community? The board and audience were guided through large, colorful renderings of the “benefits,” all outside of the project. Their plan is to use “enhanced pedestrian crosswalks” to connect One Paseo with our community, three along Del Mar Heights Road and two along El Camino Real.
In a very limited sense these are connections to the community, however, far from the physically intimate connection which characterizes Cedros, Del Mar Village and Little Italy. The beauty of each of these three centers is the seamless connections which give each the feeling of a true village. Retail, commercial and residential all function as integral parts of an entire community, not as physically separate entities.
Face it, One Paseo is an auto-dependent island no matter how many “enhanced pedestrian crosswalks” are put in place. One particularly intersecting community connection is the gateway plazas proposed for the corner of Del Mar Heights Road and El Camino Real. The drawing shows people sitting, standing and enjoying the view. Who wouldn’t want to sit at the corner of a busy 12-lane intersection experiencing the sounds and breathing in exhaust fumes? Let’s get real. One Paseo has more in common with UTC and Fashion Valley Mall than with Cedros, Del Mar Village and Little Italy. Don’t be fooled by the slick marketing and the empty promise of a connected community center.