Merge walls to come down


Following complaints from neighbors about the black walls along the Carmel Mountain Road and Drycliff Avenue frontages of the Merge mixed-use project, developer Gary Levitt has agreed to take them down.

Levitt made the announcement at the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board’s July 27 meeting—residents in the neighboring Highlands Village had complained to the board about the wall at their June meeting.

“It’s unfortunate it came to this, but I think it will be a better project,” Chair Frisco White said.

White said when the project was presented to the planning board and to residents, it was shown with open transparent views from the street.

The black walls on Drycliff Avenue will be removed. (Karen Billing)

Levitt said the walls went up because they were concerned about the noise. As Levitt said sometimes a wall creates better neighbor relations but in this case, not.

“It’s not worth fighting with the neighbors,” Levitt said.

Fran Kennedy, a spokesperson from the Highlands Village HOA, said they were pleased that the walls would be coming down.

Levitt said the walls will be knocked down to three feet, with a clear plexiglass wall above.

The center is currently 90 percent leased. Little Star Pediatric Dentistry, Carmel Valley Dentist Office and Orthodontics and Coastal Skin and Eye Institute are now open. Future tenants include the Barrel Room bistro and wine bar, Pacific Arts Dance Center which is the merging of Royal Academy of Performing Arts and Del Mar Ballet, a hair salon, a nail salon, a neighborhood pharmacy and as Levitt promised: “the best coffee shop in town”.

“We’re trying to create a very special place,” Levitt said.