Del Mar, Solana Beach raising concerns over One Paseo’s impact

With the One Paseo development set to go before the San Diego City Council in January, the cities of Del Mar and Solana Beach want to make sure their concerns are heard. Both councils recently decided to issue letters regarding the project’s potential impacts on the region.

In a 4-1 vote, the Solana Beach City Council on Dec. 10 approved a letter outlining concerns with the development and its potential effects on the community. Solana Beach previously submitted a letter to San Diego on the project’s draft environmental impact report two years ago.

Project plans call for a nearly 1.5-million-square-foot development with about 198,500 square feet of commercial retail space, 484,000 square feet of commercial office space and 608 multifamily residential units. At that size, the mixed-use project will result in impacts to public safety, traffic and the economy, the letter states.

“This is not saying we’re opposed to any development, it’s saying we’re opposed to the upzoning of this development,” noted Mayor Lesa Heebner.

Newly appointed Councilwoman Ginger Marshall cast the sole dissenting vote.

“I’m not in support of sending this letter,” she said. “I feel like I was elected — or appointed — to manage the city of Solana Beach. This project does not abut our borders. I have a hard time believing that it’s going to have a negative economic impact on our city or significantly affect our traffic.”

While the project site does not border Solana Beach, Heebner reminded Marshall that Solana Beach high schoolers go to school in Carmel Valley. Solana Beach School District’s Solana Highlands and Solana Pacific elementary schools are also close to the site.

In Del Mar, the City Council on Dec. 15 agreed to also draft a letter to the San Diego City Council outlining concerns about traffic, emergency response times, community character and more.

“One Paseo is using ‘smart growth’ as their banner of motherhood and apple pie,” said Councilman Terry Sinnott. “Well, smart growth depends on transit, depends on good ability for people to move around, and this project is not going to do any of that.”

“This is the opposite of smart growth; this is dumb growth,” said Councilman Don Mosier. “The way this project has been presented — it’s a travesty. Virtually everything that they’ve said is counterintuitive, down to outright lies in terms of impacts you can predict.”

Del Mar’s letter will come to the council for approval at the Jan. 5 meeting. If approved, it will be the fourth letter the city has submitted about the project. Del Mar also sent letters in May 2012, December 2013 and earlier this year in September.

Going a step further than its northern neighbor, the Del Mar council also agreed to send representatives to the Jan. 27 meeting, when San Diego council members will discuss the project. Deputy Mayor Sherryl Parks and Sinnott volunteered to speak on behalf of the city.

“This is an important regional issue, and this is the last chance we’re going to have to stop this project, so we should do the full-court press, if we can,” Mosier said.

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