Why won’t Kilroy propose a smaller mixed-use project that would not overwhelm our streets? Because they would not make enough profit. This is what they say, in more elegant terms, in Appendix B.3 Retail Critical Mass Memo for Reduced Project Alternatives of the Final Environmental Impact Report for One Paseo.
Kilroy goes to great extent to disguise their profit motivation by claiming that the oversize project is in accordance with the “City of Villages” concept adopted by the city of San Diego and embedded in the General Plan. The General Plan is supposed to guide all development.
So what is this “City of Villages” concept? It is a commonsense response to increasing population and the potential of increasing traffic congestion. It proposes to build dense (read housing units per acre) communities, or to densify existing communities, around transportation nodes, thus saving us from a sprawl which would threaten our rural lands. For its success in preventing traffic congestion, the concept relies on the villages being connected by public transit. The skeleton of the City of Villages concept exists here in North City, but a skeleton City of Villages it remains until the public transit links are developed.
One Paseo claims to be the heart of Carmel Valley, but it plans to be the heart of an area reaching 10 miles in all directions. Kilroy makes much of some cosmetic attempts to provide pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly options for local residents, but in fact it is dependent for its profit on a sufficient conglomeration of high-end shops and restaurants that will draw people from afar by automobile.
Is Carmel Valley, or Torrey Pines, or Del Mar, or Solana Beach served well by a closer Ann Taylor, Lululemon, or Pottery Barn, typical offerings of an urban center? Not at the expense of a 370 percent increase in traffic density. Nor is One Paseo adhering to the General Plan if it places a Lifestyle Center right next to a Town Center when both rely exclusively on the automobile for access.
I say One Paseo is an offense to the community and to the General Plan.
Diana Scheffler, Torrey Pines Community