Del Mar Highlands expansion?

As a resident of Carmel Valley, I have a vested interest in how our community will deal with inevitable growth into the future. That is why, after hearing that the Del Mar Highlands Town Center may soon expand, while not providing a single traffic improvement or mitigation effort, I became alarmed.

What I have learned is that the Highlands management appear to have the right to add about 150,000 square feet of retail to their existing shopping center. That is the equivalent to about the size of a Walmart or Target supercenter. Having said that, I am interested to find out if and when Donahue Schriber plans on making this type and size of expansion, and, if so, have any plans been discussed or reviewed at any planning meetings recently.

As someone who relies on the Highlands to meet daily needs, I find that type of growth inconceivable especially considering the horrendous parking problems that already exist there. Moreover, I also learned that the Highlands apparently would not be required to make any traffic improvements. In fact, Elizabeth Schreiber, the center’s GM was quoted in this very paper saying “…traffic improvements associated with the build out of the Del Mar Highlands Town Center have already been made.” Really? Traffic improvements? Where?

I am certainly not anti-development, but I think it is worth taking a close look at how such an expansion of the Highlands would impact our community – especially when we get zero new benefit from it, just more traffic and even worse parking problems.

Greg Klima

22-year Carmel Valley resident