Grading started for Carmel Valley project


By Karen Billing

Grading has begun and the construction fence is now up on Garden Communities’ development of 384 new housing units on Calle Mar de Mariposa and East Ocean Air Drive in Torrey Hills.

The fence, which will be up for the duration of the project, was painted tan instead of blue, according to the Torrey Hills Community Planning Board’s specifications and will be touched up when it gets dirty during the process, another request the developers have agreed to.

Project engineer John Leppert stopped by the planning board’s April 17 meeting to give an update on the development. Many of the board’s concerns regarded traffic and pedestrian safety as the site is so close to Torrey Hills School. Leppert said safety is of the upmost importance and they are in contact with the Torrey Hills principal and so far everything seems to be going “satisfactory.”

“We’ve tried to be up front and get the crews to understand this sensitivity. We’re here to move in, not to build and run away,” Leppert said. “This is our community too now.”

Leppert said construction on the project is going to be extensive as they need to grade to build the parking garage that the condo units will be built on top of. The process of building the garage will take nine to 12 months before they go vertical with any of the housing units. The construction could last two years and it’s not yet known when the first occupancy could be.

While they are allowed to work between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Leppert said the crews are typically finishing around 4 p.m. and will not work on the weekends. They hope to soon energize the existing non-working signal on Calle Mar de Mariposa to allow construction trucks to exit to Vista Sorrento that way rather than going on East Ocean Air.

The board also had an issue with the trees, about 55 are on the project site. Transporting the trees and replanting them was discussed, but it was determined that the trees would likely not survive the move. Leppert said in lieu of transporting the trees, the developer has made a cash contribution to the Torrey Hills Maintenance Assessment District.

“I’m sorry about the trees, but it seems like a fair and equitable solution given the problems with transporting the trees,” said planning board chair Kathryn Burton.

Leppert said they want to hear from the community if any issue arises. Any questions or problems can be directed to project manager Dee Snow, (858) 200-2244, or project supervisor Rod Fink at (619) 572-1114.