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‘Main Street’ concept does not apply very well to One Paseo project

I agree with Ian Stewart (March 13 Opinion). “Gussying up” existing strip malls does not provide the social interaction and neighborliness that a mixed use “Main Street” development would.  Where we differ is the question as to whether Kilroy’s “One Paseo” project will provide that experience without the whole region beyond One Paseo, including Del Mar Heights and the City of Del Mar, paying the price of more traffic congestion, more provisions for cars instead of people, and a degraded environment in every sense of the term.

The essence of the “Main Street” or “village” concept is that it serves local needs and reduces automobile miles travelled by allowing for pedestrian and bicycle and public transit access from further afield. None of this applies very well to the One Paseo project.

The Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report (RDEIR) issued in October last year, makes this clear.  Three alternatives are proposed.  The first is the “Reduced Main Street Alternative” which would reduce the additional Average Daily Trips (ADT’s) in the immediate vicinity from 26,961 to 23,854. The next alternative is the “Reduced Mixed Use Alternative” which would add only 11,001 ADT’s but is dismissed out of hand because it does not meet the Developer’s goal of a “Main Street.”  The third is the “Specialty Food Market Retail Alternative which would add 6,500 ADT but really is a “gussied up” strip mall.  For comparison purposes, the ADT supported by the current zoning for the site is 5,786 ADT.

It seems to me there is plenty of room here for compromise.  Why could Kilroy not build a smaller version of the village concept?  The reason given for considering only the Reduced Main Street Alternative is that it “meets most of the basic objectives of the project applicant” (p.1 DEIR).  In reference to the Reduced Mixed Use Alternative, the DEIR (p.15) says, “The 50 percent reduction in retail proposed by the Reduced Mixed Use Alternative would not generate the number of shoppers necessary to sustain and attract the desired class of retailers.”  Whose objectives are we looking at, and what is the desired class of retailer?

Diana Scheffler

Torrey Pines Community