More stories to watch in 2013

By Karen Billing

Here are six more regional stories on our radar for 2013.

One Paseo

In November, Kilroy Realty announced some changes to its mixed-use project set for El Camino Real and Del Mar Heights Road, including the elimination of the proposed hotel, the scaling back of some of the building heights and Trader Joe’s as a new tenant.

The project has been a lightning rod for local conversation—some residents are thrilled about the shopping, dining and sense of place the lively Main Street could bring to the community; others fear the development will increase traffic congestion significantly and, even with reduced density, still find the scale overpowering and out of character with Carmel Valley.

The city is now in the process of producing One Paseo’s final EIR (environmental impact report) document and the project is on the agenda to kick off the new year for the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board (the meeting is set for Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Carmel Valley Library). The project will then go through the planning commission by the spring of 2013 and to the San Diego City Council for approval possibly in the summer.

Highway 101 project in Solana Beach

A major renovation project along Highway 101 in Solana Beach is expected to be completed by early June rather than in the fall of 2013 as originally projected, city officials and the project’s general contractor said at a workshop meeting held on Monday, Dec. 17.

San Dieguito Union High School District

It took some time for the district’s Prop AA bond on November’s ballot to finally get the required 55 percent of the vote to pass but pass it did. According to Eric Dill, SDUHSD’s associate superintendent of business services, the district plans to draw $150 million of the bond monies in the spring of 2013 and kick off several local projects.

“Because of the design and approval work that needs to happen first, the most significant projects will not get off the ground until 2014 or later but we do have some projects that will start earlier,” Dill said.

Some of the highlights for next year’s work include the installation of artificial turf and rubberized track at Canyon Crest Academy, and Torrey Pines High will get new stadium lighting, fire road improvements and a water main replacement after the main broke earlier in 2012. The district will also begin the design process and approvals for improvements and additions at CCA, TPHS, Carmel Valley Middle School and Earl Warren Middle School, as well as the new Pacific Highlands Ranch Middle School.

In 2013, Dill said they plan to purchase the new middle school site in PHR, next to Canyon Crest. They aim to start construction on the middle school in 2015.

Kelsey Kafka

The Torrey Pines High School and North Coast Aquatics swimmer had an eventful 2011, when she became the Division 1 section champion in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard breaststroke and helped the team win a section title.

She skipped her junior year season in 2012 to focus on the Olympic Trials, which she took part in over the summer in Omaha.

Already committed to swim for USC on a partial scholarship in the fall, Kelsey is now taking aim at helping TPHS to a fourth straight section title in the spring of 2013, defending her individual championships and chasing down a 100-yard breaststroke record that has been on the books for years.

“My goals are to break the CIF record in the 100 breast (1:01.77), go a 2:12 in the 200 breast, and help the Torrey Pines girls win the CIF championship,” Kelsey said.

“She’s been working really hard in the last six months, she’s a lot more focused about her goals,” said Jeff Pease, her coach at North Coast.

Pease said Kelsey has built up “quite a repertoire” of races, such as the 400 individual medley. He said that her butterfly stroke has really improved in the last year and her only weakness is backstroke, which she continues to work on.

“I’m very pleased with her focus because a lot of seniors get ‘seniorities’ once they’ve signed with a school but I don’t see that with Kelsey,” Pease said.

He said he feels Kelsey is capable of another strong showing in the 2013 section, her final year racing as a Falcon.


In their draft environmental impact report meetings earlier in 2012, Caltrans representatives said they would pick a solution by the end of the year to make the missing links between Interstate-5 and SR-56. But all has been quiet, no news yet on whether they will opt for a direct connector, an auxiliary lane alternative, a hybrid alternative or a hybrid alternative with flyover.

All of the alternatives replace and enhance the Del Mar Heights overcrossing, and costs range from $90 million for the auxiliary lane beef up to $250 million for the direct connector. According to the EIR, all provide a 10 to 20 percent reduction in regional traffic but local residents have expressed concerns on whether those savings are worth the impacts to their surrounding environment.

The final plans are expected in 2013 with project construction targeted for 2020-2030 if any build option is selected.

The new and improved at Flower Hill Promenade and Del Mar Highlands

Carmel Valley-area retail centers have undergone major facelifts and the new amenities keep on coming. Already people can enjoy the smell of cupcakes wafting out of the new Towne Bakery at Del Mar Highlands Town Center or grab a massive burrito lunch at Flower Hill Promenade’s new Chipotle or get the little one’s hair snipped at Pigtails & Crewcuts, but more changes lie ahead.

Some were sad to see longtime spots like Chevy’s and Red Robin depart, but the center owners hope that their replacements will be well received.

In Red Robin’s place at Del Mar Highlands, a new Mexican eatery called Casa Sol y Mar is coming in spring of 2013. The restaurant will come courtesy of the Bazaar Del Mundo Restaurant Group, which owns Casa Guadalajara in Old Town and Casa de Bandini in Carlsbad.

The new Whole Foods at Flower Hill is expected to open in January. And after Chevy’s closed, plans were announced to replace the restaurant with Cucina Enoteca, a concept from San Diego’s Cucina Urbana, featuring the same modern kitchen meets historic farmhouse concept with a wine shop.

Burger Lounge is also coming to Flower Hill. The restaurant, with other locations in Hillcrest, La Jolla and the Gaslamp, features premium grass fed burgers and a quality menu that appeals to “health conscious diners, vegetarians and salad lovers.”