Redesigned plan submitted Oct. 19 shows reduction in size, shape as well as in average daily traffic trips
The Carmel Valley Community Planning Board does not have a set date yet to take a formal vote on the revised One Paseo development. As Chair Frisco White noted during a One Paseo update at the board’s Oct. 22 meeting, the board will be dark in November and December, and setting up special meetings during the holiday season can be a problem.
The board will be unable to hold its proposed November special meeting, because Kilroy Realty submitted plans for the proposed new One Paseo project on Oct. 19 and the city’s comments wouldn’t have been available in time.
White said whenever the special meeting is called, he wants to ensure that the community doesn’t feel left out of the board’s decision-making process.
Kilroy’s Oct. 19 submittal included the scaled-down One Paseo project, as well as various technical studies to confirm that there are no new impacts from the revised project, and that the certified environmental impact report (EIR) remains intact.
The new One Paseo is still mixed-use, with 95,000 square feet of retail, 280,000 square feet of office space and 608 residential units (or 800,000 square feet).
“The plan reflects the input we received from the community,” said Kilroy Vice President Jamas Gwilliam, referencing a series of large public workshops in which the developers shared a constructive dialogue with residents.
Besides reduced bulk and scale, the plan includes focusing density on the project’s interior, softening the office building elevations, providing a great pedestrian experience and open space, and working to ensure the residential element blends into the surrounding neighborhood.
Gwilliam said Kilroy has spent time refining the design of the residential homes, notably how they will be viewed from Del Mar Heights and High Bluff Drive with setbacks, reduced heights and landscaping. Ten percent of the residential will be affordable housing, dispersed throughout the project.
“I’m happy with a lot of this project,” said board member Ken Farinsky. “There are things I’m not thrilled about but a lot of it has come out really quite well.”
Farinsky said he especially liked the 62 percent reduction in retail use and how the office building’s elevations have been altered.
In the scaled-down One Paseo, the project’s average daily trips (ADTs) have been reduced from 24,000 to 13,500. The Carmel Valley planning board had requested 18,000 ADTs and the settlement agreement reached with Donahue Schriber and community groups had proposed 14,000. Gwilliam is proud they are presenting a 43 percent reduction in ADTs.
“We are still mitigating against the original 27,000 ADTs — that’s important to keep in mind,” Gwilliam said. “The mixed use allows for density without all of the trips happening at once.”
According to their latest traffic study, Interstate 5 and Del Mar Heights Road would essentially perform at the same level as they do now, with One Paseo and its mitigations built. Conditions at Del Mar Heights and High Bluff would actually improve with the project and its mitigation efforts. Mitigations include changes like lengthening the left turn-pocket on Del Mar Heights onto High Bluff Drive and dual right-turn lanes on Del Mar Heights to northbound I-5, and adding a right-turn lane off I-5 onto Del Mar Heights.
One resident in attendance complained that the reduced ADTs are just “smoke and mirrors” and said that there’s no way that the traffic will improve with the addition of a 1.1 million-square-foot development.
Gwilliam said that it’s not that Kilroy is saying that the traffic will decrease, but that the delays will be fewer because of its proposed mitigations.
To help with emergency response times, Kilroy proposes to install the traffic signal synchronization technology from Mango Drive to Torrey Pines High. The original project had funding to use the technology on 46 intersections, but now it will be used at eight intersections along that stretch of Del Mar Heights.
Kilroy has also committed to providing a shuttle to address the lack of public transit in the area. It is looking to operate the shuttle during peak hours and possibly on an east-west route on Del Mar Heights, linking to the Solana Beach Coaster Station.
Board member Shreya Sasaki reinforced that the public transit issue is very important, to the extent that it benefits the environment, the economy and workforce.
Gwilliam also gave a brief presentation at the Oct. 20 Torrey Hills Community Planning Board meeting.
“There is a lot about the project that is considered problematic, but the greatest one is traffic,” Chair Kathryn Burton said. “The reduction in ADTs is huge, and I have to say, as a member of the greater community, I’m grateful for that.”
Burton was concerned about One Paseo’s signage and wanted to ensure that the development sticks with the community’s signage guidelines.
Gwilliam said the hope is to get the shovels into the ground next year, but a lot depends on the San Diego Planning Commission and City Council approval process.