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Community workshop starts process of reshaping Carmel Valley’s One Paseo

Residents participate in a One Paseo community workshop on July 13. Photo by Karen Billing.

Kilroy Realty has hit the reset button on One Paseo, and the first community workshop to help guide the project’s new design was held July 13 at Del Mar Marriott.

Drawing boards in the room were empty before 115 attendees weighed in on how best to create a new heart for the community that matches what Carmel Valley means to them. Scribbling on the blank slates, residents said Carmel Valley means natural beauty, open space, great schools, strong neighborhoods, a mix of old and new, and healthy, active living.

Residents participate in a One Paseo community workshop on July 13. Photo by Karen Billing.

“Some people might have expected to see a new project here tonight, but that is not the case,” said Jamas Gwilliam, Kilroy vice president. “We’re truly starting with a fresh slate.”

Gwilliam said Kilroy Realty has assembled a whole new team to develop the new One Paseo. They are committed to moving forward with a mixed-use project that meets the parameters of reducing traffic by nearly half as well as a reduction in building heights, bulk and scale.

Gwilliam said in collaboration with the One Paseo Working Group, Kilroy aims to have the new design approved by the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board by October, through the San Diego City Planning Commission by November and approved by City Council by the end of 2015.

Members of the One Paseo Working Group include local residents and representatives from Alliance for Responsible Development Corporation, East Bluff Community Association, Mitigate One Paseo, Carmel Valley Community Planning Board, What Price Main Street and Donahue Schriber.

Some of the most vocal opponents of the proposed One Paseo are now working together with Kilroy to find a solution the community can support.

“We’re here to start fresh with a project reset,” said new team member Daniel Iacofano of MIG planning and design. “The intent is to gather the community’s feedback and use it to shape a new proposal.”

Iacofano has more than 25 years of experience in urban planning and community design and is nationally recognized as an expert in the areas of community participation, consensus building and facilitation.

Iacofano said all of the community’s ideas, comments and concepts would result in a net positive and a better project in the end.

At the workshop, participants were given stickers to rank preferences and priorities of what they would like to see in the areas of open space and gathering areas, landscaping, architecture and design, traffic and on-site improvements and community benefits. They could also add write-in suggestions at each station, and fill out a comment booklet.

When Gwilliam said Kilroy had “hit reset” on the project, he meant it, as participants were able to weigh in with new architect Ramón Hone of 5+ Design on everything from building articulations and arrangements to what kind of windows and roofs they prefer.

Participants also shared preferences on landscaping, expressing concerns about water use and seeming to favor color, Mediterranean plants and California natives over options such as formal hedges.

Stickers marked “Bouganvillea” and “Coast Live Oak” as favorite options, and some stated a preference to save as many mature trees as possible on Del Mar Heights Road.

Under the originally proposed One Paseo, traffic mitigation to Del Mar Heights Road would have removed 19 mature pine trees.

Participants said they wanted to see plantings to soften the project’s residential areas on Del Mar Heights, street-facing cafés, activity centers for children, mostly lawn central plaza and the possibility of a farmers market.

As written on the suggestions area, the open space needs to “truly serve who lives here, who walks here.”

Since not all of the community benefits proposed with the original 1.45-million-square- foot project will be able to be included in the reduced version, residents were also asked which were most important to them.

Most in attendance favored the traffic signal coordination and emergency vehicle preemptive program, and the least priority was given to protected bike lanes. Other write-in suggestions for community benefits included a pedestrian bridge over El Camino Real connecting One Paseo with Del Mar Highlands, a bus line on Del Mar Heights Road, and opening the lagoon mouth at Torrey Pines.

“We’re really pleased with the turnout and with how constructive the dialogue was at the stations,” said Rachel Laing, One Paseo spokesperson. “Having our architects, landscape designers and traffic engineers hear directly from Carmel Valley residents about both their aspirations and concerns is incredibly valuable.”

The working group will continue to meet through August, and people can continue to submit suggestions by emailing talk@onepaseo.com. People who were unable to attend can also view a virtual version of the workshop at https://www.onepaseo.com/#!workshop/c1huv


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