One Paseo will help build a sense of community in Carmel Valley
It is of my humble opinion and of many of those that live in this area that the One Paseo project is a great example of a project based on the betterment of a community and not solely for profit. If you have never had the experience of a pep rally in one of our country’s many small towns, you’re missing out. While on a business trip, I had this privilege to join a friend and his family as the entire community gathered for the high school football team’s play-off pep rally. It was like a scene from a movie set, with a slice of yesterday playing out before your eyes. Yet it was truly part of the fabric of their life; deep-rooted and not likely to change any time soon. All around me was a sense of community and camaraderie with a huge pep rally, including music and cheerleaders and hundreds of team loyalists with business store fronts painted to show their support, local vendors selling goods and the local coach and business leaders delivering motivating speeches. Growing up in a small town, this quickly brought me back to my own home town where we gathered regularly in the town center to meet friends and talk about the possibilities to come.
The “Main Streets” had been a place of community gathering while I was growing up and have been replaced with strip malls and big box stores over the years, depriving us from building the social network we demand and deserve. There are many projects around the city of San Diego that call themselves “Main Street Concepts” but very few of them meet the singular meaning of a spot-on “main street” project. Real “Main Streets” are pedestrian-oriented streetscapes that ﬁt within the fabric of the existing community and include a collection of uses, including retail, service, residential and office. They are meant to become the focal point for the community and, as such, provide common areas, reﬂect the local culture and remain active throughout the day and night. Because of the diversity, the “Main Street” then becomes a place to work and play, serving the community not only during the day, but during weekends and times of celebration of the community.
While reviewing One Paseo in detail you will become optimistic for its potential to influence us to become more intertwined into the fabric of our community and, with it, build a real sense of community. All too often projects are designed to squeeze as much revenue out of a community and not how the development can better the community. We, in the Carmel Valley area, deserve to enjoy the ability to live and work in a community with a variety of resources such as those offered by a well thought-out “Main Street” such as One Paseo. It is for these reasons and more that I believe One Paseo will help build a sense of community right here in Carmel Valley.