Pardee representative responds to concerns regarding Village Center

A petition circulating around Pacific Highlands Ranch in support of requiring Pardee Homes to make a guarantee about hours of use at the incoming Village Center and deliver on the promise of a grocery store.

Beth Fischer, president of the San Diego division of Pardee Homes, responded to the concerns at the June 8 Carmel Valley Community Planning Board meeting. So far, the petition has gathered 58 signatures.

Pacific Highlands Ranch resident Karen Dubey feels that there was a bit of a “bait and switch” on the grocery store. She said as plans for the center were presented to the homeowners, they always included a grocery store but Pardee did not guarantee a grocery store in their permit.

Fischer said they didn’t want to make that guarantee because they don’t want to restrict themselves on their permit.

“We understand that the community wants a grocery store there and we want a grocery store there,” Fischer said. “We have feelers out to grocery operators and they are very interested based on the location.”

She said there is always uncertainty with market conditions and with the cap on development in place by Proposition M, which could be lifted if voters approve changes to the proposition in the November election.

The main area of contention for some residents on operating hours is with the proposed cinema. In the permit approved by the San Diego City Council, Pardee has allowed that the cinema be open until midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends.

Some neighbors are requesting that it be changed to 9:30 p.m. on weeknights and 11:30 p.m. on weekends.

Fischer said the point of having later operating hours isn’t so they can show midnight shows.

Fischer said of seven movies showing recently at Del Mar Highlands Town Center, five ended after 12 a.m. and two after 1 a.m. She said Pardee’s intention is not to make late night showings a selling point but it will allow them to show a late movie that ends after 11 p.m. and still give them time to clean up and close by midnight.

She said that Pardee is unlikely to make a limiting change on their permit and said that neither the Highlands or Flower Hill has such language in their permits.

Another issue residents raised is that the center be non-smoking. Fischer said that as the center will be mixed-use with residential and office spaces, that request cannot be accommodated. Smoking will be prohibited 20 feet from a business and 25 feet from a tot lot or transit center. She said they are happy to designate certain areas as non-smoking.