Plans submitted for One Paseo much different than the ‘dream’

Stacy Silverwood

Retired captain, City of San Diego Fire-Rescue Department

I am writing this morning to express my opposition to the One Paseo “Main Street” project as proposed for Carmel Valley by Kilroy Realty Corporation. I am concerned about the dramatic impact of this project, not only as a Carmel Valley resident and home owner who lives “within walking distance” of the property, but also as a retired Fire Captain who worked for several years at Fire Station 24 in this community.

I can tell you without hesitation that this project would have a negative impact upon response times to virtually all areas of Carmel Valley west of El Camino Real, including Interstate 5, both north and south bound. It is extremely difficult to negotiate the traffic on Del Mar Heights Road westbound, even with lights and siren, during peak traffic periods. The same is true coming eastbound when responding back towards the station for an incident dispatched while the crew is in the west end of their district, which runs west as far as the beach and south to include the Torrey Pines State Reserve. With a project like the one proposed by Kilroy, peak traffic would be not just in the morning and afternoon but likely all day long and well into the evening. While a second crew (engine or ladder truck) could possibly be added at the current station to handle the additional response volume (not likely with the current budget issues), nothing will improve the ability to get from point to point in a timely manner for emergency response. This would impact not only Fire Station 24, but any other first responders called into the area for an emergency including Fire, EMS and Law Enforcement.

Those of us who live in Southern California, and in San Diego specifically, realize that development is something of a reality. When properly managed it can enhance the quality of life and the economy of communities involved. Use permits and entitlements are very well thought out to fit into the master plan of a community and its infrastructure. The current entitlement for this property, 500,000 square feet of office space, is in place for good reason and should not be increased by any amount, much less by four times, to include changes in use permits. Some say the project will bring an economic benefit to Carmel Valley and “provide jobs.” Or would the bulk of the employees for the project come from out of the area? Some say also that the project would provide a much needed “community core.” Or would the “community core” be lost among over a million square feet of hotel and office space? We need to consider, not only the dream of One Paseo as presented by the developer, but also the plans for One Paseo as submitted by the developer. In my view, these are two very different things.