Re-circulation of Carmel Valley One Paseo project EIR to be released

By Karen Billing

This week, the city will release a re-circulation of the One Paseo environmental impact report (EIR) with two additional scaled back alternatives of the proposed project.

One alternative is half of the reduced project, about 817,000 square feet of retail, residential and office space. The other alternative is an 80,000-square-foot specialty food market option.

According to Bob Little, Kilroy’s vice president of development, Kilroy still believes that its “reduced Main Street” alternative is its chosen plan to bring the best project forward for the community. This alternative represents the plan 30 percent reduced from Kilroy’s original proposal with 1.4 million square feet total, including 246,500 square feet of retail, 484,000 square feet of office space, as well as 608 residential units.

“The reduced Main Street alternative is the only alternative that meets the project’s goals and objectives,” Little said. “Neither the reduced mixed use or specialty food market retail alternatives are feasible because they don’t come close to meeting the goals and objectives for the project and they both still result in environmental impacts that need to be mitigated.”

The release is the result of a combination of Kilroy’s interaction with the city and the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board — both entities want to make sure that Kilroy has analyzed every option for the project, Little said.

As the additional alternatives were not in the original 4,000-page document, they have to be re-circulated. The 44-page document will go out for public comment for 45 days. The Carmel Valley planning board is dark in both November and December due to the holidays and a review of the document is on the agenda at this Thursday, Oct. 24’s meeting to give board chair Frisco White the authority to submit comments from the board on the document.

In the re-circulation, the 817,000-square-foot project alternative breaks down into 140,000 square feet of retail and cinema, 267,000 square feet of office space, and 304 residential units.

The specialty food market alternative was driven by attempting to reach average daily trips (ADT) of 6,500. Little said Kilroy started with the ADT number and then designed the amount of retail that would fit those trips, which are same as the existing office zone.

Both of the new alternatives, the reduced mixed use and the specialty food market option, will not have the Main Street feature and will be surface-parked environments with separate land uses.

Little said all of the alternatives have impacts, even the 500,000 square feet of office space that the land is entitled for.

“The alternatives still have impacts that will need to be mitigated. However, with a lesser project there would be less significant investment for mitigation improvements,” Little said.

The timeline for the project has been delayed from the original goal for One Paseo to be at the planning commission by June 2013. The delay caused Trader Joe’s to back out.

“People were bummed about Trader Joe’s,” Little said. “They were fully committed but then the start date started to slide…They had the opportunity to look at other alternatives.”

Last month Trader Joes was announced as a tenant for the Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch, although Little said they will continue to have “conversations” with them.

After the re-circulated EIR review period is over, Kilroy must review feedback received and respond and make any necessary changes before a final EIR. Little said it’s hard to say how long that will take because it depends on the volume of comments received.

“We stand ready to continue the dialogue that the public responds with. It’s a real testament to our organization’s engagement — dialogue with neighbors, community members, city officials and the council district in making sure this project is the best that it can be,” Little said.

Little added that they hope to be before the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board for a project recommendation in January or February of 2014.