Regional issues committee reviews Corallina mixed-use project in Carmel Valley

By Karen Billing

The Carmel Valley Community Planning Board’s regional issues subcommittee expressed concerns about massing and the modern-contemporary architecture of the proposed Corallina mixed-use project at its June 4 meeting.

Randi Coopersmith, senior principal planner of Latitude 33, accepted the comments as plan developments continue and reminded the subcommittee that this is where they will start to see the density and height in Pacific Highlands Ranch, as it is the village center.

Corallina’s plan recently changed from featuring 30,000 square feet of medical office space to 30,000 square feet of retail along with 109 residential units. The site sits on 5 acres off Carmel Valley Road, next to the future Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch (the home of the new Trader Joe’s).

Along Village Way, a continuation of a road from the next door Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch, the project is proposed to be vertical mixed-use with four stories of residential flats above retail. The units will have patios and balconies that look out onto the street and Village Way will feature wide sidewalks, a raised crosswalk and angled parking.

Twenty-one affordable housing units will be above retail across the street.

In another part of the project, three-story townhomes will face the Carmel Valley Road frontage, behind a soundwall.

Subcommittee chair Jan Fuchs said they should avoid creating an “urban tunnel” with a straight-line mass of buildings on the road. Fuchs and other committee members asked for a variation in materials, colors and height variations so it’s not so uniform. Committee member Dennis Glaser disagreed and said he didn’t see the straight line in the renderings, he recognized that there were already some variations.

Coopersmith said the townhouse project will feature extra landscaping, enhanced paving and “living” alleyways meant to be usable by residents.

Subcommittee member Ken Farinsky said the contemporary look seemed out of place to him, not matching the surrounding neighborhood or the Santa Barbara-style architecture of the Village.

Subcommittee co-chair Anne Harvey said it’s good to introduce different types of architecture over time, noting real cities aren’t all stylistically similar.

“We think it’s a real positive to introduce the contemporary, urban design as long as it’s well-done and with the right materials,” Coopersmith said.