We are the targets of Los Angeles developers

By William C. Bibb

A concerned Carmel Valley resident

Carmel Valley is largely a residential community. Our community has a unique character and charm precisely because there are no 10-story buildings with super-dense development. That would be forever altered by the proposed Kilroy Realty development called “One Paseo.”

The efforts by members of the CV community planning board and other community activists prevented denser development over the last 25 years. You may thank those persons for what we have today. That’s the only reason things are as nice as they are here in Carmel Valley. All of this will forever change unless the proposed project is considerably scaled down to conform to the existing community plan. Nothing in so-called “Smart Development” changes this truth.

The Strong Mayor ballots were massively funded by developers who could evade campaign laws under the guise of a ballot initiative. San Diego was “ground zero” in this political effort by developers to recalibrate control of development away from local planning boards to the Good ‘ole Boys system downtown.

Ostensibly, the goal of the Strong Mayor law was to rein in pension abuse. If so, why did so many developers make $50,000 contributions to the funds created by the proponents of the ballot initiatives?

The real reasons are now becoming clear — developers want to weaken community control and meaningful input. Further, they can now evade the open meeting laws under the Brown Act so that they can meet behind closed doors. The Mayor’s office is no longer part of the legislative branch as it was under the old City Manager system.

In the past, community planning boards worked hand-in-hand with developers to make new development compatible with the community plan and existing uses. Today, it is the developers’ strategy to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to weaken local control by changing the laws and procedures. Kilroy also adopted the revolving door strategy to circumvent regulation and evade public scrutiny by hiring the former head of the Development Services Department to act as their chief lobbyist.