What to watch for in Carmel Valley in 2015: One Paseo decision, PHR park, bag ban


One Paseo

It appears the San Diego City Council is finally going to make a decision on One Paseo, the mixed-use center proposed for the last big parcel of land remaining in Carmel Valley. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 27, and could be a night meeting to allow more people to attend.

In the community plan, the space at Del Mar Heights Road and Carmel Valley Road was slated to be just 510,000 square feet of office space. The City Council will be tasked with deciding on whether to allow Kilroy Realty to build more than what it is entitled to do.

After six years of planning and community input, Kilroy believes its project is a lot better than where it started, and will provide a “heart for Carmel Valley.”

What Price Main Street, a coalition of 5,000 community members who oppose One Paseo, is gearing up for the final fight, hoping to “Save Carmel Valley.” The group opposes the proposed bulk and scale of the buildings and the traffic the project will create.

The long-awaited park for Pacific Highlands Ranch kids

Solana Ranch Park is due to open in 2015, next to Solana Ranch School. The playground sets are up, grass is beginning to sprout and fledgling trees have been planted to create a tree-lined promenade.

The five-acre park, designed by residents, will feature a tree-lined promenade, a large community gathering space, a picnic area, comfort station, tot lots, grassy amphitheatre space, a half basketball court, playing field space and a walking loop of about a quarter mile.

The first Pacific Highlands Ranch residents have been waiting for years to have a place for their children to play besides the street, and this new park will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

The park space will be in demand, as PHR will continue to grow in 2015. Rancho del Sol, a development of 96 affordable housing units on Carmel Valley Road just east of Santa Fe Farms Road (which is seeing its own expansion), is expected to begin construction in January 2015.

Construction on Unit 13, a development of 276 market-rate units and 197 affordable housing units on Carmel Valley Road, next to Canyon Crest Academy, is also expected to begin in early 2015.

San Dieguito Union High School District will open up its new middle school, Pacific Trails, in fall 2015 and Del Mar Union School District will begin the process of making room for the influx of new families by moving its Early Childhood Development Center at Sycamore Ridge to Torrey Hills School, freeing classroom space for new students.

Better parking at Del Mar Highlands

Del Mar Highlands Town Center is still in a substantial conformance review process for a new parking garage at the center, but management hopes to start construction in the late first quarter of 2015. The center has become a victim of its own success, with the many restaurants and shops often filled with customers, causing others to circle in search for a parking space.

Plans were unveiled for the new structure in 2014, a net gain of 600 parking stalls in a three-level garage in the hole behind the center on Townsgate Drive. Because of the elevation change between the center and the road, it won’t look like a parking garage because it will be at grade and enhanced with plantings.

Plans for expansion at Del Mar Highlands also include the growth of the Cinepolis movie theaters from an eight- to an 11-plex, and a new facility for Kinder Care.

Once that round of construction is complete, Kinder Care will move into its new location and the center is looking at an expanded Jimbo’s in its place.

In the former Barnes & Noble area, they plan to renovate and pick up about 80,000 square feet of new retail on two levels.

After all the enhancements, the center will still have 62,000 square feet to consider for a future time.

Plastic bags going extinct

In September 2014, California became the first state in the country to ban plastic bags. The new law goes into effect for large grocery chains and pharmacies beginning July 1, 2015. It extends to convenience stores and liquor stores the following year.

Stores will be required to charge 10 cents each for paper bags. To ready for the ban, start collecting your change now or load up on reusable bags.