Opinion

One Paseo’s Fate Should Be in Residents’ Hands

One Paseo’s Fate Should Be in Residents’ Hands

Rendering courtesy of Kilroy Realty

A rendering of One Paseo, a mixed-use development in Carmel Valley.

Kilroy Realty has proposed building One Paseo, a multi-use development, in Carmel Valley.

Because the massive project is much bigger than the zoning allows, approving One Paseo requires a City Council vote.

The vote would effectively amend Carmel Valley’s community plan to allow for the project. Only the City Council can vote to change the plan, but ahead of that vote, Kilroy will bring the project before the Carmel Valley Planning Board and the citywide planning commission to hold their own votes, which serve as recommendations to the Council.

The community planning area for Torrey Pines neighbors the proposed One Paseo location. But the planning group for that area can’t officially weigh in on the plan since the project is outside its borders.

fix san diego opinionKilroy Realty has insisted that only Carmel Valley’s Planning Board has a vote on the One Paseo project, excluding all other impacted residents outside of Carmel Valley. This is true, but shrouds the true nature of One Paseo’s impact on regional traffic congestion, especially as it relates to emergency response times for Fire Station 24 on Del Mar Heights Road.

The city’s Development Services Department has clearly indicated that the One Paseo project is tied to specific roadway improvements called mitigation measures. These mitigation measures must be in place before building permits are issued.

The I-5/SR-56 Connector project is on the list of mitigation measures and includes the removal of the Del Mar Heights Bridge, and the construction of a new bridge and connector ramps from I-5 to SR-56.

Caltrans plans construction on this project to start in the year 2020 and finish by 2030. But the project remains unfunded.

Now the rub: Development Services indicates that building permits would not be deferred in the event that the City Council adopts a Statement of Overriding Considerations relative to impacts on traffic, since these mitigations are beyond the control of the city and the project applicant.

Therefore, the reality of the situation is that the nine City Council members can chose to ignore the facts about traffic and approve One Paseo.

Only Councilwoman Sherri Lightner lives in District 1, and in La Jolla. San Diego’s mayor and county supervisor do not get votes. The Carmel Valley Board’s vote is only advisory, as is the city’s planning commission.

So, none of the City Council members actually lives in or around Carmel Valley or Torrey Pines, but can use their votes to affect our lives and safety for the next 15 years.

Dennis Ridz is chairman of the Torrey Pines Community Planning Board. Ridz’s commentary has been edited for clarity. See anything in there we should fact check? Tell us what to check out here. Want to respond? Submit a commentary.

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10 comments
Joe LaCava
Joe LaCava

Never too late for a #FactCheck...
1. Applicants don't decide who is allowed to make a recommendation on their project. Applicants can of course argue the validity or relevance of any recommendation.
2. If impacts extend into a neighboring community, that community through its CPG should consider the project (preferably with the applicant), its impacts, potential mitigation and share those thoughts with the decision-makers. Ideally the neighboring CPG would make its recommendations *before* the designated CPG takes its action.
3. Congestion affecting affecting emergency response time is a much different issue than congestion affecting one's commute.
4. If mitigation must be phased for whatever reason, then so too can project implementation be phased.
5. Indirect local control comes from the integrity and credibility of the local deliberations and recommendations.

Joe LaCava
Joe LaCava subscribermember

Never too late for a #FactCheck...
1. Applicants don't decide who is allowed to make a recommendation on their project. Applicants can of course argue the validity or relevance of any recommendation.
2. If impacts extend into a neighboring community, that community through its CPG should consider the project (preferably with the applicant), its impacts, potential mitigation and share those thoughts with the decision-makers. Ideally the neighboring CPG would make its recommendations *before* the designated CPG takes its action.
3. Congestion affecting affecting emergency response time is a much different issue than congestion affecting one's commute.
4. If mitigation must be phased for whatever reason, then so too can project implementation be phased.
5. Indirect local control comes from the integrity and credibility of the local deliberations and recommendations.

Glenn Younger
Glenn Younger

This situation is much like the North Park drive-to or drive-thru situation.
Fixing the transportation infrastructure is a crucial part of the solution.
Better transportation options OR higher local residential density are two most obvious solutions. As long as the city is looked to for the solutions, the city as a whole (in the form of the city council) should have the final say. If local residents can solve the local transportation issues then giving local residents the power to make the final decision might make sense.

Glenn Younger
Glenn Younger subscribermember

This situation is much like the North Park drive-to or drive-thru situation.
Fixing the transportation infrastructure is a crucial part of the solution.
Better transportation options OR higher local residential density are two most obvious solutions. As long as the city is looked to for the solutions, the city as a whole (in the form of the city council) should have the final say. If local residents can solve the local transportation issues then giving local residents the power to make the final decision might make sense.

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster

Mr. Ridz: You state that, "Therefore, the reality of the situation is that the nine City Council members can chose to ignore the facts about traffic and approve One Paseo." I'll note for the record that your use of the word "facts" is loaded; but regardless, this is how the planning process has worked in San Diego for decades.

No doubt plenty of communities would like to have complete oversight of development within and nearby, but that would, in effect, create cities within cities which could create exclusivity.Community Planning Groups | Planning Divisionhttp://www.sandiego.gov/planning/community/cpg/City of San Diego Planning Division. Helping San Diego Realize Its Vision for the Future.

Chris Brewster
Chris Brewster subscribermember

Mr. Ridz: You state that, "Therefore, the reality of the situation is that the nine City Council members can chose to ignore the facts about traffic and approve One Paseo." I'll note for the record that your use of the word "facts" is loaded; but regardless, this is how the planning process has worked in San Diego for decades.

No doubt plenty of communities would like to have complete oversight of development within and nearby, but that would, in effect, create cities within cities which could create exclusivity.Community Planning Groups | Planning Divisionhttp://www.sandiego.gov/planning/community/cpg/City of San Diego Planning Division. Helping San Diego Realize Its Vision for the Future.

Derek Hofmann
Derek Hofmann

Here's how to minimize One Paseo's impact on traffic congestion: stop trying to force the developer to overbuild the project's parking lots. Freedom is still considered to be a good thing in this country, isn't it?

This would minimize traffic congestion because fewer places to park would mean people would seek out alternatives to driving, especially during peak periods and that would result in less traffic congestion.

If the neighbors are concerned about One Paseo's visitors parking on "their" streets, then the city should setup demand-responsive parking in order to permanently eliminate any shortage of parking, no matter how few parking spaces are built.

Derek Hofmann
Derek Hofmann subscribermember

Here's how to minimize One Paseo's impact on traffic congestion: stop trying to force the developer to overbuild the project's parking lots. Freedom is still considered to be a good thing in this country, isn't it?

This would minimize traffic congestion because fewer places to park would mean people would seek out alternatives to driving, especially during peak periods and that would result in less traffic congestion.

If the neighbors are concerned about One Paseo's visitors parking on "their" streets, then the city should setup demand-responsive parking in order to permanently eliminate any shortage of parking, no matter how few parking spaces are built.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

Succeed or go with what the council says. Any single neighborhood has no authority over the will of the entire council and all residents of the city.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

Succeed or go with what the council says. Any single neighborhood has no authority over the will of the entire council and all residents of the city.