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One Paseo Project In Carmel Valley Will Be Scaled Back

An artist's rendering shows One Paseo West Plaza, part of a proposed development in Carmel Valley, February 2015.
Kilroy Realty
An artist's rendering shows One Paseo West Plaza, part of a proposed development in Carmel Valley, February 2015.

One Paseo Project In Carmel Valley Will Be Scaled Back
Kilroy Realty, which had won approval for its 23.6-acre mixed-use project in Carmel Valley, will be redesigned to reduce traffic and lower the height of buildings, among other changes. The project faced much opposition, and the change of plans was announced just before a San Diego City Council vote.

Kilroy Realty, the creator of a 23.6-acre mixed-use project in Carmel Valley, is headed back to the drawing board after announcing Thursday a compromise with opponents to scale back the development.

The agreement on One Paseo was announced just before the San Diego City Council met to either rescind its prior approval of the project or place the issue before voters.

"It was close to midnight last night," when the deal was reached, Kilroy spokeswoman Rachel Laing said. "It was a long, long ordeal, but we're happy it's over. I think everyone had the spirit. They really wanted to make this happen, and we did."

The deal was contingent on the council members voting to rescind, which they did unanimously.

The council approved the large, mixed-use development in February over the objections of residents and community organizations.

Donahue Schriber, an Orange County-based firm that owns the Del Mar Highlands Town Center across the street from the lot eyed by developer Kilroy Realty, subsequently funded a successful referendum effort that forced Thursday's vote.

Opponents contended that One Paseo would add traffic to an already congested area, and that the developer ignored community planning groups.

Kilroy Vice President Jamas Gwilliam said the design process for a new proposal was just starting, but it would stay within certain parameters called for in the deal, including cutting the average daily vehicle trips by half, limiting office buildings to no more than seven stories, reducing the overall "bulk and scale," and establishing 30-foot setbacks from major streets.

One Paseo will still have the planned 600-plus housing units, the developers said.

"We believe this is a fair compromise," Gwilliam said.

City Council President Sherri Lightner, who represents the area and opposed the original plan, said she welcomes a "refined" proposal that fits those parameters.

"This would represent a significant collaboration between the community and the developer, and bring about the results everyone desires — a mixed-use development that would benefit the community, Lightner said.

The City Council was supposed to decide the issue Monday but postponed the item when it was learned that negotiations were underway.

City regulations will prohibit a similar plan from returning to the council for approval for another year. However, John Kilroy, president and CEO of Kilroy Realty, said a new design will go through the community planning process, which could take that long anyway.

Carmel Valley residents on both sides of the issue said they were happy with Thursday's outcome.

"It feels great," said resident Dawn Norman. "This has actually been uncomfortable as a member of the community. It's divided the community. It's made friends, foes. I think now we can all come together, find a project we can be proud of and walk away and still be one community."