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Killjoy For Kilroy
Ann Gardner | Via Latina

DM Councilmembers Terry Sinnott and Dwight Worden, with Solana Beach Mayor Lesa Heebner at the San Diego City Council meeting on One PASEO. Google images.
Click on image to enlarge.

Hemmed in by growing criticism, two lawsuits and a last minute “compromise” between Kilroy Realty and three local groups, the San Diego City Council voted unanimously on May 18 to repeal their February 23 approval of the oversized One Paseo Project in Carmel Valley.

Opponents deliver over 61,000 signatures to overturn One Paseo project. Google images.
Click on image to enlarge.

The last minute compromise and vote happened only because the grassroots opposition refused to give up. Their successful referendum drive gathered 51,796 verified signatures (exceeding the 33,224 required) forcing the Council to either repeal their approval or put it to a citywide vote. The referendum drive also brought together community planning groups throughout San Diego who felt the Council’s approval of a triple density project that ignored input from the Carmel Valley and nearby planning boards threatened the value of community input in their own neighborhoods. Faced with growing discontent at their capitulation (only Council President Lightner and Vice President Emerald voted no) to big development, the Council and Kilroy were ready to back off and save themselves from, predicted in a “working paper” sent to all Councilmembers by Del Mar and Solana Beach Councilmembers Lesa Heebner, Terry Sinnott and Dwight Worden, “a political bloodbath of historic proportions” if it went to a public vote.
Founders of What Price Main Street who have been fighting the triple density project and its unmitigated traffic impacts for years assured residents in the audience that the compromise was not a done deal, only a framework that included reducing project traffic by one-half, mixed uses, 30-foot setbacks, reduced density and height and eliminating one of the traffic signals on Del Mar Heights Road.

The Sandpiper editors salute
our colleague
Ann Gardner
for her relentless journalistic pursuit of this issue for several years. Her leadership helped galvanize Del Mar’s support for our neighbor Carmel Valley’s fight to protect community integrity.
Click on image to enlarge.

Del Mar played an important role in the eventual repeal, submitting their concerns about the project as early as March 2012 when the One Paseo Draft EIR was released. Late last year councilmembers Dwight Worden and Sherryl Parks attended Mitigate One Paseo meetings in support of a reduced project and Councilmembers Parks, Worden and Terry Sinnott personally interviewed every San Diego Councilmember who would listen. Along with Solana Beach Mayor Lesa Heebner they spoke in opposition to the 1.4 million square foot project at the February 23 City Council meeting and on May 14 just days before the first referendum hearing sent the aforementioned working paper that said in part:
‘The One Paseo issue has moved beyond the merits of the project. The options before you are either repeal or put to a public vote and there are many good reasons to conclude, regardless of one’s position on the project merits, why repeal is by far the best move. We have already seen an unprecedented “circus” around the signature gathering effort over One Paseo. Does the prospect of that continuing and accelerating over the next year sound appealing? Important to the city, it will fracture neighborhoods and constituency groups. It will drive many prominent community leaders into the anti-camp who otherwise would likely support the City of Villages concept. It may take years to recover. Contrast: Repeal One Paseo and tell Kilroy to pursue a reasonable compromise. You can start to restore the trust of constituents by…listening to the community and repealing One Paseo.’

They did. But only after the grassroots opposition took over.

 

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