Rich Simons | Upper East 11th Street
Q – How much longer are we going to have to put up with this One Paseo thing? It seems to be one long hearing after another. Endless editorials. Petitions. I’m sick of it. The San Diego City Council was going to consider it in January, then it was put off, and now they are going to look at it in . . . late February? Can you tell us what is going on here? – b.e.
Certainly. They are playing a game called “kick the can.” Or more formally: “kick the can down the road.” This is a very popular game world-wide, one of the reasons being that it costs very little to play. Any old can will do and it doesn’t much matter where the road goes.
The grand benefit of this game is that if a person (or group) pays close attention to the playing of the game, it will keep them from doing anything that might be a mistake.
Consider this: what if, shortly after the parcel in question was assigned its present zoning many years ago, some group had jumped up ambitiously and actually built something on it! Now here comes along a guy from somewhere up north named after a famous WWII cartoon character and he says he has a better idea. Well it must be so because he wears 3-piece pin striped suits and pointy leather shoes. So now we would be in the position of having to rip out that previous old stuff. But no! Back then some farsighted people gave a kick or two to the old can.
Now we too should hunt up a crystal ball and gaze into the future. What if we say “oh . . oh . . so sorry . . that previous zoning was a really bad booboo” and we allow this One Paseo thing to be built? Sure as God made little green apples, somewhere down the road some new fella is going to show up from somewhere (sombrero? huaraches?) and he is gonna say: “no, no, mis amigos. You don’ wanna this. You want what we call “contemporary mission” style. Adobe huts and a modest “catedral” honoring the iconic saint who laid out El Camino Real in the first place – Padre Junipero Serra.” Of course we are not going to turn our backs on such an important figure from our past! So there we will be – ripping down 7-story buildings. I think you get the picture.
At the time of this writing the next hearing on this matter is still a week ahead, so we don’t really know what the San Diego leaders will do. My guess is that they will neither approve nor deny the project, but will be good sports and keep that can rolling on down the road. One of the beauties of this game is that if you play it long enough it eventually becomes someone else’s problem. So we can be confident that we’ll be looking forward to Two Paseo. Three Paseo? Four?