San Diego Community Development

A proposed mixed-use high-density development that could possible help to solve San Diego’s home shortage and make way for a brilliant future for Carmel Valley has been met with some discord. Community leaders met in early September and promptly rejected a project that developers feel could play a key role in the future growth of San Diego as a city with more urbanized neighborhoods.

The project known as One Paseo is supposed to be a 23-acre, $1 billion development of Carmel Valley, a small community just 20 miles north of downtown San Diego. The development is meant to create a more urbanized feel to the area by increasing the density of living with nine-story office buildings, towers of condominiums and a regional shopping center all within a small parcel of land.

The idea has been hailed by city officials as the future of the growth of San Diego and a smart plan to accommodate home buyers trying to get into the area. However, existing residents of Carmel Valley are not at all excited at the prospect of their community being pushed and prodded into an urban center.

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“You want us to put up with so much and we get nothing,” said planning group member Hollie Kahn, to U-T San Diego. “Are you willing to throw us under the bus for the benefit of San Diego?”

Project Misses The Mark For San Diego Home Owners

While the project could create an economic boom for the area, many home owners and Carmel Valley officials are concerned that too much is at stake for this quiet community. One of the biggest concerns is transportation. The city lacks a public transit, and although plans are in the works for a “rapid bus” line” to be in service by 2030, the increase in home owners commuting in to San Diego would create greater traffic congestion problems.

The grandeur and allure of the project was not totally lost on Carmel Valley neighborhood leaders, however. Some suggested a paring down of the project from 608 condominiums to 304, half as many offices and a smaller retail development. Under this provision, the project would shrink from 1.4 million square feet to 875,000 square feet. However, the One Paseo planning commission feels it has already compromised in coming down earlier in the planning process from a proposed 2.1 million square feet.

“We feel we delivered to the community an absolutely wonderful project,” Marcela Escobar-Eck, a land-use consultant working on the project, said to U-T San Diego.

The battle for Carmel Valley will wage on as the project has only been stalled by the neighborhood leaders’ rejection. The One Paseo development commission still has to face the San Diego Planning Commission and City Council to get final approval to construct the project or amend it as needed.

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