Is a dense project proposed for Carmel Valley the kind of “smart growth” that needs to become the norm in San Diego, or is it an overly ambitious neighborhood nightmare?
That’s the question facing San Diego City Council members as they prepare to vote Monday evening on One Paseo, a proposed 1.4 million-square-foot complex of office buildings, condos and retail stores.
If One Paseo gets approved, developers may begin proposing similarly dense projects in other neighborhoods with infrastructure capable of handling the city’s growing population, such as Mission Valley and Grantville. If it gets rejected, developers may shy away from such projects.
“It’s not overstating things to say this is a key litmus test,” said Rachel Laing, spokeswoman for the $750 million project’s developer, Kilroy Realty. “This is being watched closely by people who are considering this type of development.”
City officials have long expressed support for smart growth, which has been called the “city of villages” concept locally.
The idea is to build dense housing along existing transportation corridors so that new subdivisions don’t sprawl into relatively undeveloped, rural areas.