David Dodd 2:33 a.m., May 19
Councilmember Sherri Lightner's Campaign Receives Thousands From One Paseo Developer
Representatives from Kilroy Realty have gone out of their way to gain support from Carmel Valley residents for their 1,857,440 square-square foot development project One Paseo, Carmel Valley's largest development to date.
But residents have come out against the project, saying the project would create too many negative impacts for their community. They started a website, written op-eds in local papers such as the Del Mar Times, and have attended community meetings where they voiced their concerns.
In response, Kilroy has pledged to work with the local residents. The development company hosted community outreach events, met with community members, and they even hired former Director of Development Services Marcela Escobar-Eck to serve as a consultant on the project.
Another thing the top executives at Kilroy have done is donate $2,499.22 to district 1 council member Sherri Lightner's campaign for reelection.
According to campaign finance reports, president of Kilroy Realty, John Kilroy personally gave Lightner's campaign $500. As did chief operating officer Jeffrey Hawken, vice president Elizabeth Smagala, senior vice president Justin Smart, and vice president of development Robert Little, who made two donations totaling $499.22.
The donations have some residents worried. "The [draft environmental impact report] reveals significant and unmitigable impacts on traffic and community character in Carmel Valley," writes Carmel Valley resident William Bibb in an email. "Sherri Lightner should not be swayed by Kilroy's lobbying and its campaign contributions to approve this project against the vast majority of residents' wishes. Rather, she should demand a reasonable alternative plan that will not destroy the quality of life in Carmel Valley and is consistent with the community plan...It is disappointing that Sherri would accept money from people with business before her office."
I am waiting to hear back from Lightner's campaign about these donations.