Developer's concept illustration
In the weeks leading up to city council's final vote, Los Angeles–based heavyweight developer Kilroy Realty will continue to lobby hard for their proposed mixed-used development One Paseo.
To help push through the 1.5-million-square-foot development at the corner of Del Mar Heights Road and El Camino Real, Kilroy Realty has spent millions on campaign contributions, influential city lobbyists, public relations firms, and on trying to shape the debate at the community level by throwing pizza parties for supporters who agreed to show their support at community planning-group hearings.
As reported by the Reader, the developer paid outside public relations firms that specialize in devising fake-grassroots campaigns in hopes of making “NIMBYs and naysayers irrelevant.”
Gearing up for an upcoming city council vote, Kilroy has taken a new tack. As reported by the Reader's Matt Potter, on December 30, Kilroy Realty formed its own political action committee called Citizens for a Business Friendly San Diego. According to a statement filed with the city clerk's office, their mission is to "support candidates to foster San Diego business investment."
Robert Little, vice president of development for Kilroy, is listed as one of the committee's principal officers.
Fighting the project is a group of Carmel Valley residents who feel the massive mixed-use project is too large for their community. Over the course of the past few years, the members of At What Price Main Street have created a website, passed out pamphlets at supermarkets, and attended planning-group meetings to try and scale back the proposal.
Last month, members of the residents’ group launched a new campaign called "Just the Facts." The campaign consists of a series of emails debunking claims made by Kilroy Realty in trying to get the development approved.
So far, the group has challenged Kilroy's claims that the development is a bike- and pedestrian-friendly development.
"One Paseo is NOT smart growth development," reads a December 31 installment of Just the Facts. "Smart growth projects are designed to minimize car usage and promote bicycling, walking and transit in the community. One Paseo does none of these."
The group has also attacked claims made regarding the amount of open space to be included in the project as well as claims that the development fits the tenets of Carmel Valley's community plan.
The influx of money and city-hall lobbying has yet to pay off for Kilroy and the underdog residents appear to have gotten the better of the exchange. In September 2013, the Carmel Valley Planning Group voted to reject Kilroy's proposal. The following month, on October 16, city planning commissioners recommended that changes be made before final approval. However, the final decision will be made by the city council, expected to vote on the proposal in the coming month.