Carmel Valley traffic is already a problem.
With its Main Street project, Kilroy Realty Corporation has proposed the largest density increase ever considered in Carmel Valley's +30-year history. The project will create significant traffic and infrastructure impacts to our community and surrounding neighborhoods, as well as our residents, businesses and visitors. Every community member who has an interest in seeing that the controls and safeguards of the Carmel Valley Community Plan are maintained and preserved stands to lose if this development is approved. The following are just a few of the numerous and significant impacts the Main Street project will have on our community.
Increased traffic to local streets already busting at the seams.
The Main Street project would add an estimated 26,000 traffic trips per day to Carmel Valley roads, which is more than 4 times the estimated traffic generation for the site as currently zoned. These traffic estimates do not include projected traffic from nearby approved entitlements that will contribute to daily gridlock. The project would bring two additional stop lights and pedestrian crossings on Del Mar Heights Road between High Bluff Drive and El Camino Real increasing travel and wait times for all commuters and residents along this main artery in Carmel Valley. The traffic slowing created by these two new intersections would become an additional contributor to major gridlock along Del Mar Heights Road, which will impact neighboring communities as well as Carmel Valley. Additionally, the project would drastically increase traffic congestion during peak hours on I-5, Del Mar Heights Road, El Camino Real and High Bluff Drive.
The photo above of Del Mar Heights Road looking west from El Camino Real shows the sensitivity of the current roadway system in Carmel Valley to increased traffic-in this case due to parking at Torrey Pines High School during the County Fair. For a point of reference, TPHS provides about 775 parking spaces: the proposed One Paseo-Main Street would have about 4,100 parking spaces, or about 5.25X more than TPHS. It is not hard to envision this level of traffic congestion all day, every day of the year, when the project is built out.
The following chart puts the traffic increase from existing entitlements for building and the proposed increase entitlements by Kilroy in perspective to the total traffic at the intersection of El Camino Real and Del Mar Heights Rd. into perspective:
(Click on image to enlarge)
It's important to remember that there will be additional traffic from existing entitlements:
Destruction of community character.
The size and scale of the proposed Main Street project is inconsistent with the community and precise plans, as well as Carmel Valley's existing community character. Though currently planned for 500,000 square feet of office, the developer has proposed 1,852,580 square feet of development on the 22.8-acre project site. If approved, the One Paseo-Main Street project would be 9 times the density of Del Mar Highlands Town Center. The project includes office buildings as high as 10 stories that would stand approximately 170 feet tall, more than 25 percent higher than the tallest office building in Carmel Valley.
The scale of the proposed office building and hotel are not consistent with the community character of Carmel Valley.
Strain on existing infrastructure.
If onsite parking becomes impacted, there will be no place for the project's residents, employees and visitors to park except along residential streets to the north of Del Mar Heights Road or in existing retail parking areas in the adjacent Del Mar Highlands Town Center. Residents from the early 1990s may recall the overflow parking throughout residential streets that disrupted the residential neighborhoods north of Del Mar Heights Road when a single high-occupancy office tenant along High Bluff Drive was permitted to occupy a large office space.