William Bibb wrote a great comment to one of the postings on how influence and money can buy you special treatment downtown, allowing big developers to bypass normal safeguards to get an unreasonable project approved. I thought everyone might want to take a look:
Why would we want more traffic and more signal lights in our community based on this over-sized building project? There is no benefit to our community that could possibly offset than damage to our productivity caused by sitting in Los Angeles-style traffic due to the two new traffic lights and the additional 27,000 auto trips per day. Many physicians and lawyers live in this community so that they have access to the I/5 Freeway to go to the courts and hospital emergency rooms around the county. One 23-acre development will cost each of these professionals many thousands of dollars worth of lost time sitting on Del Mar Heights Road during the course of a year's time. This will continue in perpetuity just so that Kilroy Realty Corporation can make a few hundred-millions of dollars extra to compensate for the high price they paid for the property.
Kilroy has used PR strategies and sophisticated lobbying, including the revolving door strategies such as hiring former personnel from the Development Services Department in Downtown San Diego. The community character will be altered in this charming community. Can I build a ten story condo on my lot? No! I'd have to go through the architectural committee and change the zoning. Well, somehow Kilroy can buy influence and do just that.
Kilroy needs to go maximum twice their entitlement to bring this project down to scale. Four times their entitlement is an outrageous example of special interests being given more consideration for their profits. Parking is now brutal at the Del Mar Heights Town Center. Friday nights have changed in the past year to vicious competition for parking. Saturdays are a nightmare for shopping and parking in the past year.
The San Marcos plan will NOT buzz traffic through as claimed. In fact, the San Marcos traffic engineers state unequivocally that traffic is actually slowed in the Eastbound direct by 30% during rush hour in the afternoon.
Kilroy should have the same due process rights to use their real estate as anyone else. They should have to go through the same process, including community input with notice and an opportunity to be heard on the part of the residents and property owners affected. This project has gone under the radar through many cycles of the DEIR. I personally made a formal Public Records Act request to the DSD and received not a single document! Even the letter they claimed that they mailed to me never was received by me.
The Kilroy project in line with their entitlement will still bring more office space for jobs, while a large hotel will bring traffic and mostly low paying jobs to persons outside the community who will commute here to change linens for minimum wage. Kilroy does not set aside open space for a public park or make any contribution to the community above their normal entitlement.
Building buildings will NOT bring prosperity to our community. That is not Smart Development. This community already has plenty of shopping centers and has NO public transportation for additional people to come here without driving more autos. Likewise, people who believe that they can go to a Trader Joes will end up driving, not walking with heavy bags of groceries. Disabled pedestrians will require crossings that will impede traffic. There are seasonal events such as the Del Mar Fair and the horse racing during summer months that no amount of timed traffic signals can ameliorate. Emergency firefighters who are retired have advised that emergency services will be less able to fight fires and transport people with life-threatening illness to the Emergency Rooms. A wildfire would devastate this community as almost happened in 2006. Our homes would burn down while Kilroy makes EXTRA dollars because of their ability to capture regulation and short-circuit the community planning process.
I have worked in construction and development and had some urban planning and architecture school in college. As a lawyer I have represented developers and environmental groups. I know both sides of the fence. There are too numerous unmitigatable drawbacks about a project this size in this community under these circumstances. I sincerely hope that these considerations will be taken into account and that the project will be scaled back to the appropriate size to preserve the scenic values and anesthetic values represented by this community.
Thank you in advance.
Very Truly Yours,
William C. Bibb, Esq.
A concerned resident of Carmel Valley.