Lawsuits Filed Against San Diego and One Paseo Project Developer

by on April 9, 2015 · 10 comments

in Culture, Economy, Environment, History, Media, Organizing, Politics, San Diego

One-Paseo-Slider-2.jpgSuits Contend Project’s Environmental Impact Report Flawed

Two lawsuits were filed on April 8th in efforts to halt the controversial One Paseo Project. In the first, three community groups sued the City of San Diego over the flawed environmental impact report (EIR).

The second suit was filed by the owner of Del Mar Highlands Town Center against the City and Kilroy Realty Corporation, the project’s developer. It also challenges the validity of the EIR prepared for the development.

Both suits contend that the vote of approval of the project was based on an EIR that was not adequate.

In the first suit, three community groups – the Alliance for Responsible Development, the East Bluff Community Association, and Mitigate One Paseo –  are composed of residents who are very concerned about the impact of the project on their communities, and about traffic and safety impacts.

The second suit was initiated by Donahue Schriber, the owner of Del Mar Highlands Town Center – a short distance from the proposed site of One Paseo.

One Paseo is also the subject of a referendum campaign currently underway.

“One Paseo’s environmental documents are riddled with flaws and inconsistencies,” said Josh Chatten-
Brown, an attorney with the firm  handling the suit by the community groups.  He stated in a press release:

“There are several instances where improper assumptions are made to reduce the reported severity of impacts on the surrounding communities. The Environmental Impact Report does not provide the objective, good faith analysis of impacts, alternatives, and mitigation measures that is required by California law.”

 More was stated by William Bibb, President of Alliance for Responsible Development:

“As a long term resident of Carmel Valley and San Diego County, I am concerned about protecting the quality of life in our communities. We cannot allow developers to come into our community and create density without first providing convenient access to an established network of public transportation.

Such access is the key element of both Smart Growth and transit-oriented development (“TOD”) policies aimed at reducing reliance on automobile traffic with harmful greenhouse emissions and unhealthful particulates.

Further, our state is facing an historic drought of Biblical proportions. It is clear that the necessary water infrastructure does not exist to cope with fantasies of unlimited growth.”

 The other group involved in the suit – the East Bluff Community Association – has its president, one Janie Emerson. Emerson stated:

“My biggest concern is that the City Council’s vote totally negated the vibrant community planning process that took place in Del Mar Valley. This should be a major concern to every resident in the City of San Diego. If our City Council can totally ignore the wishes of the community and completely trample their community planning process as it did here, then this can happen in any neighborhood.”

The suit by Donahue Schriber zeros in on what is alleged is the inadequacy of the EIR and its “failure to accurately identify project impacts and propose mitigation measures adequate for offsetting these effects.”

It is also contended in a press statement that:

“the City violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in approving the One Paseo project and its EIR and failed to follow the mandatory procedural requirements of CEQA, adequately evaluate the environmental impacts of the project, adequately evaluate feasible alternatives, and impose adequate and feasible mitigation measures to reduce the project’s environmental impacts.” 

Background on One Paseo

The One Paseo project would be the largest mixed use development in California without mass transit.  As proposed, the massive project includes a 1.45-million-square-foot development of residential, office and retail uses. The development has been criticized for significant alterations to the community plan and zoning laws, and there are wide concerns about traffic impacts, due to estimates that it will generate nearly five times the traffic on area roadways which are planned to accommodate it.

Other criticized impacts include the introduction of 150-foot towers in a community largely comprised of one- and two-story homes and low-rise office buildings, its failure to comply with the General Plan’s City of Villages growth strategy, which calls for the development of neighborhood-serving and transit-oriented villages that cater to local community needs.

Proposed by Los Angeles-based developer Kilroy Realty, One Paseo has been the subject of intense opposition from the local community since the Draft EIR was released in 2010. Since then, serious concerns have been raised about its significant impacts and the inadequacies within the report.

The suit asserts that despite receiving more than 400 comments on the draft report, the EIR was not revised to address concerns

  • about traffic impacts,
  • safety,
  • the compatibility with the surrounding development,
  • aesthetic and air quality impacts, especially from the removal of mature trees that would be required to widen Del Mar Heights Road,
  • an insecure water supply,
  • increased noise,
  • and conflicts with the City’s General and local land use plans.Donahue Schriber Files Lawsuit to Challenge



{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Richard Hall April 9, 2015 at 9:13 pm

We have faced the same thing in Marin County. Residents concerns are bypassed and disregarded. Puppet committees are former that supposedly represent residents and give buy in.

The reality is that most new residents will drive despite promises that many will take transit. The Intitute of Transportation Engineers estimate each unit will generate 6.72 daily car trips.

Robert Cervero, father of Transit Oriented Development conceded that in existing low density suburban areas with free parking there is “suburban bias” and stated trip reduction is greatly reduced.

More analysis and the story of how were winning in Marin County at:


bill April 10, 2015 at 12:00 pm

the hon. todd is just trying to create union construction jobs in carmel valley that pay a living wage. maybe if the large people hadn’t acted so parsimoniously on the enhanced minimum wage issue, the hon. todd would not have acted so vindictively with one paseo.


South Park April 11, 2015 at 11:44 am

The hon. todd, now running for assembly, will have a fundraiser hosted by the Hitzke developer mentioned in the comment below. That’s the way it works. Co-hosts and donors include Hitzke buddies SWS Engineering, Foundation for Form, and Marcella Escobar-Eck, among many others dependent on access to public monies, contracts, and privileges. They will also support/donate to Anthony Bernal, who is aiming to take over hon. todd’s role (much better D3 candidate = Chris Ward


South Park April 10, 2015 at 12:32 pm

Residents of South Sierra Ave in Solana Beach have also filed a lawsuit
against Solana Beach and developer Hitzke Corp over a development approved by the Solana Beach City Council.

The initial plan goes back to 2009:

The 3-story 10-unit rental/commercial-use development will entirely fill a small city-owned beach-access parking lot. The lot was originally deeded to the City of Solana Beach, restricted exclusively for providing public parking. The 3-story development, if built, will block from light and views the west side of a building immediately to the east side of the parking lot. The parking lot, about 14,700 square feet, is along a coastal access roadway west of Hwy 101. It provides 31 public parking spaces and is an important lot used by the junior lifeguard groups and many locals and beachgoers. There is no public transportation on South Sierra. Developer Hitzke claims that the 31 spaces will still be available to the public, but will be underground, in the parking area for renters of the 10 units.
The lawsuit claims, among other things, that CEQA is being violated. Hitzke is represented by Coast Law Group; CLG’s Marco Gonzalez released a statement saying that this type of lawsuit is what “has caused legislators to push for CEQA reform”; of course he really means that it has caused developers to push legislators to reform CEQA. Gonzalez claims that the lawsuit is an “abuse of the law’s intent.” This seems to me to be an admission that CEQA has, indeed, been violated.

Because all 10 units are to be low-income rentals, the developer gets a sweet deal: overall, the City of Solana Beach loans Hitzke Corp $2 million ($648K upfront for design, plus $1.4 mill for construction). Interest is 3%, to be due in 55 years. I think the developer collects the rental income for those 55 years. Does anyone know what “low income” is in Solana Beach, in an exclusive residential area? Or how much rent would be paid for low-income units?


near the cliffs April 10, 2015 at 1:19 pm

Holy smokes!! This is getting intense…


Desde la Logan April 12, 2015 at 9:03 am

As a resident of Barrio Logan why should I care about some affluent community’s problem when they couldn’t care less when it came to supporting our community plan and our struggle for a less toxic community? Oh yeah. I don’t care. I hope Carmel Valley and the surrounding areas choke on the smog, traffic and other issues that arise from this monster development.


South Park April 13, 2015 at 5:31 pm

That’s sad, Desde. To not care about something out of revenge is the flip side of caring only because people you like care about something. Don’t lose the conviction of your beliefs, no matter how defeated you feel.


Bill Smith April 13, 2015 at 3:11 am

Nice to hear some fresh reality. The smug renters of Ocean Beach need a reality check.


Geoff Page April 13, 2015 at 4:16 pm

What does that mean? Why do you say “smug” renters of OB?


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