Stiff Opposition to San Diego Mixed-Use Mega-Project

In February, the city council approved One Paseo, a 1.4 million-square-foot mix of offices, residences, retail, and entertainment. The project's detractors have forced a referendum, putting a kink in San Diego's urbanist planning ambitions.
May 18, 2015, 12pm PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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One Paseo, in various iterations, has been a subject of debate in San Diego for the past six years. "Project backers say that One Paseo closely follows the city's stated goal of creating a 'city of villages,' channeling growth to high-density, infill projects."

Critics say the project does little to integrate its density with the low-slung, affluent neighborhoods nearby. "'On its own terms, it is a very, very good project,' says William Fulton, the city's former planning director [...] 'But it is an island in an auto-oriented suburban development.'"

High-density development, in general, faces "stiff resistance from neighborhood groups, which typically wield tremendous influence in the city's planning process. A proposal to build taller buildings near light-rail stations in the Bay Park area of San Diego was ultimately tabled after community complaints about views and traffic."

On May 18, the San Diego City Council will opt either to repeal their February decision or put the matter to a public vote. 

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Published on Monday, May 4, 2015 in ULI Urban Land Magazine
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