A petition gatherer at a Donahue Schriber shopping center in Del Mar. Photo by Chris Jennewein

A ballot referendum effort funded by a competing developer to stop the One Paseo project in Carmel Valley is drawing heated accusations from both sides.

Protect San Diego’s Neighborhoods, which receives major funding from developer Donahue Schriber, says One Paseo developer Kilroy Realty is hiring multiple signature gathering firms to prevent them from working against the project, intimidating those working on the referendum, and trying to convince voters to remove their names from petitions.

“Kilroy’s attempts to torpedo our efforts and manipulate San Diego voters are despicable. The company knows that if our efforts succeed and One Paseo is placed before voters, it will be soundly defeated,” said Jeff Powers, a spokesperson for Protect San Diego’s Neighborhoods.

Rachel Laing, a spokesperson for Kilroy, said the developer “is exercising its First Amendment right to educate people before they sign a petition. Our folks are also giving people the opportunity to rescind their signature if they feel they’ve been misled. We’ve hired the best local canvassers and instructed them to undertake their efforts ethically and respectfully, and we have absolutely no reason to believe they’ve done otherwise.”

The City Council voted 6-1 last week to give final approval to the project. Opponents immediately began a signature-gathering effort place a referendum on the ballot to stop the project. Donahue Schriber, which owns the shopping center across the street from the project as well as another center nearby, is providing major funding.

Opponents say the $750 million mixed-use project on 24 acres of vacant land will harm the character of affluent Carmel Valley and bring too much traffic.

One Paseo site looking northeast toward Del Mar Heights Town Center. Photo by Chris Jennewein
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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.