The council, in a pair of votes earlier this year, approved the 23.6-acre One Paseo project. However, opponents who contend the high density of the project would worsen an already congested area collected enough petition signatures to force the council to reconsider.
Several hundred people attended the meeting, which was moved to Golden Hall to accommodate the crowd. The council voted 7-2 to schedule a new hearing for Thursday at 1 p.m. in the City Administration Building, with council President Sherri Lightner, who represents the project area, and Councilwoman Marti Emerald dissenting. Lightner said it was clear that the public did not want a postponement.
The proposed development by Kilroy Realty calls for 10 buildings encompassing nearly 1.5 million square feet of floor space, including shops, offices, a movie theater and more than 600 housing units south of Del Mar Heights Road, between El Camino Real and High Bluff Drive.
The project was approved by the City Council on votes of 7-2 and 6-1.
The referendum was funded by Orange County-based Donahue Schriber, the owner of Del Mar Highlands Town Center across the street from the empty lot eyed by Kilroy. Donahue Schriber contends the project would worsen congestion in the area and that the city's community planning process was ignored.
Kilroy officials said the density and building sizes have been reduced to meet community concerns, and that high-tech traffic signals will manage roadway congestion.
The expense of a ballot measure could be a major factor in the council's decision-making. According to City Clerk Elizabeth Maland, the county charges several hundred thousand dollars for each proposition, with the exact cost to be set later when various issues are worked out.
A ballot measure on One Paseo is expected to include far more pages than a typical proposition, making it much more expensive. The city is already planning propositions on whether to raise the minimum wage, whether to make a host of changes to the City Charter and, maybe, whether to build a new football stadium.