Opponents of the mixed-use One Paseo proposal have collected more than 61,000 signatures from voters opposed to the project, according to a representative with the opposition.
The boxes full of signatures were delivered to the county registrar's office in Kearny Mesa Wednesday morning, just weeks after the San Diego City Council approved the project. The final count added up to 61,235 signatures, said Jeff Powers with Protect San Diego’s Neighborhoods.
The opposition effort needs 34,000 signatures to send the issue back to the council, which can then decide to reverse their decision or put it on a citywide ballot.
He told NBC 7 the campaign proves the city council disregarded the voice of four community planning groups and thousands of local residents who don't want to see the 23-acre, $750 million project move forward.
However, the City Clerk received approximately 27,500 forms from voters looking to rescind their support for the petition, said Rachel Laing, spokeswoman for Kilroy Realty. Kilroy is the company behind the One Paseo development.
"We have turned in more than 27,000 signature withdrawals to the clerk," said Laing, "so that's half the number of signatures they collected. We actually turned in withdrawals, so if all of their signatures are valid and all of ours are valid, then they don't get this to qualify."
Both sets of signatures now need to be verified.
City Council President Sherri Lightner joined Protect San Diego’s Neighborhoods to submit One Paseo petition signatures.
"I believe the signatures of more than 55,000 San Diegans from all over the city will send a strong message that the approval of this project threatens every neighborhood in the city," said Lightner.
Opponents submitted the petition signatures to the county registrar at 11 a.m. Wednesday. They need at least 34,000 signatures to send the initiative to voters.
The One Paseo Project includes the construction of stores and eateries, the expansion of a movie theater and the addition of more than 600 family apartments and a parking structure in Carmel Valley.
The council gave their initial OK to the plan in late February, though they did say developer Kilroy Realty must add 60 affordable housing units and a synchronized traffic system. Council President Sherri Lightner and Council President Pro Tem Marti Emerald were the dissenting votes.
The San Diego Planning Commission approved the proposal for the 1.4 million square-foot, mixed-use village slated for the corner of Del Mar Heights Road and El Camino Real.
The panel agreed to the plan on the condition that developer Kilroy Realty agreed to make 11 changes to the master plan.
Hundreds of people showed up to hear the debate at council chambers on Feb. 23 — so many that Golden Hall had to be used as an overflow area. About 600 people signed up to speak on the issue, many wearing red shirts to show their opposition to One Paseo.
However, supporters say the development would be a positive addition to the area, bringing 1,600 new jobs, 600 news homes and $630 million to the local economy.
The Carmel Valley Planning Board voted against the current proposal but its members have said they support a smaller version of the plan.
Opponents say the project is too big and would create a traffic nightmare.
If all goes as planned, Kilroy Realty will break ground by the end of the year. Its completion date is set for 2018.