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Many perspectives, 1 simple etiquette

Preserve Access to Coastal Communities by Voting No on Measure E

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Created: 05 October, 2020
Updated: 14 August, 2022
3 min read

This is an independent opinion. Have one of your own? Email it to hoa@ivn.us

How does San Diego compare to other coastal cities? Like San Francisco and Santa Barbara, San Diego is well-positioned on the beautiful Pacific coast.

Unlike these cities, San Diego has officials who seem determined to wall-off our coast and bays. San Francisco has preserved four closed military bases and an amazing 82,000 acres of prime coastal headlands – forever protected for public use. Santa Barbara's coastal height limit allows for an open waterfront on the blue Pacific for residents and tourists alike. San Diego is a different story. 

Our city officials have already surrendered the downtown bayfront to high-rise hotel developers.  Mission Bay is dominated by six hotels, which are allowed to expand whenever they want. 

By removing the 30-foot height limit, Measure E would open the door to all kinds of poorly-planned projects. 

Save Coastal Access by Voting No On Measure E

Measure E is the latest attempt to treat our public coastal area as raw land for developers. The high-rise developers backing Measure E want to dismantle our 30-foot Coastal Height Limit. 

How did we get the 30-foot height limit? Back in 1972, San Diegans saw that developers were putting up high-rises along the beach and in Mission Bay Park. They could foresee a wall of luxury buildings, shutting out the public. A group of residents secured a place on the ballot for Proposition D, the Coastal Height Limit, for all communities in the city of San Diego west of Interstate 5, except for downtown. 

It passed overwhelmingly.

Find More Election 2020 Coverage Here

Now, after 48 years of protecting our coastal areas, Proposition D is in danger. Measure E proposes to eliminate the 30-foot height limit in the entire Midway community. 

When combined with a new city proposal known as Complete Communities, Measure E would allow projects in Midway with "no height limit! We call it "Complete Community Destruction.” 

The vast area proposed for high-rises includes the Sports Arena, the old post office, NAVWAR, and Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD). Why should San Diegans go along with developers' plans for excessive projects?

River Trail Park

As in other cities, coastal activists in San Diego believe that public land should remain in public use, especially in the cooler coastal areas where people gather when summer comes. 

An alternative to overdevelopment has been proposed: A large city park extending from San Diego Bay to Mission Bay Park. A water feature could be included, to allow visitors to walk, bike, float and paddle.   The new park can include sports fields for youth and adult use to make up for deficiencies in nearby neighborhoods. 

Public Coastal Access or Private Wall 

Measure E, if passed, would accelerate a major population increase in the Midway area, adding over 20,000 more residents. Car trips would increase by 80,000 per day!

Would the new housing be affordable? That's unlikely. High-rise developers want to build luxury condos with views, not affordable housing. It's well known that high-rises are expensive to build and are priced for the "upper end.”

The added residents would need open space and recreation, but the city is adding residents without adding enough parks. 

ALSO READ: San Diego's Measure E Can Help Us Meet Our Climate Action Plan Goals

A common target nationally for large redevelopment areas is 30% devoted to public open space. For Midway, the city proposes only 2.3%! 

When 20,000 people encounter overcrowded parks, they will head for the coast. This will further back up traffic on Interstate 5, Interstate 8, and on Midway Drive, Sports Arena Boulevard and Rosecrans Street. 

Access to the coast is essential for San Diego residents. You can't enjoy the coast if you can't get there!

To preserve the Coastal Height Limit and save access to the coast for all San Diegans, vote “no” on Measure E!