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Mayor Gloria Says Council Should Not Back Down From Barrio Logan Update

Photo by Claire Trageser / KPBS

Above: Interim Mayor Todd Gloria talks to reporters in City Hall.

Referendums attempting to overturn the Barrio Logan Community Plan Update are likely headed to San Diego voting booths. Interim Mayor and Council President Todd Gloria said Thursday that he does not want the City Council to backtrack on the plan.

Referendums attempting to overturn the Barrio Logan Community Plan Update are likely headed to San Diego voting booths.

Earlier this week, a San Diego judge denied a temporary restraining order in the challenge to the referendums, which want to do away with the plan to rezone Barrio Logan. The plan is opposed by shipbuilders who share the neighborhood with Barrio Logan residents.

So the City Council now has a choice. It can repeal the plan to avoid a public vote on it, or stay the course. Gloria chooses staying the course.

"To repeal that plan would be to consign Barrio Logan to this mish-mash of uses that are unhelpful for kids and that are bad for businesses in that community," he said. "I'm not interested in repealing the ordinance or the resolution. Of course that means that the proponents of the referendum are going to cost taxpayers a significant amount of money for us to pursue it. So be it. I think that's regrettable, I hoped that we wouldn't come to this point."

Gloria said the council has repealed its measures in the past under threat of referendums, and "all that's gotten us is more of these referendum challenges."

"This in part informs my opinion" on the Barrio Logan plan, he said.

Gloria spokeswoman Katie Keach said the City Council will likely vote on whether to repeal the Barrio Logan Community Plan Update on Tuesday, Dec. 17.

The City Clerk will report to the City Council on Tuesday, Dec. 10 about whether there were enough signatures for the second referendum to overturn the plan to make it to the ballot, but the council won't vote that day, Keach said. The first referendum to overturn the plan has already qualified.

There are two separate referendums because the City Council approved the community plan update in two separate votes: one to adopt the new plan and another to approve new zoning and other ordinances.

Opponents of the plan update say it will hurt the maritime industry and cost jobs by restricting industrial development in part of the neighborhood. But Gloria and other supporters say it won't have much of an impact.

"Nine blocks of Barrio Logan will not make or break the maritime industry," Gloria said.

Instead, Gloria said he thinks the city should focus on ending federal sequestration, which he said is a bigger threat to the maritime industry.

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