Monday, December 16, 2013
Supporters of recently adopted zoning regulations in Barrio Logan urged the City Council on Monday to place the issue before voters, rather than rescind the laws in the face of opposition by area shipyards.
Council members are scheduled to decide Tuesday how to handle the update of the Barrio Logan Community Plan, which they approved on a pair of 5-4 party-line votes in separate actions in September and October.
The zoning plan seeks to separate industrial and residential land uses, which are intermingled in the economically disadvantaged neighborhood south of downtown San Diego.
However, shipyard officials fear a buffer zone created to enable the separation will eventually drive suppliers out of the area, raising costs. The San Diego Ship Repair Association sponsored separate referendum drives to undo the zoning update -- and one received enough signatures to force the City Council to rescind the plan or subject it to a public vote.
The other petitions are still being counted.
"It's clear that the greedy executives running these out-of-state corporations don't care about the folks living and working in Barrio Logan," said Georgette Gomez, associate director of the Environmental Health Coalition. "We want (the) City Council to stay the course by sending the Barrio Logan Community Plan to a citywide vote and telling the industry they can't buy democracy in San Diego."
Supporters of the zoning plan have also enlisted the support of unions representing workers at the shipyards.
Bobby Godinez, of Boilermakers Local 1998, said shipyard workers wholeheartedly support the plan.
Opponents, however, say the impact of costly restrictions will eventually result in job losses.
Interim Mayor Todd Gloria, often a swing vote on the City Council, said recently he does not intend to repeal the zoning plan.