Judge Rules Barrio Logan Community Plan Will Be Referendum On June 3 Ballot
A San Diego Superior Court judge has denied an injunction that would have put the Barrio Logan community plan into the courtroom.
The Environmental Health Coalition showed that one of three arguments made to prospective petition signers by the zoning plan's opponents was misleading, but it was not enough to keep voters from weighing in on the issue, Superior Court Judge Randa Trapp ruled following oral arguments.
The judge said she legally had "very limited power" to remove a ballot item.
The fate of the plan will now be decided by a referendum on the June 3 ballot.
When the Barrio Logan Community Plan was passed with a 5-4 vote by the San Diego City Council last year, the Port of San Diego Ship Repair Association fought back with a referendum. The Environmental Health Coalition, an activist group that supports the Barrio Logan community plan, had accused the association of directing their paid signature gatherers to lie to voters about the effects of the plan.
The judge agreed with EHC attorney Marco Gonzalez that petition signature-gatherers misled prospective signers by claiming the new zoning regulations would lead to 46,000 job losses and $14 billion in lost revenues.
However, she said he failed to meet his burden regarding other claims made by the signature-gatherers -- that the Navy could eventually leave San Diego and that residential development could encroach on industrial areas.
In the ruling, the court said:
“The evidence suggests that although the (ship repair) association could have been more proactive (the ship repair association) did not have ultimate control of the circulators, who were independent contractors.”
Friday is the last day for the San Diego City Clerk to set the ballot for the June election.
City News Service contributed to this report.