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Citizens’ Plan Qualifies For November Ballot

Photo caption: A view of the San Diego Convention Center and the downtown skyline from Coron...

Photo credit: Michael Schuerman

A view of the San Diego Convention Center and the downtown skyline from Coronado, Feb. 14, 2015.

The Citizens' Plan for San Diego, a wide-ranging initiative that would direct the future of tourism and dedicate the Qualcomm Stadium property for educational use and parkland should it become vacant, has qualified for the November ballot, City Clerk Elizabeth Maland announced Tuesday.

The City Council will now have to decide whether to put it before voters in the general election.

The initiative would raise hotel room taxes by 5 percent to 15.5 percent, prohibit a waterfront expansion of the San Diego Convention Center and encourage an expansion of San Diego State University and UC San Diego onto the Qualcomm Stadium site.

The measure also would require voter approval of any public funds that would be spent on building a downtown stadium for the Chargers, and support the creation of parkland along the San Diego River.

The Chargers' stadium plan will also go before voters in November.

Backers of the Citizens Plan initiative turned in nearly 101,900 signatures in April, but after a 30-day verification sampling, it was too close to call whether it would qualify. Maland said the county Registrar of Voters Office subsequently went through more than 92,000 signatures to reach the required 66,447 valid names.

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith issued a scathing opinion on the initiative earlier in April, saying it would bring "significant risk" to the city. Briggs said Goldsmith was wrong.

CORRECTION: The original version of this story incorrectly said the City Council could adopt the plan's provision's without a public vote. The story has been updated.

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