Mayor Faulconer Endorses Measure E To Repeal Midway Height Limit
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer endorsed Measure E, the city charter amendment on the November ballot that would lift the city's 30-foot height limit in the Midway District.
Faulconer, who lives nearby in Point Loma, said he remains a staunch supporter of the 30-foot coastal height limit in all other areas where it applies — but that Midway was not a coastal neighborhood and had no coastal views to protect.
"Measure E preserves the height limit in all of San Diego's beach communities, and it gives us a chance to finally turn the landlocked Midway District around," he said.
City voters approved the coastal height limit in 1972, restricting all new construction in neighborhoods west of Interstate 5 to 30 feet or less. It exempts the downtown area and land owned by the state or federal governments.
Cathy Kenton, who chairs the volunteer Midway-Pacific Highway Community Planning Group, blamed the height limit for much of the blight and lack of investment that has characterized the area for decades. And she rejected criticism that Measure E was a giveaway to developers.
"This campaign did not originate with big developers or corporate interests," Kenton said. "It originated years ago in this neighborhood, and we are proud to move it forward. Measure E is a movement by the community, for the community."
Measure E has no organized or funded opposition yet, though some opponents have argued lifting the height limit in Midway was a slippery slope that could lead to changing the height limit in other neighborhoods.
As the campaign for Measure E continues, city officials are entering talks with a development team they selected to redevelop the city-owned Pechanga Arena and the surrounding neighborhood. The vision includes many new buildings taller than 30 feet, and it's unclear whether any redevelopment could pencil out if voters reject Measure E.
The measure has been endorsed by both the Democratic and Republican parties of San Diego County.