Measure to repeal height limit in Midway District passes by narrow margin
San Diego voters are deciding for a second time whether to exclude the Midway District from the city's 30-foot coastal height limit. The measure passed by a narrow margin Thursday.
This year's Measure C is a do-over of Measure E in 2020, which passed with more than 56% of the vote. Following that election, however, a judge ruled the city had failed to adequately analyze the environmental impacts of allowing taller buildings in Midway and blocked the city from implementing the height limit change. The city is appealing that decision while also pursuing a second vote.
As votes were tallied from Tuesday's election, the yes and no votes were almost evenly split on Measure C, likely leaving the proposal undecided for days as vote-by-mail ballots continue to be tallied. The measure was ahead by 1.5% in initial election results, but that lead has diminished with each subsequent tally. As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, it was ahead by just 623 votes.
The county Registrar of Voters estimates there are still 500,000 ballots to be counted.
Supporters of Measure C say raising the height limit is necessary to revitalize Midway with new housing, businesses and public spaces. It's also a critical step toward realizing the "Midway Rising" plan to redevelop the city-owned Sports Arena property.
Dike Anyiwo, who chairs the Midway planning group and supported Measure C, said more than anything else, it's about building more housing.
"What I want to see in San Diego is a city that grows," Anyiwo said. "A city that grows smartly, a city that is affordable for folks to live. I personally would actually like to see a lot more homeownership opportunity in the city."
Measure C has been endorsed by both the Republican and Democratic parties of San Diego County, the Building Industry Association, Climate Action Campaign and the Midway-Pacific Highway Community Planning Group.
Opponents of raising the height limit say it will worsen traffic congestion in the area, which is a key corridor for residents of Point Loma trying to access other parts of the city.
After the initial loss in court over the 2020 ballot measure, the city conducted a new environmental analysis that found that raising the height limit could impact "scenic vistas or views" and "neighborhood character." But the City Council voted unanimously to proceed with the new ballot measure because the need for more housing and revitalization in Midway outweighed those concerns.
The same group that sued the city over 2020's Measure E has already sued again over Measure C, arguing the new environmental analysis was still inadequate.
Now that Measure C is approved, the height limits in Midway will revert to those that correspond with each property's zoning.
Voting may be over, but a number of key races across the country have yet to be decided.
We have updates on local and statewide races, as election results continue to roll in. Plus, a local artist is being honored in Washington D.C. this weekend for his portrait of Dr. Anthony Fauci.