FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 17, 2021
SAN DIEGO – After examining all available options, Mayor Todd Gloria has decided to pursue a dual-track strategy to enable the city to move forward with the sports arena redevelopment amid the legal challenge over the Measure E height limit removal in the Midway district.
The Mayor has directed staff to begin preparing an Environmental Impact Report in response to Superior Court Judge Katherine Bacal’s Dec. 14 ruling that the City should have performed additional environmental analysis prior to placing Measure E on the November 2020 ballot.
The measure, which eliminates the 30-foot height limit in the Midway-Pacific Highway community planning area, is critical to the successful redevelopment of the City’s 48-acre Sports Arena property and the revitalization the project would spur in the surrounding neighborhood.
This additional analysis would take place concurrently with the City’s appeal of the unfavorable ruling, which is likely to take well over a year. Preparing the additional analysis now will ensure the City is able to seek a re-vote on the measure by the public in 2022 should it become necessary. Taking immediate action to address the issue will minimize delays to the sports arena redevelopment.
Mayor Gloria issued the following statement on the strategy:
“In order to plan for the potential outcomes of the ongoing litigation on Measure E, I’ve directed City staff to begin preparing additional environmental analysis that would address the Superior Court’s ruling that said the City should have analyzed visual impacts prior to placing Measure E on the November 2020 ballot. This analysis can move forward with no impact on the legal appeal of the ruling.
“My obligation is to fulfill the will of the people, and San Diegans voted by a sizable margin to eliminate the 30-foot coastal height limit in the Midway planning area. The ability to build over 30 feet is critical to redeveloping the city’s Sports Arena property, which will add thousands of new homes to help address our housing crisis -- and which is key to revitalizing a neighborhood that’s waited decades for transformation.
“While I’m optimistic about the City’s chances of winning on appeal, given all that’s at stake and the length of the appeals process, it’s worth it to make absolutely certain this Midway revitalization stays on track.”