The Unified Port of San Diego’s commissioners unanimously agreed today to file a lawsuit seeking a court injunction to halt a group of developers’ November ballot initiative.

Developers Richard Chase, Nancy Chase and Frank Gallagher have been leading efforts to place an initiative on November’s ballot that would clear the way for a potentially multi-billion dollar development at the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal, a 96-acre cargo port operated by the port district.

The developers are considering the construction of a 40-foot-tall deck above the existing cargo operations at the terminal. To bridge the long-running conflict between commercial and industrial uses along San Diego’s waterfront, they would in effect create new land.

The initiative would usurp the port’s planning power and give voters in the port’s five member cities — San Diego, Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, National City and Coronado — a final say about the terminal’s future.

The port’s lawsuit argues that the developers do not have the legal authority to use an initiative to amend designated land uses atop state-owned tidelands.

At the same meeting, the port’s board also voted to spend as much as $435,000 to put the initiative on the ballot — a required legal step because the initiative has been certified by the county registrar for inclusion on the November ballot.


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