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An initiative that would pave the way for the building of a massive deck above the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal can go on the November ballot, a San Diego Superior Court judge ruled today.

Developers Richard Chase, Nancy Chase and Frank Gallagher have been gathering signatures for a ballot proposal to build a multi-billion dollar, 40-foot high, 96-acre structure above the terminal that could eventually hold a potpourri of commercial developments from hotels and restaurants to a new Chargers stadium.

The Unified Port of San Diego filed a lawsuit last month that sought a court injunction to halt the proposal, which would effectively usurp the port’s planning power and give voters in the its five member cities — San Diego, Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, National City and Coronado — ultimate say about the terminal’s future.

In its lawsuit, the port argued that the developers do not have the legal authority to use an initiative to amend designated land uses atop state-owned tidelands. Judge Ronald Styn ruled otherwise, saying the voters have a right to decide the issue at the ballot box.

“It’s a great day for San Diego,” Gallagher said. “It’s allowing the public to decide what happens on public land.”

Port officials have not returned calls seeking comment.

DAVID WASHBURN

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