The ballot initiative to overhaul how the city of San Diego manages revenues generated from the businesses in Mission Bay was headed for a win Tuesday, carrying 67 percent of the vote.

The voters’ decision will funnel more of Mission Bay’s revenue into capital projects for the park and others throughout the city.

Under the current city ordinance that governs revenues from Mission Bay, the vast majority of revenues, between $20 million and $25 million, that come from hotels, sporting clubs and other park lease-holders, go into the city’s general day-to-day operating budget. A separate pot, which is capped at $5 million, is split between Mission Bay and the city’s other regional parks.

That $5 million cap will now be eliminated. Any lease revenue above $23 million will be used to fund improvements at Mission Bay and other city parks.

“I’m very encouraged that the voters have agreed that the money generated form Mission Bay should stay in Mission Bay for public and environmental improvements,” Faulconer said. “It has been neglected for too long.”

Faulconer demurred when asked whether he was concerned that the measure would divert money from the city’s already stretched general fund. Mayor Jerry Sanders is expected to announce Wednesday what he will cut to plug a $43 million budget gap.

“The important thing is that private development was allowed in Mission Bay to pay for the bay,” he said. “The city had gotten away from that and siphoned funds away for decades. Prop. C gets back to what the voters had originally intended when they created Mission Bay — to have a world class recreational and environmental amenity — and have private development pay for it. I believe that we had to start directing the money to where it rightfully needed to go.”

The initiative garnered some opposition in its waning days, as activists protested a specific list of capital projects that will get funding priority. But those protests never manifested into formal opposition. No fund-raising committees formed to oppose the initiative.

With 36.4 percent of precincts reporting, 67.72 percent of voters favored the measure, with 32.28 percent opposing it.


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