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Your article relative to the 30-foot height limit reminds me of the Vietnam military official who famously said we are going to have to bomb that city to save it. Bombing San Diego’s coastal zone with 60-foot high-rise condos ruins our city — as bombing tends to do.
You imply that the coastal zone is from “Point Loma to La Jolla” when actually it is from Del Mar to the end of Imperial Beach. To say “it withstood a battery of legal challenges” is an understatement. The 30-foot limit was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and when the decision was handed down a justice said “communities can zone themselves as they see fit.” This initiative means the people of San Diego don’t have to be intimidated by political and rich developer interests.
The initiative was passed by the residents of the entire city — Clairemont, University City, Tierrasanta and City Heights. Imagine the impertinence of the voters in those areas thinking they had a right to unrestricted access to their public beaches.
Your article misstates the goal of the initiative as “maintaining ocean views” — explicitly. The real goal was to prevent San Diego from becoming a Miami Beach or a Rio de Janeiro. I should know; unlike Mr. Keatts, I voted for it.
Matthew Yglesias, who would readily lower our standard of living, should pedal his snake oil in Carmel and Santa Barbara where the rents are really high. When he has convinced those communities to reduce their zoning restrictions, then San Diego should consider it.
Why was this limit done with a voter’s initiative? Precisely so that politicians like Mr. LaCava cannot tweak the limit to 34 feet or some other arbitrary number. Variances to the people’s initiative do not exist, and that is why the grassroots community went to all the trouble to get a height limit through the Supreme Court. They could not and do not trust their local authorities, who clearly have diverse interests. The “rigidity” of the law is what keeps big money developers from being able to change the height law for the benefit of their own bank accounts.
David Little lives in La Jolla.
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