A debate hosted by the Ocean Beach Town Council and the Point Loma Association at Liberty Station on May 18, 2022
A debate hosted by the Ocean Beach Town Council and the Point Loma Association at Liberty Station on May 18, 2022. / Photo by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña

This post originally appeared in the May 20 Morning Report. Subscribe here for free.

We’ve been keeping track of what measures are going to make the cut for the November ballot or as some call it (insert Scott Lewis voice) “Bananas ballot.” But something sort of interesting came out of a recent debate among the candidates running to represent San Diego Council District 2. 

There are three Democrats running against Councilwoman Jen Campbell: Joel Day, a college professor who worked for Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s administration; Lori Saldaña, who previously represented the area as an assemblywoman and made several attempts for other offices; and Mandy Havlik, a member of the Peninsula Community Planning Board. Linda Lukacs, a dentist, is the lone Republican. 

Campbell did not attend the debate hosted by the Ocean Beach Town Council and the Point Loma Association at Liberty Station on Wednesday evening (though they left a space for her on stage). 

Four of the five candidates in the race said they are not jumping up to support a measure to overturn the height limit in the Midway/Sports Arena area. 

Here’s how it went down: The question from the moderator, “On this November’s ballot if there is a measure to overturn the height limit again in the Sport Arena/Midway area would you support it or oppose it?”

Day would only support it if the council has a plan for traffic mitigation. Havlik said she has always been against it and believes that the area could still be revitalized without removing the height limit. Lukacs believes the city shouldn’t even talk about a plan to develop that area because there isn’t the proper infrastructure in place. Saldaña would not support it — unless there is an environmental evaluation, and added traffic calming measures, she said. 

For those keeping track, we’ve written about the Midway redo and if it will even make its way to the ballot. The candidates’ takes might not really matter if the measure doesn’t show up on the November ballot. But if one of them who really doesn’t want it on the ballot wins, it may never go on the ballot again.

Andrea Lopez-Villafaña, Managing Editor, Daily News Andrea oversees the production of daily news stories for Voice of San Diego. She welcomes conversations...

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  1. This is Dan Smiechowski. I was invited to the forum as a D2 SDCC candidate than at the last minute, I was told that I could not attend. Isn’t America wonderful? Our nation has so many important folks speaking of equality with crocodile tears. I would have spoken full throttle on approving increased height limits in the Midway District complete with state-of-the-art Arena with added perks via developers for low-income folks. Permeable parking lot concrete and rooftop trees as in my home in France. The infrastructure dilemma by some scared candidates is a diversion a red herring in order to get votes. SAD! I already proposed added on and off ramps onto I 5 and I 8. Anyway, some very powerful men do not like me. Dan Smiechowski D2 SDCC Candidate

  2. In other words, Joel Day and Lori Saldana would support another ballot measure to overturn the Coastal Height Limit in favor of Midway-Sports Arena developers. Because of course there will be traffic calming and mitigation. It’s called converting traffic lanes to bike lanes with no parking. And of course there would be an EIR. It will look like all the other EIRs that the City slants in support of the development they have already decided upon.
    The effect of these high-rises will be to wall off the coast from those who can’t afford to live there, and to produce more traffic gridlock because when has SD ever had adequate and safe public transportation?
    Mandy Havlik will have my Democratic vote!

    1. Remember that 10 three-story apartment buildings likely have the same or less housing capacity as 3 ten-story buildings. Is your primary concern really the development of some theoretical ‘wall’? In this housing market I’d contend your priorities are rather misplaced.

  3. “The effect of these high-rises will be to wall off the coast from those who can’t afford to live there…”
    the Sports Arena is almost 2 miles from the beach and the spine of Point Loma is between them. how will building there possibly this effect? including the Midway area in the coastal height limit zone, which is bounded by I-5, was always a mistake; there is no view to protect.

    1. ironically, the high-rises visualized for the area might have ocean views.
      the northern extent of the area, of course, is I-8. the carve-out boundary could begin in the east at I-5 and W. Washington, continue west along Pacific Hwy. and Barnet/Lytton Street to Rosecrans. turn north to Midway Drive, then west on Midway and the Sports Arena Blvd extension where it crosses I-8. ALL the rest would remain under the 30-feet height limit.

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