Tunnels Under San Diego’s 30 Foot Height Limit in the Coastal Zone – Part 2

by on February 19, 2013 · 16 comments

in California, Civil Rights, Culture, Economy, Environment, History, Ocean Beach, Organizing, San Diego

Height limits Pescadero monster

It was buildings like this on Pescadero Ave in Ocean Beach that spurred on support for Prop D.

Introduction: This is the second part of my series on the 30 foot height limit. This would have been published earlier except for a medical issue, so I offer my apology.

At the risk of encouraging the critics of the height limit by continuing the discussion of the effects and value of the 1972 citizens’ initiative, this is meant then to demonstrate to those same critics the tunnels that have already been dug in and around and under the 30 foot standard, as well as informing the fairly new generations of citizenry and those uninitiated observers of San Diego development.

Height limit MB monsterIn Part One, I discussed how some of these tunnels have been dug underneath the height limit on San Diego’s coastal areas over the decades, outlining several serious breaches of the seemingly sacrosanct restrictions on building heights. Feeling that the ongoing online discussion on the issue with Voice of San Diego (see part 1) wasn’t complete without some kind of acknowledgement of how tunnels have already been dug under the 30 foot limit.

Here is what I wrote in Part One regarding the exceptions made over the decades:

The very first exception made was downtown San Diego – which included parts of Little Italy – this was implicit in the ballot proposition itself.  Today, of course, this is a very, very BEEG deal. In 1972 the San Diego skyline was very different.  All one has to do is check out the harbor downtown to see how this exception worked out.

There have been other exceptions since the early Seventies vote. These include exemptions for SeaWorld, the Mission Brewery, the San Ysidro Gateway to the Americas – all specific pieces of property -, and the judicially-caused exemption for Liberty Station (aka NTC). Other places must have been grand-parented – such as UCSD – which has been building towering edifices for decades.

Height limit PB monsterThese exemptions were examined to remind critics of the 30 foot height limit – who blame high rents and property values at the beach and congestion inland on the restriction that applies just to the coastal areas – that indeed the limit has been undermined numerous times over the years, and that it is not treated with the respect it is due.

The SeaWorld and Liberty Station exemptions stand out as particularly egregious slaps in the face of the voters who overwhelmingly approved the people’s measure 41 years ago, called Prop D, which was upheld by the California Supreme Court.

Let us move on.

Grades and Measurements

No discussion of the 30 foot height limit is near complete without discussing ways that individual developers and builders and the City of San Diego itself have gotten around the height restrictions.

Height limits measuremt mapOnce the 30 foot height limit was accepted and exercised for the coastal zone of San Diego by the mid-Seventies, it didn’t take long for developers and bureaucrats to find ways to circumvent its strict requirements.

Two of the primary ways to get away with actually constructing a building higher than 30 feet was or is to jiggle with how and where you do the measurement, and importantly, which grade do you measure from, the “original” grade or the “finished” grade.  For some, the measurement was an “average” height, for others you took the measurement from the low point on the property.

These factors have been repeatedly pointed out by some of those involved in the recent online debates over the 30 foot limit, and who have been involved in the issue historically. We’ll look at some of these comments.

Dave Little, in a Letter in the Peninsula Beacon back in 2010, a trustee of the La Jolla Community Planning Association, and a strong and consistent defender of the 30 foot height limit has offered these insights:

Have you ever stood in front of a building in the Coastal Zone where the 30-foot height restriction is supposed to apply and thought the building you were looking at had to be higher than 30 feet? Chances are it was.

Developers began interpreting the word “grade” in the original language of Proposition D, the 30-foot high building limit for the coast, as the finished grade, not the existing grade. That meant the developer could pile up dirt and raise the height of the building to pretty much any level he or she desired — that is, 32, 34, 37, feet.

And this is true – to a great extent.  For years, the City used the measurement to the “finished” grade, and not the “original” or pre-existing grade.  And where that measurement is taken has changed over the years as well. City staff, developers, and planning committee members have all had different interpretations of Prop D.  So, there’s been confusion as these different interpretations have battled one another over the years. The City finally stepped in and took control of how building height measurements are taken in the coastal areas under the rule of the 30 foot height limit.

Height Limit Prop D

A mangled copy of the original Prop D.

Prop D itself – its language – has not helped the confusion. When it passed overwhelmingly in 1972, voters decided to enact all of it, and it defined how the 30 foot measurement would be taken:

“The base of measurement of the height shall be in accordance with the Uniform Building Code of 1970.”

In 1970, the Uniform Building Code spoke of building heights in terms of measuring the height from the highest point of the structure to the base which is the  “finished grade”.  This slip of the Prop D organizers was probably not a mistake, just an oversight of the development years down the road of what they worked for …. and in the end, the ordinance itself allowed developers to pile on dirt on the l0t before taking the measurement.

This manner of measurement – to the “finished grade” or surface – is affirmed by a City of San Diego Planning and Development Review Newsletter published in July 1999, specifically on “Determination of Building Height”, which states:

“… the base of measurement shall be in accordance with the 1970 Uniform Building Code ….”

Using the finished grade for measuring the 30 feet is also affirmed by this 2006  Memo from Michael Aguirre, then City Attorney. The memo states:

The proper method of measurement, per Proposition D, is in accordance with the Uniform Building Code of 1970. This office has previously opined that for the purposes of  complying with Proposition D, measurements should be from the finished grade of a site, rather than the pre-existing grade.

Height limits measuremt imageTo the City’s credit, it recognized problems in taking the height measurements using the finished grade, particularly for buildings on slopes, and certainly the coastal zone and all its canyons, cliffs, hills, and bluffs – provides many slopes and views to build on and for. The city realized that this was not the intention of the voters when they overwhelming passed Prop D, the 30-foot high building limit for the coast.

So, it changed the method of measurement and changed it to using the existing grade or proposed grade which ever is lower.  The City did this by supplementing the language of the original Prop D so as to force developers to meet the voters’ intent. The current supplemented code forces the developer to measure 30 feet from the finished grade or the existing grade — whichever is lower.

In order to flesh out the discussion,  I emailed a number of past and current members and chairs of a few planning committees in the area, including the OB Planning Board and the Peninsula Planning Committee, asking if anyone had experienced or seen projects where they believed the developer was jiggling the grade and or the measurement.  These are folks who by sitting on the planning bodies have dealt with the realities of the efforts to circumvent the height limit, and are not only aware of the issue on a theoretical basis in front of their keyboards, but in the day-to-day world of construction and remodels. A number responded and responded in the affirmative, that ‘yes’ they had experienced examples of where developers got around the 30 foot height limit.

When I asked different planners here in the Peninsula, if they had seen projects where the City allowed the developer / owner to build using the “finished” grade, and measuring the 30 feet from there, one former chair of the Peninsula committee responded:

Yes. absolutely. completely changing their ‘original’ definition.

Since 1999 increasing the grade has been a repeatedly debated issue in all parts of our Peninsula community. The use of ”ways of measuring the grade” which was once ‘clearly defined,’ also seems to have changed, several times since I’ve been involved on the planning committees.

In addition, a  former planning committee chair told me, that a project on the corner of Plum and Lowell in Point Loma had “shenanigans of this nature”,  in that the grade was built up and the measurement wasn’t taken from the original grade. The planner recalls the builder getting caught because a nearby neighbor got involved and made it an issue, and it was changed.

Another planner recalls a project on Lucinda Street where the architect was caught changing the elevations on a series of plans, all violations of the 30 foot height limit.

Ocean Beach planners have been grappling with developers throwing up new construction or remodels on bluffs or on the western slopes of Point Loma, especially where the bluffs are much higher than the streets, like on Pescadero and Coronado Avenues. One long-time OB planner told me that the Board wanted to use the street elevation as the base measurement point.  But the developers wanted to measure the 30 feet from the “natural” elevation, even if on a bluff. The result is striking – huge mansions soaring over the streets, sometimes 40 feet or more below.  She said:

People have definitely taken advantage of bluff elevation.

point loma_mapA Point Loma planner wrote me and said:

The problem with measuring the height on a slope has to do with the necessary surveys that are supposed to take place. … What the City requires regarding a survey from an owner is not enforced and without a proper survey, before the design is done, the grade can be adjusted higher. Unless a knowledgeable neighbor notices what is going on, they get away with it.

This raises another wrinkle in the enforcement of the 30 foot height limit: inadequate City staff.  As one former planning chair said:

We have heard from City Staff, that the City’s “pre-building inspectors do not check anything more than the drawings” as they have in the past for compliance before permits are issued! Most times, they haven’t even ‘looked at on site, the slopes in contention! This is the problem.

Another former chair agrees about the City not checking actual conditions on a property. He’d been involved with helping a property owner who had a neighbor who applied to the City “to rebuild a termite infested garage” on a zero lot line. The City approved the neighbor’s project of rebuilding the garage. Problem was – there hadn’t been a garage there for 20 years; the city just didn’t check it out. His story continues:

When we contacted the City, they said … they do not have the staff to check existing conditions on a property and have to take the owners word that the information on the plan application is correct.

The only way they will know anything different is if someone from the community alerts them. The problem in this case was that we did alert them and it fell on deaf ears, which is not at all unusual.

 This community planning leader also stated:

The problem with measuring the height on a slope has to do with the necessary surveys that are supposed to take place. This was what I discovered on Lucinda. What the City requires regarding a survey from an owner is not enforced and without a proper survey, before the design is done, the grade can be adjusted higher. Unless a knowledgeable neighbor notices what is going on, they get away with it.

Two former chairs also complained to me about how some local architects and developers “who can’t seem to ever ‘stay within the rules’, always pushing for more ….”

One planner said:

One wonders why so many other architects are fine and work ‘within the rules’, yet so many ‘consider themselves special’ asking for far more than a ‘minor variance’ and keep ‘coming back’ for variances with additional projects, requiring similar ‘grade level variations’. It’s not as if they ‘don’t know’ the rules, then, is it?

Another admitted:

There are a number of architects who work in the Pt. Loma area who are expert at helping developers circumvent the laws.

Variances

One time-honored path for getting around community building requirements is for developers and owners to request “variances” for their projects and remodels.  In Ocean Beach, for example, the City staff have been granting variances to some property owners that allow them to get around OB’s blueprint for community development, the OB Precise Plan. It’s gotten so bad in OB that the Planning Board has called for a “Moratorium” on variances in one area of northwest OB particularly stressed with pressures of gentrification.  The Board has been inundated with requests for variances.

Although construction applicants have not often used this method to tunnel under the 30 foot height limit, it does happen. Dave Little from La Jolla has examined this issue in a December 2010 post at VOSD entitled No Variances on the Thirty-Foot Height Limit:

… The Bishop’s School in La Jolla wants an exemption from Proposition D and its supplementary code to build a 32-foot building. They want to revert to measuring from the finished grade.

If this exemption to the current code is allowed by way of the “variance” process, it will set a precedent for the Coastal Zone, and developers will happily revert back to measuring from the finished grade and again build 32, 35, 39-foot buildings.

If this variance is granted, similar variances cannot be denied to other developers. As time progresses, your peek-a-boo view will disappear, the winter shadow of the adjacent building will come further over your property and the wall of condos along the beach will grow a few feet higher as more variances are granted.

The La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) recommended the denial of this project, and the San Diego Hearing Officer approved it.

This demonstrates how local planning committees, made up of volunteers, whose members change with the seasons, have been buffeted with demands and pressures from developers, who can afford to hire professional staff to do their planning, PR, and presentations.

There is no question that planning boards and committees are at times manipulated by developers with financial interests at stake in whether certain projects are approved and built. Developers have placed friends and relatives on some of these boards.  This can happen when community members ignore their own planning bodies or are ignorant of the planning issues of their particular neighborhood.

Another complaint from Peninsula planning leaders is about city staff themselves. One chair wrote me:

After many experiences with the City, I can say that they will do anything within their power to allow a development despite any information they receive. If you ever watched the process before the Planning Commission or City Council, City Staff always sounds like they are working for the developer instead of providing an objective report. The language they use is completely unprofessional as they praise projects.

 Today, the original Prop D is codified in the San Diego Municipal Code at section 132.0505 and the section has been amended numerous times. Its pertinent language goes:

(a) Notwithstanding any section to the contrary, no building or addition to a building shall be constructed with a height in excess of thirty feet within the Coastal Zone of the City of San Diego.

And even though the statute says that “the base of measurement of the height shall be in accordance with the Uniform Building Code of 1970,” which as stated earlier, takes the measurement from the “finished grade”, another statute corrects this.  Section 113.0270 of the Municipal Code states “grade” is either the existing or proposed grade, which ever is lower.

Assaults on the Height Limit

Newly-elected Congressman Scott Peters warned us five years ago, back when he was on the Port Commission:

 Every few years, community activists warn of an assault on the 30-foot height limit. Proposition D remains as strong as when it was approved by voters, regardless of disputes over how the 30 feet is calculated; community plan updates which critics contend will weaken the height limit; amendments to planned district ordinances; or the new state-mandated affordable density bonus.

A former chair of the OB Planning Board said:

I want to take all the criticism of the 30 foot height limit, drive a stake right through its heart and bury it deep.

 Despite all the troubles caused by confusion, frustration and down-right hatred of the 30 foot height limit, it  has survived all these years.  Recently, the OB Rag ran a poll about attitudes on the 30 foot limit and found that 3 out of 4 respondents supported it:

 In a recent OB Rag poll, nearly three out of 4 respondents indicated their support for the thirty foot height limit – with a good portion wanting to see the limit extend throughout the City of San Diego.

58% supported it and agreed that it was “passed in the public interest by the public”; another 15% want to see it “expanded throughout much of the rest of” San Diego, and obviously support it,  for a supportive total of nearly 73%.

 How the City Takes Building Height Measurements

So as to dispel all confusion, the City a year and half ago, outlined the procedures for taking building heights in the coastal zones.  Staff prepared a slide presentation for the Land Use & Housing Committee in September 14, 2011.  Here is the outline:

From City of San Diego Presentation on Height Limits

City of San Diego Height Regulations

Height Regulations

* Zoning: Structure height must comply with base zone height limit (citywide requirement)

- Base zone height limit varies (24 ft to unlimited)

* Prop D: A voter approved height limit (30 ft) that applies to coastal development in geographic are generally west of Interstate 5.

- Coastal Height Limit Overlay Zone

* Most restrictive height limit applies

Prop D Coastal Height Limit

* Local initiative passed by the voters of the City of San Diego (effective December 7, 1972)

* Limits development to 30 foot maximum height (in accordance with Prop D measurement)

* Development over 30 feet (per Prop D measurement) requires approval of City of San Diego voters.

Limitations of Prop D

• 1970 UBC is method to demonstrate compliance

– Measured from finished grade

– Therefore, allows grade to be raised with measurement beginning at that higher point (10 ft max differential)

• Prop D alone would not be adequate to implement the City’s certified Local Coastal Program

• In low density residential zones, base zone height limits are typically more restrictive than Prop D to

implement adopted land use policy

Citywide Method for Calculating Zoning Height

• Two part measurement required:

– Plumb Line

– Overall Height (5 feet from furthest projection)

• Height is measured to highest appurtenance (plus up to 10 ft for grade differential)

• Measurement is taken from existing grade or proposed grade, whichever is lower

• Can’t manipulate grade to achieve greater height

Summary

• Development in the Coastal Height Limit Overlay Zone must comply with the base zone height limit AND the Prop D coastal height limit

• The two height limits are measured differently

• Development that exceeds the base zone height limit requires a City variance /deviation approval

• Development that proposes to exceed the Prop D height limit requires a public vote for approval

Prop D has survived, despite the tunnels dug to undermine it. But as money drives development in the coastal areas, there will continue to be pressures on the people’s ordinance, and developers will continue to find ways to circumvent its standards.  Yet, the more who are educated and aware of the issues and its history, the more who will appreciate the effects that preventing a wall of buildings at the beach or on the cliffs is in all of our interests.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar micaela shafer porte February 20, 2013 at 8:21 am

“semper vigilans”: ALWAYS VIGILANT, motto of the fair city of san diego and pacific beach planning board too; a good motto when you live by the sea… tsunamis and rising ocean levels or rising new developers…

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avatar Judy Swink February 20, 2013 at 10:45 am

Recently, I learned of a resource on the SD City Clerk’s webpages which gives us access to the voter pamphlets and final results for each election from 1960 forward. You can see the entire (and not mangled) Prop. D at http://www.sandiego.gov/city-clerk/pdf/pamphlet721107.pdf

The link for the list of past elections is http://www.sandiego.gov/city-clerk/elections/city/past/index.shtml

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avatar Judy Swink February 20, 2013 at 12:09 pm

On to the content of the (excellent) article….
In 2006-2007, when City staff was working on amendments to the Zoning Code to be in compliance with a State “Density Bonus” law mandating that the City offer developers certain incentives or concessions for inclusions of affordable units. One concession would be “density bonus” allowances, i.e. an increase in the number of units allowable on a site as well as variances on height, FAR, parking and setbacks. Staff also argued that State law *always* superseded local laws, so included language stating that concessions could include exceptions to all height limitations, including in the Prop D “Coastal Height Overlay Zone”.

Furthermore, Staff attempted to make such determinations ministerial, that is, approval by staff as a Process 1. Staff argued that State law trumped all local laws. It took some serious push-back to get the language changed to acknowledge that (because it was a citizen initiative rather than a legislatively-imposed height limit) exemptions to the coastal height limit could not be offered as an incentive for including additional affordable housing in a project.

Note that this all occurred during the early years of the Sanders regime

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avatar Judy Swink February 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm

As for Sea World and their exemption to the 30′ height limit (1998), so far they are constrained to keep new attractions above 30′ within the area one must pay to enter. So far, the only projects above 30′ are the Splashdown ride and the Education Center. The approved changes to the entry, which included a lighthouse, were not built and a different entry reconfiguration subsequently completed.

In 2001, a new Sea World Master Plan – required by the City as a result of voter approval of the height limit exemption and Sea World’s one-page generic list of possible future projects – was incorporated into the Mission Bay Park Master Plan. In 2002, the Coastal Commission approved five “Tier 1″ projects proposed by Sea World and incorporated the projects into the Local Coastal Program (LCP). As a result, Sea World is now required to go through a substantial local review process of any project over 30′, starting with the Mission Bay Park Committee, so now citizens will have plenty of advance notice of such projects.

I thought it interesting to learn that the new owners of Sea World decided to dig a big hole for their planned new roller coaster rather than face the public review process up to and including Coastal Commission.

What we now should keep our eyes open for is renewed interest by Sea World in building a hotel in the Hubbs research center is now located. The Coastal Commission placed a 10-year moratorium on Sea World pursuing the hotel project, which is now passed, but also required certain traffic & needs assessment studies before a hotel proposal can move forward.

Of more immediate importance is the requirement placed by the Coastal Commission on the City of San Diego to complete “substantial improvements” on Fiesta Island and South Shores before any major leasehold redevelopment plans can be considered. It’s way past time for the City to move forward on the Fiesta Island plan, approved by the Mission Bay Park Committee in September, 2007, and again in December, 2010 after changes forced by one user group supported by Mayor Sanders.

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avatar Brenda McFarlane February 20, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Very thorough coverage on this important topic Frank, thanks so much.

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avatar Geoff Page February 21, 2013 at 6:46 am

I’d like to thank Frank for the in-depth pieces on the 30-foot height limit. It is truly a shame that the people we elect to city offices and the civil servants our tax dollars pay for are not guarding our interests but seem rather more interested in serving the narrow interests of development. A big part of the problem is that the Development Services Department is funded by development fees. What incentive is there to deny any project or require serious modifications to a project when they need the fees to fund their department? I would start by renaming the department. It isn’t supposed to be a service department for development, its supposed to be a department that enforces codified development rules so that development conforms to the law. I would just call it simply the Building Deartment.

Frank touched on several key points. One was the variance issue that the OB Planning Board has been fighting along a particular section of West Pt. Loma Ave., but in fact occurs regularly. In my years of experience on a planning board, I saw many instances where developers wanted variances to the Municipal Code just so they could build what they wanted on a lot that was not suited for what they wanted to build. We heard all kinds of sob stories. One I remember was a applicant who wanted a variance to exceed the floor area ratio of his home to build a third story room for his aged mother. When asked why he couldn’t accommodate mom on the1700 square foot first floor, he just said it was impossible. Unfortunately,the City never saw a variant wit didn’t like.

The defense of the 30-foot height limits starts with rehabilitating the Development Services Department by changing the funding so that it is not dependent on fees. This department needs to go back to enforcing the code, not helping developers find ways around it. As The OB Planning has pointed out, the City is attempting to “re-zone” areas using variances instead of doing it properly with public review. The recent changes in theMunicipal Code now allowing kitchens in guest quarters and half baths in accessory buildings is another defacto re-zoning move essentially turning areas zoned for single family homes into lots that now continue two homes, all without going through the formal re-zoning process.

Frank also, mentioned that folks ignore their local planning boards,and that is very true. These boards are the first line of defense, albeit a weak one. When a planning board votes to approve a project, the City waves the approval high for all to see but when a planning board votes to deny a project, it is barely mentioned. Get involved folks, these are important groups that will lead the defenses of you neighborhoods.

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avatar Geoff Page February 21, 2013 at 7:59 am

One other thing. Every planning group area across the City has a community plan created, in some cases, 20 or 30 years ago with great effort. Some of these have recently been updated to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Responsible architects and developers take these plans into account when creating projects but others ignore them because the City ignores them. These detailed community plans were never made a part of the Municipal Code or the City’s review process. The City will tell you that review of projects for conformity with the community plans is the job of the planning groups and the City does not consider these plans when performing a project review. But, the City then ignores the recommendations of the planning groups. If they won’t listen to the planning groups, then this review should become a formal part of the review process, starting with the results of the planning board reviews. If this system was in place now, OB would not be fighting with the City about the out-of-place projects on West Pt. Loma Avenue. But, despite OB’s vehement protestations, one three story building is up and another is being built, structures that clearly do not conform with OB’s community plan.

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avatar Seth February 21, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Well said on all, Geoff.

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avatar Frank Gormlie February 21, 2013 at 10:40 am

A comment from a former member of the OB Planning Board:
“I don’t remember the date this project was built. I would guess it was in the mid to late 90s, but I have a friend who lives in the 4700 block of Niagara who might remember. It’s on the corner of Froude & Niagara. I just drove by there to take a look at it – the address is 4587 Niagara. The project was so massive that I could see and hear it being built from my office at 4870 Santa Monica. First, these enormous metal girders were pile driven into the ground, making a horrendous racket. Then these huge steel girders were lifted into place by a large crane. It looked like an industrial monstrosity as it was being constructed. As the structure was being built, I remember going up to the project, standing on the sidewalk, and trying to imagine how this project managed to be under the 30 foot height limit. I called Priscilla McCoy, who was chair of the Planning Board at the time, and she told me that it qualified as being under the 30’ height limit based on where they started the measurement. I believe she said the measurement began at the top of the lot. When I went to the property today, I stood on the sidewalk on the corner and looked up at the top of the house. I would estimate that it would measure 50 feet up from that point of the sidewalk. Granted, the lot was sloped. I have no information as to whether the builder added to the original grade. The project is completely out of character with the rest of the neighborhood. There’s a little house to the east of it that now has a view of a massive, flat wall of concrete that appears to only be broken up by one small window. I would be pretty certain that the view from that house was virtually destroyed when the project was completed. “

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avatar Seth February 21, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Yeah, that one is probably 30 feet from the grade most of it sits on, but what a monstrosity. Might as well just paint a big middle finger on the wall facing the cottage behind it. I do believe that the property is actually just over the line from the OB Planning Area and into the Peninsula Planning Board’s jurisdiction. Just by nature, I think they would have a tougher time holding the line on that, as it is a bit less beach cottagey in their district.

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avatar Sean m February 22, 2013 at 11:29 am

Interesting that the most sacrosanct aspect of the ob ‘precise’ plan is based on ambiguous rule.

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avatar Frank Gormlie February 22, 2013 at 11:31 am

Sean – can you try to explain what you mean?

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avatar Sean m February 22, 2013 at 11:45 am

I read so many articles defending the property d and how it represents the will of the people, but but this is the first time I have read how vague the rule was written.

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avatar Frank Gormlie February 22, 2013 at 11:52 am

Vague? No building over 30 feet high west of I-5.

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avatar Sean m February 22, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Your article did a good job describing the confusion that revolves around it.

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avatar Craig April 28, 2014 at 6:05 pm

With Mission Bay being the attraction it is and part of our California/San Diego coastline, why aren’t the communities of “Bay Park, Bay Ho, Overlook Heights”, less than a half- mile from water’s edge considered under the CCC regulations? These areas are much less than 5 miles from the mean high tide line. Is that why the Clairemont Mesa Height Limit Overtlay Zone was created? How does this overlay zone protect these areas from the increased height and density developments that are now planned and being pushed by the city and developers because of the Midcoast Transit Corridor Project?

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