Candidates for the District 2 City Council seat, primarily Sarah Boot and Lorie Zapf, confronted the major issue in Clairemont these days, high-rise buildings along the east-side of I-5 at a candidate forum on Thursday, May1st.
The big issue: a proposal to remove a 30-foot building height limit that currently exists along the west side of Clairemont and Bay Park. The U-T San Diego reported that around 200 people attended a candidate forum in Clairemont hosted by the Clairemont Town Council and moderated by Janet Poutré, who publishes the Clairemont Community News, where this was the main issue.
The height limit removal that was proposed would go up in neighborhoods east of Interstate 5, where MTS is planning a new trolley line along Morena Boulevard, just
west east of the freeway. It will run up to UCSD eventually by 2018. And part of the plan is tob uild high-rises along the transit corridor. Up to 6 story buildings were envisioned – as a way to offset the funds spent on the new trolley line.
It looks now, however, that the City is backing off those high-rise ideas – mainly due to neighborhood opposition. The Voice of San Diego reports:
In a memo Wednesday [April 30], Planning Director Bill Fulton told Mayor Kevin Faulconer and two City Council members his department would alter its plans for the area around the planned station, which is part of a $1.7 billion project to extend the trolley from Old Town to La Jolla.
The planning department won’t try to increase the limit on building height in that area, the memo said, will reconsider increasing density there and won’t reduce parking between Napier and Littlefield streets.
Despite the top planner of San Diego’s change, back at the Clairemont forum, Boot reminded the audience that she has been very vocal in her opposition to letting in high-rise in that area along the I-5 as well as any where in the entire District 2. Boot accused Zapf of flip-flopping on the issue, as just a number of few weeks ago, Zapf told an audience that the high limit would possibly need to be raised in those neighborhoods just east of the freeway. Here’s the U-T story:
“Fast forward a week later, and she changed her position,” said Boot, contending Zapf’s support for taller buildings might be connected to campaign donations she’s taken from developers and real estate interests.
Zapf didn’t dispute she’s changed her position, but stressed that she never voted in favor of raising the height limit. Zapf said she’s now firmly against any changes.
On other issues, Boot zinged Zafp for being on a City Council that has neglected the city’s neighborhoods and their infrastructure, while focusing on downtown. She pointed to the deterioration of the San Diego Police Department as an example.
Zapf touted her “success” at supporting “managed competition” – where private companies are allowed to bid on municipal work.
The libertarian candidate, Mark Schwartz, was also present and wanted to give voters a third choice.
The Primary election the candidates are running for is June 3rd.
In the past, Boot has complained that the mainstream media are ignoring the campaign between her and Zapf. The report from the U-T is the first reporting of any of the debates the two have engaged in.
Ocean Beach, Point Loma, the Midway, Mission Beach and most of PB – plus neighborhoods of Clairemont – are all within District 2.