The City of San Diego has big plans for the Midway District. The Sports Arena area could see 48 acres transformed for the Midway Rising project, but there’s a hold up: height regulations.
The issue — Measure C on the ballot — will be decided by voters in the Tues., Nov. 8 Statewide General Election. The results will determine the development’s future, and either outcome will impact the city.
📜 The lowdown
Voters will decide whether to exclude the Midway-Pacific Highway Community Plan area (where the Midway Rising project will be constructed) from the 30-foot height limit for Coastal Zones, a regulation designed to preserve access to public spaces + the shoreline. Specifically, this change would allow the Midway Rising project to add 4,250 new homes for San Diegans, including 2,000 affordable units.
Wait up — didn’t we already vote on this? Yes, in 2020, this regulation was Measure E on the ballot. It passed with a 57% approval, but the decision was blocked by the San Diego Superior Court after determining voters didn’t have enough information on environmental impact.
👍 Thumbs up
To pass, Measure E would need to receive the majority of the votes, meaning 50% + 1. It would allow repairs to be made specifically for projects to the Midway District, including:
- Additional housing, aligning with the city’s “Homes For All of Us” initiative.
- 8,500 new jobs + retail and dining spaces for customers.
- A transit-focused community with 20 acres of public parks.
- A new arena with 16,000 seats.
- $27.5 million annually in city revenue with no tax increase for residents.
👎 Thumbs down
Locals in opposition believe changing height regulations is a slippery slope. While Measure C only impacts Midway-Pacific Highway Community Plan, it would modify a regulation voters passed in 1972. Concerns include:
- Beach access will be restricted, and tall buildings will block ocean views.
- Congestion + traffic and their environmental impacts.
- Approving the measure will allow taller developments — even those without affordable housing.
- Construction will allow politicians to give companies lucrative contracts.