Midway community planners and City Council members Dr. Jennifer Campbell and Chris Cate joined July 22 to launch a campaign to revitalize the community through a November ballot measure to remove the 30-foot height limit in the neighborhood.
The press conference was held in a blighted area of the Midway District the day after the City Council’s 7-2 vote favoring placing removal of the 30-foot coastal height restriction on the Nov. 3 ballot.
“The Midway community is ready for change and we need San Diego’s help,” said Cathy Kenton, Midway-Pacific Highway Community Planning Group chair and third-generation business owner in the area. “The City Council placed this measure on the November ballot because the community wants it on the ballot. We are leading a community-driven campaign to urge San Diegans to vote yes in November.”
“Today is the first of many new days for Midway and I can confidently say the future of Midway looks bright,” said District 2 Councilmember Dr. Jennifer Campbell who, along with District 6 Councilmember Chris Cate, are co-sponsoring the November ballot measure. “This is not a coastal community. Removing the height limit here is only for the Midway area, to act as a catalyst to bring life to the Midway Community.”
“Midway is a landlocked community. It makes no sense for the coastal height limit to be applied here,” said Dike Anyiwo, also a Midway-Pacific Highway Community Planning Group member. “We’re not La Jolla, Pacific or Mission Beach. We’re not a beach community. We should not be treated like one.”
Added Anyiwo, “Without removing the 30-foot-height limit, jobs will simply not materialize, and we will continue to be San Diego’s most iconic eyesore with strip clubs, billboards and parking lots that sit empty.”
The Midway-Pacific Highway Community (corridor) is an urbanized community north of Downtown between Old Town and Point Loma. It encompasses about 800 acres of mostly flat land. Midway has a commercial core containing numerous shopping centers, institutional facilities, multifamily residential developments, visitor-oriented uses, older industrial areas, and U.S. military properties. It is also the location of the Pechanga Arena, formerly known as the Sports Arena.
Kicking off the ballot initiative, Kenton said its objective is to “create a community we can be proud of.” But she added, “You do not see a place you would want to call home. You see a place where people rarely venture out after dark. You see naked lots instead of businesses. You see adult entertainment places. This is what the height limit has done to our neighborhood.”
“The Midway community has been asking for this change for years,” said Campbell. “This community is in need of improvement. I’m excited about this grassroots movement.”
“Midway District is an area with so much potential,” said Cate. “However, it is constricted like a python to its prey due to the archaic height-limit restrictions. We at the City are doing our part to unleash the potential of this neighborhood.”
Pointing out Midway has no public parks, Kenton concluded, “We’ve worked for years to update our community plan so we can grow in the way our neighborhood wants with parks and public spaces. Lifting the 30-foot-height limit would help bring us the community plan that we put together. But we can’t do that without a vote of the people. We urge you to vote yes in November.”