City council approves height limit changes to multi-unit buildings

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SAN DIEGO - The San Diego City Council approved Monday a change that will clarify how tall coastal buildings can be built.

The change will impact the Peninsula area -- like Roseville in Point Loma.

point-loma-development“It’s so tall. It blocks my view. I don’t have a problem with that because that’s the code the code says you can be 30 feet above grade. So build 30 feet above grade, but existing grade,” said Chuey Young, a Point Loma resident living in the Roseville area.

According to residents and the Peninsula Community Planning Board, the problem existed when developers started building more than the 30 feet. Concern has grown over a number of structures in coastal areas exceeding a 30-foot limit, raising the ground and measuring from the top of the new grade.

On Thursday, the San Diego City Council voted to amend city ordinance to change the language to call for measurement of 30 feet from either the existing or proposed grade whichever is lower.

“This was the best of all worlds the community got what it needed. The city addressed a problem, they did so quickly. They gave certainty to builders that they can move forward with projects that they’ve invested money in,” said Don Sevrens, Peninsula Community Planning board member.

As part of an agreement with the city, the developer knocked off 10 feet from his existing 40-foot building in Point Loma.

Thursday's amendment approval only impacts the Peninsula area, but changes and improvements are expected by July of 2017 for La Jolla and other coastal areas.

The change is expected to go into effect before the end of the year. The amendment will require a second reading by the council and approval by the San Diego County Airport Authority.