City Council term limits battle heads to appeals court

SAN DIEGO — San Diego City Council hopeful Bryan Pease announced Friday that he will argue a legal challenge in the Fourth District Court of Appeal to Councilwoman Lorie Zapf’s bid for re-election.

Pease, an attorney in Ocean Beach who finished third in the June primary, is arguing that Zapf has served the two-term maximum on the council as outlined in the City Charter.

“Zapf — whose campaign is heavily funded by Republican, developer and special interest money to the tune of nearly a million dollars — has started a legal defense fund just for this,” Pease said in a statement.

A Superior Court judge struck down Pease’s legal challenge July 30, concluding that Zapf’s use of a term limit loophole is legal. While city council members are limited to two four-year terms, Zapf argues she is eligible for a third term because her home was redistricted during her first term in office. The move from District 6 to District 2 allows her to seek a second term in the latter district.

“Redistricting caused Defendant to live in new District 2 for the majority of her first term while representing new District 6, where she never lived and was never serving from,” Pease says in his opening brief.

Pease plans to argue his case before a three-justice panel on Aug. 16 at 10 a.m.