Bay Park Zoning Laws

Bay Park is a nice (normally quiet) neighborhood tucked in between the five freeway and Linda Vista and exists as a community within the larger community of Clairemont. Many of the residential properties have ocean views, and the people are friendly and hard-working.

The Clairemont community board has made a stand to prevent changes to the zoning laws which would enable developers to exceed the current 30 ft ceiling on buildings in the area. This has not been a problem until now.

The city of San Diego has proposed a trolley extension, and will be adding three new stops along Morena Blvd to connect UCSD and UTC with Old Town. To justify the $1.7 billion price tag, the city has proposed changing its current zoning laws to allow developments to exceed 30 ft but not to exceed 60 ft in the areas surrounding the new proposed stations (Tecolote Rd and Morena Blvd, Clairemont Dr and Morena Blvd, and Balboa Dr and Morena Blvd).

Sounds like a done deal, but it’s not. Residents in the Bay Park and Linda Vista areas are complaining that allowing developers to build mixed residential/commercial buildings around the stations will be bad for the community. Next time you drive on Morena Blvd toward Costco notice the sign that says “No R44 Housing.” Some of the less conspicuous signs advocate raising a balloon 60 ft to visualize the height change.

There are arguments for and against the decision. Residents complain that their views may be obstructed or worry that their peaceful community may become noisier. The trolley extension will bring business to the area and provide a more efficient mechanism for transit-goers to reach UCSD. The new law will increase residential density along Morena Blvd, and many of the buildings along the new proposed line are restaurants, bars, and small businesses, which would immediately benefit from more customers.

Ultimately, the decision is up to the city of San Diego. The Clairemont Mesa Community Board can fight all they want, but they should be directing their fight at City Council members not drivers on the side of the road. Because the height limit was written into the community plan and not enacted by voter referendum, unlike the beach areas, a simple Council Vote can bypass the Community Board Regulations.

Tensions are rising in Bay Park and Linda Vista; meanwhile the trolley extension is up in the air (between 30 and 60 feet).

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