City Planning Department Reverses Some- But Not All!

Councilwoman Zapf In Her Attempt To Win Re-Election Forgot A few things- Like Our 30ft Height Limit!

Pedestrian Bridge, 4 Lanes on Morena Blvd, Revision of the TODEP- BUT NO PROTECTION OF THE 30FT LIMIT

By James LaMattery
Community Activist
Raise The Balloon Committee

In a letter sent to Councilwoman Zapf, dated today, September, 17, 2018, the City Planning Department Director, Mike Hansen, stated the Planners have now reversed their opposition to some, but not all, of the community's input. Most notably absent was protection of the 30ft Height Limit in the Clairemont portion of the Morena Specific Plan.

In an attempt to win her re-election bid in November, Zapf is now touting the letter as a "Victory for the Community."

Unfortunately, Councilmember Zapf has remained silent on the issue of returning Land Use and Zoning back to the Ad Hoc Subcommittee where it belongs, and has left the door wide open for the Planning Department to continue its bid for busting the 30 ft Height Limit. 

I applaud Zapf for directing the City Staff to include the Pedestrian Bridge, 4-lanes on Morena Blvd, and revision of the Transit Oriented Development Enhancement Program from the Linda Vista Portion of the Morena Specific Plan.  If she were to exercise the same influence to protect the 30 ft Height Limit in the Clairemont portion of the Plan, I would consider voting for her.

But herein lies the rub. Zapf already promised to protect the limit and has broken that promise by removing the subcommittee's recommendations from the draft Plan.  Need proof? Pay special attention to the second paragraph of Director's letter:

"Based on your request, the following changes will be made to the Draft Morena Corridor Specific Plan.  These Changes will not affect the proposed land use designations, zones or densities." 

For those of you who don't understand the phrase, it is the Planning Department's proposal to bust the 30ft Height Limit and Zoning (Density) that will not change. That means all areas in blue on the map above.

Fool me once, shame on me. Please don't be fooled again by Zapf's re-election reversal or claims to represent her community cloud the real issue.  If she wants to represent us, she needs to direct Mike Hansen to return Land Use and Zoning back to the Ad Hoc Subcommittee so that we can make our formal recommendation to the larger CCPG and settle Height and Density once and for all.

This action is what the community needs from Zapf and it would ensure that height and density will be included in the Clairemont portion of the MSP due to be sent to the City Council for Approval.

James & RTB Committee

James LaMattery


The Hard Choice

Even If You Have To Hold Your Nose!

By James LaMattery
Community Activist

RTB (Raise The was created by a group of your neighbors who held different political views and came from different political parties which included Republicans, Democrats and Independents.  Since February of 2014, we did our best to keep political views from influencing our choices, or hampering our efforts to inform the community about the Morena Specific Plan and its implications for our residents.

RTB went to great efforts to remain politically impartial so that it couldn't be unfairly labeled as a Democratic, Republican or Independent organization. Such prejudiced labeling could have repulsed certain of our neighbors who needed to understand the city's proposals for development that would affect them.

If you attended our first meetings, you might remember my Pyramid (large triangle) representing the 5(five) levels of the planning process.  The last and final level is approval or rejection by the San Diego City Council. 

Because the city planning department has ignored community input on the plan and is building-in loopholes to raise the height limit in planning "update" documents, our only alternative to protect the 30ft Height Limit is to send a message to the City Council that we won't tolerate District Councilpersons who refuse to protect the Limit.

Community action now demands ignoring our political party affiliations in order to save the 30ft Limit. The building limit is not only necessary to protect the private and public view corridors, but more importantly, control the over-densification (population) of our community that is already 98% built-out.

RTB was gracious enough to organize a Town Hall for candidates to meet residents prior to the primary this year.  RTB hasn't openly endorsed any particular candidate. Because RTB must remain detached from the political process, we decided to create a new website (Blog) for political views, choices, and information about the candidates for the November 6th election, and who we must vote into office in order to protect the Height Limit.  Bay Park is also a place you can post comments, suggestions, etc., if you are a resident of these zips: 92110, 92111, 92117.

Since the announcement of my endorsement for Dr. Jen (Jennifer Campbell), I have received numerous emails from RTB members expressing their disappointment in having voted for  Councilmember Lorie Zapf in prior elections.  Some of Zapf's long-time supporters are truly heartbroken that Lorie didn't live up to their expectations.  Some have committed themselves to helping the campaign to elect Dr. Jen to office (a Democratic Party Candidate) in order to protect the height limit.

They also understand that Councilmember Zapf could end up serving 20 years as a Disctrict Coucilmember if re-elected. See UT article here.

These are the residents have to make the Hard Choice, and may have to hold their noses to do it.  It is easier for our neighbors that vote for Democratic Party Candidates as a matter of party affiliation.  But we are asking our Republican neighbors to sacrifice more than our Democratic ones! 

Former supporters of Councilmember Lorie Zapf, who are now helping elect Dr. Jen, are the REAL HEROES of our neighborhoods.  They have the power to topple the incumbent, and turn the tide to protect the 30ft Height Limit.

The only winners or losers in this upcoming race will be us.

Councilmember Zapf has been canvassing our neighborhoods and established her campaign office in the Clairemont Village Shopping Center (Bruce Kleege's center where Sprouts is located).  If she knocks on your door, you can ask her why she didn't prevent the city planners from removing Land Use and Zoning from the Ad Hoc Subcommittee advising on zoning and land use changes to the Morena Specific Plan.  If she responds with the boiler-plate "we are letting the larger Clairemont Planning Group make those recommendations," please ask her why the City Planners are making proposals to bust our Height Limits- show her the blue areas of the map attached to this email below.  But be prepared, she may not be familiar with the map!!

Please join with me as we get the word out that the proposal to bust our height limit is a non-starter, and to that end, it will take voting the current District Councilmember, Lorie Zapf, out of office to protect the 30ft Height Limit.  I also have some of Dr. Jen's yard signs for anyone who would like to display them.

For more information, please go to:

James LaMattery

It's Time for the Big Stick!

Time to send a message to the City Council

By James LaMattery
Community Activist

My father used to call it the Big Stick. He said it was like a 2X4 to wake up our representatives.  The Big Stick is your vote.

City Planners played dirty when they removed Land Use and Zoning from the Ad Hoc Subcommittee representing you and your neighbors.  The city knew that the subcommittee was going to prevent them from busting our 30ft Height Limit in Clairemont. This was the reason they moved Land Use and Zoning (Height and Density) to the CPU (Clairemont Planning Update Committee).  The CPU has more "city-friendly" members on it.

Councilperson Lorie Zapf did not stand up to help her community when she had the chance. She could have sought help from the Mayor, who could have directed his planning Department to return Land Use and Zoning back to the community committee where it belongs. As a result, the Planning Dept is now "floating the proposal" to bust our height limit, something that they, and Zapf, repeatedly claim wouldn't let happen.

All that Zapf has to say about the Morena Specific Plan is that she is "disappointed."  All I have to say about Zapf is that I'm disappointed in her inaction to help us.

We need to send the message to our City Council that when they ignore the community, the community will fight back.  The only way we can do so is through our vote this coming November 6th.

I could care less if the current District Councilmember is a Democrat or a Republican.  Party affiliation is not my decision making process for District Councilpersons.  My decision is based upon Issues that affect my home, property, place of business and the community I live in, especially when it involves updating the Community Plan.  Changes to the Plan will impact us for the next 30 years.

The only winners or losers in this upcoming race will be us.

Using the Big Stick, throwing out the current District Councilperson, will put the rest of the City Council on notice that we are NOT going to take it anymore!

I'm not only endorsing Dr. Jennifer Campbell for our District Councilmember, I'm encouraging all of you to do it as well.  I also am seeking to get residents, who've never voted before, to get out and vote for her.

Dr. Jen has sat down with me, listened to the issues we have with the Morena Specific Plan and the Clairemont Community Plan Update.  She has listened to the community too. She has promised to represent us, push for those things we need included in any update to our Community Plan and to form a CCI (Citizen Committee for Involvement)  to obtain community input before a project goes into the planning stages, whether that be an update to our Community Plan or a proposed project to build housing.  She knows that if she breaks her promise to the community, I personally will lead the process to recall her from office.

On the contrary, over the four years that I have been involved,  Councilmember Lorie Zapf set only one appointment with me, found an excuse not to attend and instead, sent her assistants to the meeting who had no articulate understanding of the Morena Specific Plan.

Please join with me as we get the word out that the proposal to bust our height limit is a non-starter, and to that end, it will take voting the current District Councilmember, Lorie Zapf, out of office to protect the 30ft Height Limit.  I also have some of Dr. Jen's yard signs for anyone who would like to display them.

For more information, please go to:

James LaMattery

PS: Does anyone have access to a convertible classic car, that would be willing to drive it around our neighborhoods with me shouting over a bull-horn to get folks out to vote, on election eve, please contact me at (619) 972-3051.  It may be a bit of "Old School" campaigning, but its our last stand.

Appendix A:

Notice of Preparation and Comments

Appendix B:

Transportation Impact Analysis

Appendix c:

Noise Monitoring Results

Appendix D:

Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas CalEEMod Outputs

Appendix E:

Geotechnical and Geologic Reconnaissance

Appendix F:

Existing Conditions Assessment for Water, Sewer and Storm Drain

Appendix G:

Proposed Conditions Assessment
for Water, Sewer, and Storm Drain

Appendix F:

Water Supply Assessment for the Linda Vista
Community Plan Amendment


***Please Note: Anyone who resides in the Plan Areas covered by the draft Specific Plan can submit comments as outlined below.  Because the PEIR is a highly technical document, those in our communities who are highly qualified to comment on the PEIR, because of their specialized technical degrees or work experiences, are encouraged to submit a copy to us of their written comments to the Planning Dept.  email to:

All other public comments such as the inadequacy of the Plan to address community input, out-right rejection or approval of the Plan can be continually submitted to our District Councilmembers (Lorie Zapf) and/ or Planning department heads.

The PEIR has now been released by the City of San Diego Planning Dept.  RTB (Raise The Balloon) efforts to date has been to help facilitate access, knowledge of planning processes, and input into the final draft of the Morena Specific Plan.  It is now time for each resident to represent themselves regarding the draft plan.The official Public Review Period has begun and will end on October 1, 2018.  We encourage everyone to post their suggestions, comments, criticisms, etc. of the Draft Plan directly to the City's website.
Your comments must be received by September Oct. 1, 2018 to be included in the final document considered by the decision-making authorities. Please send your written comments to the following address:
Rebecca Malone, Environmental Planner, City of San Diego Planning Department, 9485 Aero Drive, MS 413, San Diego, CA 92123
e-mail your comments to with the Project Name and Number in the subject line.
PROJECT NAME: Morena Corridor Specific Plan
PROJECT No.: 582608 / SCH No. 2016101021
Please note that only written comments, received either via US Mail, hand-delivered, or via email, will be considered official comments in the Final PEIR. The August 2018 Draft Morena Corridor Specific Plan and Draft Zoning Map is available for review and can be accessed here:


Councilmember Lorie Zapf's Letter to the Community- August 6th

Our District Two Councilmember has thrown the Planning Department under the bus and claims ""Now, we must work together to oppose this plan that does not include and respect community input."

Two Specific Plan Parcels Should Be Work-Force Housing, And Its Up To Us

We want affordable for sale work-force housing (Income cap of $102,000) built where some developers what high-market rate rentals!  We have precious few acres left along Morena Blvd and we need to activate to facilitate appropriate choices for our community.



The Public Review Period Has Expired.




NIMBY-The new "N" word in government agency planning documents." Read more...

Road Distances : Morena Blvd Street Reconfiguration Choices

GATEWAY VACANT LOT-the fight for 1st class development

The community's first challenge was with SANDAG and the City of San Diego's Planning Department over the

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3-LANE CONTROVERSY-fighting for the chance to control what's left on Morena Blvd.

Despite the community's unanimous desire to keep 4 lanes, the City Planning

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THE PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE DEBATE-when public safety wins out

Located across the freeway is the country's largest man-made aquatic park.

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IT TAKES CONSENSUS- accomplishment through unity

On September 27, 2014, 450 residents from the communities of Bay Park, Bay Ho, Overlook Heights and Clairemont came together and marched down Morena Blvd in protest to the Planning Department's effort to bust our existing 30 ft building height limit.

The balloon was hoisted to 60 feet, pin-pointing the new height limit which City Planners want.

Limiting heights, to protect our public view corridor, was the first effort to halt the Planning Department from their overzealous attempt to re-zone key parcels along Morena Blvd.

The march, organized by a grass-roots  organization, Raise The (RTB), was successful in laying the groundwork for the public voice.  RTB's goal is to galvanize public participation in the Community Plan Update (CPU) now underway.

RTB holds neighborhood meetings to educate residents about the local Community Planning Group process.

RTB also hosts meetings between residents and prospective builder-developers in order to create working relationships that can facilitate the permit and approval process.


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