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Mayoral candidates Bry and Gloria differ on measure to lift 30-foot height limit in sports arena area

Todd Gloria and Barbara Bry are running for mayor of San Diego.
State Assemblyman Todd Gloria and San Diego City Councilwoman Barbara Bry are running for mayor of San Diego.
(Sam Hodgson / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The two candidates battling to become San Diego’s first new mayor since 2014 have different views on revamping the Midway District’s sports arena neighborhood.

State Assemblyman Todd Gloria and City Councilwoman Barbara Bry are both Democrats, so they have similar views on many issues, including support for law enforcement reform, the city’s climate action plan and efforts to boost racial equity.

But one of the issues on which they differ is revamping the area around the sports arena. Termed-out Mayor Kevin Faulconer recently selected a developer to build high-rise housing and potentially replace the arena with a new version.

Mayor says the goal is a completely new arena to anchor a planned entertainment district.

Key to that vision for the area is Measure E, a proposal on the Nov. 3 ballot to remove the 30-foot building height limit in a targeted area around the arena. Gloria supports Measure E, while Bry opposes it.

“I think the rush to decide how to redevelop the sports arena land is another backroom real estate deal,” Bry said.

Any effort to lift the 30-foot height limit, which opponents call a slippery slope to lifting the height limit elsewhere on the coast, should have begun two years ago when the neighborhood updated its blueprint for development, Bry said.

Barbara Bry and Todd Gloria, who are facing off in the race to become the new mayor of San Diego, have their eyes on a big task as they seek to replace current Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who is termed out and cannot run for re-election.

Gloria said it’s inconsistent for Bry to say she wants neighborhoods to have a say in new housing proposals when she also opposes Measure E, considering that it has strong support from businesses and residents near the arena.

He also said opposition to Measure E is the same as supporting the status quo for the area, which is marred by traffic congestion, run-down strip malls and the aging arena.

The two candidates for mayor of San Diego — District 1 City Council member Barbara Bry and state Assemblyman Todd Gloria — outlined their policy goals in an online forum during the Ocean Beach Town Council’s September meeting last week.

Gloria finished first in the March primary election by a wide margin, while Bry edged Republican Scott Sherman for the second slot in the November general election.

However, a San Diego Union-Tribune/10News SurveyUSA poll released Oct. 6 showed Gloria and Bry in a virtual
dead heat among likely voters in the November face-off, with Gloria leading 39 percent to 38 percent.


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