July 21, 1987, the day the San Diego City Council adopted the Interim Development Ordinance and approved more effective protections for the city's natural resources, may become the most significant date in the city's recent history. Mayor O'Connor and Councilman Gotch are to be commended for taking leadership roles and standing up to the extraordinary pressures mounted by the development industry. In spite of unsubstantiated predictions of financial ruin for the industry and San Diego, the council majority voted to preserve the city's quality of life by limiting residential growth and protecting the city's canyons, wetlands and river valleys.
The votes of council members Wolfsheimer, Ballesteros and Jones for the IDO and the added votes of McCarty and McColl for the Resource Protection Overlay Zone will long be remembered and appreciated by San Diego's voters. Although these temporary measures do not provide a comprehensive solution to San Diego's growth-related problems, and they do not address the growth-inducing potential of the city's policies on regional transportation and the promotion of tourism, they go far toward establishing the concept of "limits" in the city's future plans.
City Council candidates should be paying close attention; so should the mayor's appointees to the Citizens' Advisory Committee. This committee, charged with developing San Diego's long-range plans for growth, should be encouraged to incorporate the idea of "limits" in the recommendations they put before the electorate in November, 1988. If not, the voters are sure to have some "ideas" of their own.
Citizens for Limited Growth