The effort to establish a 30ft Height Overlay Zone in Clairemont Mesa began in 1971 by Bay Park Residents. We are currently looking for anyone who was part of that group and who fought hard to get the zone added to the Clairemont Community Plan-if you know of someone who was part of that group, please contact us as we’d like to get their personal story about the history of the effort.
Our Overlay Zone has several mandated purposes. One of which is to protect the ‘Public Vistas‘ by limiting the heights to which developers could build to. Proposition ‘D’ had established the Coastal Height Limit Overlay Zone in 1972 by public initiative. Because that zone only applied to property west of I-5, residents in Clairemont Mesa banded together to establish their own height limit zone. Exceptions to the rule were quickly applied for and granted in 1989 to several developers for the Villamar and Buena Vista Gardens projects.
In 1997, the Zone was adopted into the San Diego General Plan and Housing Element 2013-2030, but whereas the Coastal Zone protection cannot be repealed without a subsequent vote of the people, the Clairemont Mesa Overlay Zone can be changed via a City Council vote. Many residents feel that it is unfair that the Coastal Zone is protected from City Council action and the Clairemont Mesa Zone is not, because one of the intents of the original group who fought hard to include the Clairemont Zone into their Community plan was to protect Clairemont Mesa views just as the Coastal Commission’s Coastal Zone protected other parts of our San Diego coastline.