A restaurant project in Little Italy that ran afoul of the agency that operates Lindbergh Field received a final go-ahead Tuesday from the San Diego City Council.

Late Mornings Inc. wants to renovate a onetime camera shop at 1909 India St. and reopen it as a restaurant called Born & Raised.

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority ruled in October that the project was inconsistent with the Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan, which sets guidelines for development under flight paths near San Diego’s international airport.

According to a staff report, the objection was that Born & Raised would attract far more customers than the old camera store did, increasing what’s known as a property’s population intensity.

Proponents of the project contended at previous hearings that the Little Italy neighborhood is loaded with crowded restaurants and similar establishments. And, while the address is within the area covered by the land- use restrictions, it isn’t close to where aircraft actually fly, supporters said.

The City Council is required to hold two public hearings to overrule an airport land-use decision. The first hearing was held about six weeks ago and ended with an 8-1 vote to propose the override.

City staff subsequently notified the Airport Authority and the Caltrans Division of Aeronautics.

The Airport Authority didn’t respond, but according to a staff report, Caltrans sent a letter that signaled its backing of the original decision to deny the project, concluding that the city doesn’t have sufficient evidence to overrule it.

“The use that’s being proposed there I think is completely compatible not only with that community, but also the safety of the surrounding vicinity,” said Councilman Todd Gloria, who represents the area. “I think it is notable that the Airport Authority did not send a letter like the Department of Transportation did.”

He said the developers just had to work through a “bureaucratic quirk.”

The project was supported by the City Council 6-1 on its required second vote, with council President Sherri Lightner again dissenting.

Councilman David Alvarez, who is part of a trade delegation in Mexico City with Mayor Kevin Faulconer, and Councilwoman Marti Emerald were absent.

–City News Service