Aerial view of Midway District
An aerial view of the Midway District along Sports Arena Boulevard. Courtesy City of San Diego

Mayor Todd Gloria has vowed to appeal a Superior Court ruling invalidating the ballot measure than ended height restrictions in the dilapidated Midway area.

Gloria told KPBS on Tuesday that the city would “fight like hell” to defend voters’ wishes.

“The revitalization of the Midway District is critical to the future of our city — not just for a new sports venue, but again, for the provision of housing that is attainable to low- and middle-income San Diegans,” he said.

Measure E eliminating the 30-foot height limit in the area of strip clubs and old warehouses to encourage new development was approved by 56% of voters in 2020.

But San Diego Superior Court Judge Katherine Bacal ruled late last week that the city should have considered the environmental impact of taller buildings before placing the measure on the ballot.

The lawsuit was brought by nonprofit Save Our Access, which argues the area should be turned into parkland rather than high-density housing with new retail areas..

The city’s plans to replace the aging Sports Arena hinge with a major new development hinge on ending the height restriction.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.