"RaiseThe Balloon" is a metaphor for raising the awareness of countywide residents of the planning changes happening on local and state levels.  Raising the balloon is similar to the use of "story poles"story poles that can be requested or required to depict the outline of a building/ project for view assessment.

Our organization grew out of the fight to prevent the 30ft Height Limit from being busted in Bay Park, a coastal community of San Diego.  Now that the fight to suspend or remove our coastal and inland height limits has escalated into a state battle with senate bills sb50 and sb330, we are organizing the opposition to passage of both bills.

Transit B4 Density

What We Want

California is in an affordable housing crisis. Debate about what has caused, and what will fix the crisis rages as the price of homes skyrocket.  Whatever the fix, read more...


What We Don't Want

"The Housing Crisis Act of 2019" (sb330) and "The More Housing Act" (sb50) will be state law by the end of the year if communities across the state don't take action now.  These disastrous California senate bills are making their way unanimously through senate committees in Sacramento. Neither are good fixes to California's affordable housing crisis. RTB is committed to engaging all San Diegans in the conversation about these bills and the larger housing crisis we all face.

What We Do

We host community forums, neighborhood meetings, and protest events to increase public participation in the planning process of our communities.  We also provide electronic petitions for residents to sign, and are currently involved with a new statewide initiative that will be launched by June 2019.

What We Need

We need community support and volunteers to distribute event flyers, sign and forward petitions to friends and family, and speakers who are articulate with the issues.

Homeowners willing to host in-home neighborhood meetings to alert their neighbors in their surrounding blocks can contact RTB for speakers and meeting materials.

Finally, we need monetary contributions to pay for online services, publishing material and printing supplies.



Bay Park, Bay Ho, Overlook Heights & Clairemont


April 24th
Andres Cuban Restaurant
1235 Morena Blvd
Status of 30ft Height Limit and Morena Specific Plan
Hosted by James LaMattery, Spokesperson RTB
Guest Speaker Attorney Cory Briggs

More details here

La Jolla, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, and Carlsbad

We will post the new schedules here once locations, times, and dates have been confirmed.

If you join our email list, you will receive advance notice of the meetings.


Last year, Senate bill (sb) 827 was defeated in its first committee cycle. Sb 50 and sb330 are workarounds of sb827 from the California state senate.  Both bills have progressed  further through the senate committees than sb827.

Because sb50 has passed almost unanimously through its first two committees, the full vote of the Senate can take place in June, 2019.

The bills seek to remove local control of planning from municipalities, cities and counties in California.  They will revoke and suspend voter approved building height limits and density maximums that have historically protected our communities from over-densification.

Please note the language from the text of sb330:

This bill, until January 1, 2030, with respect to land where housing is an allowable use, except as specified, would prohibit a county or city, including the electorate exercising its local initiative or referendum power, in which specified conditions exist, from enacting a development policy, standard, or condition, as defined, that would have the effect of (A) changing the land use designation or zoning of a parcel or parcels of property to a less intensive use or reducing the intensity of land use within an existing zoning district below what was allowed under the general plan or specific plan land use designation and zoning ordinances of the county or city as in effect on January 1, 2018; (B) imposing or enforcing a moratorium on housing development within all or a portion of the jurisdiction of the county or city, except as provided; (C) imposing or enforcing new design standards established on or after January 1, 2018, that are not objective design standards, as defined; or (D) establishing or implementing certain limits on the number of permits issued by, or the population of, the county or city. The bill would, notwithstanding these prohibitions, allow a city or county to prohibit the commercial use of land zoned for residential use consistent with the authority of the city or county conferred by other law. The bill would state that these prohibitions would apply to any zoning ordinance adopted or amended on or after January 1, 2018, and that any zoning ordinance adopted, or amendment to an existing ordinance or to an adopted general plan or specific plan, on or after that date that does not comply would be deemed void.
The bill would state that these prohibitions would prevail over any conflicting provision of the Planning and Zoning Law or other law regulating housing development in this state, except as specifically provided. The bill would also require that any exception to these provisions, including an exception for the health and safety of occupants of a housing development project, be construed narrowly. The bill would also declare any requirement to obtain local voter approval for specified purposes related to housing development against public policy and void.

Raise The is a grassroots public participation platform. For a more articles, position papers, and studies of the issues, please visit Grow The San Diego Way.

Chart for sbs

The Chain of proposed Legislation to enact the "Housing Crisis Act of 2019"

The links will take you to active petitions to sign electronically.

  • Removal of parking space requirements for new projects located in and around TPAs. Land use attorney, Cory Briggs,  filed a lawsuit against the City of San Diego over removal of parking space requirements.
  • sb50-removal of building Height Limits in TPAs outside of Coastal Commission & Proposition D protection.  Sb50 has almost unanimously passed two critical senate committees.
  • sb330- could suspend, until 2030, Coastal Height Limits currently protected by Proposition D boundaries*


*Nancy Skinner’s SB 330,  would roll back many city and county home-building regulations for a decade. Skinner’s office told the Los Angeles Times this week that the bill would apply to San Diego’s coastal height limit, a sacred cow that has defined development in beach communities for decades."   Los Angeles Times: Bay Area Leads Charge On Fixing Housing Crisis

Read GTSDW: "Jobs Rich" areas subject to removal of height limits. Pdf version Job Rich Areas

Read VOSD: Bill Would Suspend Height Limits

Read Los Angeles Times Article: Get to know James LaMattery by reading "After Decades of Suburban Sprawl.."  pdf version...

Dr. Peter Anderson, Chairperson of the San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club has reviewed the of impact of sb50.  
American Planning Association: California Chapter APA paper against sb50.
KPPC Governor Newsom Says sb50 is "struggling and flawed"  Read article
Los Angeles Times: Palo Alto Would Be Completely Re-Zoned Under sb50
La Jolla Light- Phil Wise's Granddaughter's Drawing Of sb50 & sb330 Impact in La Jolla  Postcard Article




June 8th


Details of the beginning point and end destination of the March Route

In-Lieu Fee Loophole
In-Lieu Fee Loophole

In New York, luxury tower builders use a loophole (similar to La Jolla and San Diego City) to build taller than community plans allow.  Read NY Times article here... For New York builders, floors that store mechanical systems don't count against the total square footage allowed.  The tower above has 88 "mechanical storage" floors.

In San Diego City, and in particular in Bay Park and La Jolla, the luxury tower builders are using the "in-lieu fee" loophole to avoid building the affordable housing that up-zoning is based upon.  The fee was lowered in San Diego in in 2017.



What's At Stake?

In the 1970s, San Diego voters implemented a 30-foot height limit for construction along the city’s coastline and required a public vote to build taller.

Senator Scott Wiener's bill, sb50, introduced in December 2018, will override the protective height limit to enable new market rate housing near transit.

Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) introduced Senate Bill 330, in January 2019, entitled The Housing Crisis Act of 2019 to do away with many city and county restrictions on homebuilding for a decade — a response, she’s said, to the scope of the state’s housing challenges.  San Diego’s coastal height limit would be suspended until 2030 for new homes should the bill pass, a spokesman for Skinner said.

What's at stake is the public's local control of land use issues in our neighborhoods.  Last year, sb827 was roundly rejected by lawmakers. This year they are trying to implement a work-around with the passage of sb50, and sb330.


State control over local land use removes all current local jurisdiction and rights to appeal building height limits, requirements for developers to provide parking spaces in new projects built in TPAs, leaves the provision of infrastructure upgrades and additional public services to local cities and municipalities that lack the resources to implement them,  and removes adequate  CEQA review necessary to mitigate the affect of packing dense projects in our neighborhoods.


We are not sitting idle and hoping our Sacramento Lawmakers will protect us.  None of our local lawmakers have taken a stand against sb50 or sb330.

To protest the bad policy moves by local lawmakers who are thinking about suspending or removing Coastal Act CEQA protections & Prop D height limits, and who voted for removing parking space requirements, we're organizing Balloon March II, similar to our organized protest in 2014 where we used a 10ft diameter helium filled balloon flown at 60 ft,  marched it down Morena Blvd  with 450 neighbors (see video above) in protest over the city's removal of our 3o ft height limit in Bay Park.


Recent Videos

Community Activist and Spokesperson, James LaMattery, warns the SD City Council that approval of the draft Morena Corridor Specific Plan will allow unrestricted building of ocean and bay view luxury units and demands that the City Council find a fix for the in-lieu fee loophole before the Plan is moved forward.

Above: Community activist and spokesperson for RTB, James LaMattery, warns SD City Council that removal of the requirement for parking spaces will disadvantage the lower income families that need housing.

Parking Ordinance Repeal Petition -Please sign and forward the petition to friends and families to let the City Council know that you are opposed to this new ordinance and want it repealed immediately.

Parking Ordinance O-2019-101, the Housing SD: Proposed Parking Requirement Regulatory Reform for Multifamily Residential Development in Transit Priority Areas was approved on 3/19/2019.


Raise The Balloon (RTB) was founded in 2014 in response to the City of San Diego's rush to densify our neighborhoods and bust our maximum building height limits.  An organic local movement, grown from grassroots volunteer efforts, RTB has evolved into a county-wide push to engage community participation in the planning process of the San Diego General Plan and the County's Regional Comprehensive Plan.