No Hotel Tax Or Voter-Req'd Land Use Changes, Few School Bonds: SD County's Ballot Measure Results

Voters did not see measures for municipalities in which they did not live

San Diego voters had a slew of measures on their ballots for the 2020 California Primary Election that affect land use planning, local tourism, retail pet stores in National City and education facilities across the county.

Certified on April 2, here are the official results of every ballot measure for all municipalities in San Diego County. Voters did not see measures for municipalities in which they did not live.

Though voting has ended, you can read up on each measure below and find arguments for and against in the SDVOTE Voter Information Pamphlets mailed to you or online here.

Measure A: Amendment to the San Diego County General Plan - Did Not Pass

Yes: 407,534 - 49.03%

No: 423,630 - 50.97%

If Measure A had passed, any changes to the County of San Diego General Plan that would increase residential density in semi-rural and rural areas of unincorporated San Diego would have to be approved by voters countywide.

The measure came from a petition led by the “Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside Initiative,” which garnered signatures from 10% of county voters, requiring the Board of Supervisors to either adopt the measure or place it on the ballot before voters.

Currently, the County Board of Supervisors decides on housing development proposals that conflict with existing land-use zoning. If Measure A passed by a simple majority, the measure would have also turned the decision over to voters until 2039.

NBC 7's Catherine Garcia and Voice of San Diego's Scott Lewis breakdown March 2020 measures A and B.

Measure B: Newland Sierra Amendments to the San Diego County General Plan - Did Not Pass

Yes: 349,822 - 42%

No: 484,663 - 58%

Voters decided on the fate of a housing project planned just off Interstate 15, next to the cities of Escondido, San Marcos, and Vista.

The Board of Supervisors had previously approved the housing project, called the Newland Sierra development, but a petition forced the project to go before voters on March 3.

The Newland Sierra development called for over 2,100 homes, a school, retail space, parks, and open space. It required an amendment to the general plan because the area's current home allowance is 99, whereas this measure would increase that to 2,199. This measure required a simple majority vote.

NBC 7's Steven Luke explains the multi-faceted development project planned near Escondido Vista and San Marcos.

Measure C: Hotel Visitor Tax Increase and Bond Authorization for Convention Center Expansion, Homelessness Programs and Street Repairs - Required 2/3 Vote, Did Not Pass

Yes: 239,024 - 65.24%

No: 127,349 - 34.76%

The "yes" votes were just shy of the two-thirds requirement for the City of San Diego to increase the hotel tax to help fund Convention Center upgrades, homeless services and road repairs. The current 10.5% tax would have increased to 11.75%, 12.75%, or 13.75%, depending on a hotel's proximity to the downtown Convention Center.

The measure details said 59% of funds would have been for Convention Center purposes and 41% for homelessness programs and services. That's until the fiscal year 2023-2024 when 10% would be moved from homelessness to street repairs. The tax rates would have been in effect until at least 2061.

NBC 7's Artie Ojeda discusses Measure C, a hotel tax hike that would help pay for the convention center expansion.

Measure D: Charter Amendments Regarding Audit Committee and Selection and Term of City Auditor - Passed

Yes: 269,583 - 81%

No: 64,006 - 19%

Passed by a simple majority, this measure allows the council to appoint the auditor from a list of at least three people evaluated and recommended by the Audit Committee.

In the previous system, the San Diego mayor consulted with the Audit Committee to appoint the city auditor and then the council confirmed the candidate.

Measure E: City of Chula Vista Municipal Code Changes to Preserve State Funding for Public Works - Passed

Yes: 37,462 - 68%

No: 17,990 - 32%

Voters in Chula Vista decided to repeal a section of the city code that essentially withholds the city from entering into funding contracts that have provisions associated with project labor agreements, or PLAs.

PLAs are pre-hire agreements between construction contractors and labor organizations that establish terms and conditions of employment for construction projects.

In 2010, voters chose to prohibit the city’s ability to engage in projects with contractors tied to labor organization agreements.

The approved measure eliminates possible inconsistencies between Chula Vista and California law, which generally disqualifies cities with anti-PLA laws from receiving state funding for local infrastructure, according to the city attorney’s impartial analysis.

Measure G: Del Mar Marisol Specific Plan - Did Not Pass

Yes: 981 - 41%

No: 1,406 - 59%

City of Del Mar voters decided to reject a luxury resort, called Marisol, planned for a portion of oceanfront land. The Marisol site would have built a 65-room hotel, 31 villas, dining and cocktail lounges and 22 affordable housing units.

An explanation of a hot button issue on the March 2020 ballot by NBC 7's Mari Payton.

Measure S: Proposed Three-Quarter Cent Sales Tax for City of Lemon Grove - Did Not Pass

Yes: 2,756 - 43%

No: 3,723 - 57%

If approved by a simple majority, the sales tax in Lemon Grove would have increased from 7.75% to 8.5% for an expected revenue of about $3 million a year for the city’s general fund. The tax would have been used by the city to fund, enhance, and maintain city services.

There is currently no sales tax specific to Lemon Grove. The tax would not have applied to food purchased as groceries or prescription medications.

Measure H: Appointed Offices in National City - Did Not Pass

Yes: 3,747 - 48%

No: 4,059 - 52%

This measure would have changed National City’s City Clerk and City Treasurer positions from elective to appointive by the City Manager.

Measure J: National City Ban of Retail Pet Sales - Passed

Yes: 5,054 - 62%

No: 3,126 - 38%

National City has voter approval to adopt local regulations that are more restrictive than a state law targeting commercial pet breeders, requiring pet stores to get animals from shelters or rescue groups.

Pet shops will be prohibited from selling, bartering, or auctioning animals unless they are a publicly operated animal shelter or agency, or if they do not receive any fee from the adoption.

Pets would still be sold from the place they are born or through a breeder, excluding pet shops and retail pet stores. National City City Council approved the ordinance in September 2019 and then a petition was filed to move the decision to the ballot.

NBC 7's Mari Payton has more information on Measure J.

Measure K: Appointed Offices in Oceanside - Did Not Pass

Yes: 11,384 - 25%

No: 34,472 - 75%

This measure would have changed Oceanside’s City Clerk and City Treasurer positions from elective to appointive by the City Manager.


Measures L through P, Bond Issues for School Districts: All measures required 55% approval and the money would be used for various school facility improvements.

  • Cajon Valley Union School District - Did Not Pass: Bonds up to $220 million, requiring an average increased tax rate of $26 per $100,000 of assessed property value for bond repayment.
  • Chula Vista Elementary School District - Passed with 55.42%: Bonds up to $300 million, requiring an average increased tax rate of $30 per $100,000 of assessed property value for bond repayment.
  • Escondido Union School District - Did Not Pass: Bonds up to $205 million, requiring an average increased tax rate of $30 per $100,000 of assessed property value for bond repayment.
  • Lakeside Union School District - Did Not Pass: Bonds up to $33 million, requiring an average increased tax rate of $30 per $100,000 of assessed property value for bond repayment.
  • Poway Unified School District - Did Not Pass: Bonds up to $448 million, requiring an average increased tax rate of $30 per $100,000 of assessed property value for bond repayment.

Measure T: San Ysidro School District - Passed

Approved by a supermajority of 70%, this measure seeks to improve school security and upgrade facilities through a maximum of $52,985 million in bonds. The bond requires an average tax rate of $30 per $100,000 of assessed property value for bond repayment.

The bond can be used to make student safety and school security improvements; upgrade classroom technology; and construct, rehabilitate, acquire, equip and furnish classrooms and school facilities.

State law also requires the San Ysidro School District to establish and independent citizens' oversight committee.

Measure U: San Ysidro School District - Passed

Approved by a supermajority of 69%, this measure allows the district to sell bonds up to $55.5 million, requiring an average tax rate of $30 per $100,000 of assessed property value for bond repayment. The measure seeks to upgrade classrooms and school facilities.

The bond can be used to reconstruct or replace roofs and plumbing and construct, rehabilitate, replace, acquire, equip and furnish classrooms and school facilities.

State law also requires the San Ysidro School District to establish and independent citizens' oversight committee.

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