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San Diego

The San Diego City Council on Tuesday delayed approval of an immediate yearlong moratorium on construction of more than 11,000 homes near Brown Field in Otay Mesa.

The six-day postponement was necessary to allow the city attorney’s office to incorporate several language changes in the emergency ordinance, which would also apply to a small number of commercial and industrial projects near the small, general aviation airfield.

Councilman Ron Roberts proposed the freeze on construction of 11,195 homes west of Brown Field Nov. 7 to preserve the option of upgrading Brown Field to a major regional airport that would replace overburdened Lindbergh Field.

The San Diego Assn. of Governments is conducting a review of alternatives to Lindbergh, which is expected to reach capacity by 1995. Relocating the airport to Brown Field or the Miramar Naval Air Station are considered the leading options.

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In discussion Tuesday, the council agreed to continue processing the paper work for residential, commercial and industrial projects around the airport, but applicants must release the city from its obligation to approve the projects if the council decides to relocate the airport to Brown Field. Construction of industrial projects already in the planning pipeline would be allowed.

The homes, slated to be built on 2,147 acres west of Brown’s single runway, would be squarely in the path of noise produced by large, commercial airliners and might be on land needed to extend Brown’s runway, Roberts has said.

The first of the large, residential developments is scheduled to go before the Planning Commission Dec. 1.

The council also agreed to exempt a sliver of land immediately east of Interstate 805 from the freeze.

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