Case Study – SeaWorld

Case Study

High Profile Land Use Processing

Client: SeaWorld

Background: HechtSolberg represented SeaWorld in obtaining California Coastal Commission and San Diego City Council approvals necessary to implement the new SeaWorld Master Plan as well as an exemption to a voter-approved height limit pertaining to the SeaWorld property.

Challenge: As part of its ongoing renovation and revitalization efforts, SeaWorld embarked on a program to obtain a voter-approved exemption from the 30-feet height limit along San Diego’s coast line, In addition, SeaWorld sought to amend the Mission Bay Park Community Plan and local coastal program so that new exhibits and attractions could be constructed in accordance with a new SeaWorld Master Plan.

These actions promoted opposition from several fronts, resulting in a coalescing of vocal community and environmentally based organizations and activist dedicating to preventing the exemption to the height limit and land use approvals.

Solution: In addition to the successful initiative to amend SeaWorld’s height limit, the complicated process involved multiple approvals from the City of San Diego and the Coastal Commission. HechtSolberg served as the single land use law firm to help resolve issues involving views, aesthetics, fireworks shows, endangered species protections, traffic improvements, water quality, lease revisions and public hearings before City committees, commissions, City Council and the Coastal Commission. In addition, HechtSolberg served as a key member of the public outreach and education program, often serving as a project speaker and media representative. These efforts helped to garner key project support among allied groups and decision makers.