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SAN DIEGO-SeaWorld has won another round in a request for an exemption that would allow it to build attractions up to 160 feet tall.

Despite its success at the planning commission level, the project still faces some opposition at the City Council. Newly elected Councilwoman Donna Frye has long opposed allowing the theme park to build tall structures on Mission Bay, which currently has a 30-foot height limit on new construction. Voters approved the limit almost 20 years ago.

The commission yesterday approved changes in SeaWorld’s master plan to allow taller attractions. However, the commission also imposed height limits on specific projects already in the SeaWorld planning process such as a roller coaster and special events center. Commissioners also ruled that future attractions not yet proposed by SeaWorld would need both Planning Commission and City Council approval if they exceed 30 feet in height.

Proposition D, a 1998 ballot measure, allows SeaWorld to build attractions up to 160 feet tall. City approval is required for changes to the theme park because it was built on 189.5 acres of Mission Bay Park land, which SeaWorld leases from the city. A council vote on the issue isn’t yet planned.

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