SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego City Council voted Monday to close a loophole in zoning regulations that allowed some developers in Ocean Beach and Point Loma to build residences over the area's 30-foot height limit.

The loophole stemmed from an initiative passed by voters in 1972 that established the height limit in coastal areas, but the wording of the ballot measure computed the measurement differently than existing city codes.

According to city staff, residents of Ocean Beach and Point Loma have expressed concern about a growing number of structures exceeding the limit, including by raising the ground and measuring from the top of the new grade.

The change, approved by the council on a 7-1 vote, amends the language to call for measurement of the 30 feet from either the existing or proposed grade, whichever is lower.

Before it takes effect -- perhaps by the end of this year -- the amendment will require a second reading by the council and approval by the San Diego County Airport Authority. The change won't take effect in areas within one mile of the shoreline until it receives a go-ahead from the California Coastal Commission.

Robert Vacchi, director of the city's Development Services Department, said similar zoning issues exist in La Jolla, Pacific Beach and Nestor, so a proposed revision to the city's land development code could go before the council next summer.