Seal Beach Sets New Campaign Finance Limits

Years of political battles over limiting the height of buildings in the older sections of Seal Beach have produced at least one concrete result: the city council put a $500 limit on donations from individuals to candidates.

The new ordinance unanimously adopted by the five council members this month also limits city candidates to just one campaign committee so candidates can’t do an end run around the $500 limit by forming multiple committees to collect money.

City Manager David N. Carmany said interest in new campaign limits was triggered by a heavily contested ballot proposition in 2008. The proposition, Measure Z, limits the height of buildings in the city’s old town to 25 feet.

The battle over the measure, which ened up being overwhelmingly approved by voters, was waged by two organizations that spent more than $110,000.

Donations to Save Our Seal Beach, which opposed limiting the height of buildings, totaled about $90,500, with a few contributions of up to $10,000, according to the Orange County Register.

Supporters of the two-story height limits formed Seal Beach for Two Stories and raised about $20,000.