The council passed the measure 6-3 vote along party lines Monday, with Democrats supporting the raise and Republicans opposing it. The final vote will be held July 28, where it is expected to pass.
"This is a reasonable, common sense proposal that maintains tremendous benefits for our workers and our local economy while reducing the potential impacts on businesses," City Council President Todd Gloria told local reporters.
"San Diegans know that a stronger workforce and a stronger economy will result from passage of the proposal (tonight) and will get San Diego just a bit closer to being a great city."
If the ordinance passes the July 28 vote, business owners will have until the end of the year to meet the first stage of the wage hike and compensate their lowest paid employees $9.75 per hour.
Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer could veto the measure unless it passes by the same 6-3 majority as Monday's vote, granting the council power to overturn his veto.