Richard Schmidt is an architect and teacher, and served for 19 years as a volunteer on various city committees and commissions, including eight years on the Planning Commission, terms on the Waterways Planning Board, Environmental Quality Task Force, Election Regulations Committee, and Housing Element Task Force, and is sick about what his city has become in the last decade and a half.
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OPINION by RICHARD SCHMIDT This is a tale of two cities, both faced with rapacious demands from developers buoyed by a new state law that provides incentives to developers who include a few units of “affordable” housing in their projects. One city’s leaders acted forcefully to protect the public interest and community planning standards, the... (Continue Reading)
OPINION by RICHARD SCHMIDT Monday, downtown shoppers hoping to park in the 60-plus public parking spaces in the San Luis Obispo City lot off Broad and Marsh streets, were greeted with signs telling them the lot is closed permanently, and yellow construction tape blocking entrances and exits. So, right at the beginning of the holiday... (Continue Reading)
OPINION BY RICHARD SCHMIDT “Amenity transfer” is an awkward term you’re probably not familiar with, but there’s an old saying in politics: if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. If you don’t know about amenity transfer and live in San Luis Obispo, you’re definitely on the menu. Amenity transfer is about things... (Continue Reading)
By RICHARD SCHMIDT Usually I write about very serious San Luis Obispo City politics — water rates, tax elections, other boring stuff. Today, dear readers, we’ll talk about goofy little things our city people do, the warp and weft of city government that gets overlooked and under-appreciated. So, here goes. Panhandling The city doesn’t want... (Continue Reading)
OPINION By RICHARD SCHMIDT You haven’t heard about it, though, because the city wants you to believe they’re doing the opposite, encouraging you to conserve water with appropriate “conservation pricing.” Like much at our city hall, that’s smoke and mirrors. After the city council gets done raising rates again this month, if you’re a water-wasting... (Continue Reading)
OPINION By RICHARD SCHMIDT The following letter was sent to the San Luis Obispo City Council regarding their “failure,” as the Tribune put it, to approve general plan provisions that would allow high density housing beneath the flight path into and out of the San Luis Obispo Airport. Such development is prohibited by the Airport... (Continue Reading)
OPINION By RICHARD SCHMIDT San Luis Obispo is launching a radical change in who pays development’s infrastructure costs, and this is intimately related to Measure G, the city sales tax on November’s ballot. Simply stated, if you vote for Measure G, you will be taxing yourself for massive new city subsidies to developers. Never heard... (Continue Reading)
OPINION By RICHARD SCHMIDT In the early 2000s, San Luis Obispo’s management decided it wanted more money. It would come from a locally-imposed tax. They had no grand vision for what they’d do with the money, nothing like, say, buying a greenbelt to surround the city or something else residents actually wanted. They just wanted... (Continue Reading)
OPINION By RICHARD SCHMIDT The right of the people to know what their local government is doing is sacrosanct in California. State law – the oft-referenced Brown Act – thunders: “The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what... (Continue Reading)
OPINION By RICHARD SCHMIDT In San Luis Obispo, we know it’s June when the city council votes to increase residential water and sewer fees. This annual ritual is as dependable as the swallows’ return to San Juan Capistrano. The only thing is this ritual is a broken promise. Years ago, they promised us it wouldn’t... (Continue Reading)