Is the SLO City Council ignoring public input?
February 8, 2017
OPINION by ALLAN COOPER
On Tuesday, Feb. 7, the San Luis Obispo City Council denied an appeal of the city’s Architectural Review Committee’s Dec. 5th approval of 22 Chorro Street. Before their vote, the council received 48 letters of support and one letter in opposition.
Letters of support came from all of the University Square tenants and from such pillars of our community as Ken Schwartz, Felton Ferrini, Stephan Lamb, Paul Wolf and John Ashbaugh. The council chamber was packed full of appeal supporters and nearly all of the public testimony given, including that of Richard Kresja, Dr. Jeffrey Herten and Dr. David Hafemeister, was passionate and eloquent.
In the end, City Attorney Christine Dietrick and planner Rachel Cohen misled the council by stating that the appellants could not appeal the ARC’s decision because the ARC was not allowed to address health, safety and welfare issues. This in spite of the fact that, in its motion, the ARC had to certify that there were no health, safety and welfare issues associated with this project. In the end, the council dismissed the public’s concerns by saying that “progress” requires sacrifices.
We welcome our new council but we are saddened that they, like the previous council, stand by helplessly bearing witness to our deteriorating quality of life.