It’s time for the SLO City Council to consider impacts

July 17, 2018

Going, going Monterey view. Steel framework encloses the disappearing view of San Luis Mountain.

Opinion by David Brodie and Allan Cooper

Even though there have been zoning studies concerning building height limits in downtown San Luis Obispo, there seems to have been little reference to known negatives related to building heights above two or three floors. However with specific reference to SLO, where the image and quality of life in the city could be negatively impacted by increased building heights, there should be in-depth investigations into all the impacts.

To start with, limiting the amount of sky seen from city streets negatively impacts the livability and beauty of our city. Tall buildings are typically poor neighbors to low-rise buildings particularly when they diminish the significance of civic or historic buildings.

Tall buildings lead to a rapid and unsustainable increase in the market price of real property. Tall buildings downtown lengthen the construction timeline which usurps sidewalks and on-street parking and thereby hampers the economic viability of existing retail businesses.

And none of this even starts to address the major issue of climate change which should also inform the decisions we make. For example, tall buildings result in the wholesale removal of mature, carbon-sequestering street trees. Tall buildings are inherently energy inefficient because proportionately more of their surface area is exposed to the sun and wind. Tall buildings use almost twice as much energy per square foot as low-rise structures.

Please give the issue of building heights the full consideration it requires.


Don’t forget the Telephone Building on the corner of Morro and Mill Streets. It may be taller.


This Mayor and City Council are utterly out of touch with the sensibilities of our citizenry. They are making decisions that are destroying the character of our community and taking great joy in doing it. It’s time to clean house!


Really, views from Downtown are that important!!!

The Cal Poly Educated City Planners are taught to believe that increased density is better than urban sprawl. Better proximity to work, public transportation and all the other benefits of packing people into the urban core.

Sure there’s some downsides to the increase in density, but urban sprawl covers up what you wanted to view anyways:)

Or as I was taught, give 80 people 80 acres of land, they would divide it up and each have an acre. Planners would put all 80 on 1 acre so they could all view the other 79!!!


Just as a reminder, the tallest building in SLO is the 5 story Anderson Hotel built in 1922. Should we tear it down?


The only impact the SLO city council is worried about is how are they going to continue to pay the outrageous city employee salaries, benefits and pensions without the developers money and how they can postpone the truth getting out until they have theirs and are gone. Also worried if they can again fool the voters into passing additional taxes and fees claiming the money is for some good knowing full well it will go to those same salaries and pensions.


I’m giving a big “thumbs up” to scoopone, CCWine, and George Bailey.

That atrocious structure going up at the corner of Chorro Street and Foothill Boulevard looks like something that should have been constructed next to the SLO County jail out on Kansas Avenue. There is nothing aesthetically pleasing about that multi-story complex. No thank you, Heidi and your messed up gang, for humongous superstructures that contribute to the ruination of what once was beautiful San Luis Obispo!


I feel that it’s almost too late; we can already see the approved building heights in the downtown area. What we don’t know is what other such buildings have already been approved by this very incompetent council. I suspect there are other downtown buildings that are going to be built before out-of-town local newspaper even gets wind of them.

We certainly need a mass exodus of the current city council. I will back anyone who can convince me that this rush to ruin our city will end and end very soon.

We may become the city that no one wants to live in, probably within the next decade.


Absolutely right! The city is not family-friendly and most families do not want to live in New York style high end condos. The council makes all kinds of excuses to approve developments that have NEVER even been considered until now, creating a clogged up mess downtown and coming soon to Higuera and Buckley, Madonna and LOVR, and in the process off Orcutt Road and all over downtown. Don’t forget, we need to get people out of cars so the council eliminates on street parking on the narrowest streets in town to accommodate the bike lobby’s demand for more bike lanes. The current council is completely out of touch with the citizens of SLO. Is there anyone out there willing to take on these union- and developer-backed idiots who are destroying our city? Please???


Down with the tall buildings!!!

Need more capacity? Spread development out.

I know more than a few SLObisponians who avoid downtown because of the difficulty of finding parking and walking several blocks just to visit a store.

There is still large amounts of land outside the city that can be developed, and rural areas that would welcome growth, tax income, and jobs

George Bailey


I agree with David Brodie and Allan Cooper!

The San Luis Obispo city council, under the poor leadership of Heidi Harmon, has overseen the decline of our beloved city, and they are ruining the downtown district with these humungous buildings.

Heidi Harmon and the city council, all progressive liberals, have accepted large campaign donations from out-of-town developers, and I wonder what they have promised these developers in return for the money?

I think it’s hypocritical of Heidi Harmon to claim to be into consensus and civility, and then oversee the decline of the once-quant downtown district by making backroom deals with these greedy developers.

In November, DO NOT vote for Heidi Harmon, Aaron Gomez, Andy Pease, carlin Christianson, and Dan Revere. They all are responsible for this mess, and they have betrayed the very people who elected them to office.

I plan to vote for Mr. Keith Gurnee for SLO Mayor.