Shame on the Tribune

August 12, 2018


Shame on the Tribune for its latest editorial on the Housing Accountability Act. That our own newspaper would defend the State’s top-down, autocratic act to “build baby build” regardless of the consequences couldn’t be more misplaced.

We came here for the character of this community, its quaintness, its scale, and its heritage. I’m for growth that respects these qualities, not for growth that obliterates them. Equating that attitude to NIMBY-ism is an insult to all who hold this community dear.

The scenic peaks surrounding San Luis Obispo provide us with a frame of reference, a sense of belonging to such a high-quality small town. Yet the photo accompanying the editorial failed to show the view concealed behind the proposed 790 Foothill project: Bishops Peak.

After working very hard for 20 years helping landowners permanently preserve Bishop Peak, I’m incensed at what our community is becoming, thanks to lazy legal advice and misguided city leadership that has caved to state’s Housing Accountability Act.

The American Planning Association recently sent out a 5-minute video to its members featuring Ben Metcalf, Director of the State Department of Housing and Community Development, informing us about these changes to state law in a performance that was veritably dripping with arrogance. He’s clearly thrilled at having been given the state-issued cudgel to bludgeon local communities into submission.

While the state complains about what the federal government is doing to it, the state is turning around and doing the same to us. Should we meekly stand by and obey the state’s dictate? Hell no!

This is what we and our city government should be doing:

  • Form an alliance with “Livable California,, a new nonprofit organization of communities resisting the state’s intrusion into local government, to join with the League of California Cities (LOCC) in fighting back against these laws and repealing or amending them to restore local control and home rule to our local communities and counties.
  • Instead of giving these out-of-town developers a “get-out-of-jail-free-card” from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), use CEQA to gain concessions from them to build projects in character with our community.
  • Reject or require the 790 Foothill project to prepare an EIR focused on traffic, inadequate parking, blocking the scenic views of Bishop Peak, with an alternative analysis for a smaller project rather than one with a “building-on-steroids” design that looks like it belongs in the Soviet Union rather than San Luis Obispo.
  • Reconsider our Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) in light of the state’s intrusion into local control and hold back on approving the new Zoning Regulations Update due to be considered by the City Council on Aug. 21, 2018.

It is sad indeed to see what the Tribune has become. It bears little resemblance to the Telegram Tribune of the 1970s when George Brand was at the editor’s helm. George cared deeply about San Luis Obispo and was a strong advocate for retaining our community character. If he could see what his paper has become today in manipulating public thought, he would be spinning in his grave.

Let’s stop this nonsense. Let’s stop using the new N-word (NIMBY) to label the people who care about this community and defend its character.

It’s time we get together with other cities who care about themselves to push back against our state that has seemingly become an enemy of local government. If not, the San Luis Obispo we have known and loved will be but a distant memory.


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George Bailey


I AGREE with Mr. Keith Gurnee!

We all need to get behind Mr. Gurnee’s mayoral candidacy so that we can save our beloved SLO from rampant, unwise overdevelopment.  Heidi Harmon & Co. have drank the liberal progressive cool-aid, and Sacramento liberals couldn’t care less about the SLO life we all love.

The SLO TT is running cover for Heidi Harmon, and they are trying to make it seem like Ms. Harmon’s failures were just ordained by the state legislature, but, as Mr. Gurnee describes in his editorial, we CAN save the historic downtown district from overdevelopment if city leaders pursue wise policies.

Heidi Harmon and her corrupt cohorts on the SLO city council have accepted campaign reelection money from the very out-of-town developers they are supposed to be regulating, but we now know they have sacrificed their integrity instead of representing the taxpayers who fund their salaries.

Please vote in November for Keith Gurnee for SLO Mayor!


NIMBY is actually what drives most of us. Only those truly altruistic reach beyond their own borders to interact with public policy. NIMBY is human, normal and represents folks concerned with their local environment.

WHAT is more important to us than what is happening in our own area? 

Did any of we locals get involved in the ghastly disaster in Flint, Michigan, when the water system was poisoned with lead? Did we do anything about Katrina in New Orleans? How many young men get involved with anti war efforts now that the draft is long gone? Just about none…

Caring about one’s locale is the driving force in most things. How many of the readers are worried about Ebola? None, we don’t have it here. 

It’s way past time for local communities to stand up for their rights to determine their future, and prevent the steady erosion of their quality of life. 

I’m voting for a new mayor and new council members; those who will stand for us, not the out of town developers who only want to make money off us.


I’m still voting for Gurnee…..he’s our only hope to preserve what’s left of SLO quaintness. Wake up SLO citizens!! The City Council must be re-vamped in this next election.


Bravo! We’ve waited for a long time for a mayor who gets it. We need a strong, intelligent, knowledgeable mayor like Keith.


AND THAT IS WHY I AM VOTING FOR TKG…this is cogent, logical and proposes a direction DIFFERENT than the middle-school Harmon cartel advocates. The current mayor and minions are standing up FOR the developers. Very few regard the ugly things proposed for Foothill positively. The troll league is jumping on TKG because he has become a factor. The extreme left in bed with the uber-paving developers. Now TKG, ratchet up your campaign to modern standards because you have got this if you stay ON MESSAGE and don’t respond to the hate baiting they will try to get you with. BTW the Trib is not an influential voice any longer. Speak TRUTH to power, TKG.

George Garrigues

“…he San Luis Obispo we have known and loved will be but a distant memory.” I am sorry, but that old SLO is already a memory. I speak of the SLO of a hundred years ago.

Cities change. Cal Poly has grown bigger and bigger. I am afraid you can’t stop new people from wanting to live here. We have to make room for them, or they will be living in their trailers or mobile homes.

I sincerely ask Mr. Gurnee if he wants to go back to a hundred years ago? Fifty years? Ten years? What would be his ideal time? And why?

Thanks for commenting.


“We came here for the character of this community, its quaintness, its scale, and its heritage.” And because people could build housing then. Now we want to slam the door. We’ve got ours, and now the government should do everything it can to restrict supply so our property values can keep going up up up. No jobs? Nowhere for small businesses to get started? No worries. We got ours.


A good course of action to follow is what a group of citizens in Atascadero did regarding the Eagle Ranch project. It was evident from the very beginning, 10 years ago, that the project was a failure. The City Manager and staff kept trying to massage the project so that they could get it into the city. First off it would have been a financial disaster for the city due to insufficient funds to support itself. But the nail in the coffin was when the city had an EIR prepared, remember they had it prepared. The citizens group got together and hired an attorney who specialized in EIR’s and had no dog in the dog fight. If I recall the attorney had close to 65 pages of challenges to the EIR. Plain and simple when challenged the developers pulled the project. So, it can be done but you have to get involved and not be fearful of challenging them, Good luck SLO because as of now it appears that you are losing not only the battle but war too.


Keith T Gurnee speaks of preserving a communities character and defends ‘nimbisim’ but yet he one if the biggest supporters of the quarry in Santa Margarita. HYPOCRITE!

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