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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“Well you’ve cracked the sky, scrapers fill the air

But will you keep on building higher

‘Til there’s no more room up there?

Will you make us laugh, will you make us cry?

Will you tell us when to live, will you tell us when to die?”


“use CEQA to gain concessions from them to build projects in character with our community.” GOOD IDEA!


Keith, you list “what we and our city government should be doing” above but don’t actually propose any solutions to the housing crisis. This is why you’re labeled a NIMBY. You make it very clear that you’ve “got yours” and everyone else can find somewhere else to live. Or perhaps you’d prefer we cram even more people into tiny rundown houses that the other NIMBYs own, charge insane rents for, and don’t maintain, so you can continue to profiteer off of us. The city is insanely far behind on housing as defined by the General Plan, because of the NIMBY attitudes of previous councils and CalPoly’s inability to provide a proper amount of housing for its increasing numbers of students. Even with all of the projects this council has approved, we’re not even close to catching up. You blast name calling and then make inflammatory statements like “looks like it belongs in the Soviet Union.” You accuse The Tribune’s editorial of “manipulating public thought” because it doesn’t reflect your own views. You post all sorts of blasphemy here on CalCoastNews and call it an opinion piece, so why shouldn’t The Tribune staff be able to express their views with editorials on their platform? You’re a hypocrite. You can’t manage to let go of development control in retirement and are trying to find some way to make yourself feel meaningful again. Enjoy your life in retirement, enjoy “having yours,” and stop trying to “take back control” of the city from the council which the majority population of SLO elected.


Just how much housing should we put up under the guise of low income and what are you going to do with all these people Kenny,put them on welfare,there are not enough jobs to go around, if you’ve noticed several medium size companys have left San Luis in the last couple years,WHY, you ask, because the govt keeps raising taxes,rules and regulations on them so they pack up and leave,this is not the job friendly area it once was, we don’t want nor need anymore people here,it costs us the taxpayer too much.

Jorge Estrada

I do not live in San Luis Obispo but living near SLO, the stigma of the town greatly affects the reality of my residence. If the State had it’s way with our local government, the parking lot highways of Southern California would be the threshold for everywhere else. Increased revenue streams to pay for the non-local mismanagement of our future, by application, is our State mantra.


Using tax dollars to lower housing costs only perpetuates low wages.


The Trib thinks if we double our population then they might get 6-7 more subscribers…


Keith, thank you for spelling out what this community can do to push back (or rather fight, as it appears it must do now) to protect our community from this state’s terribly misguided Housing Accountability Act. This Act, in essence, is like the wildfires ravaging our state. Some people might think that’s a bit of an extreme analogy, but both this Act and the wildfires are hellbent on destruction. I hope people wake up and will get behind you to support your bid for Mayor. 


Affordable housing is a crock of what you find on the milk parlor floor, for one the city,county and state have got their hand in the builders pocket, fees have skyrocketed, if it is small local builder it makes it real tough to build homes here,if its a out of towner or a front man it makes no difference, he is handing out candy to the city people,and we the locals and taxpayers get stuck with the after math, the grossman project should never have been approved and that needs to be stopped,it sure seems odd to be that Dalido did his best to play by the rule book,trouble was he didn’t grease any palms, and he got screwed, grossman comes along and get to put it together with out an overpass.


Without massive development where will be put all the sanctuaries?