More bad planning in San Luis Obispo

January 18, 2019

Allan Cooper


Let’s get real. The City of San Luis Obispo is giving away the farm. Our pro-development, pro-growth and so-called “progressive” City Council is conspiring with a certain developer to over build (even by State standards) on scarce city land by looking the other way when the floor plans show four bedroom apartment units being drawn up as two bedroom units.

How is this done?

How many houses have you been in where you enter a bedroom through double doors? Some might describe this as an architectural “grand gesture.” But after permits are granted and the building is constructed these double doors miraculously move apart to become two separate doors. And the post separating the two doors is conveniently lined up with an exterior wall partition flanked by two identical windows.

How many high-density apartments have you been in where the bedroom is a spacious 16 feet wide and 18 feet long? And coincidentally each large bedroom has twice the number of fire exits required per bedroom including two interior doors and two exterior windows.

And if you have any remaining doubt that these will be four bedroom units, this City Council is “wink-wink” amenable to the fact that there will be “partitions” running down the centers of these bedrooms, but of course we don’t consider them “walls.”

One of these projects is called The Academy Chorro, and voila!, it’s currently advertising its units as four bedroom, two bath apartments at $1,290 per bed. If you can read floor plans, look at the layout I’ve included for you below.

The other project that features these bogus four bedroom, two bath apartments is 71 Palomar. 71 Palomar is currently under construction.

On Jan. 15, the council unanimously approved a third similar project at 790 Foothill which has gone one step further in misrepresenting the number of bedrooms as well as the number of people occupying these bedrooms. Its bedrooms are an implausible 25 feet long and 12 feet wide.

Unlike The Academy and 71 Palomar, this project will not only be comprised of de facto four bedroom units, but it will also be able to accommodate eight students per unit.

Why? Because two twin beds can comfortably fit into a 12 foot by 12 foot square space once each bedroom is divided in two.

This city blames the state (“the devil made me do it”) by saying that we have to acquiesce on parking reductions, density bonuses, height and lot coverage exceptions. But because they are all too willing to be “conned” by these out-of-town, corporate developers, the city is in fact granting waivers and concessions which far exceed our state mandates.

Because density is calculated based on the number of bedrooms, the developer for 790 Foothill will be rewarded with a 143 percent density bonus, not the state mandated 35 percent density bonus. Because parking requirements are also calculated based on the number of bedrooms, the developer of 22 Chorro was rewarded with a 68 percent parking reduction, not the 40 percent parking reduction the council pretended to be granting.

The price we pay for this is projects that are grossly under parked, projects that are too tall and block views and a housing type which discriminates against working families. Some may describe this sort of planning as “progressive.” Those of us who care about this community simply call it bad planning.


It will be a spoiled brat Cuesta ghetto like Stoner Glen, or whatever they renamed it. Just glad it’s not in my neighborhood.


The City says no environmental review for affordable housing. 790 Foothill had a gas station on it for decades. Did the City think to make sure the property is suitable for residential occupancy and not contaminated before approval ? Same goes for South Street and Ironworks apartments built on former steel and plumbing operations sites. With multi millions of tax payer’s $$ ok’d for each apartment complex by the City, hopefully the millions of $$ approved for consultants and management covered public health and safety policy even if housing integration is ignored in practice.


This is the liberal adenga, stack & packs known as Agenda 21. To eliminate cars to depend on Uber and bicycles with no parking whatsoever and to top it, SLO the Welcome City for the illegal immigrants to have open free housing putting the veterans and American citizens on the streets to ensure the Council can substitute cheap labor to cover city contracts (elinimating city jobs for illegal immigrant venders instead) to protect City employee pensions. We have become a open border town with this City Council. With 1.1 million illegal immigrants coming into the United States every year we are giving them too many free incentives just to kept the party liberal and yes, that’s why we have a progressive council, open borders means they vote demoncrat when they come here illegally.


Can we just hang Poly dorm signs off of them now? Too soon?

Enjoy the traffic SLO!


Catering to the Cal Poly student with their parents footing the bill for their parties and reckless behaviors. It’s ALL about money in the pockets of the county and the developers.


If you’re worried about where they will park, let them park on the street. Oh, that’s right, bike lanes have disposed of on street parking.


Mr. Cooper,

Have you considered the Fire Department may be the reason for two doors out of a room or space? These are student rentals. They have parties, parties in their rooms. If the occupant load for standing persons is 5 SF per person, then you could have 49 persons or more in that room. This means two exits are required from that area (or room). And they have two egress windows. These rooms are safe to occupy. See how simple that was?


Come on! Projects are not designed for the size of a party that you may have. You need to maybe take some time off and go fishing elsewhere like maybe at the sewage leak downtown. Bedrooms are also identified by having a closet in them. Once again it’s just showing that the best for the most don’t know what they are doing.


You are correct. I looked at their ads with floor plans. No built-in closets. Just furniture. Parking is based on bedrooms. These are dens. Even less parking is required. Genius.