SLO City’s commitment to urban sprawl

August 12, 2020

Allan Cooper


The San Luis Obispo Planning Commission will be reviewing and probably certifying the Froom Ranch final Environmental Impact Report 0n Aug. 12. In my opinion this is a textbook example of bad planning.

However, it occurred to me that some may question why I, under the aegis of Save Our Downtown, am addressing the Froom Ranch mixed-use development as this project is far removed from our Downtown core. My reason for this is as follows.

Our city council and members of the planning commission have repeatedly used the argument that tall buildings in our downtown core will deter urban sprawl. I and others have repeatedly argued that there is no linkage between the two.

Approving the 75-foot-tall, mixed-use project at 1144 Chorro Street will not prevent the development of a Froom Ranch. And Froom Ranch is a classic example of urban sprawl. It involves annexing and urbanizing land formerly located within our permanent greenbelt, it places development above the 150-foot elevation line and it would result in an increase in projected population growth that would conflict with the city’s overall land use planning principles.

Aside from generating sales tax revenue for City Hall (apparently the city’s number one overriding consideration), there is very little to recommend this development as it will be placing over 1,200 residents in harm’s way. It is located under a flight path (with all the associated risks of noise and safety), it is adjacent to a high fire severity zone, it will generate new vehicle trips exacerbating peak hour traffic flow along Los Osos Valley Road and, in the event of a catastrophic wildland fire, it presents unavoidable challenges to evacuating assisted living and special care individuals. It should be noted that wildland fires and debris flows are an ever-increasing threat due to climate change.

The city’s inevitable approval of this project will prove our point – that there is no direct linkage between locating tall buildings in our Downtown (which Save Our Downtown vehemently opposes) and deterring urban sprawl.

By approving this project, members of the city council and planning commission will simply prove how hypocritical they are when making this “tall not sprawl” argument. Since the city is apparently committed to urban sprawl – even at the risk of placing our residents in harm’s way – we ask that this specious argument be finally put to rest.

Allan Cooper is the secretary of Save Our Downtown in San Luis Obispo.

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Good reasons (among myriad others) to vote out Heidi Harmon and her little friends and replace them with people truly committed to keeping SLO a special place, not another congested mess.

Vote Cherisse Sweeney for Mayor(a business owner downtown and Abrianna Torres, local businesswoman. We need business people, not house cleaners and pre-K aides, who understand the complexities of city government. Obviously the incumbents don’t , or they would not be approving endless building, costly unnecessary roundabouts ($2.3 million for one at Taft and California) , $456,000 for a climate study next year, $30,000 for an experimental carbon farm, and the list goes on.

Over 70 percent of new construction is being bought by people from outside the area. WhIle SLO be nicer than the place they left, it won’t be for long at this rate. Meanwhile we continue to tolerate hundreds of homeless leaving their trash in our parks and downtown, impose higher and higher taxes on small businesses, and somehow never find the money for dredging Laguna Lake – but there is millions for unneeded parking structures next to the Children’s museum and looming over historic buildings. Way to destroy a neighborhood!

Our city has really declined in quality of life and I lay it squarely on the incumbents. Vote them out, please!

Right, because one building with 50 housing units surely should have prevented the need for a project with close to 600 housing units. Maybe preventing any and all modest density in the city for the last 40 years was the wrong thing to do if you didn’t want sprawl.

Wait till you see whats going down right on the creek at Monterey and Broad next to the Children’s Museum…Oh yea, some more huge office buildings. Thank you San Luis City…I have always wanted to live in Orange county. Now I don’t have to move for that bitchen So Cal feeling.

Someone might ask the on-site manager what their lead abatement plan is and where are the contaminated soils from the underground plume that leaked from the gas storage tanks listed in the Dalidio EIR . That so many units exist in close proximity to a major highway , the 3 block rule puts all occupants at risk for unhealthful air quality . Without a shuttle service or vastly improved public transportation, the pile up of cars will quickly overwhelm local surface street routes getting on and off the freeway. I doubt the city has an emergency plan in place in the event of a plane crash in our Laguna Lake flight path zone . As a new resident to this area, the local officials don’t inspire any confidence. They certainly aren’t subject to much public pressure given the limited access and input allowed for at this time. Be on the alert for dark colored soil dumps and collect samples of wind blown dust on vegetation for testing of lead in that vicinity .

ANOTHER massive development in SLO. What a shameful destruction of a large chunk of open space for …….???? What? Why? Money. There is no other reason. This city is blindly running towards becoming an urban mess just like that found in So Cal. Extreme traffic 24/7, crowding, water shortages, power shortages. I guess none of that can happen here? It’s already happening. This city council is blindly running headlong into this exact situation. Again, why would they be doing this?? Money.

Soon, the people who elected these fools will look up and wonder where their city went. We elected them to do this???? To destroy SLO?? What happened to our beautiful town?? It’s gone!!


Keep voting for lying dishonest Dems and keep paying for it!

If we left it up to Pubs, they would open it up to fracking