San Luis Coastal planing residential development at former elementary school

November 23, 2020

In order to recoup some of the approximately $8 million it will lose annually because of the eventual closure of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, the San Luis Coastal Unified School District has drafted plans to construct and rent out approximately 150 manufactured homes on the old campus of Morro Elementary. [Tribune]

The Morro Bay campus, which closed in 2001, sits on 9.5 acres stretching from Kennedy Way to Monterey Avenue and Surf Street. Since 2001, the campus has been rented out and repurposed to house a church, small charter school, gym and other facilities.

A conceptual plan calls for placing up to 151 manufactured homes on the property that would range from 500 to 1,500 square feet. The manufactured homes would be lined up on the former Morro Elementary campus’s sports field, parking lots and around two of the original school buildings.

The district would rent out the units to its own employees, as well as to Morro Bay residents, for about $700 to $900 a month.

City of Morro Bay planning officials have expressed support for the project, saying it fills a need for providing affordable housing to local residents. However, some residents argue the project amounts to the bulldozing of Morro Bay history.

San Luis Coastal’s predecessor, the Morro School District, first bought a small parcel of the campus property in 1918. Following the purchase of 5.7 acres of the property in 1936, the main Morro Elementary School building was constructed.

The school district continued buying property to expand the size of the campus over the course of several decades. Then in 1986, the city of Morro Bay purchased a small portion of the elementary school property from the district in order to build the Morro Bay Community Center, which remains operational today.

In the late 1990s, declining enrollment and budget constraints led to closure of the Morro Elementary campus and consolidation of the school at a different site.

Current plans for the redevelopment of the campus call for the preservation of two structures: part of a large school building with a bell tower and another building that now houses a small charter school.

Existing tenants of the property, including the gym, Revamp Training Studio, and the church, Shoreline Calvary Chapel, may be forced to move out if San Luis Coastal proceeds with the project.


At least if they do this our taxes will be reduced by the amount taken in right? Right? Hello?


Better yet, pay off a bond or two early and save some interest costs.


Duh, basically it’s a mobile home park project. Why would the school district buy the manufactured homes that they’ll have pay property tax and insurance on when they could just rent out the spaces for $600-700 a month to people that have bought their own modular homes? Regardless they will need to pay a manager and a couple of handymen on staff and maintain the units if they are rented. You could eliminate a handyman if you rented just the spaces. Again, just provide the space and collect space rent.


Subsidized housing for district employees? Can’t wait to see the school bond issue justification in 10 yrs.

Jorge Estrada

Great Idea! Government development projects are a slick deal, the taxpayers will fund it, government can process the negative declaration for the required EIR, stamp the plans and walla, cash flow to fund the loans, pensions while providing for the housing shortage. This is so great that we need to look at squelching private enterprise because that is more expensive and is antiquated capitalism. ha ha, just thinking like stupid is the new norm.


I bet if you put it to a vote, the citizens of Morro Bay would come up with a slightly different opinion on what to do with the property…


Forgive me for asking, but aren’t public schools and their districts funded by the taxpayer’s and bonds that also burden the taxpayer? Why don’t the citizens of the San Luis Coastal Unified School District who fund it all, have a say? “Rent them out to their own employees”? What?

Public education, from elementary school through college, have taken over the system at all levels to promote a Socialist agenda’s and indoctrinate instead of educate our kids. Now they want to take over taxpayer funded property and tell us who can live in a certain place and who can’t? Another knife in the back to the average citizen in this once great nation.


Common sense would tell you that you do have a say. You get to vote for or against bonds. You get to vote for or against school board trustees who decide policy. You can avail yourself to speak on record publicly at each and every board meeting about policies or actions considered by the board. You do have a say.

They are not taking over the property. They already own it. It is an asset, a public asset, of the district. Maximizing the value of their assets is a central part of their public charge as trustees. If successful the project could generate a significant, consistent, revenue stream for the district outside of, and in addition to, the state’s public school funding structure. Funding for long forgotten programs could be reconsidered with new funding sources.

Adding affordable housing means adding kids to the district. Kids = Increased state funding and a more fiscally sound district as a result. This capital build project can be privately funded without added taxpayer burden.

If executed properly; this will be a lesson in Capitalism not Socialism. But skepticism is warranted and welcomed. Make yourself heard at a board meeting.


Don’t want to be a downer, but public housing there = needles floating in the surf. Instead, Sell it for private homes and eliminate the budget gap. And Thank You Mothers for Peace for the early killing of a carbon zero 24/7 multi-billion dollar local energy/jobs/tax base source.

And meantime, in other housing supply news, 600+ L.O. vacant private property residential lots remain unbuildable weedy fire-hazard eyesores thanks I guess to Bruce Gibson opposition to build-out, Coastal Commissars opposition, and some buildout-resistant L.O. locals who drink champagne in their homes while listening to Glenn Frey’s mournful song “I’ve Got Mine”.


Fantastic idea. Considering “affordable housing” is a complete farce in SLO Co., this is a way to ensure the communities children have great teachers, as many young teachers cannot afford to live in many places in California.


Ummm, should school districts really be in the real estate rental business? They tried this same BS with the property adjacent to the old SLO Junior High School off Johnson. If the property is surplus, it should be sold. This project sounds like trouble — to taxpayers’ wallets.