SLO Planning Commission supports five-story affordable housing project

November 18, 2022


The San Luis Obispo Planning Commission on Wednesday voted to give preliminary approval for a large affordable housing development on Monterey Street that will include two five-story mixed-use buildings.

Plans call for the Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo (HASLO) to build a 106-unit development spread across two five-story buildings and two two-story triplexes on Monterey Street between California Boulevard and Pepper Street. The project consists of 105 residential units for low-income residents, 56 of which would be for senior households.

The plans call for one unit for the manager’s quarters. Likewise, the development would contain 4,336 square feet of commercial space, as well as a three-story parking garage.

Due to the project’s affordable housing designation, HASLO is in line to receive approval for constructing a 54-foot-tall building in an area normally restricted to 45-foot structures. The planning commission also approved reductions in parking and setback requirements for the project.

Part of the development would replace the building that currently houses Central Coast Brewing. George Peterson, the owner of Central Coast Brewing, is moving his business to a new development named The Hub, which is situated nearby on Monterey Street close to Grand Avenue. Peterson previously said he initiated the creation of The Hub due to his brewery being kicked out of its current location.

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Those old ladies on San Luis Drive must be clutching their pearls! There goes the neighborhood. Lower income folks in the heart of Downtown SLO?? How dare they!!!!!

Don’t here objections to “low income” folks. If you see things that way, “pearl clutchers versus low income”, that is your mindset.

What I hear are objections to an ugly massive structure built by the County in SLO City. This is the County that gave SLO City the lovely courthouse annex mess.

The new local esthetic you seem to constantly object to should be blamed partly on the one that got away…Heidi Harmon.

Little by little the carpet baggers that are running our city are making it look like where they came from, this is unnecessary, downtown is so hard to navagate now and getting worse and the continued building of ugly buildings is getting worse.

I see there is a sign on the old b of a for some sort of high school, that should add to traffic in that area, and how about the empty building on the corner of Santa Rosa and Monterery that seems to always be under construction and never used, the people in charge are running amuck.

I think the best idea is to trade affordability with one important caveat: private ownership of cars is forbidden. It’s not the number off people that rubs us wrong, its the noise and congestion of private vehicles that rubs us wrong. How about you? Would you trade owning a well placed affordable place of your own and have to rely on “other” forms of transport? If you needed to travel a long distance in a car you could always rent a car, right?

Many California communities have gone to these five, higher or lower, story structures. Santa Rosa has a nice development called Six 1 Five. Atascadero has gone to a mixed use structure right down town. And Santa Maria has just put in a gigantic, five-story development right off of Santa Maria Way and Broadway.

Whether or not these are successful will depend on prices. Now that interest rates are higher, the prices should come down. One of the problems with lower mortgage rates is that prices begin to shoot through the roof. Who ever thought that a two-bedroom house in SLO would be worth over a million dollars?

Six 1 Five in Santa Rosa is ugly. Gigantic project in Santa Maria? Maybe Atascadero has a good idea.

The city was once a very beautiful place but changing very quickly. Why oh why is the City allowing such horrible looking things to be built?

It will help the homeless or the about to be homeless. When those units are ready to rent Five Cities Homeless Coalition and their SLO counterparts will be all over the builder. I never go anywhere except Costco and the beach. The last time I participated in a protest was when Martin Luther King was in Selma. I would demonstrate in person to convince the developer to work with the above mentioned organizations.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he already wrote those units off because he already knows what’s coming. As far as I’m concerned it will help some homeless and provide affordable housing for others. It’s the first significant move in the right direction we have seen..

For the large number of naysayers of the project nothing that benefits them is worth doing. You all live in houses, condos, apartments and have the things you need.

I challenge any of you and you can accept here to live on the streets with a shopping cart for just 3 days, sleep in your car for a week with two kids or live in a broken down motorhome. This is California the United States and somewhere in the Constitution of one or the other. The Courts will someday find a right to have a roof over your head if you want one.

Homeless is a problem because there’s no graft for lawmakers in it and no campaign contributions. If they could figure out how to make money on it the problem would be over.

I am not a member of any homeless organization but I have donated to Five Cities Homeless Coalition and have provided a very generous gift in my trust. Most people tend to be more generous after their dead and I’m in that category.

Have a little empathy. But for the grace of God it could be you homeless or maybe living in a mud floor hut in Somalia or Afghanistan. People don’t get to chose where their born. We were just lucky.

I do have empathy for the less fortunate, however I do not favor building ugly buildings under the guise of helping the poor. I would rather help the poor by helping to help themselves rather than providing handouts. If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day, if you teach him to fish you feed him for a lifetime.

And how have you helped them?

What was the reaction of the Planning Commission when you told them your theory?

A decent 1 bedroom apt in Phoenix is $1,500 per month . What will the “affordable” rate to rent here be ? Any time parking requirements are reduced, it translates to congested parking in the surrounding area.

I’m amazed that some think this is great, I understand residential and commercial has to butt up against each other at some point but to approve an exception to go up another 9 feet is ridiculous. So out of character for the area. Also the people in this comment section that say traffic won’t be an issue because the people that live here will walk bike etc etc…I guess the 3 story parking structure that they are building behind it which is accessed on palm street for two levels and Monterey for one will be mostly empty then?

I’m amazed they’re actually planning a parking structure at all! wouldn’t be surprised if after this “project” is started, most of the parking structure is converted to additional apartments and the parking is severely reduced. A typical ploy of developers to make more money.

There will be some traffic, but that’s to be expected. I think affordable housing and new space for business that will make the area more walkable is worth the few extra cars. I’m amazed that people think this town should be nothing but one story boutique shops visited by tourists, populated with million dollar houses, and covered in asphalt for massive parking lots.


1) The project is so massive it resorts to a picture that distorts it’s true scale relative to the buildings across the street.

2) The neighborhood live work concept simply doesn’t happen. People get jobs elsewhere and commute.

3) How many vacant spaces do you need before you understand, the city has too much commercial space? Just take walk in our very walkable, and very vacant, downtown core. Oversupply kills the economics of commercial space. Fixed carrying costs on vacant space has to be paid (property taxes, insurance, maintenance, mortgage); as do the costs of releasing commissions; new tenant improvements; new tenant concessions (such as periods of no or low rent). These costs are caused by high vacancy due to too much commercial space combined with retail demand shifting to the internet. A third party, vacancy survey should be conducted before approving additional commercial space (and not by leasing agents who have a vested interest in leasing new space and lease space turnover).

4) Walkability, low income housing, OK … but this project needs to be cut up into several smaller designs with lower elevations, and minimize the commercial space.

5) And million dollar homes, boutique shops, successful tourism are signs of this community’s and California’s success. If you don’t like it, Nebraska awaits. There are whole towns there worth less than a million and no tourists.

As soon as I saw “five stories” I said no way. There was a time, not that long ago, the rule of thumb was, if you can’t see the mountains from the sidewalk it’s to high.

Silly. This development is at the base of a hill. You can’t see the western sisters from the sideway anyway.