Letter to School Board – Eric Meyer, 1/30/14

To the School Board,

Jim, Ellen, Mark, Kathryn, Walter, Marilyn, Chris

Your initial proposal of 14 lots at the Johnson ave site was perfectly in keeping with the neighborhood. 14 new homes… with 14 families would have been a welcome addition to the area. It also would have fit the General Plan vision for this site. It would have raised eyebrows… but nobody would be screaming. It would not have caused the impacts stated in the EIR for your current project. Under the current R2 zoning pattern of the neighborhood… considering the slope calculus… these 14 lots would be perfectly acceptable within the current zoning code…. no big deal at all.

I am not certain how it was decided that the school district should push the city to create a project that exceeds the existing zoning of the site… using public funds to try and push the envelope. When I read some School Board documents… it appears that it was the decision of the School Board. When I read other School Board documents… it appears to have been suggested by the city? Who at the city has the authority to push beyond the scope of the general plan zoning map… nobody I know.

The project as shown appears to be an apartment complex. And like all the other apartment complexes in town… it will fill with short term renters… most likely Cal Poly students. Families with kids and bikes and dogs and tricycles and kayaks probably won’t be living in these units… as there appears to be a common underground garage… rather than
garages attached to the units. Would you… if you were a young family, want to live here in this complex? Please think about this. Who do you really… in your heart… think is going to be renting here?

What San Luis Obispo needs is workforce housing. Small (more affordable) private homes for local families to BUY and be proud of and own and care for. We do not need anymore student housing built for the profit of student housing corporations and sited in the middle of owner occupied residential neighborhoods. Even condo’s would be better than a single corporate owner apartment complex.

With the exception of Kathryn, none of you live near the site of the housing project you are proposing on Johnson Ave. I suspect if a large (basically student) rental housing project was being built in your single family neighborhood… by the school district near you…you and your neighbors would feel hurt too. I also suspect that each of you would probably be ok with the idea of single family homes… on single family lots… matching the character and density of the surrounding neighborhood where the residents would be long term owners and would participate and care for the neighborhood.

I would hope that you put yourselves in the shoes of the neighborhood that your decision will forever affect… as well as considering the short term cash needs of the district. This project will most likely get each of you voted out of your board seats the way it is proposed… if it goes through you all will have forever changed the residential owner occupied character of a part of San Luis Obispo… simply for the long term profit of a student housing corporation and the short term cash needs of the district.

To have to spend my days and evenings fighting simply to maintain what our general plan states the neighborhood should look like… and to have my own tax dollars paying for the EIR and studies and consultants for the project I am fighting…. it is incredible to me and my neighbors.

What an incredibly selfish act. Shame on you.

Please consider simply subdividing the land in a pattern that matches the surrounding neighborhood and conforms to the general plan that generations of San Luis Obispo Residents have created. All will be forgiven.

Thank You.

Eric Meyer

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