Letter to the ARC – Steve Nelson, 2/10/14

1580 Lizzie Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

February 10, 2014

Architectural Review Commission
City of San Luis Obispo
919 Palm Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Re:  ARC Meeting February 10, 2014, Item 2, Aesthetics Section of the EIR Report for the Johnson Avenue Housing Project

Dear ARC Commissioners,

I am against this project for many reasons, but I will limit my objections here to the Aesthetics Section of the EIR Report.

The size and scale of the project is far too large for its location adjacent to a primarily single family neighborhood that includes a few small multi-family homes.  It definitely does not meet the Project’s Objective #7 “to create … a quality housing project designed in Harmony with the exiting urban form….”

This project is in conflict with many of the goals and policies of the City’s General Plan Land Use Element (2010) that is referred in the EIR:  (Just a couple of examples)

    •  2.2.10 Compatible  Development.  Housing built within an existing neighborhood should be in scale and in character with that neighborhood. (4.1-9)
    •  5.2.A  Subdivision Design and General Residential Project Principles.  Each new residential project should be designed to integrate with the surrounding neighborhood to ensure that it maintains the established character. 4.1-11)

One of the areas overlooked by the EIR is the impact on the newer homes that are on the hillside east of the project that will be looking at a massive 4 story building (See Key Viewing Area 3 – Figure 4.1-5).   No plans (or area) for any mitigating vegetation is even suggested for that side of the 4 story building.

Building a 4-story apartment building on top of a hill is inappropriate for the immediate neighborhood and for those that will see it from other parts of the City.  The EIR was wrong when they dismissed this issue by saying that, “From more distant locations, visibility of the project would be mostly “absorbed” into the overall visual fabric of the community.” (4.1-22)

This project needs to be redesigned to significantly reduce the scale so that it will truly be harmonious with neighborhood.


Steve Nelson


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