Editorial

Housing project next to SLO High may be too big for its parcel

Developing vacant lot next to San Luis Obispo High School for affordable housing is commendable, but 88 units is questionable

letters@thetribunenews.comOctober 24, 2013 

Given the lack of affordable housing in the city of San Luis Obispo, we believe the city and school district are on the right track in considering development of multi-family housing on a vacant lot next to San Luis Obispo High.

Whether 88 units can be accommodated on the 4.5 acres, though, is questionable.

Among other concerns, neighboring residents point out that traffic in the area already is bad. They have good reason to worry about adding still more cars near abusy high school.

In response to those concerns, the school district did fund a traffic and circulation study that will be included in the environmental impact report to be released next year. We’ll reserve final judgment until we see that report, though our initial reaction is that 88 units is too dense for that area. We believe a compromise between the 14 high-end homes initially proposed and the 88 multi-family units may wind up being the best solution.

That said, we do commend the school district for moving forward with development of this surplus property, which should bring in millions of dollars in revenue for the district.

Funding for education is always uncertain, and will be even more so in the event that PG&E does not move forward with its relicensing application for the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. Taxes from the plant account for nearly 12 percent of the district’s total budget, and school officials are wise to do what they can now to help compensate for that loss.

If the district can also help the city provide some much-needed affordable housing, so much the better — as long as that can be done without compromising the safety of the neighborhood.

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