Letter to the Editor

Get civil and fix it

San Luis ObispoApril 7, 2014 

Councilman John Ashbaugh’s Viewpoint (March 28) is right on. It is easy for any of us to get stuck in a rhetorical rut in how we approach a conflict; sometimes it takes a quick swift kick in the behind to really hear “the other side” and concede at least some of its position is right.

I think Ashbaugh’s recent Viewpoint demonstrates that civil discourse quality. It also demonstrates the kind of creative “win-win,” “fix-it” thinking I value from our City Council.

Ashbaugh’s creative fix to the undesirable historical “towngown” conflict over student housing is “restrictive covenants.” True, the details have not been worked out. The idea is that “restrictive covenants” would stabilize residential neighborhoods surrounding our valued college campuses.

In my vision, this fix could enable a return to the city’s neighborhood quality and wellness that has become increasingly lost to us and is being even more jeopardized by Cal Poly’s current site proposal for on-campus student housing. Maybe it would return our residential neighborhoods into affordable places for new faculty, staff and middle-class city workers. I, for one, want to add my support to working out the details for this idea.

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