I was dismayed by Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong’s plan to boost the school’s enrollment from 20,000 students now, adding up to 5,000 more in coming years. His proud statement showed no concern about the impact that growth will have on owner-occupied family neighborhoods near his college.
I have owned my home in the Foothill area for 40 years. I have watched the steady erosion of nearby family neighborhoods as they give way to the influx of student renters. We came to San Luis Obispo for its good character but can’t preserve that as our neighborhoods turn more into Isla Vista every year. I like students, but they do not show owner care for their rentals. They study, go to school, party, then move away to start new lives.
It is hard for new families to be able to afford their first home anywhere. With home prices here inflated by higher student rental income, fewer homes are available for young families to make a start.
Cal Poly and Jeffrey Armstrong should not carelessly destroy the special character of San Luis Obispo. Cal Poly should get no increased enrollment without providing at least equal housing there for those added students.