SLO landmark home can be converted to condos

A San Luis Obispo landmark known as the Righetti House can be turned into 10 condominiums, the San Luis Obispo City Council unanimously decided Tuesday night.

The 1877-era home at the corner of Palm Street and Johnson Avenue has recently gone through a major renovation.

Before the renovation, the property had 15 units and four parking spaces. With improvements, it will have 10 units and five normal-size parking spaces and five smaller parking spaces for electric cars.

The property is considered to be one of the city's best examples of Queen Anne-style home building and one of the oldest surviving wood-frame residences of its era in the city.

"It's an extraordinary restoration of that building," Mandeville said. "The craftsmanship and the quality of the materials is just extraordinary."

Project developers, including Rob Rossi, also plan to include electric vehicles as part of the sale of five of the units, the first time a project applicant has made such a proposal, said Community Development Director John Mandeville.

The average unit size will be 560 square feet. One of the 10 units will be deed-restricted for 45 years, meaning it must be available to a moderate-income resident with a maximum annual income of $53,600.

The city approved a Mills Act contract for the project, meaning it will be able to enjoy property tax savings in exchange for its historic preservation.

City staff states the condo conversion does not violate city rules against excessive conversion of affordable apartments into condominiums for sale.

City rules limit the number of condo conversions to less than half of the number of multifamily apartments added to the city's housing stock the prior year. This project complies with that rule because the city added 27 apartments in 2006.

-Sally Connell

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