Letters to the Editor

Former SLO City Council member is tired of empty promises from developers

Kathy Smith
Kathy Smith

Oh, how I wish I could feel hopeful about the San Luis Ranch and Avila Ranch developments!

I recall well, as a SLO City Council member, being exhilarated when Andy Mangano (current developer of Avila Ranch) took us on a tour to show members a proposal for Serra Meadows. It was to be a dedicated workforce housing addition with some small commercial units and office space. The description illustrated a workers community for those currently employed within our “happiest” city. A perfect project for SLO!

Well, other than deed-restricted, low-income housing, there are no teeth in city regulations to stop developers from transferring ownership of their land or pleading insufficient funds or “market forces” after they’ve broken ground on their projects to alter the plans in place. If you doubt that, check the prices at Serra Meadows ($600,000 and up) and find me some employers who can pay wages to afford such housing.

Or, note the original approved plans to move SLO Brew and how resources were somehow “found” to create The Rock.

Many promises are made by developers to get SLO city approvals. They are in business to make money. What we need is some legal means to require that they fulfill what is promised.

Kathy Smith, San Luis Obispo