Letters to the Editor

San Luis Obispo needs more housing to help workers in the city

A rendering of the proposed Avila Ranch housing project in San Luis Obispo.
A rendering of the proposed Avila Ranch housing project in San Luis Obispo.

As a lifelong resident of San Luis Obispo, I respectfully disagree with Ken Schwartz, our mayor from four decades ago, regarding his opposition to housing projects now under city review (“The Tribune Editorial Board is dead wrong to support SLO housing projects,” July 25).

To say these projects “would add 1,300 new homes to our city in one fell swoop” ignores the fact that these housing needs were identified years ago by planners in a process that included extensive public debate and earned the City Council’s unanimous approval. SLO is arguably the most water safe community in SLO County, with sufficient capacity for additional buildout. If approved, these 1,300 units will take a decade or more to be built, a rate that will not exceed the city’s 1 percent growth cap.

As a real estate broker constantly working with buyers, these projects are welcome news to many residents who have to commute into SLO each day. These projects won’t allow the city to catch up with the housing backlog, but they will help even out the jobs-housing imbalance.

As jobs continue to be created, housing needs to be built to support those workers and sustain a vibrant middle class. Destruction of the SLO good life is threatened by inaction, not by building new and more varied housing options.

Graham Updegrove, San Luis Obispo

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