The city of San Luis Obispo needs more affordable housing. So it was gratifying to see construction begin on the South Street Family Apartments complex.
But as the project’s dimensions are starting to emerge, one has to wonder about its design. First, the setback from busy South Street is really skimpy. It is much less than the adjacent condominiums, which are behind a tall sound wall. The unfortunate residents of the units facing the street will have almost no protection from the traffic noise that will be only steps from their front doors.
Second, the three-story height seems inappropriate for the neighborhood. This will be the only three-story building on South Street.
The lack of sufficient street setback plus the three-story configuration results in a giant, imposing structure. While this design might be fine in an intense, urban setting, it seems out of place where it is being built. It’s too late to do anything about this project, but I hope the city of San Luis Obispo will review its design standards before approving future residential complexes like this one.
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