Viewpoints supporting and opposing Measure H recently appeared in The Tribune (Sept. 17). In their editorial, The Tribune slammed the “Yes on H” side for arguing the city bond hadn’t mentioned a road within the proposed Damon-Garcia Sports Fields lot (“Measure H is just scare tactics and misinformation,” Sept. 19).
Yet there are more substantial reasons not to trust the city regarding Prado Road.
The City Council report of June 15, 1999, asserted the precise Prado Road route through the sports fields lot had “not been determined” when the City Council was considering purchase of the land.
However, the City Council report of July 20, 2010, stated, “When the Council considered purchasing the Damon-Garcia Sports Complex site, the additional 3.5 acres along the northern site boundary was explicitly included for the purpose of building Prado Road ...” So, which is it? Did the city know the precise Prado Road route in June 1999 or not?
The pre-engineered curve of the north boundary of the sports fields lot (described in the June 1999 purchase agreement) matches the Prado Road alignment adopted by the City Council on Feb. 1, 2000. If the city knew the precise Prado Road alignment in June 1999, it should have done an environmental review and General Plan amendment then, not later.
In December of 1999, the Planning Commission recommended an environmental impact report considering the whole route of Prado Road, from Highway 101 to Johnson Avenue, before changing the Prado Road alignment.
The City Council instead adopted a mitigated negative declaration based largely on unsubstantial evidence. For example, the initial study says there’s no difference in air pollution (vehicle exhaust) for “sensitive receptors” (people) comparing northern and southern alignments, which is false.
The City Council repeatedly ignored concerns of citizens. At its January 2001 hearing, the City Council ignored citizen complaints that the Prado Road northern alignment was inconsistent with the General Plan and that better alternate routes were possible.
In 2002, civil engineer Dave Romero proposed an alternative Prado Road route connecting to Tank Farm Road. This route avoided conflicts with the sports fields, was less environmentally damaging, avoided an extra signal (and extra congestion) at Prado Road and Broad Street and handled truck traffic more efficiently.
The City Council rejected Romero’s sensible proposal.
The rebuttal against Measure H claims that we “would lose 500-plus acres for neighborhood parks, open space and playing fields in the Margarita, Orcutt and Airport areas (all to be stopped by Measure H).” That outrageous theory is based on the city’s biased computerized “traffic model” and a string of unlikely predictions about future events that cannot possibly be verified, presented as if it were a certainty and as if it were caused directly by Measure H. Now that’s creative fiction.
Michael Sullivan is one of the main proponents of Measure H and has lived in San Luis Obispo for more than 45 years.