As much as I admire John Fowler’s work in promoting affordable housing, his recent letter (“SLO loses another opportunity for affordable housing,” May 16) suggests he was unable to identify, in the case of 1101 Monterey St., a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Though this proposed building would provide San Luis Obispo with 60 affordable housing units, the 80-room hotel would offer upward of 50 poverty-level jobs.
Assuming those working in these jobs had first priority access to the 60 affordable housing units, there would only be 10 units left for the rest of the community. The lesson to be learned here is that San Luis Obispo needs to curb its appetite for more low-wage jobs generated by the hospitality industry (as well as by the retail and restaurant trade) should it ever be able to address the unmet demand for affordable housing.
Mr. Fowler’s lament about the project’s long development processing time was not the city’s fault, but rather the fault of the developer. The developer unnecessarily proposed breaking every rule in the book with regards to conformance to the general plan and zoning regulations. This expectedly generated significant pushback from the residents of San Luis Obispo.
Elizabeth Thyne, San Luis Obispo
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