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To make way for new SLO parking structure, historic homes will h - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

To make way for new SLO parking structure, historic homes will have to come down

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In San Luis Obispo, plans for a new parking structure and theater in the downtown area will be reviewed during Wednesday night's Planning Commission meeting.
 
It would be located at the west end of town at the corner of Nipomo and Palm Streets. 
 
To make room, several city-owned homes will have to be torn down including two that are historic, one of which is an adobe. The 77-space parking lot across from Mission Prep High School will also be removed. 
 
In its place, a 50-feet high, five-level parking garage with more than 400 spots will go in.  

David Hannings has lived in his historic home next door to the potential project for nearly two decades.   

"The neighborhood is changing but it'll be interesting and kind of exciting," Hannings said. 
 
The SLO Repertory Theatre and commercial space would also go in as part of the project. 
 
But it's not music to all neighbors' ears.
 
Greg Menges and his wife live just a few houses away in a home that's been in the family since 1927.             
 
"I just have big concerns about what it's going to do to the character of our street," Menges said.
 
"We're wondering how it's going to change the flavor of the neighborhood really, in regards to traffic, getting in and out, noise levels, that sort of thing," said neighbor Ted Pagel. 
 
In downtown San Luis Obispo, there are currently three parking structures that are regularly jam-packed. 
 
"We're confident that people will use this," said Scott Lee, City of San Luis Obispo Parking Services Manager. "They could use these facilities for long-term, all day parking and free up the on-street parking for those people that really just want to run in, get a cup of coffee, have a meal." 
 
With a lot more development planned for the area, including improvements to the SLO Museum of Art, they too are looking forward to more parking. 
 
"We have over 55,000 visitors a year and it's growing and with our new building going up, the campaign we have right now to build a three-story building on this corner, we know we'll be attracting more visitors from out of town," said Karen Kile, SLO Museum of Art Executive Director. "Yes, there's a need for parking and I think this is a good solution." 
 
The city says the oak tree outside one of the historic homes will be saved. 
 
The project has an estimated cost of $23.6M that will be paid for by the parking enterprise fund, not the general fund. 
 
The Planning Commission meeting is Wednesday at 6 p.m. The public can ask about the environmental impacts. 
 
The soonest the structure could go up is in 2019. 

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