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Community voices concern over proposed six-story building in downtown SLO

Posted at 10:58 PM, Dec 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-04 12:02:37-05

People are trying to knock down the idea of a proposed 75-foot building in downtown SLO.

Some say the height takes away from the historic character of the city. A handful of people gave input about the building at a public forum Monday, some saying it was too tall, others saying it was too industrial-looking. These are just some of the concerns the applicant will have to work around.

“People are concerned about the massing, concerned about shading and also paying respect to the historical structures that are in the downtown historical district,” said Allen Root, chairman of SLO’s Architecture Review Commission.

The architectural review commission cares about building codes and if the applicants plan to meet city requirements.

However, a lot of people care about preserving the old town feel.

“To have a seven-story or six-story building would take away from the quaint area that we all know and love so much,” said Lori O’Connor, a resident of SLO.

Public forums help developers build something that suits the area.

“What we’ve encouraged developers to do especially on these bigger projects is to bring them in early so that they’re not invested in a particular direction that’s not going to meet the guidelines are not going to be compatible with the neighbors,” added Root.

The developers will take the input from this meeting and go back to the drawing board.

The blueprints still need to pass a number of texts from different city review groups.

It will first go back to the Architecture Review Commission and the Cultural Heritage Commission before going to the city’s Planning Commission.

“With a really good, quality design, it’s easier to say sure go up to 75, but we haven’t to see that effort first,” said Root.

City Council will have the final day in the application process.