Another site for a controversial homeless services center on the south side of town has been checked off the possibilities list due to the need to expand San Luis Obispo’s water reclamation facility.
- PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
- NIXXED : San Luis Obispo city staff discounted a parcel of land as a viable location for the proposed homeless services center on Prado Road due to projections for future expansion of the city’s water reclamation facility.
In a Feb. 13 memorandum, city utilities director Carrie Mattingly explained that the site—adjacent to the current Prado Day Center—would be needed for future expansion of the city’s water reclamation facility.
Mattingly wrote that the facility will need to undergo a major upgrade due to regulatory requirements, a projected increase in capacity needs, and necessary infrastructure replacement. The proposed center would infringe upon that upgrade, which, if all permitting goes as planned, is expected to commence by the end of the year.
Now, the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County is eyeing two other options: a vacant area next to the county’s Department of Social Services, and a privately owned parcel just north of the Day Center on Prado Road.
CAPSLO Chief Operating Officer Jim Famalette told New Times that the organization is now working to raise funds for a feasibility study for the latter site, which is expected to ring in at anywhere from $80,000 to $100,000—money the organization doesn’t have to spare, he said. However, a number of private donors have pledged to help with the study, Famalette said, adding that the organization is exploring additional funding options with the city and county.
However, the organization already knows there are limitations with that property; it’s located in a floodplain, and a portion of it is needed for the upcoming Prado Road overpass. Famalette said the property would also cost about $2 million to purchase.
Plans for the proposed center look to provide an additional 200 beds, showers, laundry facilities, a kitchen, a children’s classroom, lockers, a multipurpose room, and offices for caseworkers. Locations for the proposed center have been shuffled around for different reasons, including a “fairly significant” reaction from neighboring business owners in south SLO, Famalette said.
“This is not CAPSLO issue; this is a community issue, and we’re doing everything to make sure the community will be happy with where it ends up,” he said. ∆