A deadlocked San Luis Obispo City Council again took no action on moving along a development plan for South Broad Street, given stiff opposition from area business owners and some clearly differing ideas among council members.
On March 19, the council butted heads 2-2 all night, failing to come up with a motion to include its current long-term South Broad Street Plan in upcoming discussions about its overall Land Use Circulation Element. The plan is basically a document that discusses ways to revitalize, beautify, and provide affordable housing in the area from Upham to just south of Orcutt Road over the next 20 years.
Still handling fallout from the departure of Councilman Andrew Carter last month, the council failed to meet a consensus for the second meeting in a row, with Mayor Jan Marx and Councilman John Ashbaugh voting to move the plan along so it could be included as a conceptual document in upcoming long-term planning talks, and councilmembers Kathy Smith and Dan Carpenter arguing for significant changes—namely limiting its scope—before moving the plan along.
The plan, which called for approximately 425 new dwellings and 880,000 square feet of commercial space, a construction of a “Main Street” on Victoria Avenue, and a smattering of commercial-residential rezoning, is seen by most residents and business owners in the area—namely the city’s manufacturing community—as a threat to their livelihood some years down the road.
Marx admonished Carpenter and Smith for what she described as “bad public policy.”
Given the split, the plan would have to again be brought back as a future agenda item for consideration.