Opinion » Letters

Changes for a working-class neighborhood

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I have lived for 84 years in the 1876 Pollard House, mentioned in your article "Building Up" (March 5). The 1874 Norcross House is across the street, and the 1878 Jack House and Garden down the block, with many more historic buildings. North Higuera is a historic neighborhood that is mostly one-story houses and businesses, but it is also a neighborhood where ordinary, working-class people have lived and worked together for more than 150 years. We are all friends and take time to chat whenever we pass each other's buildings. When needed, we help one another. We watch out for one another. We were never part of downtown.

Now the City Council and developers want to build 50-foot-high walls of luxury apartments and condominiums to cut our neighborhood into pieces; 545 Higuera-486 Marsh, which is proposed to go in next to me, is almost 300 feet long. This is not affordable housing designed to be part of our neighborhood, but big hotel suites and vacation homes for wealthy people to look down on us from. All we ask is that the community design guidelines and environmental review—which are supposed to protect people from big boxes destroying a neighborhood—be applied to us as they are to wealthy areas.

Jean Martin

San Luis Obispo

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