I am deeply saddened by the recent 3-2 vote by the Arroyo Grande City Council to move ahead with the relocation of City Hall. What disappoints me the most is that with this complicated plan comes the demolition of the Malt Shop. Even if the Council felt this building was not technically historic, they could have opted to leave it in place and adaptively reuse it. This building contributes to the “sense of place” that the village evokes along with the other mid-century buildings (City Hall and Council Chambers). The Malt Shop helps to show how our rural, simple farming community developed and became what it is today: a thriving downtown where residents and tourists love to hang out. It is not only the 100-year-old buildings that help make the village special and unique.
I am not opposed to all change in Arroyo Grande overall or the village. I serve on the City’s Planning Commission and vote each month to develop the City. There is appropriate development, but this is not. I have passionately helped with every one of the councilmen’s election campaigns because I thought they stood for the same things most of the residents desire, including protecting the village.