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I’ve been catching up on reading the issues of the Tribune I missed last week.

So, the 2 anchors of the shopping area near Costco that Madonna Construction is building are
– Linens and Things, and
– OfficeMax

You’ve got to be kidding. That’s the 3rd big office store in SLO and Bed, Bath, and Beyond is down the street.

This is starting to be as comical as the Los Osos sewer.

– You first had people saying how the Dalidio Marketplace would hurt local businesses downtown. Then Copeland develops these new buildings and chain stores move in.

– Then, downtown is bringing in an Apple store which will pretty much kill the (locally owned)Mac Superstore out on South Higuera.

– Downtown brings in California Pizza Kitchen 3 doors away from Pizza Solo (good luck Pizza Solo!)

– One of the arguments last year against Dalidio was that it would ruin the gateway to the city. Then a few months ago it was publicized that 2 car lots were already approved by SLO along 101 next to Dalidio’s property. Oops! I haven’t heard the gateway argument since.

– Now you have 2 major tenants coming in that add NOTHING new to SLO shopping.

I don’t get it. For an area so short on shopping choices, you’d figure someone would be out attracting stores that we don’t already have!!!!!!!!!!

I’m not knocking Copeland for trying to turn downtown into an upscale shopping destination. That’s a good fit for downtown. Bring in the tourists to downtown with money to spend plus the percentage of Cal P0ly students with money from home. Maybe it will force some of the restaurants to improve or leave too. Retail sales is the best source of tax income for cities to survive these days so the Central Coast should wake up and figure out how to add shopping without messing up the quality of life around here. Can it be done if the right heads were put together? I’d rather not shop in Santa Maria but until there is someplace in SLO that offers what we currently can’t find here, that’s where my family goes when we need to. I can also say we brought back many bags of stuff that we bought in Las Vegas. Everyone talks about the high volume of traffic created by the Dalidio development so it sounds like there is agreement that the demand is there for the stores that will go in. Why doesn’t someone figure out how to develop it without the gridlock! I know this was on the SLO proposal that was defeated but can’t see how you can go forward with the County proposal without the additional Prado Road interchange. I want to vote Yes for the shopping (shouldn’t SLO be a central shopping area for the County?) but right now would vote No because it doesn’t address the traffic issue.

Either cities get tax revenue from retail or the residents are going to have to fork over a “Quality of Living” property tax if we want the atmosphere around here to stay like it is. We can’t stop growth but you would think we can have “smart growth”. I’ve looked around on various city websites and see no mention of a Regional plan. They all seem to just focused on what’s within their city limits with their end goal of “100% build out”. People say they don’t want the area to be like Los Angeles but I saw more shopping choices when driving through St. George Utah than we have here.

Will the Sales Tax increases going on the ballot in some of the cities really help keep the Quality of Life around here? I don’t know since I can’t find any details on the city sites about it!

Ok…I’ll get off my soapbox now.

Written by Keith Byrd - Go to Keith's Website/Profile