Keep San Luis Obispo Unique Essay

1340 Words 6 Pages
Keep San Luis Obispo Unique

When I began looking at colleges two years ago, I was attracted to Cal Poly in large part due to San Luis Obispo’s unique small town charm. The downtown area boasts distinctive shops and restaurants, a treat for any visitor. This is coupled with majestic mountains and lush agricultural land to create a stunning city contrasting in size and facade to other California cities such as San Francisco and Santa Maria. I recall mentioning to my future roommate over the summer that I hoped San Luis Obispo would never become too developed.

Last week as I drove down 101 towards the site of the proposed Dalidio Marketplace, I tried to picture how the Marketplace would change the overall impression of the town.
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However, in the last decade the land has become increasingly more difficult to acquire profits from and neighbors have been complaining about noise from farm machinery and use of pesticides.

In 1992 Ernie Dalidio wanted to stop farming on the land and joined forces with William L. Bird, creator of the Central Coast Plaza, adjacent to the farmland. Their proposed project would create a 650,000 square foot shopping paradise, housing retailers such as Tilly’s, Target, Circuit City, Lowe’s, Old Navy and TJ Max. (Griffy, Laura. Voters Will Decide the Fate of Marketplace on April 26. The Tribune. 18 Nov. 2004) Since its initial proposal, the project has received attention from the local media as well as debate from local residents. Fourteen years later, the issue still stands as to what is more important, more sales tax revenue for the city or preserving San Luis Obispo’s exceptional agricultural market.

The developers state many reasons why the Marketplace would be beneficial to the city, most prominent of which would be increased revenue and more choices for consumers. The site could offer two million dollars a year in sales tax for the city. Additionally, through the project the city would receive a desired freeway overpass at Highway 101 and Madonna Road. ( As Bill Bird stated on the issue of the

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