Our Mission & Goals
OUR MISSION: To protect and promote the historical character, design, livability and economic success of our Downtown.
WHY PROTECT DOWNTOWN?
Visitors and residents are drawn to Downtown San Luis Obispo because of its walkability, sense of community and the flow of history, complemented by an architectural timeline of diverse, sometimes quirky, human-scaled structures. A concentration of small, locally owned businesses offers both residents and visitors unique shopping and dining experiences. A skyline of buildings, predominantly two-stories in height, allows ample access to sunlight as well as to unimpeded views of the Morros throughout Downtown.
At the heart of the City lies its “reason for being”, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, established in 1772 alongside a meandering creek. Currently, this landmark building remains the centerpiece of Downtown, visually un-eclipsed by all neighboring structures. In an effort to maintain the unique qualities of this City’s Downtown, the group has as its goals:
1. To preserve the character of the City by keeping the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa the centerpiece of our Downtown, and as part of that preservation, encourage that any new buildings complement surrounding structures in height, style and design.
2. To maintain current building heights of no more than three stories (or 35-40 feet) to insure that all walkable public spaces have ample access to sunlight and unobstructed views of the mountains in the east and the Morros to the west. To preserve all remaining historic Downtown buildings and the flow of history associated with these buildings. As new buildings are introduced into the Downtown, ensure that the streetscape will not be overwhelmed and “canyonized” by overly tall buildings and so protect the visual integrity and views of the Morros for those who live and work in San Luis Obispo.To encourage that the green space around San Luis Creek be expanded as another focal point of the Downtown area and to encourage more public use of its surrounding areas. Ensure that new building in its immediate area be of low height and set back far enough from the creek itself so as not to detract from its character and visual appeal.
3. In order to preserve our sense of community, the City should promote citizen participation in the planning and design of all proposed developments in the Downtown, in compliance with the San Luis Obispo Participation Outline (1988 by the Planning Commission and Community Development Director).
4. To insure, however possible, that the current inventory of small, locally-owned retail businesses Downtown is not depleted but rather enhanced. To insure that the quality and ambience of the street spaces Downtown contribute to the economic success and longevity of these businesses.