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The San Luis Obispo City Council voted on it’s new Major City Goals today at the budget meeting today.  The following two photos show the outcome.  Items with an average score of 3 or more are major City Goals.  The balance are still important… just not the major goals.

See for yourself in the photos below how each  council person prioritized their constituencies feelings.  Good job Council.  It’s a big list though!

It’s nice to see that expanding bike infrastructure is on the list. (and I am quite stoked that the skatepark finally will get funding)

sorry about the  focus… only had a second to get the shot.  click the photo for a large version.

photo-13

photo-14

 

A designer friend James Sowins just introduced me to a cool little book of black and white illustrations of bikes by Cody Peterson called “Bikes for no reason.  So you can design the color scheme of a bike… or just doodle ideas… whatever really.  Cody built it as an additional outlet for his bike obsessions… in an effort to stem the flow of bikes into his house!  I also have a problem with too many bikes… but have yet to figure out how to cut back.  The books are 25 bucks and available on his website  www.bikesfornoreason.com .  All different types of bikes are featured in his drawings.  Fun gift for bike people.

 

Screen Shot 2012-12-16 at 5.12.37 PM

 

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walkablecity

“Walkable City” is a fantastic new book by Jeff Speck on creating great cities and overcoming dated planning ideas.  For anyone interested in making more pedestrian, bicycle and transit oriented spaces it is a must read.  It is also a must read for anyone interested in what it takes to make your city “feel” better… or making places a better place to live.  Jeff Speck was a co-author of “suburban Nation” a few years back… also a great book.  I recommend this book to city council’s, bike/ped advocates, and city planners.

For more info:  http://jeffspeck.com

Click the YouTube link (see link just below) for a great TEDx talk on designing streets for all users.  By Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize

http://youtu.be/pX8zZdLw7cs

 

San Luis Obispo is affected by various issues:  noise, wind, cal poly, downtown, airport, freeway, mountain sun shadow, train, traffic etc.  None of these are bad in and of themselves.  Everyone has things they don’t mind… and or are attracted or repelled by… and each of us are different.  My wife and I live near the train… doesn’t bother us.  We also have a certain amount of traffic noise…. but we weigh this against our proximity to services, the downtown lifestyle, and the great weather in our part of town (less wind).   It is a balance… and everyone is different.  This Noise map may help you decide what areas are good for you.  It is from 1990 I think.  I got it from the SLO General Plan.

This is a map showing where water meters have turned over frequently.  A water meter “turning over” means that someone has cancelled service on their meter… and another person has started service. This typically happens when one person moves out of a unit… and another moves in.  Tracking water meter turnover is a way of tracking unit turnover… how often people move in and out of a given unit.  So in the above map… the more red the color… the more frequently the turnover of units to new tenants or owners.  In some cases as much as 5 or 6 times in a two year period.

According to city-data.com the northern 93405 zip code section of San Luis Obispo is 36% owner occupied while the southern 93401 portion is 43% owner occupied housing.  Contrast this to a +/-60% owner occupied average state wide.

It would be interesting to know the evolution of this over time.  I know that in my own neighborhood Downtown… there are less and less rentals and more owner occupants ever year.  But this has only been happening for the last 10 years or so.  Prior to this my area was almost entirely rentals.  The areas seeing the largest increase in rentals appear to be those surrounding Cal Poly.

It is akin to squeezing a balloon… when the rentals leave one area… they pop up in another.  Cal Poly has suggested that they are interested in seeing all first and second year students live on campus.  This would be warmly received by the long term residents of SLO.

It is a two edged sword living in a college town.  I love the vibrancy, life, and financial stability that the college provides.  I also love having so many talented professors and the knowledge and experience they bring our city.  But the landlords that do not maintain their properties and the tenants that do not respect their neighbors act as a sort of cancer around town.  The neighborhoods most affected by lack of maintenance on the part of some owners and lack of control on the part of some tenants… are those on this heat map that appear the most red.

Most tenants are awesome I should comment…. it is usually only a percentage that cause issues.   90% these issues can be resolved through better lease language, better property management, and higher property maintenance standards on the part of landlords.

If you own a rental in town… this a basically a business you are profiting from.  I personally believe that businesses should be treated differently than residences.  Owner occupants usually care for their properties far better than landlords…. but when the landlords outnumber the owner occupants… and their lack of maintenance impacts the balance of the community so greatly… it becomes a serious issue for the  long term viability of that city.

Something we all need to think about.

Bob Jones Trail… latest update

Here is a link to the latest info on the BOB JONES TRAIL.  skip to page 3, project 5 for the latest info.

 

 

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