The city's plans show a parking garage and Repertory Theatre to be built on the corner of Palm Street and Nipomo Street. City of San Luis Obispo | Courtesy Photo

The City of San Luis Obispo is moving forward with plans for a new parking garage at the junction of Palm Street and Nipomo Street that will contain as many as 445 new parking spaces.

The proposed 60,000-square-foot structure aligns with the Downtown Concept Plan to “locate parking structures strategically on the periphery of downtown within easy walking distance to major activity areas.”

According to the Planning Commission Agenda Report, the proposed garage will contain commercial space and room for a non-profit theater.

According to Associate Planner Rachel Cohen, the city is still at the very beginning of the review process. If the plan is approved, construction will not begin before 2019. The proposed garage still has many steps to go through before approval. However, the parking garage is part of the city’s greater plan for downtown San Luis Obispo.

“This is something that has been envisioned for many years,” Cohen said.

The Palm Nipomo Parking Structure Project is accompanied by an 800-page document on the environmental impact of the structure. The report details multiple ways the project would impact the community and the environment, from impacts on historical resources to transportation.

The city seeks input from the community levels during multiple steps of the process.

Community member David Foley wrote a letter to the city expressing his concerns.

“My concerns with this project are that the City of [San Luis Obispo] is failing its goals by prioritizing parking over housing…” Foley wrote. “City council and staff must look skeptically at the need for this amount of parking.”

The city’s planning commission held a public meeting Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chamber of City Hall to review the draft of the environmental impact report. 

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