Special to Mustang News
Cal Poly held an open house for the proposed university master plan Saturday May 9 at the San Luis Obispo County Library.
The community outreach event drew approximately 50 people varying in ages from students to longtime San Luis Obispo residents.
The open house was aimed at getting feedback from community members about the proposed master plan for the campus for the year 2022. Potential ideas include new student housing, a hotel, parking, a pub and other proposed additions to the main campus.
Master plan team member Erik Justesen said the university created six advisory committees that included students, community members, faculty and staff that went over various issues. These committee meetings gave the master planners their “marching orders,” said Justesen.
Louise Justice, resident and member of the mass transit committee, appreciates that Cal Poly offers an open house for the community.
“I do like open houses. It gives residents some avenue to express their thoughts and ideas but my question is, do they really listen?” Justice said.
The open house included three sections, one on the campus core (or what campus looks like now); land use/housing, with diagrams of proposed changes; and circulation (or transportation to and from campus and within campus). Each section had a poster where the attendees could voice their opinions on color-coded sticky notes to place on the board. The land use/housing board was almost full at the end of the two-hour open house.
“It’s really important for us to hear what the community thinks about our master plan,” said Interim University Planning Officer Linda Dalton.
Environmental management and protection junior Kyle Jordan was one of the few Cal Poly students in attendance.
“I wanted to provide some feedback in terms of land use,” he said.
Part of the proposed plans are to take away some of Cal Poly’s allocated agricultural land.
“They are potentially getting rid of some agriculture land; it’s good ag land. It’s a poor spot to build over, the school is all about living labs and Learn By Doing,” Jordan said of the possible loss of a citrus orchard on campus.
One aspect many community members seemed to agree on is the possible addition of on-campus housing.
A goal of the master plan is to increase the amount of students living on campus from 38 to 65 percent.
“I like the idea of more housing. It relieves pressure for the rest of the community,” Jordan said.
According to Justeen and Dalton, the concerns raised through the open house, their website and other forums will be viewed and taken into account over the summer. The master planning team will then come up with a refined plan based on these concerns and suggestions. They will hold more listening sessions and open houses in the fall with the hope that a final plan will come out by the end of 2015.