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Housing reality 

Once again, I find myself reading about the affordable housing challenge in SLO County ("The housing predicament," Sept. 28) with lots of data presented confirming the problem, lots of chatter from our supervisors echoing concern, yet no real solutions presented. That's because, in reality, there are no solutions and many just don't want to say so.

I've lived in SLO County since 1991 and little has changed regarding this matter. There were several challenges when I arrived and those same challenges remain today. At the top of the list are the hiking and bicycle-riding lefties and their friends, the environmentalists, who, rather than growth, prefer fewer cars and even fewer people. They have money and passion and actively interfere with any plans for growth.

Then you have retired folks like me who escaped big, ugly cities like LA, Bakersfield, and Fresno to find this oasis. Why exactly would I want growth? Do I really need TGI Fridays, IKEA or, God forgive, Trump Tower? Would more traffic on the 101 through Shell Beach make my life better? I think the answer is obvious: a big fat NO!

So who's left? Cal Poly students who would probably side with the environmentalists. Then there are the politicians who tend to dance the dance, trying not to commit themselves to one side or the other. And finally, there's the business community that has a legitimate challenge to attract workers due to the high price of housing. They seem to be the only influential group that really wants growth.

The reality is we're following in the footsteps of Santa Barbara where the median home price is around $950,000. Supply and demand rules the matter with many wanting to live here and just as many doing all they can to limit growth. Our future will be grindingly slow growth with ever-increasing property values. And although that's good for some, it will never help create affordable housing.

Gary Wechter

Arroyo Grande


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