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Mitchell Park reckoning 

Months of campaigning and heartfelt--even desperate--public speeches concerning the proposed senior center parking lot at Mitchell Park have led up to the May 6 SLO City Council meeting, where members will have to weigh the benefits and costs of paving a section of the park.

The plan is to ease parking at the senior center, which rents a building in Mitchell Park, at Osos and Pismo streets in downtown SLO.

Parking at the center was identified as a major issue among users in the '80s, and the parking lot has been suggested--and rejected--before. Most recently, it was voted down and an area of about 6,000 square feet once eyed for the lot was designated for a specialty garden. That garden has never been built, though, and the area is now considered "underutilized."

The same area is now being considered for parking, but the action requires an amendment to the city's Master Plan. Several advisory bodies, including the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Cultural Heritage Committee, and the Architectural Review Board, have recommended against paving the area.

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