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SLO City Council will hear The Rock, again 

For SLO Brew owners and local music fans rejoicing after a key approval for the company to once again host live music, a case of the old time blues might be coming.

That familiar tune will be played again at the San Luis Obispo City Council’s May 3 meeting, where an already-approved proposal from The Rock venue near the airport will be reheard and reconsidered.

The city is taking a Mulligan after discovering that staff failed to properly notice nearby residents of the April 19 public hearing, where the council approved live music at SLO Brew’s new facility at 855 Aerovista Place. Specifically, postcards weren’t sent to neighbors.

In light of the mistake, Community Development Director Michael Codron said staff decided to bring the matter back before the council in the interest of including all of those potentially affected. 

“Our decision to ask the council to rehear the project and to notice a larger area is simply out of an abundance of caution to make sure people are informed and participate in the decision-making process,” Codron said.

Notices have since been sent out, including some voluntarily sent to neighbors farther afield than the required 300 feet. Codron said staff looked through a year-and-a-half of projects to make sure the mistake wasn’t recurring, and found that this was a one-time occurrence caused by a communication error between two people.

“It’s not something that’s systemic at all,” Condron said. “We have implemented a new procedure, a sort of ‘belt and suspenders,’ to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”

SLO Brewing Company is currently building a brewery, distillery, and restaurant. The facility, named The Rock after the large formation in the middle of the business park complex, needs council approval for live music. That was originally given on April 19.

The Rock is the newest endeavor by SLO Brew, which recently shuttered its Garden Street location to make way for a hotel. Original plans sought to move the live music venue to a larger space around the corner on Higuera Street, but those plans were scrapped after a messy permitting process.

Now the council will consider their original April 19 stipulations that live music is only permitted on Fridays after 7:30 p.m., on Saturdays and Sundays, must cease by 11 p.m., and must be indoors with the building’s windows and doors closed. Outdoor music must be limited to ambient music, and is prohibited after 9 p.m.

Many of those conditions were already proposed by SLO Brew owner Hamish Marshall, who said he wanted first and foremost to feature the brewery, distillery, and the SLO Brew brand, not a nightclub. The council refined those conditions in order to limit noise impacts.

Marshall, who didn’t seem perturbed about the mix-up said he wasn’t too concerned about a possible change of heart from the council.

“Although we’re not taking it lightly,” Marshall said. “We’ll come prepared to answer any additional questions.” 

-- Melody DeMeritt - former city council member, Morro Bay

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