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Taking property without compensation 

It seems to me that the cake is already baked when it comes to the location of the new homeless/warming/administration center in Grover Beach, and all the yard signs and attendance at council meetings are just a waste of time.

As aptly reported by Peter Johnson ("At odds," April 11), Peoples' Self-Help Housing CEO John Fowler said it all when he said, "We need to make sure the needs and the services in that community are addressed." What I take from Mr. Fowler's statement is that the needs of the homeless community trump (sorry) the safety and home values of our citizens.

Peter follows with, "For now, though, all signs point toward the project moving forward as it was planned." And from that, I sense the powers that be could care less about the affected citizens. They're going to build this project whether people like it or not.

From my point of view, this is a taking of property without compensation. For example, if I own a home with an ocean view and the neighbor in front adds a second story to his home that blocks my view, he has taken my property without compensation. He may be allowed to do this based on zoning and his deed, but it doesn't change the fact that one day the value of my home included an ocean view and now my home is worth less because it's gone.

It's the same thing with the homeowners adjacent to or near the Hillside Church. Owning a home next to a church is worth more than one next to a homeless/warming shelter. If one is shopping for a home and there are two similar homes in the same neighborhood offered at the same price, one near a church while the other is adjacent to a homeless shelter, which one are you likely to buy? I think we all know the answer to that question.

I don't have a dog in this fight as I live in the Village of Arroyo Grande and know full well that they'd never build a homeless center nearby. So I'm safe in heart and property value. But what I can say for sure is if I was in the position that these property owners find themselves, I'd be looking for the lawyers who stalled the Dalidio Ranch Project in SLO for 20 years or the legal team that killed the Walmart project in Atascadero. For only the courts and delay will prevent this project from being built.

Gary Wechter

Arroyo Grande

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