San Luis Obispo moves forward with reopening guidelines, plans for in-person city council

May 19, 2021

The City of San Luis Obispo is planning for the reopening of its facilities in the coming months.

City Manager Derek Johnson outlined a way forward for the city at the May 18 council meeting.

He said the city expects to reopen in alignment with future guidelines from the state.

“Really, we’ll be looking forward to the details that come out from the governor,” Johnson said. “He’s made some statements but the details are unknown.”

California is expected to fully reopen its economy on June 15. Governor Newsom announced the state will also get rid of the color-coded tier system entirely by that date.

Johnson said most city offices will remain closed until San Luis Obispo County reaches the least restrictive green tier, or until the state drops the tier system.

SLO County is currently in the orange tier.

Even if employees return to in-person work, the city strongly discourages indoor meetings and gatherings until the county reaches the green tier.

Johnson said different city facilities, like the Parks and Rec Department or Senior Services, can expect to see different reopening criteria based on the type of work and level of community interaction.

He said the first in-person city council meeting is tentatively scheduled for July 6, barring any new information from the state.

He said the city is waiting to receive guidelines about how to safely run the meeting.

“The seating will be based on public health and other state directives,” Johnson said. “We just don’t know what those are today.”

Johnson said city staff will make recommendations at the July 6 meeting about how best to modify or continue some of the changes made to San Luis Obispo during the pandemic.

Some of those changes include updated signage, outdoor dining or “‘parklet” installation, parking regulations and purchasing guidelines.

He said the new recommendations will align with local, state and federal public health standards and will encourage the city’s economic recovery.