Also, council approves Beechwood plan and camping urgency ordinance

PASO ROBLES — The Paso Robles City Council approved the Beechwood Specific Plan, a camping urgency ordinance and applauded as three people received Medals of Valor from Paso Robles Police Chief Ty Lewis during their Oct. 6 meeting.

Lewis presented the awards to Paso Robles Police Department dispatcher Kate McKinley and Sgt. Ricky Lehr and Paso Robles Fire Department Battalion Chief Randy Harris for their efforts during the June 10 active shooter situation, when a man opened fire on the police station, killed a man near the train station and shot and injured deputies and officers from neighboring departments.

A manhunt ensued and ended on June 11 when gunman, Mason James Lira, was shot and killed during an afternoon gunbattle on June 11, south of Paso Robles. 

McKinley received a Bronze Medal of Valor for her efforts during the incident. McKinley was on duty as a solo dispatcher when the shooting began around 3 a.m. on June 10.

McKinley gathered information while directing assisting agencies.

“Although she may not have known it at the time, she undoubtedly saved the lives of many,” said Lewis.

That same morning, PRPD Sgt. Lehr woke from his deep sleep to assist his fellow officers. The former Marine rushed to the Downtown Public Safety Center in civilian clothes and his vehicle.

At 4:25 a.m., the words no one wanted to hear were heard over the radio, “Officer down,” Lewis said. By 4:27 a.m., Sgt. Lehr was at San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Nicolas Dreyfus’s location. Dreyfus was shot in the face by Lira while responding to the shooting at the Paso Robles police station.

“He was only wearing sweatpants, sandals, and a t-shirt, yet Sgt. Lehr selflessly jumped into action to save Deputy Dreyfus,” Lewis said. “Undoubtedly, due to his training as a former United States Marine, Sgt. Lehr never contemplated his own safety when he jumped into action.”

Lehr removed his shirt and applied pressure to Dreyfus’s gunshot wound. After removing Dreyfus from the scene, Paso Robles Fire Department Battalion Chief Harris arrived and coordinated his transport.

Harris came into the unsecured scene alone from his location near the Paso Robles Event Center. 

“Battalion Chief Harris’s heroic, selfless actions allowed him to get Deputy Dreyfus to safety where life-saving medical attention was obtained,” Lewis awarded a Citizen Medal of Valor, the highest award the police department can give to the fireman.

Sgt. Lehr received the highest award, a Gold Medal of Valor, from Chief Lewis.

All members of the City Council expressed their appreciation and gratitude for all responders involved in the June shooting.

The 911-unit Beechwood Specific Plan was finally brought to discussion and approved following the public hearing.

Council approved option two, which included the following resolutions:

  1. Approved 5-0, Resolution A — Certifying Environmental Impact Report, Adopting Environmental Findings, Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program and a Statement of Overriding Considerations Pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act
  2. Approved 5-0, Resolution B — General Plan Amendment 12-004
  3. Approved 4-0, Introduce first reading by Title Only Ordinance A adopting zoning code 19-01
  4. Approved 4-0, Resolution C — Adopting of Specific Plan 19-01
  5. Approved 5-0, Resolution D — Oak Tree removal permit OTR 19-05
  6. Approved 5-0, Resolution E — Large Lot Vesting Tentative Tract Map TR 3160

Councilman Fred Strong voted no on ordinance A and Resolution C because he was against high-density housing on the eastern end of the property where it borders agricultural land. The other votes were unanimous, 5-0.

Council also approved a camping urgency ordinance adding Chapter 7.50, Camping to Title 7, Health and Sanitation of the Municipal Code.

The new chapter defines “camping and camping-related terms and prohibits camping in the following areas: lands owned or operated by the City, lands zoned as open space, high fire risk areas and water supply risk areas.” 

This ordinance ensures the city stays within the constitutional bounds of Martin v. City of Boise while allowing the city to still enforce illegal camping in high fire risk areas like the Salinas riverbed.

All the details regarding the Beechwood Specific Plan and the camping urgency ordinance can be found online at www.prcity.com. 

Getting through this together, Paso Robles