Paso Looks at Housing Tourists, Warming the Homeless and Building a Tank
The City of Paso Robles is no closer to reaching a workable arrangement for short-term rentals (STRs), also known as vacation rentals. Earlier this year, the council, facing a packed room, voted to pass an emergency and regular ordinance concerning the home businesses. However, the council had to rescind the ordinances less than a month later due to a conflict of interest from councilmember John Hamon, who is named as a trustee on his parent’s estate, which operates an STR. City attorney Iris Yang stated that the matter was brought to the council’s attention by a community member.
The City continues to seek a workable solution for the home operated small businesses.
The council reinstated a task force to devise recommendations on how to balance the needs of the community and home-based businesses.
Council members took a major step in addressing the homeless issue. Currently, a number of homeless people are residing in the Salinas River riverbed. Not only is it unsafe for a populace to live in the riverbed due to quicksand and flooding, but they have no way to dispose of the waste and trash they create. Furthermore, authorities cannot force people to vacate the riverbed (except for emergencies) unless the City provides an alternative shelter.
To help fund the construction of a homeless warming shelter, the City is seeking to allocate current Public Project Funds, as well as past ones that had not been utilized and money garnered from the federal Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP). The Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAP SLO) operatesHEAP on behalf of the County.
The proposed facility would be located next to the water treatment plant and house 36 beds and would provide year-round access to showers and laundry facilities. Paso Cares would provide daily evening meals and there would be access to on-site social services, such as case management and outreach.
The council authorized the city manager to work with Water Systems Consulting, Inc. in the replacement of the Main Street West Water Tank. The tank has succumbed to the effects of time and needs replacement, due to lack of structural integrity it can only accommodate a fraction of the 4 million gallons it was designed to hold. The projected cost to build a new tank is $297,356 and is not to exceed $327,092.