Downtown parklet program extended to Jan. 31, 2022

PASO ROBLES — The Paso Robles City Council returned to in-person meetings on Oct. 19.

General public comment consisted of concerns over some deterioration of the softball fields at Barney Swartz Park on Union Road.

The public complained that the concession stand was closed for a recent tournament, and the fields were poorly maintained.

Getting through this together, Paso Robles

A staff member informed the Council the concession stand was open but is being operated differently. She also mentioned due to COVID; there is a lack of employees to maintain the fields.

It was determined the issue of Barney Swartz will be agendized as an item for the next City Council meeting.

Council received a quarterly financial report with amendments for fiscal years 2020-21 and 2021-22.

The fiscal Year 2020-21 was a challenging year with the pandemic affecting many local businesses—especially the restaurant industry. The City had estimated to use $5.7 million in reserves, but instead, in April 2021, the use of reserves was estimated at approximately $2 million.

The City is now looking to end the fiscal year with a $4.8 million surplus.

The full quarterly report is available on the meeting’s agenda by visiting prcity.com/DocumentCenter/View/32640/October-19-2021-City-Council-Meeting-Agenda-Item-11PDF

Council then approved the 1996 Master Property Tax Sharing Agreement to the Paso Robles Gateway Property. However, Councilman John Hamon voted no.

City Council approved the Gateway Annexation Project on Jun. 16, 2020. The project encompasses 170 acres located adjacent to the southwest side of the City. It includes the phased development of a mixed-use project comprised of two hotels, three commercial centers with a total of 73,600 leasable square feet, 17 workforce apartment units, up to 80 attached single-family residential resort units, or a third hotel and approximately 98 acres of agriculture and open space areas.

The City will generate $1.7 million per year from the property’s tax, and the County will receive $373,000 per year.

Council heard the second annual status report on the implementation of ordinance 1082 regulating short-term rentals in all zoning districts.

After a lengthy discussion, Council directed staff to follow option two, which consists of the following actions:

A. Direct staff to prepare an extension of Ordinance 1082 beyond its Aug. 16, 2022 sunset date with the amendment to find alternative sunset dates.

B. Direct staff to continue working with Host Compliance to increase Ordinance 1082 compliance monitoring and sending letters to notify properties who are not in compliance. This includes properties that have not applied for a permit as well as those who may be advertising their permitted listing for an incorrect occupancy than what the Ordinance allows.

Council added to direct staff to terminate any active illegal short-term rentals.

Councilman Hamon and Steve Gregory recused themselves from the agenda item.

City Manager Ty Lewis let Council know that he extended the use of parklets in downtown Paso Robles. Parklets were scheduled to be removed by Nov. 1. However, due to public demand and the current COVID case status, Lewis extended the parklet program by 90 days.

The new cut-off date for parklets is Jan. 31, 2022. Anyone who currently has a parklet will need to reapply for the new extended deadline.

According to Lewis, approximately eight parklets will be coming down by the original Nov. 1 date.

The next City Council regular meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 2, at 6:30 p.m.