Mayor discusses homelessness, roadwork, short-term rentals
Written and submitted by Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin
–The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors has voted to approve recommendations from the Homeless Services Oversight Council that will mean our city will receive grant funds to establish the new homeless services complex on land adjacent to the Wastewater Treatment Plant. We will work cooperatively with Paso Cares, ECHO and others to create this new facility. It will give us greater ability to reduce the number of homeless residing in the Salinas River Bed and alleviate issues that impact our Police Department and emergency medical services.
Work is underway to improve pedestrian safety at 13th and Park and 13th and Pine. Flashing advisory lights will alert drivers of pedestrians. These improvements will not only improve safety, but will also link businesses on the north side of 13th with those on the southern side, expanding the accessibility to downtown business. You may have heard that these improvements might interfere with vehicular traffic and intersection turns more difficult for trucks. Please know this not the case. The median structures are not planters, only holders for the flashing crosswalk signs. Traffic flow should be improved, not inhibited. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me or city staff. You’ll find contacts for both on the city website at prcity.com.
The downtown pilot parking program expires at the end of this month. The council will review effectiveness of this program and determine whether to continue or modify it. How much do you know about downtown parking? You can take an entertaining quiz about that a the city’s website.
Rough patches of Niblick Road near the school district offices have now been repairs. That should take care of the vibration out of the daily trips to work and school. To stay updated on the schedule of road repairs, check prcity.com.
The Paso Robles Planning Commission has considered the new ordinance proposed to govern Short-Term Rental (STR) properties. These vacation-housing units have the potential for impacting the quality of life of our neighborhoods. A citizens task force has been working the problem for some time and, at a recent Planning Commission meeting, the proposed ordinance was discussed thoroughly. The commission received more public comment and directed that a few more changes be made before referring it on to the City Council. The Planning Commission will probably discuss requested revisions at the May 14 meeting.
How do you get youth interested in local government? Let them run it. Every school year the Kermit King Elementary Leadership class is led through a Mock City Council meeting by the mayor to get their take on an issue facing the community. This year they will be joined by the Leadership class from Bauer Speck Elementary and together the groups will design Kickoff Parties to celebrate the City’s change to by-district elections. The Mock City Council meeting takes place in the council chambers at the city library.
More power to us! As cities across the state brace for the closure of Diablo Canyon and the consequent loss of massive amounts of power, alternative systems are developing to supplement traditional sources of electricity. One alternative is an organization that blends traditional power sources with new, sustainable sources to provide communities with an alternative that is more secure and cost-effective. Our city is talking with such an organization that began in Monterey County. Public information will be made available before any decisions.
Stay tuned for more! Until we blog again, here’s to you Paso Robles!