On-site production of beer, wine to be allowed in downtown Paso - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

On-site production of beer, wine to be allowed in downtown Paso Robles

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Breweries, wineries and distilleries will soon be pouring in Downtown Paso Robles. 

The Paso Robles City Council recently approved a plan to rezone the downtown area surrounding the City Park. While there are currently tasting rooms and other businesses that serve alcohol there, this will allow for production on site.

Downtown Paso Robles is home to at least 35 wine tasting rooms. Four breweries and five wineries operate elsewhere in the city. 

Under the new zoning, those breweries, wineries and even distilleries can set up shop near the Downtown City Park, a first for the area.  

"I think it's great," said Reilly Newman, a Paso Robles business owner. "It's going to cultivate a really solid downtown vibe."  

Newman says the new additions could also mean job growth for the area.  

City Planner Susan DeCarli says the zoning change was in response to interest from the business community and the public.  

The success of SLO Brew in San Luis Obispo and Atascadero's Tent City was also a driving factor behind the change.   

"These are small production craft breweries that support their local downtown areas and Paso Robles wants to be a part of that," DeCarli said.  

Decarli adds that these types of businesses will also attract foot traffic.  

The rezoned area includes 8th to 16th Streets between Spring Street and the Union Pacific Railroad.

Paso Robles resident Corrine Applebaum has one concern.  

"The parking situation downtown is already problematic and when you add businesses, that needs to be addressed," she said.  

CaliPaso Winery CEO Jaime Glenn says they will welcome their new neighbors with open arms. 

"We've seen in the last six months a lot of travelers that have come here and are not going to Napa, Sonoma, and to have other options is a good thing," Glenn said.   

"Paso does have awesome restaurants but I think adding to that list and people coming here for beer and wine is always good," Newman concluded.  

DeCarli says at least six businesses are interested in making the move to downtown. 

Right now, there is no cap on how many new businesses can in.  During the Feb. 6 City Council meeting, the topic will be open for a public hearing. If that's successful, there will be a 30-day window before it becomes effective. March 8 is the earliest date a new business could open.  

The City Council approved zoning changes to allow wine tasting at the future Paso Market Place between 17th and 19th Streets. 

Businesses more than 10,000 square feet will require a conditional use permit and that will need to be approved by the Planning Commission.

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