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Paso Robles kicks off ‘Paso Talks’ focusing on community issues

Posted at 10:30 PM, Sep 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-06 01:30:44-04

The population of Paso Robles is expected to grow to 44,000 people by 2045. The city wants to engage the community and ask for input on how it will look and function.

Growth and traffic kicked off the series of forums called "Paso Talks" and it highlighted concerns from people who live there.

After an hour presentation from both Warren Frace, Community Development Director, and Dave Athey, City Traffic Engineer, residents asked questions and pointed out issues ranging from vacation rentals to maintaining roads.

"We’re ramping up tremendously. Our growth rate for visitors is ramping up significantly," said one man.

"We’re falling apart," said another. "I don’t know what priority you guys have on fixing roads, but it’s getting pretty bad out there."

More than 60 attended the first of six planned meetings in the month of September. 

To achieve housing for a population of 44,000 by 2045, plans call for the construction of more than 5,000 new housing units.

A number of proposals are underway, some further along than others, but all are consistent with the general plan.

"Now these proposals, now there is a lot of interest," said Tom Frutchey, Paso Robles City Manager. "[Residents asking] ‘What does this mean? Will we have a lot more traffic? should their be a third bridge over the river? How do we handle the growth and keep what’s special about Paso Robles?’"

Tourism remains a sizeable chunk of Paso’s city budget. According to Frutchey, visitors pay 34% of it with 1.2 million traveling through town each year.

The city will tackle other issues like public safety, water, financial future and the vision for parks and rec. 

"These are the key issues the community has identified in the surveys over the past year that they want to know more about and ensure that as the community goes forward, it meets their goals and objectives and we address the problems," Frutchey said.

The issue of vacation rentals and their regulations are on the radar but the city doesn’t have a final solution on them yet.

All of the forums will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Paso Talks schedule:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 5
    • Topic: Growth and traffic
    • Location: City Council Chambers
  • Thursday, Sept. 13
    • Topic: Public safety and disaster preparedness
    • Location: Public Safety Center – EOC Main, 900 Park St.
  • Monday, Sept. 17
    • Topic: Water
    • Location: City Council Chambers
  • Wednesday, Sept. 19
    • Topic: Tourism
    • Location: La Bellasera Hotel & Suites, 206 Alexa Ct.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 26
    • Topic: City finances and financial future
    • Location: City Council Chambers
  • Thursday, Sept. 27
    • Topic: Vision for library, recreation and parks
    • Location: Public Safety Center – EOC Main, 900 Park St.