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Parking lot closure in downtown Pismo Beach leaves some local businesses frustrated

PISMO PARKING LOT .jpg
Posted at 6:27 PM, Jun 26, 2023

The closure of a parking lot in downtown Pismo Beach has left some local businesses frustrated.

This comes after the City of Pismo Beach and the property owner were unable to reach an agreement to keep the lot open for public use.

The parking lot was closed on May 1, adding to the ongoing problem of parking in the downtown area.

“It's just gotten awful. The parking has gotten awful. It's gotten worse instead of better," said Pismo Beach business owner Roger Tomasko.

“We've been here seven years, and the only real complaint that I hear from any of our customers is that there's not enough parking and that they have to drive around half an hour, 40 minutes to find a spot," said Ashtie's Beach Shack owner Bob Wexler.

 Some local businesses were even more upset after the parking lot that offered 75 parking spaces was closed for public use.

“This is peak season — the next two and a half months. We couldn't have lost those parking spaces at a worse time," Tomasko added.

Tomasko has been a business owner in Pismo Beach for more than 30 years.

“We're losing a lot of business because we don't have any parking like we used to have," he said.

The lot is privately owned. According to the Pismo Beach city manager, the city was leasing it for public parking but no longer.

KSBY News reached out to the current property owner for comment. He said his family has partnered with the city to provide parking for the past 15 years but this year, negotiations hit a snag.

In an emailed statement, Joey Wolosz said, “I accepted without negotiation all terms except for one item. The City of Pismo Beach wanted to remove the clause that excluded eminent domain, meaning they could take the property through a procedure known as eminent domain.”

In response, the city manager told KSBY the city does not comment on negotiations.

Wolosz also said he has contacted the Chamber of Commerce and business owners to try to find a solution and be able to reopen the lot to the public.

City officials say plans for a parking structure, as discussed back in 2020, are not currently active.