It’s been a topic of discussion for years...parking in the city of Paso Robles.
“It's a problem because we had a problem with the employees doing most of the parking downtown and taking the spaces. For 20 years we tried to get that voluntarily taken care of. It didn't happen. So that's when we instituted the paid parking," said Paso Robles councilman, Fred Strong.
The app used for parking in the downtown area has been discontinued effective February 10th of this year.
“We were only one of two cities that use that kind of an app. There were no other apps available that would allow any free parking," explained Strong.
Now visitors and locals have to use the pay stations to pay for parking. If no changes are made at the next meeting the council has already voted that on March 1st there will be no free parking, no parking app, and rates will go up to $2 per hour.
These changes caused residents in the area to express their concerns.
“The library is supposed to be free, a free resource for the people. Yet they're going to have to pay to go in there. And what about the people who are not as affluent or don't have as much money and they use those resources?," said Paso Robles resident, Lila McLean.
It’s not just locals it would impact, but people from surrounding communities as well like Templeton resident, Jeffrey Munks, who walks his dog in downtown Paso every day.
“If I'm coming down here just to pick up dinner that I've ordered at a store, at Street Side, or at Pappy's, or one of the many wonderful restaurants in town, I'm actually going to be required to go to the kiosk and key in and just to run in and pick up my dinner makes it a very difficult proposition and it's not friendly to the businesses in the area," said Munks.
Councilman Strong told KSBY the city council is looking for more data, including how effective it is and if it’s profitable.
“How do we solve the problem? That remains to be seen. I think on the 21st, we're going to begin to see what direction we're going to take," said Strong.
The city council urging community members to attend the February 21st meeting and voice their concerns. Something some locals are ready to do.
“I really think it's important for the people to show up and voice a concern. Try to keep it under control and like I said, the locals do not want it," said McLean.
“I'm going to dial in online. I very much I'm looking forward to participating in this conversation," added Munks.
The next city council meeting will take place on February 21st at 6:30 p.m. at 1000 Spring Street, City Council Chamber, Paso Robles, CA 93446.