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Paso Robles to put some developments in the city on hold, looking to increase housing

Posted at 11:29 PM, Oct 29, 2019

Paso Robles could be putting some developments on hold to help address the lack of housing in the city.

Tuesday night, the city council unanimously passed an urgency ordinance. It prevents property owners who own developments such as apartments or condos from converting their property into hotels and shopping centers.

Lack of housing is an issue statewide, and the city of Paso Robles says it's trying to add more living options, not lose any, by passing this emergency ordinance.

Darla Stephenson, a realtor and real estate investor in the city says it could affect property owners and their rights.

"On what somebody, an owner can or can't do with their property. They purchase that property for one reason maybe to build whatever they planned on building the way the zoning was meant for the property. Now that's going to be taken away," said Darla Stephenson, Coldwell Banker.

City officials say since it's an emergency ordinance there hasn't been a lot of time for community feedback, but the plan is to help address a need in the city.

"We are required to plan for an additional 1,500 units over the next ten years and that's going to be an issue for us and as we're going through that process we want to make sure we don't lose any of our existing housing stock, existing apartment complexes throughout town," said Warren Frace, city of Paso Robles community development director.

City officials say once the ordinance is further explained he believes any potential concerns will be addressed, but Stephenson remains on the fence about the potential change to the housing market.

"People that own property they buy it for a particular reason, and their rights are being taken away," said Cathy Anding-Wolfe, real estate agent.

The ordinance will affect about 70 properties, as the city works to meet a state mandate to provide more housing in the community.

The ordinance will be in effect for 45 days starting Wednesday, October 30 and it would give residents the chance to review before it could be extended in the future.

After the 45 days, a notice, and public hearing, the city council could extend the ordinance for up to one year.