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Property owners near the Mid-State Fair charge to park in their space. Is it allowed?

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Posted at 1:56 AM, Jul 26, 2023

Every year parking at the California Mid-State Fair remains a huge concern for fairgoers.

Organizations and local residents open up their yards and private property to help with parking and also make some extra cash.

But is that allowed? According to Paso Robles Police Department, yes.

“You see a lot of people renting out their dirt lot or their backyards. Typically, a lot of times we're seeing nonprofit groups use this as fundraising, which is perfectly fine. The city doesn't really get involved. It is private property. They can choose to rent it out as they please," said Corporal Reid Goeckner with Paso PD.

Some visitors say they don't mind paying to park in those areas.

“They are locals. They want to, you know, profit off of it and it's okay because a lot of tourists do come here, especially with the concerts going on at night," said Brenda Amador, visiting from Monterey County.

 While property owners are allowed to make some extra cash using their space, public street parking in front of their homes can not be blocked off.

“What we tend to see issues with is on-street parking. A lot of residents are blocking off certain spots due to fair parking. They won't have a spot to come back to. Unfortunately, we know this is a pretty big concern for them since they do live there, but it is a public right of way, so they're not allowed to block off any spots in the street or try to sell the spots in front of their house." explained Goeckner.

“Well, I'm all for it. I'm all for charging on the street to help the families out, to help our income. Why is it such a big deal it's just once a year? It’s not like we’re making people pay every day?" said Paso Robles resident, Steve Spence

Paso Robles PD says they will issue citations where needed but want everyone to have a good time.

“A good way to look at that would be like, where's the curb start? Where's the sidewalk? Obviously anything that has a curb and there's pavement next, it probably would be street parking and obviously people aren't allowed to park on the sidewalk. So a lot of these people who are doing their paid parking on their private property have some type of fence line up, usually on the property line," added Goeckner.