Chief Masterson addressed citizen concerns regarding homeless 

ATASCADERO — Atascadero City Council held a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Jun. 22, at 6 p.m. for open session. The meeting opened with approval of the consent agenda. 

The City Manager, Rachelle Rickard, highlighted the. Upcoming Pub Crawl, which will take place on Friday, Jul. 9 at 5 p.m. in downtown Atascadero and will feature a dozen of the town’s beer, cider, and wine businesses. 

Next, Rickard turned the mic over to Chief Masterson, spoke on the recent events in the town, and addressed citizen concerns. He addressed the homeless population in town, highlighting the different types, needs, and how the police force is handling and monitoring the situations. 

Getting through this together, Atascadero

The Del Rio Ranch General Plan was presented to the council. The proposed Del Rio Ranch project is a master-planned tourist, entertainment, and residential focused development that incorporates RV lodging, a hotel, an outdoor amphitheater, a conference center, and residential uses on a 26-acre site within the Del Rio Road Commercial Area Specific Plan. The project includes tiered Master Plan approvals, which will allow additional review of development details for each project phase prior to construction. The concept includes:

  • 3.6 net acres of residential multi-family zoned property (an increase of 0.6 – 0.8 acres / up to 19 additional units)
  • A tourist-serving resort including 4.25 acres of RV sites, 1.8 additional acres of glamping areas, and a 100-room hotel (glamping is defined as lodging sites developed with permanently affixed lodging structures that comply with the California Building Code).
  • An amphitheater designed to accommodate performing arts, community events, and small music venues with seating capacity for 300 
  • A 15,000 square-foot conference center 
  • A 30,000 square-foot entertainment center 
  • 24,000 square feet of mixed-use buildings 
  • A parking garage

The project will be phased in four phases, with estimated beginning date for the final phase as of December 2023.

Public comment on the item expressed support and appreciation for the job and housing opportunities that the project creates, which is critical not only for the city to grow but especially in light of the setbacks from COVID19.

The council discussed the possibility of affordable housing within the complex, and the majority expressed interest in affordable by design, though acknowledged that it may not be feasible and that the affordability may have to be related to the deed restrictions. 

Councilmember Charles Bourbeau expressed concern over what would happen if businesses, such as the hotel, weren’t able to filled, which staff did explain that there are already negotiations with an interested party, and should anything fall through, it would still be in everyone’s interest to utilize the spaces available to generate income both for the community and the development.

Additionally, the council voted to remove the CFD that was created originally for the previous project designated for the location while ensuring that there would still be enforcement of the items that need to be enforced on the property.

The council addressed the interim use permits, which all agreed while it may have concerns, everyone was in favor of supporting as it would help to move the project along and not risk a project that stopped halfway through production.

After lengthy discussion over the large project presented to the council, Mayor Heather Moreno moved adoption of draft resolution A and introduced for first reading by title only with the changes noted, and adopt resolution B as amended by staff for conditions for 100c and 101, including D, and then to also include the language with regards to the affordable housing, and to remove the CFD but to continue to ensure that there is enforcement of maintaining the property. Councilmember Bourbeau seconded the motion. The motion passes 5-0.

The council then moved on to a hearing for the adopting sewer service charges to be added to the 2021-2022 property tax rolls. The city collects the fees for the sewer charges on the property taxes. The motion was approved 5-0.

The last item on the agenda was the community facilities district 2005-1 annexation No. 23, which staff recommended that council continue the public hearing to the Jul. 13 City Council Meeting to allow staff additional time to fulfill the legal noticing requirement. Public comment was opened and will remain open until the Jul. 13 meeting.

The council then went to closed session, and the next meeting will be held on Jul. 16 at 6 p.m. and the links to the meeting and agenda when it becomes available can be found on the city’s website.