Long-term city employees recognized for their work

ATASCADERO—The Atascadero City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 6 p.m. The hybrid meeting was held in the City Council Chambers and lasted until after 1 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

At the beginning of the meeting, the agenda passed unanimously. 

The meeting then went into the council, recognizing city employees for their hard work in Atascadero. City Manager Jim Lewis talked about each of the employees being honored.


“One of the best, neatest things about being city manager is working alongside amazing people, and when you get to recognize them for their years of service and their commitment to our community that we love, it doesn’t get much better than that,” stated Lewis. 

He started by bringing up service award winners who have worked for the city for five years, including Fire Engineer/Paramedic Kyle Nakazawa, Public Safty Dispatcher Adam Medina, Permit Technician Jessica Applegate, and Police Corporal Marc Nobriga. He then brought Recreaction Coordinator Patti Deirmenjian, who has 10 years under her belt. Police Corporal Christopher Hester was honored for his 15 years on the force, while Police Corporal Scott Pipan and Police Commander Jason Carr were honored for 20 years of service. Lewis also announced that Carr would be retiring in November. Lewis then pulled Police Sergeant Jeff Wilshusen up to recognize his 25 years working to protect Atascadero.

“They are how we do everything that we do and why this is such an amazing community that we all live in. So, thank you all,” said Mayor Heather Moreno at the end of the acknowledgments.  

The council also proclaimed Oct. 8 through 14, as Fire Prevention Week and delivered the proclamation to the Atascadero Fire Department. 

The Consent Calendar passed after item 2, Ordinance Regulating Camping in Areas of the City, and item 3, Formation of New Positions and Reclassification of Existing Positions Throughout the City, were pulled for questions by a member of the public. After the questions were addressed, the complete calendar passed unanimously. 

Later in the meeting, the City Council went into the first Public Hearing of the night, which was an Appeal of Grand Oaks Paseo Common Area Amendment. Senior Planner Kelly Gleason gave the initial presentation to the council. The proposed amendments were to the common amenities spaces of the complex. The property is zoned residential/multi-family at the rear of the site and commercial/retail at the front. The original project was approved in 2019, and construction began in 2020, with 50 percent of the units being complete.

“So this was the approved master plan of development for the project. They have two common amenity areas. There’s the community building located along El Camino Real, which they are proposing amendments to, as well as the central open space area that was under the large heritage oak trees that existed on the site at the time,” stated Gleason. “I also wanted you to note an additional unit, kind of at the center area of that common open space, which has not been constructed and which they are proposing to eliminate as part of their plan and put an additional amenity in that location.”

The revised proposal included removing the community building, large revisions to the common space area, and eliminating the proposed cottage in the open space.

Councilmember Charles Bourbeau stated he had concerns about the developer purchasing and improving other properties while Grand Oaks Paseo is still incomplete. The project is two years behind schedule.

“We are now on budget and back on schedule,” stated Applicant Cal Coastal Properties Ted Lawton. “Moving forward, we have now invited the community to join our weekly progress meetings every week on-site to help answer any questions and concerns that they might have. In addition, we send out two weekly project staff reports to our community members, city staff, and investors to keep everyone in the loop and up to date.” 

Public Comment was opened up. Investors and people who have bought houses they have not been able to move into spoke to the council. 

The council did not approve the Planning Commission Amendments and went back to the original plans that were approved prior to this meeting, including the completion of the community building.

“I move we adopt draft resolution B, reversing the Planning Commission’s actions and denying the changes,” said Bourbeau. 

The motion passed unanimously. The council also moved in a second motion that staff release certificates of occupancy to units 17 through 20 in exchange for a security or bond for the improvement to the open area. That motion was also approved.

The second appeal of the night was for the Conditional Use Permit for the RV Storage Facility. The land is owned by Atascadero Mutual Water Company (AMWC) and is within the Industrial Zone, adjacent to the Sycamore Industrial Park at 6805 Sycamore Road. The project would not affect the land as it stands. 

Nineteen residents stayed late into the night to address the council during public comment on the item. Many of them stated concerns about the effect that RVs stored on the property would have on the Salinas River, the light pollution that is bound to happen, and one member of the public even stated that she used to run an RV storage and the vandalism was extreme.

“I want to thank all of you for coming out tonight because while you can tell we’re going in the direction of upholding the decision, we are adding some additional conditions of approval, and that is because of this robust conversation we’ve had, and the input we’ve had from you as the public and we very much appreciate that,” Moreno said.

The RV storage was approved unanimously with the additional conditions slightly after 1 a.m.

The next Atascadero City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 6 p.m.