Atascadero declares April as Sexual Assault Action Month

ATASCADERO—The Atascadero City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, April 26, at 6 p.m. The hybrid meeting was held in the City Council Chambers and followed the council’s 5 p.m. closed session.

The Agenda for the evening was approved unanimously.

Mayor Pro Tem Heather Newsom gave a proclamation declaring April as Sexual Assault Action Month. 


“Whereas Sexual Assault Action Month calls attention to the fact that sexual violence is widespread and impacts every person in Atascadero,” Newsom stated at the start of the proclamation. “Whereas, Rise and Stand Strong officially merged on July 1, 2021, to form Lumina Alliance, an agency that serves survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence throughout all of San Luis Obispo County. Whereas, although progress has been made toward preventing and ending sexual violence and providing support to survivors and their families, important work remains to be done.” 

Lumina Alliance provides a safe environment for individuals affected by sexual violence, providing crisis intervention, counseling, education, legal services, and emergency safe-housing. The nonprofit has provided services to over 935 people with the help of volunteers and professionals in the last year.

“The city of Atascadero strongly supports the efforts of Lumina Alliance,” the proclamation continued later. 

Jennifer Adams, the CEO of Lumina Alliance, was in attendance to receive the proclamation from the council. 

“Our mission is to empower those impacted by sexual and intimate partner violence through innovative advocacy, healing, and prevention programs,” Adams said. “During the month of April, we work to engage in conversation with our community, to educate and dispel myths around sexual assault, and to foster a culture that supports survivors.”

Mayor Heather Moreno told the public that the call-in number for meetings has changed, and in addition, there is now an ID number as well. The new number is (669) 900-6833. The Meeting ID number is 88923479018.

The complete Consent Calendar passed unanimously after Councilmember Susan Funk pulled item number 4: Revision (or Update) to Deed Restriction Requirements on Affordable Housing Moderate-Income Unit Resale, with a question. 

During Community Forum, multiple community members expressed their concern over motorcycles and other off-road vehicles on the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail. 

“This particular issue came to light, at least to my office, probably about 30 days ago when I received an email from one of your constituents,” said Police Chief Bob Masterson in regards to the trail. “Since then, we’ve done over 20 patrol checks of the area, [and] we’ve responded to two particular calls about motorcycle riders in the river bed.” 

A Public Hearing was held on the Centennial Plaza Planned Development Zone Change (ZCH) 22-0022 – 5901 East Mall. Community Development Director Phil Dunsmore gave the presentation. 

“I’d like to talk tonight about another step in the process towards the future of Centennial Plaza and the vacant parcels that surround it,” Dunsmore started.

Lots 12 through 17, which surround Centennial Plaza, were discussed at the meeting. Each of the lots is about 25 feet wide and 100 feet deep. In addition, the council looked at the Master Plan of Development. Ground floor and second story options, as well as specs on what the project could look like, were part of the presentation. 

The draft ordinance also included wording about including public restrooms in the new build. After much deliberation on the matter of public restrooms, it was agreed to change the language of the ordinance from “open to the public” to include “open to the public for hours to be determined by the City.”

The motion passed with the addition of the new language. 

Administrative Services Director

Jeri Rangel gave the Receive and File Management Report on Atascadero’s Fiscal Update.

“Because of our financial strategy, we have been insulated somewhat and have actually been building up in some areas that were unexpected,” Rangel said of the city’s finances. As a result, the city is on target currently, she said. 

Masterson gave a Management Report on the AB 481 – Military Equipment Policy. 

“It requires that the city Police Department prepare a military use policy to be presented before the council, which needs to be approved in order for us to use any military type of equipment,” said Masterson. 

Funk, along with Joe Dzvonik of the SLO County Social Services Department, gave a presentation to the council on the San Luis Obispo Countywide Strategy to Address Homelessness, asking for their feedback as the strategy moves forward.

The council thanked both Funk and Dzvonik for their presentation.

The next Atascadero City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 10, at 6 p.m