Atascadero City Council discusses objective design standards

ATASCADERO—The Atascadero City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 6 p.m. The hybrid meeting was held in the City Council Chambers.

The agenda for the evening passed unanimously.

Councilmember Mark Dariz pulled Item 4, Ordinance Adopting Standards for the Implementation of SB 9: Urban Dwelling Lots and Urban Lot Splits, from the Consent Calendar, citing a conflict and saying that he shouldn’t vote on the item. Councilmember Charles Bourbeau pulled Item 5, Contract for Animal Care and Control Services for Fiscal Years 2022-2025.


Items 1 through 3 on the Consent Calendar passed unanimously. Item 4 passed without Dariz voting. After a few questions to staff were answered, Item 5 also passed unanimously.

Community Development Director Phil Dunsmore, Senor Planner Kelly Gleason, and MIT Consultant Genevieve Sharrow brought the Objective Design Standard Project Update before the council. This was a discussion-only topic.

“We’re throwing a lot at the wall tonight with the hopes of getting somewhere, and that somewhere is us being able to have the instructions to be able to bring back an ordinance amendment to this City Council that adopts a set of design standards that can give surety to both development community and the staff — and to give us a little bit of streamlining, while at the same time have us comply with the Housing Accountability Act,” said Dunsmore at the beginning of the presentation.

Last year, staff came before the council and discussed objective design standards. They discussed what design characters need to be fostered in Atascadero. The consultant team and staff came up with six key project goals.

“Just a couple of months ago [July 12 meeting], we spoke with council about those and refined those down to five key goals,” said Sharrow.

Those goals are Eclectic, Flexibility, Pedestrian Vitality, Transitions, and High-Quality Outdoor Space. 

Sharrow continued her presentation with five items of design standards, giving the council a broad scope of things to give their opinions on after she was finished. 

Open space, parking, building height, building size/fractional density, site planning and setbacks, and building facade design were all discussed in detail at the meeting, and the council gave direction on all five points.

“Thank you for all the feedback tonight. This has been really, really helpful,” Dunsmore said. “To summarize, there were a couple different options on this, and I assume that right now we have a direction for staff to go ahead and start formulating a draft set of objectives design standards.”

The next step in the ordinance will be to take it before the Planning Commission.

Deputy Economic and Community Development Director Loreli Cappel then gave a presentation on the Contract Award for North County Broadband Strategic Plan Project.

The City of Atascadero is partnering with the City of Paso Robles on the North County Broadband Strategic Plan Project. 

The contract was awarded to Teleworx with a unanimous vote.

The next Atascadero City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 6 p.m.