City recognizes Sexual Assault Action Month with a proclamation for Lumina Alliance 

ATASCADERO—The Atascadero City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, April 25, at 6 p.m. The hybrid meeting was held in the City Council Chambers.

The Agenda and the Consent Calander passed unanimously.

In a proclamation given by Mayor Heather Moreno, the council recognized the month of April as Sexual Assault Action Month. The proclamation was presented to Lumina Alliance.

“Thank you so very much, Mayor Moreno and all of you on the City Council. I am immensely proud of Lumina Alliance and the work that we do,” said Lumina Alliance’s Chief People and Culture Officer Sam Gottlieb.

Deputy Director of Economic and Community Development Loreli Cappel then gave the council a management report on the North County Broadband Strategic Plan.

“Staff was directed to further enhance the broadband internet infrastructure in Atascadero. It’s become increasingly more important as a lot of our people in our community are using the internet for remote work,” Cappel said. “As you know, in online learning, every child has a Chrome Book now for school to do their homework on. Telehealth doctors appointments, all of those great things, virtual meetings. So the goal is to work towards a widespread deployment of broadband that gives users, all of our users in the community, higher speeds, more reliable internet, and more affordable internet too.”

The plan was finalized in late March after six months of planning before coming before the council.

To prepare the data, a speed test program was done. 326 speed tests were performed in 237 locations, and the results were that 17 percent of Atascadero is unserved, 72 percent is underserved, and 11 percent is fully served with internet.

The motion passed unanimously to approve the North County Broadband Strategic Plan.

Community Development Director Phil Dunsmore then addressed the council on Affordable Housing Incentives: Phase 1.

“Right now, what we’re asking council of is to allow us to develop and bring back a policy that’s going to allow for a fee deferment for qualifying residential projects that fit the affordable categories,” stated Dunsmore. 

The city has been receiving requests for deferments but currently does not have a policy in regard to deferments.

“What does this program look like? It’s a long-term low-interest loan, essentially, that defers payment of development impact fees and wastewater capacity charges. That’s the recommendation,” Dunsmore added. 

The discussion included preparing a letter to People’s Self-Help Housing, committing to offer a deferral for the Del Rio Ridge project, which includes affordable housing for Atascadero.

Councilmember Susan Funk authorized staff to prepare a letter to People’s Self-Help Housing that commits the City to offering an impact fee deferral for the Del Rio Ridge Affordable Housing Project with terms to be determined by staff using the guidance of council. 

The motion passed unanimously.

The council then went over the Draft Action Plan in a Study Session format. This was solely a discussion item that covered these four key focus areas:

  1. Downtown Vitality
  2. Activation of Underutilized Sites and Nodes
  3. Business Support and Jobs/Housing Balance
  4. Neighborhood Compatibility and Wellness.

During the Downtown Vitality portion, both Karen McNamara and Sheila New from the Atascadero Printery Foundation addressed the council on the importance of the Printery building is to the town of Atascadero. 

The council talked about ways to help the Printery during the meeting, but as it was not an action item, it was only discussed.

The next Atascadero City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 9, at 6 p.m.