Paso Robles restaurants face deadline to request parklet extension

The deadline is looming for businesses in downtown Paso Robles to decide whether the parklets should stay a little longer or leave.

The whole parklet concept in Paso Robles was adopted during the pandemic.

Now businesses have two weeks to decide whether they want to extend their parking permits for an additional 90 days or have their parks removed on November 1.

Makeshift outdoor rest areas found all around the heart of Paso Robles have served as a lifeline for struggling local restaurants during COVID-19 closures, restrictions and uncertainty.

“Well for us it was a lifeline, you know, for all the restaurants, and we appreciated that the city allowed us to be able to take these parking spaces,” said Andre Averseng, chef. / owner of Paso Terra Seafood Restaurant. .

The police department says 60 parking spaces are used for parklets throughout the city center.

Paso Terra is just one of 23 companies that are currently using the outdoor dining option on the city streets.

“Otherwise, we could have been closed a long time ago,” Averseng said.

The city says that due to the recent wave of Delta variants, it is giving businesses the option to extend the life of their parklets until January 31 of next year.

Some restaurateurs we spoke with say the parklets should stay beyond this timeframe because they not only benefit businesses, but give the city center a European flair.

“I think it’s a wonderful idea,” said Janet Vonfreymann of Nipomo. “I wish they did it everywhere and I hope they keep it.”

Critics have said that parklets are an eyesore and consume too much parking.

Others say that while some parklets end up sticking around for good, creating more visually appealing structures would be ideal for the downtown area.

“I think if we could reduce the footprint of parklets where they are needed and increase their aesthetic and positive integration, if they were to expand, that would be the best bet,” said Mary Uebersax, owner of a downtown retail store.

Businesses have until October 18 to apply for an extension of their parking permit. Otherwise, it will be deleted on November 1.

Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement