Paso Robles to pay back some faulty parking tickets, but not all

February 18, 2024


After agreeing their downtown paid parking program was not legally set up, the Paso Robles City Council plans to refund parking tickets given in the past 12 months. In addition, city staff is recommending the city council vote Tuesday to reconfigure the paid parking program in accordance with state law.

After pausing the paid program last week, the city voided all unpaid parking citations.

In 2019, the city enacted the paid parking program. Last year, the city collected $440,00 for parking tickets in the downtown core.

While the city is voiding all unpaid downtown parking tickets, it is only refunding tickets paid in the past 12 months. In addition, the city is requiring those who paid the illicit tickets to fill out and submit a refund request.

“Refunds are only being issued for fees paid to park in the downtown and parking citations issued and paid for failure to pay to park in the downtown between the period of Feb. 6, 2023 trough Feb. 6, 2024,” according to the staff report.

The city council voted 3-2 in November to continue the controversial downtown paid parking program while canceling the first two hours of free parking and lowering the hourly rate to $1.

However, a CalCoastNews investigation revealed the city’s paid parking ordinance violated state law.

In 2018, the city council adopted Ordinance 12.42.020, which states that “parking zones shall be established by the city council by ordinance or resolution, which may include the establishment of time limits and/or parking rates for such zones.” Since then, the city council has set parking rates through either resolutions or discussion items.

However, the California Vehicle Code requires that municipalities only set or change parking rates through an ordinance, according to California Vehicle Code 22508(a).


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So how will the people outside the area know to do this? Sounds like they’re planning on keeping the lions share of the fines.

Duh! And furthermore, this ‘extremely wonderful – pride of the Central Coast’ parking fiasco will continue. Will never pay for itself, let alone pay back the >$1M ‘loaned’ from general fund.