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Community Development

SALINAS RIVER CORRIDOR

Project Updates

October 21, 2013 - The Trib featured an article on the release of the draft Salinas River Trail Master Plan. See - www.sanluisobispo.com/2013/10/20/2743027/happy-trails-beside-the-salinas.html

The Draft Master Plan can be downloaded here: www.salinasrivertrail.com/draft-master-plan/

Significant stakeholder, general public and steering committee input contributed to development of the draft plan. The plan includes alignments for various types of trail users through each community. These include informal trails through river bottom areas for equestrians, to more groomed trails for hikers and runners, on up to paved improvements for bicyclists. Some sections are also planned along public roads where there is no feasible alternative.

The "vision" crafted at the first public workshop seamlessly integrates with the City’s “Salinas River Vision”.

It states:

"The future Salinas River Trail will provide North County with access and views to river valley natural open space. The trail will be designed for both transportation and recreation, will be safe for pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians alike, and will be respectful of the environment and private property. The trail’s connectivity and accessibility, along with its well-maintained amenities, will be a draw for both residents and tourists that will provide economic benefits and an educational link to the Salinas River’s habitat, history and culture."

SLOCOG will presenting an overview of the project at the Planning Commission meeting on November 12th and City Council on November 19th. The SLOCOG Board will be considering adoption of the plan at their December 5th meeting.

As a regional plan, the City does not need to adopt it, however there may be certain portions that could be incorporated into other City plans in the future such as General Plan Land Use, Circulation, Open Space and Recreation Elements, the Economic Strategy and Bicycle Master Plan.  Implementation of river connections is expected to take years to achieve - having a plan in place will help support our efforts for grant opportunities for future improvements.

Bike/Pedestrian Trail

At the May 15, 2012 meeting, City Council approved a new section of (grant-funded) River trail between Navajo Avenue and 13th Street. The all-purpose 8' wide concrete trail now connects the Larry Moore Park river trail to the trail head at the 13th Street bridge.

Charolais Trail - Click to Enlarge

A separate trail project, largely grant-funded, was also just completed and connects the Larry Moore park river trail to the Charolais Road trail via the unimproved westerly section of Charolais Road. This creates a loop extending from the 13th Street Bridge south through the river to the east across Charolais Road up to Creston Road walkways.

Pedestrians and cyclists can now go from 13th Street to Charolais Road without using surface streets!

Salinas River (illustration)The community has connected the vision of an enhanced river corridor where conservation, recreation and enhancements to the natural habitat are all possible.

2010's success story was acquiring the 154 acre Salinas River Parkway Preserve with over $1.5 million in State grant funds. That purchase would not have been possible without the matching funds generated in previous years by the Paso Robles Festival of the Arts.

In 2011 additional land was acquired that will make way for construction of the River Road trail connection between the Niblick and 13th Street bridges. Also, grant funds have been secured for trail and restoration enhancements that will connect Charolais Road walking trails with the River Parkway trail.

2012 marks the completion of the Bike/Pedestrian trail that allows residents and visitors a safe, scenic way to cross Paso Robles and completes the first phase of the 40-mile alignment of walking/biking trails that will connect San Miguel to Santa Margarita.

Click here to see an interactive Salinas River Corridor Map
Salinas River Corridor Map - Click to View

Salinas River Parkway Grant

Download the Parkway Grant Final Report Presentation
(March 21, 2011)

Download the Salinas River Parkway Grant Final Report
(December 2010; revised February 2011)
Attachments and Figures are available for viewing at City Hall (1000 Spring Street, Upstairs) or for purchase on CD for $15.

Summary of the City's Final Report:

  • What we said we would do
  • We actually did
  • How we did it
  • What we learned

Land Management Plan

Adopted June 15, 2010

The recent act of acquiring the property brings new opportunity and stewardship responsibility to the City. The Land Management plan provides the framework to identify and prioritize water quality enhancement actions over the next ten years as funding can be made available.

Paso Robles Celebrates River Land Acquisition at the 2010 Festival of the Arts!

What started as a dream came to reality May 19, 2010, when escrow closed on the 154-acre parcel along the river. The parcel was sold by the John Will Family and represents the largest parcel the City has purchased to date as part of the Salinas River Vision plan to preserve open space along the river.

Perhaps the most unique aspect of the purchase was the fact that a community event was conceived in 2009 to help generate required match funds for the multi-million dollar State Water Resources grant, saving the City of Paso Robles and its taxpayers a sizable amount of money while preserving lands for future community use. The inaugural Festival of the Arts in 2009 was conceived as a way to meet many stated community goals bringing culture to the downtown, adding an event to the Memorial Day Weekend calendar and, most importantly in a time of shrinking budgets, providing a strong basis for the grant match. By honoring the river as its focus, the Festival was able to contribute directly to the success of the River Parkway Grant effort and amassed $217,000 in matching funds in the form of sponsorship donations, volunteer time, advertising and logistic dollars spent. The amount generated by the Festival represents over a third of the required match.

The community laid out its vision for the river during a multi-day community design workshop in 2005, and the result was the Salinas River Corridor Project, dubbed “Follow the River, Follow the Dream”. The vision includes preservation of river habitat and key vistas, enhanced recreational trail systems and public access, improved public art and educational opportunities to learn of the Salinas River’s habitat and history, a redeveloped urban edge at Paso Robles Street, and new connections to the downtown core. Read Press Release.

Salinas River Parkway Grant

Salinas River View - Photo by L. WernerOn April 18, 2007 the project team (Meg Williamson- Assistant City Manager, D.J. Funk- Upper Salinas-Las Tablas Resource Conservation District, Holly Sletteland – Upper Salinas-Las Tablas Resource Conservation District, and Karen Frankel – Trust for Public Land) gave a presentation outlining the background and context for the grant project as well as an overview of grant project scope. View Salinas River Parkway Grant Presentation [pdf:1.5mb/38pp] here.

Community Open House

The Project Team held an Open House for the community as a briefing and clarification opportunity. The outcomes for this event were as follows:

  • Clear understanding of past planning for Salinas River project
  • Clearly defined planning area and shared vision for the Salinas River
  • Unveiling of draft Illustrative Vision!
  • Showcase project accomplishments to date
  • Clear understanding of next step

View Open House Presentation [pdf:5.6mb/36pp]

Workshop: Fall 2005

In 2003 the City of Paso Robles was the recipient of a grant from National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservations Assistance (RTCA) Program. The grant enabled the City to conduct a public outreach and community visioning effort for the Salinas River Corridor Master Plan (Follow the River – Follow the Dream).Open Water - Illustration from Salinas River Parkway Workshop

The initial community outreach efforts were so successful that the City Council established a working budget for a project dedicated to improving the Salinas River Corridor.

Through the continued outreach that followed, community members throughout Paso Robles and the county shared their thoughts and visions about a revitalized river corridor.

Salinas River Project - Photo by L. WernerThe community input was collected and from the input culminated a 3-day Design Workshop (Follow the River, Follow the Dream) in October 2005. Read more and see images from the Salinas River Workshop: Fall 2005 [pdf:2.6mb/44pp]

Contact The Project Team

Questions?
Contact the Project Team at (805) 237-3888
City of Paso Robles

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