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Paso Robles City Council approves plans to repurpose youth facility

Paso Robles leaders want to buy the vacant 160-acre El Paso de Robles Youth Correctional Facility from the state, but not for the $4.8 million price. The city is considering various uses for the property, which has been vacant since 2008, including a homeless services site or a Salvation Army center.
Paso Robles leaders want to buy the vacant 160-acre El Paso de Robles Youth Correctional Facility from the state, but not for the $4.8 million price. The city is considering various uses for the property, which has been vacant since 2008, including a homeless services site or a Salvation Army center. Tribune file photo

Plans to repurpose the long-vacant Paso Robles youth correctional facility moved forward Tuesday, when City Council members gave the proposal their stamp of approval.

Mayor Steve Martin and Councilman Steve Gregory discussed their plans with other council members, who voted unanimously to authorize city staff to look into ideas for site reuse.

Martin and Gregory’s proposal would involve acquiring the 155-acre former site of the El Paso de Robles Youth Correctional Facility near Airport and Dry Creek roads from the state for a nominal price. The city would then lease parts of the land to various agencies and nonprofit groups to use for educational and recreational facilities, homeless transitional and affordable housing and an ethanol production plant.

The Cal Fire maintenance facility that takes up about 16 acres of the site would remain.

County Supervisor John Peschong and 35th District Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham have both expressed their support for the idea.

After receiving the council’s support, Martin planned to present his proposal to state officials in Sacramento during a League of California Cities conference.

Lindsey Holden: 805-781-7939, @lindseyholden27

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