Atascadero paddleboarders may soon have a new place to hone their skills.
The City Council approved the first reading of an amendment that would allow paddleboarding on Atascadero Lake. The amendment would add a paddleboarding provision to a 1985 ordinance prohibiting surfboardlike vessels on the lake, which was meant to outlaw windsurfing activities, according to a staff report.
The city in 2016 granted Friends of Atascadero Lake an exemption to allow paddleboarding at the organization’s Lakefest event in May. After the event’s success, the group and the paddleboarding community asked the city to consider changing the ordinance to allow the activity on the lake.
City Manager Rachelle Rickard said the city doesn’t want swimmers in the lake, but paddleboarding, especially stand-up paddleboarding, doesn’t require much contact with the water. She also said paddleboarding has become more popular over the years. The amendment would take effect after the council approves a second reading at its next meeting.
Paul Murphy, president of Friends of Atascadero Lake, said paddleboarding is “one more way to get out on the lake,” especially because the lake is now full for the first time in seven years. He said he could envision paddleboards joining the canoes, kayaks and paddleboats that residents already use to enjoy the lake.
“The lake itself is kind of an ideal place to learn to use a paddleboard because it’s not very windy,” Murphy said. “It’s not like the ocean.”