Parking in Avila Beach can be a hassle. Some say this permit change will help

Even on a Monday afternoon in late February parking is hard to find in Avila Beach.
Even on a Monday afternoon in late February parking is hard to find in Avila Beach. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

It’s difficult to find parking in Avila Beach on a warm weekend, even more so when events are held at nearby Avila Beach Golf Resort, local residents say.

They’ve asked San Luis Obispo County supervisors to require the golf course obtain event permits, with a condition that it provide free or lower-cost parking on site or require out-of-town parking.

When big events are held, attendees drive around town seeking cheaper alternatives to the $10 that’s recently been charged by the golf course, resident Kay Washborn with Concerned Citizens for Avila Beach told the board Tuesday. She said the “unpermitted events” cause congestion and safety issues.

In response to the concern and suggestions, the resort recently adjusted the on-site parking fee to $6, the same price as in the town’s main lot. In addition, parking can now be purchased ahead of time with a ticket for some events.

Resort owner Rob Rossi said charity events have been held at the resort for years, and they’ve worked to incentivise parking on-site by providing it free for designated drivers. They provide shuttles for larger events.

As for permits, he said he doesn’t believe they are required.

“We continue to operate as we assumed we could, and we do it safely and with respect to our neighbors,” Rossi said.

The county is looking into whether permits should be required for future events at the resort. It’s unclear if they already are, according to county assistant chief Guy Savage.

In 2004, the county Board of Supervisors gave a general approval for nonprofit events that had been held at the golf course, according to a 2005 letter from the county.

Savage said the county will study the history of the issue, and he expects to have some ideas for moving forward in the next few weeks.

Monica Vaughan: 805-781-7930, @MonicaLVaughan

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