Paso Robles leaders are making the city’s downtown area friendly to micro-breweries, distilleries and wineries.
The City Council recently approved changes to the zoning code for downtown areas, which previously prohibited businesses that produce alcohol on-site because they’re considered manufacturing facilities.
Council members also agreed to allow offices on the ground floor of buildings in a select area north of the center of town.
Susan DeCarli, a city planner, said the officials have observed successful smaller “micro” production facilities — sometimes paired with bars, tasting areas or restaurants — that have been successful in other communities. Wine tasting rooms are currently allowed downtown, just not businesses that actually make the wine that’s served.
As long as the manufacturing aspects of the businesses don’t become too large, breweries, distilleries and wineries could fit well in the downtown area, she said.
“Paso Robles is a pretty business-friendly community,” DeCarli said. “We’ve seen a lot of demand for these kind of uses.”
Offices will be allowed in a small area near the intersections of Pine and 14th and 15th streets. DeCarli said buildings near these intersections have some vacancies and haven’t attracted a lot of pedestrian traffic.
It’s also near a quieter residential area, so allowing offices on the ground floor would provide a transition to a different part of town, she said.