Even Now, There’s Great Things
Going On In Atascadero!

By: City Manager, Rachelle Rickard

For the past few months, and quite rightly so, we’ve all been so focused on the current worldwide COVID-19 pandemic crisis and its effects, we may not have noticed that there’s still a lot of really great things going on in our town. Even beyond the terrific sense of community pride, wonderful acts of volunteerism and beauty of spirit from so many that we’ve been witness to every day for the past several months, there’s also been a lot of great “regular” work that’s still going on, all around us.

The new and beautiful La Plaza project in the center of downtown is moving forward! This project has been moving full steam ahead, keeping their construction crews hard at work, and you can really start to visualize what a great addition this is going to be to the downtown. The framing and exterior shape of smaller building is nearing completion and framing of the larger building will start shortly. The project will then move forward with site improvements, such as the parking lot, street improvements, and landscaping. Construction of the La Plaza project will continue throughout this year and it is slated for completion in 2021. Thank you to Z Villages for this wonderful investment in our town!

The new Zoo Garden Event Center will be finished soon! Construction has progressed to electrical and lighting, audio/visual, and the roofing. The contractor is expecting to complete the structure by mid-June and then the exterior concrete flatwork and fencing will be completed. We expect that the entire project will be finalized by the end of July. This project is easily viewed from the Lake Park pathways, and it’s been a lot of fun watching the progress as it goes up. Once current restrictions are lifted to the degree necessary to allow its use, this will be a great new venue for a variety of events, including Zoo Education classes and many community gatherings to come.

The City’s 2020 Roads Projects are ongoing! The San Anselmo Road repair project, with repair and resurfacing work taking place between El Camino Real and Monterey Road, is now completed. This year’s Pavement Resurfacing Project, including the repair of sections of San Anselmo Road and Ardilla Road, is currently underway and we anticipate that the final touches on this particular section of roadway will be completed by the end of May. Additional roadway projects are scheduled to take place throughout the year and beyond.

These projects are just a small sample of some of the great work that’s been moving forward in town. The City of Atascadero is still THE place to be for businesses of all sizes. As our community moves forward through the recovery phases, we want all of our local businesses to be able to accomplish their safe reopening to the public as quickly and smoothly as possible. City staff will be happy to help guide you through any questions or concerns you may have, or will direct you to the resources you need.

Economic Development has always been and continues to be one of the Atascadero City Council’s uppermost priorities. Throughout this time of emergency sheltering and shutdown, our staff has continued to pursue plans and opportunities to attract business, help projects to move forward, retain and grow existing businesses, and to make our development process even quicker and easier to understand and work through. Through this time of historic upheaval to our business community, we have been and we will continue to be here to help.

As always, if you need to reach me about this or any other topic related to the City of Atascadero, please contact me at rrickard@atascadero.org.


City Manager, Rachelle Rickard

Rachelle Rickard is a native of California and a nearly 30 year resident of Atascadero. She graduated with a business degree from California Polytechnic (Cal Poly) State University in San Luis Obispo. In February 1997, She took a job as the Accountant with the City of Atascadero and was promoted to the position of Director of Administrative Services. At the time of her appointment to the position of Administrative Services Director for the City of Atascadero, she was the youngest person ever appointed to that role; she was also the first female Department Head ever appointed within the City. Rachelle Rickard was appointed to the position of City Manager of the City of Atascadero in June, 2013.