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Frequently Asked Questions

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Welcome to the City's Frequently Asked Questions page where you can find answers to commonly inquired about topics. Explore the FAQ library below by keyword search or by filtering by department.

Am I able to get a street closed for a private event?

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Yes, please call (805) 470-3360 or email for more information.

Are accommodations being made for people on fixed incomes who can't afford a Wastewater (sewer) rate increase?

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Unfortunately, it is not possible to offer discounted rates to fixed income residents without making up the discount from some other source, and state law (Proposition 218) prohibits any property owner from being charged more than their proportional cost of service. In other words, the City can't subsidize some of its customers by overcharging other customers.

Are pets allowed at events?

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Pets are allowed at outdoor City events in accordance with Atascadero Municipal Code Sections 4-1.202 Leash law and 10-1.32 Animals and pets.

As a general rule, please keep the following in mind:
• Pets are not permitted at Zoo events.
• Pets must be controlled by a leash/bridle at all times (The leash/bridle is not to exceed 6 ft in length).
• Pet owners are responsible for picking up after their pets. Parks and public spaces should not be used as a waste area.

For dog friendly locations in Atascadero click here.

Are the pickleball courts at the Colony Park Community Center (CPCC) open to the public?

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Yes, the pickleball courts are available to the public Monday through Friday, 12:00 pm to dusk, and dawn to dusk on Saturdays & Sundays.

Are there restrictions on riding dirt bikes within city limits?

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Per 9-6.106(c) of the Atascadero Municipal Code, the following restrictions apply to riding dirt bikes within the city limits:

(c) Mini-bike, motorcycle, dirt bike or similar two (2) or more wheel motor vehicle riding is allowed subject to the following limitations:

(1) No more than two (2) such vehicles shall be operating at the same time.

(2) Operation is limited to a maximum of two (2) hours in a day—Limit applies even if only one (1) such vehicle is being operated.

(3) Operation is limited to a maximum of eight (8) hours in a week.

(i) This limit applies even if only one (1) such vehicle is operated.

(ii) A week shall be measured from Monday through Sunday.

(4) Notwithstanding the above, no such use shall be allowed prior to noon on Sundays.

(5) Any violations to the above-mentioned limitations are subject to cost recovery for responses to disturbances, as listed in Section 9-14.14.

Can I add something to my police report or have something changed?

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Content of reports cannot be changed once they are submitted for approval, however, any additional information or changes requested can be added in a supplemental report. Supplemental reports can be made by any officer regardless of who the initial reporting officer was. To make a supplemental report please contact Dispatch at (805) 461-5051.

Can I build an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)/ second unit on my property?

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The City recently adopted a new ADU ordinance that is consistent with State guidelines. For a quick overview, please see our ADU handout. For an estimate of fees associated with second units, please fill out a fee estimate form and return it to the Community Development Department.

View ADU Stock Plans.

If you have specific questions about second units, please contact the Planning Department at (805) 461-5035.

Can I find out if my neighbor has a permit?

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Current and recent permit activity can be searched by address through our Permit Services e-portal

Can I find out if there is an easement on my property and/or obtain a map of my property?

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The City normally does not keep easement information or the official "recorded" plot map of your property. You may contact the San Luis Obispo County Recorder's Office for information regarding easements and/or plot maps of your property.

For questions about utility easements, please contact the relevant utility company.

Can I have a recreational fire in my backyard?

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Recreational fires may be permitted in approved, non-combustible commercially built containers, measuring no more than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet tall, raised at least 6 inches off the ground with non-combustible legs and having a non-combustible spark arrestor screen with holes no larger than 1/4 inch. The ground beneath this container shall be clear of combustible material for 10 feet in diameter, and 10 feet away from combustible construction. The material being burned shall be wood only, and shall not include pressure treated lumber. A pre-connected garden hose shall be accessible.

Can I put a cargo container on my property?

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At least one gross acre is required in order to consider adding a cargo container in a residential zone. The container must be located in the rear half of the property and must be approved by the Design Review Committee. Containers over 120 square feet require a building permit. Two or more cargo containers may be permitted with a minor conditional use permit (CUP). See the Accessory Storage - Cargo Containers Handout for more information.

Can I put a garage sale sign on a stop sign or power pole?

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No, garage and yard sale signs are illegal to place in the City right-of-way in accordance with Atascadero Municipal Code Chapter 15, 9-15.006 Prohibited signs.

Can I rent Sunken Gardens or other City parks or facilities?

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For information on renting Sunken Gardens and other City parks and facilities, visit the City's Parks, Facilities and Trails page.

Can I split my lot?

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Lot splits are dependent on the zone in which your property is located. The City has various minimum lot sizes throughout the City. For more information about lot split regulations, please visit the City's What Can I Do With My Property & Home page.

Can someone else pick up my property from the police department?

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Yes. The owner must write a “letter of permission.” The letter should be dated and signed by the owner. It should give a specific person permission to retrieve the owner’s property. Example:

*Today’s Date

*Atascadero Police Property Unit,

*My name is John Smith. I am currently unable to retrieve my property under police report number 10-1234 due to being hospitalized, incarcerated, etc. I give permission for my Mother, Jane Smith, to retrieve my property from the Atascadero Police Property Unit.


*The person picking up the owner’s belongings should have the police report number, the original letter of permission and valid picture identification in the form of a California Driver’s License, a California Identification Card or a Passport.

Can the City install “Children at Play” or “SLOW” signs on my street?

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“Children at Play” and "SLOW" signs are not recognized by the State of California or the Federal government as official traffic control devices, and are therefore not installed on public streets in the City of Atascadero.

Traffic studies have shown that these signs do not increase driver awareness to the point of reducing vehicle speeds or pedestrian accidents. In fact, placement of the signs may actually increase the potential for accidents by providing a false sense of protection that does not exist and cannot be guaranteed.

Additionally, installation of “SLOW” or reduced speed limit signs in residential streets has been found to be ineffective at reducing speeds because if a driver passes the sign and encounters no reason to slow down (or does not know how much to slow down), that driver may become confused and foster disrespect for all signs.

Can the City reduce the speed limit on a particular street?

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Certain speed limits are established by California law and include the 25 MPH speed limit in designated business and residential districts meeting specific criteria, and the 25 MPH limit in school zones when children are present. Local jurisdictions have authority to establish reduced speed limits on the basis of engineering and traffic surveys. Speed limits are normally set at 5 mph under the speed at or below which 85 percent of the traffic is moving.

In residential neighborhoods, 25 MPH speed limit signs may be installed without an engineering and traffic survey only if the street meets specific conditions. Due to the number of residential roadways in the City, the limited number of police officers available for speed enforcement, the City only considers installation of 25 mph signs in residential districts under very specific situations.

If you have concerns regarding the enforcement of speed limits please contact the Atascadero Police Department at (805) 461-5051.

If you have further questions regarding the establishment of speed limits or a missing or needed speed limit sign, please contact Public Works Administration & Engineering at 805-470-3456 or

Can the Fire & Emergency Services Department certify my fire extinguisher?

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The Fire & Emergency Services Department is not able to inspect or certify fire extinguishers. This service is generally provided by private industry.

Can we fish in Atascadero Lake?

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Yes, but a fishing license is required. For fishing license information visit California Department of Fish & Wildlife.

Can we serve alcohol at an event or party in the park?

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Yes, you can serve alcohol at your private party in a park space with no ABC permit needed, however, if you plan to sell alcohol in any public space you will need an ABC license to do so.