|Summary|| The Commission held a lengthy hearing regarding the CDP application to build a ten-story, 368 unit luxury condo and hotel complex on 39 acres of coastal sand dunes in Sand City (Monterey County). The project was conditionally approved in April 2014 after many years of court battles resulting in settlement conditions. Numerous special conditions must be met before the Applicant can proceed, including to produce documentation/plans to protect habitat, scenic views and public access. Nearly one year after approval, the Applicant has still had not met required conditions.
As noted in Staff report: “Staff has requested certain materials to be able to assess compliance with the conditions and the Applicant has refused to provide these because it claims that they are unnecessary. Second, staff has concluded that the materials that have been submitted show the project to be inconsistent with some aspects of the Commission’s approval.”
The Applicant requested a ‘dispute resolution hearing’. Procedurally, during a dispute resolution, the Commission’s Executive Director will determine if there is a lack of documentation/evidence, or not. Once the Executive Director makes a determination, the Commission must vote to uphold the Executive Director decision, or not. In this case, the Executive Director found the application to be incomplete.
|Outcome Description||After much debate, the Commission voted (6-5) to not adopt the Staff recommendations, despite many commissioners raising concerns about the lack of documentation for special conditions, and how the Applicant is lackluster with engaging in meaningful negotiations. Many were concerned about the interactions between the Applicant and Staff and suggested the Applicants needs to work more closely and cooperatively with Staff. Commissioner Cox made a motion for continuance. Commissioners Zimmer, and Shallenberger spoke out against the continuance with Shallenberger saying: “It’s time to follow what we agreed to…this application has been draining our resources for years and will continue to do so.” This item will be brought back to the Commission in July.|
|Why You Should Care||The Monterey Bay Shores “Eco” Resort will be constructed on fragile dunes. This is not a suitable area to build a massive hotel/condo/residential development. The mega-hotel complex will devastate critical coastal resources, sensitive habitat, and will be subject to high coastal erosion rates and impacts from sea level rise. The project represents almost everything the Coastal Act was created to prevent and illustrates how poor coastal development can result from the failure to adequately update LCPs. Furthermore, the reports are disconcerting that the Applicant is not working well with Staff and thus perhaps not in good faith.|
|Decision Type||Dispute resolution hearing|
|Staff Recommendation||Staff recommends that the Commission concur with the Executive Director’s determination regarding compliance with the approved CDP.|
|Lobbyist/Agent||Steve Kaufman and Susan McCabe.|
|Opposition to Project|
|Coastal Act Policies||All|
|Mary K. Shallenberger|
View Meeting Page for the meeting where this issue was discussed/voted on.