|Summary||As a separate matter, the Commission heard an after-the-fact coastal development permit (CDP) for the Shore Hotel. In 2009, Sunshine Enterprises obtained Commission approval to replace two lower-cost motels with a lower-to-moderately priced hotel. However, that permit expired before the developer began construction making the subsequent construction was unpermitted. The present CDP application covers demolition of two separate lower-cost motels and construction of a high-cost hotel and two restaurants. The existing project as constructed varied considerably from what was originally approved, including, the requirement for a lower-to-moderate cost structure for the new hotel. This violation is also addressed in a cease-and-desist order that was issued at the same hearing. Coastal Commission staff recommended approval of the CDP along with an $8,288,312.00 in lieu mitigation fee for the loss of low cost accommodations. Commissioners expressed concern that the mitigation measures would be insufficient to truly replace the loss of lower cost accommodations in this prime location and may send a message to developers that they can buy their way out of Coastal Act violations. Commissioners directed staff to work with Sunshine Enterprises on finding a more equitable solution. This item was unanimously approved for continuance to a future hearing.|
|Outcome Description||The Commission directed staff to come back with a plan to ensure a more direct one-to-one replacement of the lower cost accommodations in the vicinity of the Shore Hotel. As presented, the CDP would not ensure a mitigation project to be constructed in Santa Monica. Commissioner Aaron Peskin motioned for continuance, noting that a “fee-out” is the least attractive alternative for mitigating the loss of lower cost overnight accommodations. Commissioner Groom seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.|
|Why You Should Care||It is important to create a direct replacement of the lower cost accommodations lost within the same community. Santa Monica is an important coastal access location for inland communities and a replacement elsewhere may not result in an equitable solution. Once lost, it can very difficult to find a location to replace lower cost overnight accommodations near the coast, especially in high density areas. It is important for the Coastal Commission to ensure equitable preservation of California’s remaining low cost overnight accommodations.|
|Decision Type||Coastal Development Permit|
|Staff Recommendation||Approval with conditions|
|Opposition to Project||Unite Here, Surfrider Foundation, California Coastal Protection Network|
|Coastal Act Policies||Chapter 3|
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