|Summary||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. Additionally, the original permit approved the hotel redevelopment on the basis that it would preserve affordable overnight accommodations on the site, but the actual hotel constructed is being operated as a luxury hotel and restaurant. Coastal Commission staff recommended approval of the consent cease and desist orders, and administrative penalties that would result in a $15 million fine to the developer for the ongoing violation since the first Notice of Violation was issued in 2014. Commissioners debated whether this was sufficient to replace the loss given the disappearing supply of lower cost overnight accommodations lost in Santa Monica. Ultimately, Commissioners unanimously approved the consent orders and administrative fine with an amendment that the fine must be paid in large part ($13 million) within 90 days and the remainder within 18 months.|
|Outcome Description||The Commission expressed concern that any action must help provide a direct, like-for-like replacement of the lost lower cost hotel rooms. As a solution, staff and the applicant agreed to make a lump sum payment of $13 million within 90 days and the remainder within 18 months, rather than annual payments over time. This will help fund an actual replacement project much sooner. Commissioner Aaron Peskin motioned to approve the consent orders and administrative fine with this change and Commissioner Donne Brownsey seconded the motion.|
|Why You Should Care||Lower cost overnight accommodations are a very important part of equitable public access to the coast for all Californians, a right that the Coastal Act defends. If folks can’t afford to stay at high cost hotels, how can they visit the coast from farther away or inland locations?|
|Decision Type||Cease and Desist and Administrative Penalty|
|Staff Recommendation||Issuance of Consent Agreement|
|Opposition to Project|
|Coastal Act Policies||Chapter 3|
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