Action on plan for Grover Beach lodge is delayed

clambert@thetribunenews.comMarch 18, 2014 

Glenda Charrette, left, and Lee Ashworth groom their horses in the equestrian staging area in Grover Beach in March 2014. They worry that a new hotel would not be compatible.


Plans for a flagship hotel development in Grover Beach have been delayed a few more weeks to give two state agencies time to work out an issue related to the project.

The City Council on Monday was scheduled to reconsider its approval of a permit for the Grover Beach Lodge and Conference Center project, which would allow plans to move forward.

But the item was continued to the council’s April 7 meeting to give California Coastal Commission and State Parks staff more time to work on an issue raised in an appeal of the project.

“There’s been progress,” City Manager Bob Perrault told council members Monday. “We’re not there yet.”

The project includes a 150-room hotel, conference facilities and a restaurant to be built on about 13 acres at Highway 1 and West Grand Avenue next to the beach.

The council had approved the lodge project Dec. 2, but a notice of the action wasn’t filed on time with the Coastal Commission, so the council decided to rescind its original action and vote again. In the meantime, two appeals were filed with the Coastal Commission.

Coastal commissioners Steve Kinsey and Mary Shallenberger appealed because the project did not include a condition to prohibit a seawall from being built in the future.

State Parks and commission staff are still drafting a condition to satisfy that concern.

In the meantime, an attorney for Friends of Oceano Dunes, a large group of off-road vehicle enthusiasts, sent a letter to council members urging they deny the project because it will impede access to the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area.

The group had also appealed the project, arguing, among other issues, that the proposed parking area for equestrian users and off-highway vehicle owners is too small.

“The absence of adequate facilities will mean frustration, delay, congestion, and thus obstruct visitors from accessing the unique coast and public recreational activities,” according to comments submitted by San Francisco-based attorney Thomas Roth.

Other actions

Also on Monday, the City Council voted unanimously to approve two items related to the city’s rough, potholed streets.

The council voted to retain public opinion research firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, with offices in Oakland and Santa Monica, to survey city voters to see if they would support a bond measure to repair Grover Beach’s streets.

The city will spend no more than $20,000 on the polling, according to a staff report.

In addition, the council authorized staff to enter into a contract with San Luis Obispo-based Pavement Management Inc. to update Grover Beach’s pavement management system — a database of street conditions — with a very thorough analysis of its streets.

The work is estimated to cost about $28,720, though the cost could rise if city staff determines additional pavement testing needs to be done to help provide accurate cost estimates for street rehabilitation.

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