At least four people have appealed the Pismo Beach Planning Commission’s decision to allow construction of a second large hotel and resort downtown, and with two days left before the deadline to submit an appeal, more could be on the way.
The commission unanimously approved the BeachWalk Resort at 147 Stimson and 150 Hinds avenues on April 28. The project calls for a 128-room, 94,000-square-foot hotel and resort with an underground parking garage; conference rooms; a fitness center; swimming pool, Jacuzzi and spa; meeting rooms; a restaurant and bar; a public-access courtyard; and a deck connecting the hotel courtyard to the nearby pedestrian boardwalk, the Promenade.
Following the decision, residents had 10 business days to appeal the permits with the city. The deadline to submit an appeal of the decision is Tuesday.
Nancy Hampton said she filed her appeal early last week because she was concerned at the lack of citizen oversight for a project of this scale.
"I just really think a commercial building of this size should have a committee of residents reviewing it," Hampton said. "It's a very important piece of beachside property for the community. It's right next to the pier, and it's important to get it right."
Hampton, who attended the Planning Commission hearing, said she felt the project had not been circulated among the public with enough time for them to form an opinion on it, and that a citizens' oversight committee should be formed to review the plans before they are approved.
As of Friday, three other appeals also were submitted to the city, Community Development Director Jon Biggs said. He said the appeals ranged from complaints about the architecture of the building to lot line questions.
One of the appellants, David Riggle, said he was opposed to the project because the plans for the hotel seemed "really large and unattractive." The project's design was a hot button topic at the Planning Commission public hearing, with several residents speaking out against the hotel's perceived "New England-style design."
"It just doesn't seem to be in line with what the general plan says our city should be," said Riggle, who lives in a condominium complex at 160 Hinds Ave., adjacent to the proposed project. "If I'm going to have to live next to it, I'd at least like the aesthetics to be appealing." Hampton also said she was unimpressed by the hotel's design.
"It's monolithic," she said. "There's nothing intimate or appealing about it."
The project will now go before the City Council on June 2, Biggs said. It also could be appealed to the California Coastal Commission following the City Council decision, he said.
The BeachWalk Resort is the second hotel the city has approved to be built along the oceanfront in downtown Pismo Beach. The first was the 104-room Inn at the Pier, which was approved in September after a similar appeal brought it before the City Council. It is slated to begin construction in October.