The commission postponed making a determination on Wednesday whether it would provide Sunshine an”after-the-fact” permit for the hotel.
A Santa Monica hotel developer has been fined $15.5 million following it”replaced two of the only cheap motels in Santa Monica with a luxury boutique hotel, without a license,” the California Coastal Commission said in a statement now.
At 2009, Sunshine Enterprises Ltd. has been granted a permit to split two low-cost motels on Ocean Avenue and replace them with a bigger Travelodge.
The developer applied for an”after-the-fact” license from the Coastal Commission in 2014, after receiving a notice-of-violation letter from the commission. Its petition was denied.
The commission claims that the money from the fine will go toward funding public access projects and present lower-cost resorts like the Santa Monica hostel or even the Topanga Ranch Motel.
“Why can not they simply convert 87 of the 164 chambers into an affordable price point?”
Under the California Coastal Act, a major part of the directive of the commission will be to safeguard public accessibility to the coast, which includes ensuring that hotel rooms and other facilities are readily available.
The fine is the largest ever handed down from the Coastal Commission
The permit expired, the commission states, also Sunshine went with its plan to build–and with one major shift. Rather than the affordably priced resort it once planned, in which rooms could have leased for $165 per night, Sunshine built the Shore Hotel, a boutique performance in which rooms start around $300 per night and can go up to $800.
“We as a service have a mandate to promote people access on the California shore which means doing what we can to ensure individuals can actually afford to remain there,” said Dayna Bochco, who chairs the commission.
Sunshine was told by commissioners they desired to find out more affordable hotel rooms near or at the existing hotel.
The fine is the largest ever levied by the 40-year-old agency.
“Shore Hotel admits that the hotel was opened with no Coastal Commission’s license and regrets this breach took place,” the company said in statement Wednesday to the Associated Press. Sunshine also said it would cover the fine and work together with the commission going forward.