June 18, 2021

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Travel Finishes First

Laguna Beach front orders unpermitted work at Hotel Laguna to halt ahead of state listening to

5 min read
Coast Freeway targeted traffic rushes past Resort Laguna. Picture by Allison Jarrell.

Laguna Seaside purchased building at Resort Laguna to quit on Wednesday after city officers found final 7 days that exterior perform was underway with no a allow, according to a letter despatched to lodge-lease proprietor Mohammad Honarkar.

“This challenge has not adopted the usual strategies,” neighborhood improvement director Marc Wiener wrote. “Typically, you would first get a use permit for meant uses, and then once permitted, would transfer on to making use of for a setting up allow. On the other hand, in this case you done the function 1st with no the benefit of a use allow and have not created it very clear to the city what new works by using are heading to be.”

City officers demanded Honarkar deliver a summary of the intended use of the lessen-degree spaces, such as the convention and proposed new kitchen, as perfectly as the business spaces fronting Coastline Highway. This is at least the third time city officials have formally warned Honarkar to end unpermitted get the job done at Resort Laguna.

“We have just been given the City’s Stop Work Order and are in the course of action of examining it,” Honarkar mentioned in a statement on Wednesday. “While we disagree with various assertions in the City’s letter, we appear ahead to doing work with Town staff to right the record and take care of the concerns that employees has lifted.”

The halt-get the job done get lands within times of a California Coastal Fee observe of a Could 12 hearing immediately after the agency’s team discovered substantial glitches with Laguna Beach’s approval system.

The listening to will flip on an charm submitted in March by Laguna Beach front people, Mark and Sharon Fudge, who challenged a neighborhood coastal progress allow acquired by the developer. Amid the couple’s promises is that city officials failed to correctly research bluff-top rated building, unlawful improvements on the beach front sand, and big alterations to the historic building’s floor flooring, according to a personnel report.

Coastal fee staffers recommended the Fee figure out that a considerable difficulty exists on three of the factors elevated by the Fudges, further more clouding a achievable opening date for a essential motor for the downtown financial state.

“The Lodge Laguna has been an essential asset to the City of Laguna Seashore and the persons of California for many years but has fallen into a condition of disrepair,” Mark and Sharon Fudge wrote in their appeal letter. “While repairs are vital, none of the get the job done can be finished to build an expansion of use or an expansion of the constructing without having bringing the works by using and construction into conformity with the present-day codes.

For years, the Fudges have advocated at the metropolis and point out concentrations for Laguna Seashore to extra strictly follow state and federal environmental laws when examining progress purposes. The couple has appealed several city steps to the Coastal Commission, frequently declaring they’ve picked out to shoulder environmental stewardship when the city hasn’t—in their opinion—followed the legislation to defend organic and historic sources.

In a geared up assertion to the Independent, Honarkar appeared optimistic about his possibilities of overcoming the attraction.

“My crew and I are functioning with the Town of Laguna Seashore and the [Coastal Commission] to establish the parameters for the Hotel Laguna’s restoration and really feel assured that anything will be fixed in the interests of our local community,” Honarkar wrote. “We will shift ahead as liable stewards for Laguna’s bluebelt and will respect the building’s historicity.”

Past October, Laguna Beach front issued an exemption for the Resort Laguna to rework the inside main and basement flooring amounts, adjust the slope of present obtain methods all over a rose backyard garden, install a moveable ramp more than current methods, and quite a few other advancements. The Fudges quickly issues this exemption and Honarkar’s group pivoted to go after a coastal advancement permit.

The Style Overview Board held a hearing and accredited the challenge in February— this action authorized the Fudges’ to deliver their obstacle to the Coastal Fee.

A single of the more noteworthy issues problems the seaward façade which consists of the Marine Place, which was constructed prior to the Coastal Act’s enactment. The area is located at the foundation of the coastal bluff and options a deck that extends onto the seaside sand. Honarkar proposed to fix and swap a 36-in. guardrail with a 42-inch guardrail that is compliant with point out budding benchmarks. A picket deck masking would be put in excess of the present concrete deck, and an existing door to the Maritime Room would be replaced.

City land-use regulations for developing on oceanfront bluffs, require new slight accent structures this sort of as decks, patios and walkways that do not call for structural foundations to be at the very least 10 ft from the bluff edge.

“It’s really disappointing and quite aggravating to all of us at the metropolis that unpermitted function proceeds to go on at the lodge,” Mayor Bob Whalen claimed Wednesday. “We all have a common objective of finding that resort open up once more but it has to come about within the guidelines.”

Whalen highlighted city staffers have bent over backward to get the hotel’s transform moving forward and assessment permits for design by now in development and prepared.

“We want the most iconic piece of architecture in town to be open and not vacant,” he said.

The Coastal Commission’s conference will begin at 9 a.m. on May perhaps 12 and are living streamed from coastal.ca.gov.

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