By Dean Francois, Group Political Chair
As you walk down Hermosa Beach’s Pier Avenue Public Plaza, you still can see a vast expanse of the ocean, which, for now at least, has been saved.
Developers proposed to build a large three story hotel going underground for two floors within three plots of land on the north side of the plaza. They proposed to completely take over three public alleys. It would mean a demolition of several restaurants, shops, and the Hermosa Cyclery.
As we stay diligent in an attempt to preserve the protections the CA Coastal Act offers, some of our executive committee members developed comments to the draft environmental impact report (EIR). The comments became official Sierra Club comments as they were approved by the executive committee and submitted by the deadline well over a year ago. Other Sierra Club members worked to gather signatures and close to a thousand were submitted to the EIR calling for the protection of the public view of the ocean and keeping the public alleys open. The petition’s list includes former city commissioners, former council members, former mayors; and a mayor and current council members from a neighboring city.
The comments submitted were extensive and dealt with the large size and scope of the project, the noise, traffic, and construction, the loss of protected public views of the ocean, and the loss of public alleys which provide public egress along the coast.
Since then, developers held happy hours touting the project, but the EIR has never been finalized. Slater’s restaurant (which would have been up for demolition), obtained approval for outdoor dining in the parking lot. This was the first sign that this project was going to be delayed. And now we have learned that the investors have pulled their money and the hotel project is on a complete hold.
A big thanks is in order for those that helped with comments, attending meetings, etc.
For those wanting an alternative to this project, this is certainly good news. We must continue to be vigilant. At some point investors will most likely be back with new proposals. Meanwhile, we can enjoy a little bit more of what little Hermosa Beach has to offer.
If you are interested in attending future hearings or providing input on this project or want to keep up with the progress, contact Dean Francois at 310-938-2191 or go to the Protectors of Public Ocean Views Facebook page: