Huntington Beach

EIR for possible hotel site gets OK

HUNTINGTON BEACH City Council (OC Tribune photo).

By Jim Tortolano

Will the city’s hotel row be extended south along the coastline to Magnolia Street? A deal to prepare an environmental impact report for such a possibility was approved by the Huntington Beach City Council Monday night.

The council voted 5-2 – with Lyn Semeta and Erik Peterson opposed – to authorize a contract with the Psosmas firm to prepare the report to evaluate proposals for development of the 29-acre former tank farm site at 21845 Magnolia. The arrangement requires that the city appropriate $510,213, which would be reimbursed by the developer, SLF-HB Magnolia LLC.

Proposed are:

  • an amendment to the general plan land use from public to commercial visitor, residential medium density and open space;
  • a rezone of the property from public-semipublic to a specific plan;
  • two proposed development scenarios.

The first scenario would be a 211,000-square foot lodge with 175 guest rooms and a guesthouse (lower cost overnight accommodations) with 40 beds; 19,000 square feet of retail; 250 for-sale residential units, and open space.

Also to be studied would be developing the site for residential uses only, which would include 250 for-sale residential dwelling units.

Twelve people spoke to the council on the issue, with eight expressing opposition and four in favor. “This is why residents have no trust in the city staff or elected officials,” said Cari Swan, arguing against the possibility of high-density development in the southeast part of the city.

On the other side, Jo Ellen Pendergraft supported the EIR proposal, saying “I want to know what the impact will be on the community.”

Also on Monday night, the council accepted a report on fix-up and maintenance issues in the downtown area with the proviso that an update come back to the council in 60 days with information on costs and which projects would get priority.

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