By Jim Tortolano/Orange County Tribune
It was an unusual moment: two union groups struggling over whether the Garden Grove City Council should give approval to the development of the 500-room Nickelodeon Hotel Resort.
After much comment from construction trade unions and UNITE, which represents hotel and restaurant workers unions, the council on Tuesday night voted 6-0 – with Councilmember John O’Neill (District 2) absent – to approve the ordinance for the project and deny an appeal of the planning commission’s previous approval.
Speaking in favor of the project mostly were members and representatives of various construction trade unions, including electricians, carpenters and iron and steel workers. They cited the benefits of employing local workers and creating career job opportunities for high school graduates who don’t go on to college.
Opposed were members and representatives of UNITE, arguing that the land along Harbor Boulevard where the new project would be located – immediately south of the Sheraton Hotel – would be better used for housing, and that such a large development as the resort could have a negative impact on the community.
While the hotel workers represents employees at some Anaheim hotels, they’ve had no success in organizing at those in Garden Grove.
Their objections Tuesday night didn’t move any members of the council. Praising the transition of Harbor toward a hotel resort district, Councilmember George Brietigam (District 1) said, “The city has received a lot of benefits from [hotels]” and added “It fits the area and it fits the long-term goals for the community.”
Councilmember Phat Bui (District 4) said the last steps toward development of the project was “the light at the end of the tunnel.”
The “final” final step would come on Sept. 13 when the council considers second reading and final adoption of the ordinance.
Categories: Garden Grove