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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hotel Project Estimated to Be Four Times Size of Colony Plaza

• City Is Currently Seeking Consultant for Supplemental EIR for the Most Recent Proposal

BY BILL KOENEKER

More information has been revealed about the size and shape of the Rancho Malibu Hotel project as city officials seek a consulting firm to do an Environmental Impact Report Supplemental.
The planning department staff is currently reviewing an application for the hotel plans submitted last year, which proposes construction of a 146-room luxury hotel on a 27.8 acre vacant parcel located on the northeast corner of Malibu Canyon Road and Pacific Coast Highway.
Plans call for a 141,428 square foot main building comprised of a 82,036-square-foot basement, which includes a spa and fitness center and a first and second floor including a lobby area, retail, restaurant, banquet and meeting facilities, according to planning officials.
The guestrooms and suites are located within casita-type buildings totaling 133,873 square feet. Two swimming pools and 543 parking spaces are provided. The 165,259 square foot parking structure will house the majority of the parking.
That is a whopping 440,560 square feet of building space, which makes it four times the size of the Malibu Colony Plaza shopping center.
There is a ten-page synopsis, prepared by a city planner, of the history of the project as it has wended its way through the approval process since 1984.
The staff has determined that the Conditional Use Permit is still valid, but the site plan review has expired and a new SPR would be required to move forward on the project. Currently, the project has a coastal permit issued by the California Coastal Commission.
“Since the project was never evaluated against the Local Coastal Program (which was certified in 2002) a new CDP from the city would also be required,” stated an in-house planning department memo.
The history of hotel plans for the bluff top acreage that sits above the Civic Center area is a long one.
In 1984, a large hotel previously referred to as the Adamson Hotel was proposed and received Los Angeles County approval for 300 rooms in separate hillside villas, a separate restaurant and a separate community use facility.
The Adamson Companies, which owned the land and interests in the plans is no longer involved in the project.
The California Coastal Commission approved the permit with 47 conditions, according to municipal officials.
In 1991, the city placed a moratorium on all new development and the project was stalled.
By 1995, the property owner submitted a Conditional Use Permit package for a somewhat smaller 250-room hotel complex.
A scaled down version of 146 rooms was approved by the city. The project, according to city officials, was kept active until 2006 through annual time extensions issued by the municipality Upon adoption of the Local Coastal Program, the applicant was required by the municipality, to apply for a coastal permit.
In 2007, the property owner submitted a coastal permit application for the construction of the 146-room hotel. The city contracted with an environmental firm to start work on an EIR. However, the applicant submitted a letter requesting to withdraw the application and the coastal permit and associated requests were officially withdrawn on June 2009.
In June 2011, the property owner submitted a coastal permit application to the city for the same scope of work purposed as part of the 2007 coastal permit. That application is currently under review, according to city planners.
CAPTION:
MASSIVE—Plans show a sprawling compound that critics say represents the largest commercial development project in Malibu’s history. Controversial issues that have yet to be dealt with include traffic issues and the presence of a significant Chumash archeological site that appears to be completely engulfed by development in the schematic shown above.

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