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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

City Adjusts Consultant’s Tab on Hotel Plan EIR

• Project Applicant Is Required to Reimburse Malibu for the Cost

BY BILL KOENEKER

Without discussion or comment, the Malibu City Council this week approved an amendment to an agreement with the Environmental Impact Report consultant for the Rancho Malibu hotel project.
Persuaded by public comment, the council had insisted that the consultant do a full EIR rather than the supplemental EIR proposed by the applicant Richard Weintraub, who will reimburse the city for all of those costs.
The cost for the preparation of the supplemental EIR was figured at $158,786.
“In order to complete the revised scope of work as directed by the council, the budget for the Rancho Malibu Hotel project EIR has increased. An additional 30 percent is added to the total project budget to cover costs for city staff management and administration which is also paid by the applicant,” wrote Senior Planner Stephanie Danner, in a memo to city council members.
The new costs include an additional charge by the EIR consultant of $14, 198 and an additional $4.259 for city administration fees bringing the current costs to $224,879.
The proposal calls for 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 consist of about 274,936 square feet of development (gross square footage) both for the main hotel building and the 21 detached two-story casitas which house the majority of hotel rooms. About another 150,000 square feet is underground and is not counted by the city as developed space.
According to the latest project description, the hotel will include such facilities as retail shops, hotel restaurant, sundries store, lobby bar, library, ballroom, meeting rooms, fitness center and spa, pool, pool cabanas and lawns.
The plans call for drafting a tract map to create an airspace subdivision to allow each hotel room as well as two retail spaces, to be sold individually as commercial condominiums.
The owner of each unit will be limited to staying in the unit no more than 180 days per calendar year with consecutive stays limited to no more than 30 days.
When the unit owner is not staying at the hotel, the unit will be placed into the normal pool of hotel rooms to be rented out to the public.
Regardless of whether the owner or hotel guest is staying in the room, applicable transient occupancy taxes will be charged per night, according to the applicant.
The project includes the installation of an on site wastewater treatment system facility to serve the project.  The Regional Water Quality Control Board has exempted the proposed project from the Civic Center septic prohibition and has indicated it will  allow it to move forward with an individual OWTS facility.
One of the buildings is comprised of a 82,036 square foot basement, which includes the spa and fitness center and a first and second floor includes the lobby area, retail, restaurant, banquet and meeting facilities, according to planning officials.
The guestrooms and suites are located within the 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 total of 440,560 square feet of building space.
There is a 10-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.

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