First envisioned in 1982 and plagued by disputes and revisions ever since, the proposed Grover Beach Lodge and Conference Center has finally completed its planning process.
The final hurdle facing the project was a substantial issue determination appeal hearing before the California Coastal Commission at that body’s June 11 meeting in Huntington Beach.
The coastal commissioners quickly (and unanimously) determined that the two appeals—brought by local resident Deah Rudd and off-highway vehicle advocacy organization Friends of Oceano Dunes—raised no substantial issues, allowing the long-awaited project to move forward.
The project received the unanimous support of the Grover Beach City Council on April 7, after being bogged down by other appeals, a procedural error, and a seawall dispute for much of the winter.
“This is extremely exciting for Grover Beach,” City Manager Bob Perrault told New Times. “We think this project will be a catalyst for economic development in our city.”
The lodge and conference center—located at the western terminus of West Grand Avenue—will feature a 150-room hotel, restaurant, swimming pool, and large meeting space. The project is a joint venture between California State Parks (which owns the land), the city of Grover Beach (which has served as a facilitator), and San Diego-based Pacifica Companies (which will build and operate the lodge and conference center).
Perrault said now that the planning process is finally complete, the next steps will include revisiting the project’s financing plan and completing (and approving) more detailed construction drawings.
Both of those steps will play out in the coming months, and Perrault said that—assuming everything proceeds swimmingly—he expects construction on the lodge to start sometime in 2015.
“We are quite pleased with how this all turned out,” he said.