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Plans for Pismo beachfront hotel move forward

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Plans to construct a large beachfront hotel in Pismo Beach will move forward, despite concerns from some residents.

The Pismo Beach City Council voted 4-1 June 2 to uphold permits for the construction of the 128-room Beach Walk Resort, which will hug the beach close to the pier. The hotel will be located on two lots between 147 Stinson Ave. and 150 Hinds Ave. and include a restaurant, bar, swimming pool, and outdoor courtyard for public use.

A group of property owners and residents appealed the city Planning Commission’s April decision to green light the permits and made their case at the meeting. The concerns included the hotel’s impact on traffic and parking, beach view obstruction, and water usage, among others. In total, seven appealed the decision. Several speakers also raised concerns about the size of the hotel, saying a 94,000-square-foot resort is too large and doesn’t fit into the “small town” feel of Pismo.

“It should be a little beach town,” Nancy Hampton, who owns property in Pismo, said. “It should not have monolithic buildings.”

Councilwoman Sheila Blake, the lone dissenting vote, agreed with Hampton.

“It’s awfully big,” she said. “I’m just not comfortable with that, but that’s just me.”

Mayor Shelly Higginbotham said the hotel plans looked large but insisted that the location for it was correct.

“I firmly believe that this is our commercial core,” she said. “This is our hotel district. This is the place for this.”

Representatives from the Nexus Companies, which proposed the hotel project, said they worked with city staff to mitigate many of the concerns and believed plans for the hotel fell in line with all the city’s requirements. Nexus Vice President of Development Robert Eres said the hotel would be a benefit to community, and bring in an estimated $1.5 million in tax revenue to the city annually, as well as create between 50 and 60 new jobs.

Because of the proposed hotel’s location, the appellants can still appeal the decision to the California Costal Commission.

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