County Planners Advance Environmentally-Free Seacliff Village Hotel Project – Santa Cruz Sentinel

APTOS – The County of Santa Cruz has filed a notice of intention to accept the initial study of a three-story hotel in Seacliff Village without an environmental impact report, according to a letter released in late October.

After an original analysis completed on October 19 by county planner Randall Adams which determined that the 19-bedroom property proposed by applicant Prakash Patel would not have significant environmental impacts, county environmental coordinator Matt Johnston, posted a notice saying the public only had a few weeks to express their opinion. opinion on the negative statement.

After the public comment period, which the Planning Department’s website says is November 22, the project will be reviewed at a Planning Commission meeting. The time, date and location of the meeting were to be determined by Wednesday.

The Seacliff Village Hotel, proposed by Patel of Lotus Management Inc., would be approximately 14,000 square feet in size and would include a small lobby, office and manager’s apartment on the first floor with bedrooms on the second and third floors, according to the initial study. A breakfast room, pantry and utility room would be located between the bedrooms on the second floor. A rooftop terrace set back from the perimeter of the building is included in the designs with the interest of ocean views in mind.

The improvement of road surfaces and sidewalks for better access to the property is mentioned by the applicant. The Developer based in San José offers 20 parking spaces on the ground floor, one of which is accessible. The proposed project is below the threshold to require a traffic impact study, according to Gilroy consultant Keith Higgins. Its note indicates that the project’s estimated trip generation would be around 83 trips per day with rush hour trips at 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Planners say grading would be necessary to prepare the site for development in addition to ensuring sufficient stormwater drainage.

Currently, the proposed hotel site is a wasteland with weeds growing around a segment of land. (Courtesy of Google Maps)

Currently, the 270 North Ave. is a wasteland overrun with invasive weeds. To the east is the single-family residential development while the mobile home parks are located to the west and south. To the north is the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line right-of-way.

If the project is approved in the future, it will include the discretionary approvals of a coastal development permit and a commercial development permit. The property is zoned as a visitor accommodation area. The Visitor Accommodation Zone District, first listed in the Santa Cruz County Code in 1994 and sometimes referred to as “Type A”, allows overnight or extended stay accommodation for visitors.

The project was reported for geology and soils and transport factors that could potentially affect the surrounding area. Both were further investigated on the basis of his plans and found to be acceptable.

Early public reaction

An Aptos resident found the review and shared it on a local Facebook page, sparking a conversation of over 70 comments in total. Some residents were not excited about the idea of ​​a resort on North Avenue due to alleged existing parking issues and the loss of a site for possible affordable housing. One was worried about the trailer park next door and another was about the proximity to the rail trail.

“The trailer park will not be moved or impacted. The railway line is not currently in service and whether there will be a train or not at this point is one of the region’s hottest political issues, so the analysis is speculative, ”replied Johnston in an email to Sentinel.

Others have invited a tourist attraction to improve the vitality of the region. A resident pointed out the opportunity for a hotel to come to life; long-time residents can hear the address and have already seen when a hotel offered on the site was made a negative statement in 2008 but never succeeded.

An image from the original Seacliff Village Hotel project study in Prakash Patel shows the approximate boundaries of the proposal site. The property, 270 North Ave., is close to mobile home parks, single family homes and the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line. (Courtesy of Santa Cruz County)

“Doron Fishbin was the applicant at the time and his project included a day spa and a restaurant,” said Johnston. “The project was approved by the board (of supervisors) and the permit was never implemented… it became void after two years.

Johnston didn’t know why Fishbin had never even applied for building permits, let alone built his vision. He had to deal with two mitigation measures – an erosion control plan and encouraged silt and grease traps. Now, Johnston explained, the county is promoting infiltration as a more user-friendly method of treating storm water.

Currently, Fishbin and his wife, Melanie, are defendants in a fraud case in which G14 Extracts, a San José-based cannabis extraction company, is suing them for allegedly advertising a property in the mountains as a place to grow marijuana when she wasn’t. This is one of many land-related lawsuits the Fishbins have experienced over the past decade, according to the Santa Cruz Superior Court portal.

Residents can influence the negative statement of the Seacliff Village Hotel project by contacting planner Randall Adams at [email protected]

“The current comment period is specific to the adequacy of the original study, and only comments that address issues in the document are relevant for this period,” said Johnston. “Most of the comments we have received are generally either in favor or in opposition to the project; from CEQA’s point of view, these comments are irrelevant. That said, all comments received will be included in the staff report when the project goes to the hearing.

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