P.G. Will Rethink C
Council agrees to put hotel room cap measure on the ballot.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
On July 20, the Pacific Grove City Council unanimously opted to put a revision to a 25-year-old city law on the Nov. 8 ballot.
Measure C, passed in 1986, capped the number of new rooms in P.G. hotels to one per 2,500 square feet of land. The amendment would give developers more wiggle room by allowing a maximum density of one guest room per 1,000 square feet and reducing building setbacks, among other tweaks.
The measure, drafted by an ad hoc committee, would allow up to 79 new rooms in 19 P.G. hotels.
But Nader Agha, owner of the under-used Holman Building on Lighthouse Avenue, says it wouldn’t do him any good. He’s been approached with an offer to build a four-star hotel at the location, he says, but that would require 300 units in 40,000 square feet.
“The property is too valuable to work with one unit per 1,000 square feet. It has to be way, way lesser,” he says. “The city will be shooting itself in the foot.”
The 2011 ballot measure sticks to the spirit of its predecessor by limiting remodels to the hotels along the Lighthouse zoning district, Mayor Carmelita Garcia says. It will not affect the American Tin Cannery or the hotels at Lovers Point.
That’s somewhat disappointing to Frank Donangelo, vice president of planning and development for Cannery Row Company, which manages the ATC.
“If we wanted to do a hotel or motel development someday, that ballot measure would have to address our property,” he says.
But the city’s decision is fair enough, he adds, since his company is still trying to figure out what to do with the ATC: “We don’t know what we’re going to end up with.”
Cannery Row Company may later ask the council to consider a second ballot measure.