California to fine developer for building pricey beach hotel

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A developer could be hit with a record $25 million in fines and fees for constructing a high-priced hotel on the Southern California coast after obtaining a permit for a property with moderately priced rooms.

The California Coastal Commission is expected Wednesday to approve a $15 million fine and recommend an additional $9.5 million in mitigation fees for Sunshine Enterprises.

Officials say the developer violated the state’s landmark Coastal Act that protects public beach access and availability of less-expensive rooms.

Sunshine Enterprises was permitted to expand two modest hotels near the Santa Monica Pier, offering rooms for about $165 a night. The company let the permit expire and instead built the Shore Hotel, where rooms cost between $300 and $800.

Sunshine Enterprises says it regrets the violations and will do what it takes to comply with the commission going forward.


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