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30 years in the making, Grover Beach Lodge expected to break ground in 2021

Posted: 6:49 PM, Sep 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-10 00:04:52-04
30 years in the making: Grover Beach Lodge expected to break ground in 2021

The Grover Beach Lodge, a hotel development 30 years in the making, is now expected to break ground in 2021.

The project site is located at the end of West Grand Ave. in Grover Beach, near the Pismo Beach Golf Course and Finn's Seafood Restaurant.

Grover Beach city officials granted the developer, Pacifica Companies, a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) in June of 2014 after the Coastal Commission tried appealing the application.

The Grover Beach Lodge is designed to be three hotel buildings with nearly 150 rooms and a restaurant.

Since January 2017, the project was changed to include a rooftop deck, eliminate a stand-alone conference center, reconfigure on-site parking and move an on-site sanitary dump station.

The city council has already approved three one-year extensions for the project and just last week approved an additional two-year extension.

Currently, the project site is mostly dirt, used as a makeshift parking lot for beachgoers and trailers.

"It's been 30 years in the making, 10 years since the RFP process went out and an applicant was approved, 5 years since it was approved," said Grover Beach City Manager Matthew Bronson.

Many hope the development of 55 West Grand Avenue boosts the local economy.

"The thing about this area is developed and we need to have more development," said Patricia Meyers, a Five Cities resident.

Finn's Seafood Restaurant shares this prime beachside location. The owner is looking forward to serving more people.

"We need more restaurants, we need more tourism and it's something the locals depend on," said Bruce Van Vort, Finn's Seafood Restaurant and Grill owner.

However, he's worried that parking and revenue will be compromised, especially during construction.

"We anticipate that we will see a 20-25 percent decrease in activity during that time so hopefully, they expedite construction," Van Vort said.

The developer has had to ask for a number of extensions, because four state agencies including California State Parks, the State Fire Marshal and Fish and Wildlife took lead of the approval process in 2017.

"We have a railroad crossing, we have a highway crossing, we have potentially some watershed issues," said Kevin Pearce, interim superintendent for State Parks' Oceano Dunes district. "So that brings in other agencies that need to review the project, like Caltrans, Union Pacific for the railroad."

According to city documents , Pacifica Companies has spent more than $2 million of its own money on the project.

The Grover Beach City Manager says the latest extension is reasonable in meeting state requirements.

"The city holds the Coastal Development Permit so this continues to move that forward and allows the project to remain active," Bronson said. "The next step is to have the developer submit final plans that comply with building codes to the state. "

Some remain skeptical it'll ever get built.

"They keep promising they are going to break ground in 2 to 3 years and then another extension," said Joel Anderson, a Grover Beach resident. "It's time to stop and reevaluate."

The California Fire Marshal will have the final say to allow for building and the opening of the business once construction is complete.

State officials say the final plans are expected to be approved in early 2021, the same year the developer is expected to break ground.

According to city documents, the hotel is expected to be completed by 2024.

KSBY reached out to Pacifica Companies and did not hear back.