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Shore Hotel to Pay $1 Million Under Settlement with DA

Bob Kronovetrealty
We Love Property Management Headaches!

Santa Monica

Santa Monica Apartments

Santa Monica College
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Santa Monica, CA 90405
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By Lookout Staff

December 16, 2020 -- The owner of the Shore Hotel in Santa Monica will pay a total of $1 million in penalties and restitution for building a high-priced hotel with a permit for moderate priced lodgings.

The settlement with the Los Angeles County District Attorneys Office approved Monday provides discounted and affordable room rates to first responders and other essential workers during the COVID-19 emergency.

Approved by LA County Superior Court Judge Anthony Mohr, the final judgment comes one year after the hotel's owner was ordered by the California Coastal Commission to set aside 72 moderately priced rooms in order to continue operating.

Sunshine Enterprise was also ordered to pay $2.3 million in fees in addition to a record $15.5 million fine ("Shore Hotel Obtains Coastal Permits, Sets Aside Affordable Rooms," December 13, 2019).

The hotel owner, said newly elected DA George Gascón, "subverted" the permitting process to the detriment of the community.

“The planning and permitting process ensures our community has the opportunity to provide input into what our neighborhoods look and feel like for decades to come,” Gascón said in a statement.

“When that process is subverted, some of us are making decisions for all of us,” he said.

The civil complaint alleges that Sunshine Enterprises violated state law by "falsely representing" the hotel's proposed construction to the Coastal Commission.

The owner said the new hotel "would provide low- to moderate-cost lodging to replace two older lower-cost motels formerly on the property" near the Santa Monica Pier, prosecutors said.

"Instead of waiting for its permit to be approved, Sunshine demolished its existing motels" and replaced them with what the company’s website describes as "a luxury boutique hotel."

Under the settlement terms, Sunshine must pay $250,000 in civil penalties and $750,000 in restitution to the District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Trust Fund for the enforcement of consumer protection laws.

The settlement offers incentives for Sunshine to to pay up to $500,000 by providing discounted room rates to first responders and other essential workers.

These include paramedics, emergency room or intensive care physicians, firefighters, peace officers, school teachers, licensed social workers, grocery store employees, pharmacy employees and postal workers.

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