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Santa Cruz Beach Rally for a Better La Bahia Hotel Plan
Date Thursday August 21
Time 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Location Details
Santa Cruz Main Beach
Event Type Protest
Organizer/Author
Contact: Ned Van Valkenburgh
Telephone: 831-760-2429
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Email: BBL [at] calcentral.com

SANTA CRUZ BEACH RALLY SET FOR A BETTER LA BAHIA HOTEL PLAN
Labor, Neighbors, and Community Reps Weigh In:
Proposed Hotel Is Too Big; Coalition asks How Big is Too Big

Thursday Evening August 21 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Santa Cruz Main Beach

Union laborers, community reps, even La Bahia's neighbors want to upgrade the distressed Santa Cruz beachfront site with a hotel. But they all demand something better--and smaller--than La Behemoth currently being proposed by Barry Swenson Builder and the Seaside Company.

According to longtime neighbor Don Webber, "There's a lot of support for building a hotel at La Bahia that is built in scale with the Beach Hill area, in conformance with the zoning law and more in line with community values." Neighbors have been asking city officials for story poles to demonstrate the height and placement of the 125-room luxury hotel up for approval by the City Council in September. Labor unions aren't happy with Swenson's plans since the company hasn't committed to building as a union shop or to a card count union election process for hotel staff. Historic preservationists are unhappy with the decision to totally demolish the aging landmark currently on the site instead of trying to restore even part of it. Community reps don't like the City Council riding roughshod over the general plan, the zoning law, and a host of other city policies intended to protect the quality of life in Santa Cruz. But Swenson wants to demolish a city landmark and build 30 feet above the legal height limit,so he definitely needs to have the city change a number of important planning laws.

All of these groups are gathering for a rally at the beach to inform anyone who wants to know more about La Bahia. The public is invited to the Main Beach right across from La Bahia on Thursday evening, on August 21, 5:30 p.m. Please join them if you want to show your support for the appropriate development of La Bahia, or if you just want to hear another side of the story.

"We'll show you what's right and what's wrong with Swenson proposal," said Mark Weller, of UNITE HERE Local 483, "and how to design a project that benefits the entire community."

The Build a Better La Bahia Coalition is a group of neighbors, construction and service workers, and community representatives interested in the successful development of a hotel at the La Bahia site. They want it to be both economically and environmentally successful.La Bahia is a great hotel site. So let's build a great hotel there--not just a great big one. As a signature project for the Santa Cruz beach area, it must be consistent with core community values: conformance with the planning laws, respect for neighborhood compatibility, good jobs that are secure and pay middle-class wages and benefits. Join us.

# # #

For more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Don Webber or Mark Weller, please call Ned Van Valkenburgh at 831-760-2429, or email BBL [at] calcentral.com
Added to the calendar on Monday Aug 18th, 2008 4:29 PM

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