The state Coastal Commission has unanimously approved conversion of two Main Street buildings into a Hennessey's Tavern restaurant.
In a 12-0 vote, the Coastal Commission on Wednesday also approved variances to permit fewer on-site parking spaces than usually required, off-street parking more than 300 feet from the restaurant and changes in the type, size and locations of parking spaces usually required.
According to Seal Beach City Manager Allen Parker, the commission's original recommendation for 50 parking spaces was changed to 30 spaces and approved.
The city staff and Seal Beach Planning Commission recommended approval of the project late last year. Although the City Council later upheld the action, several residents protested the city staff's methods in arriving at its recommendation, and the way the commission and the council meetings were conducted. The commission's decision was appealed by Charles Antos, once the city's principal planner, and 16 others.
Opponents of the project had argued that the staff, commission and council did not adequately address predictable parking problems. They also charged that errors and omissions were made in granting several parking variances to the restaurant's developers.