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South Bay Digest

Hermosa Beach : New Law a Boost for Hotel

May 21, 1987

Gov. George Deukmejian has signed an emergency bill that could clear the way for construction of a controversial beachfront hotel in Hermosa Beach.

Plans for the 250-room hotel, to be located between 13th and 15th streets on The Strand, have been on hold since 1985, when a Los Angeles Superior Court judge overturned the results of a referendum in which the hotel proposal was defeated, ruling that hotel supporters won the election by one vote.

Several absentee ballots were disputed, but the one at issue was disallowed by Judge Philip M. Saeta because it had been delivered by a third party, not the voter.

Opponents appealed the ruling to the 2nd District Court of Appeal, and the case is pending. Work on the hotel cannot proceed until that case is resolved.

Developers of the hotel, David Greenwood and Joe Langlois, sought clarification on state laws on absentee ballots from the state Legislature. They persuaded Sen. Robert Presley (D-Riverside) to sponsor the bill, which prohibits third parties from returning absentee ballots, except in an emergency.

The law takes effect immediately. City Atty. James Lough said a decision from the Court of Appeal on the election results will likely take another three to five months.

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