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South Bay Digest

Local News in Brief : 2nd Hotel Hearing Sought

November 12, 1987

Supporters of a controversial hotel proposal in Hermosa Beach will ask the 2nd District Court of Appeal today to rehear an election case that resulted in the project's apparent defeat two weeks ago, attorney Robert E. Hinerfeld said Wednesday.

The court threw out the "yes" vote of Councilman Tony DeBellis, which was cast in a 1985 referendum on the proposed 250-room, beach-front hotel, making the final tally a tie--meaning no hotel.

Hinerfeld said the court erred in not counting DeBellis' ballot. The court reasoned that he had voted in a precinct in which he did not live. DeBellis' vote should be counted, Hinerfeld said, because the councilman had taken the necessary steps to change his address with the county registrar of voters, had been told by a city employee to vote at his old polling place and the issue was of citywide concern, so it did not matter where he voted.

Proponents of the hotel also will ask that the court not count a "no" absentee vote, because it had first been punched "yes" and then tape was applied to cover the hole and "no" was punched, Hinerfeld said.

The city clerk's office counted the vote, and that decision was upheld by both the Los Angeles Superior Court and the appeal court. Hinerfeld acknowledged that it is unlikely the appeal court will agree to rehear the case. The hotel supporters have not decided if they will appeal the case to the California Supreme Court, he said.

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