"I feel Venice has done its fair share in serving visitors and has opened its arms to the whole city," said Mary Ann Hutchison, a psychologist who lives a few yards from the proposed hotel site.
"We're not people down here saying you can't build anything . . . (but) property that is residential should remain residential. If they want to build a hotel, that's fine, but let them build on appropriately-zoned (commercial) land. There is enough commercial land where it could be built."
Arguing that the project is more residential than commercial, Greenberg said a hotel would be the "perfect buffer" between residences and commercial operations that share space along the Venice and Santa Monica beaches.
Galanter and her aides also see "major problems" with the project, particularly in parking and access, said Galanter spokesman Rick Ruiz.
He said the developer would have to agree to provide the community with additional parking spaces and find a workable way to move cars in and out before he could expect approval from the city.
Greenberg will also have to negotiate with Santa Monica officials since the property abuts that city.
According to several members of the Venice Town Council, Greenberg has been inflexible in negotiating with the community. It has become common practice in Venice, Santa Monica and other areas where property is prized but slow growth is king for developers to work with the community on ways to compensate for traffic, pollution and noise problems that their projects might create.
"They (Greenberg and Bill) made it pretty clear they wouldn't make changes in what they're proposing and that it was not negotiable," Dell Chumley, president of the Town Council, said.
"They thought they had a pretty design and were going to stick with it."
If negotiations between Greenberg and the community reach an impasse, the project may be doomed.
To be able to build, Greenberg must solicit a change in zoning for the property, which would consolidate 10 lots into one. The property has a C-1 commercial zoning but a new community plan--approved but technically not in effect yet--changes the zoning to residential. Greenberg on Tuesday will ask the zoning be changed to C-1.5, a commercial zoning that allows larger construction than C-1.
The city planner in charge of the case, Richard Ferguson, is recommending the change be denied. But regardless of what a hearing examiner finally decides, the recommendation is not binding. Ultimately, it will be the Planning Commission and City Council that decide.