SAN CLEMENTE — The City Council has approved plans to develop a 51-unit hotel at the southwest corner of Avenida Calafia and Avenida del Presidente.
The project, approved by the council last week on a 4-1 vote, will be called the Villa Esplanada Hotel and is intended to fit in with the city's image as a "Spanish Village by the Sea," said Jerry Ambrose, assistant planner.
The hotel was unanimously approved by the city's Planning Commission in November, but the project was brought before the council for review by Councilman Thomas Lorch, who was concerned about its design and compliance with the city's development standards.
Lorch, the lone dissenting vote on the council, said that he wishes the hotel's boosters--Amenities Development--well with the project but that he was not pleased with the aesthetics.
"It's extremely non-traditional in terms of what you would expect from a hotel," Lorch said. "There is no valet parking area, no restaurant. There is nothing to distinguish it from any other condominium project."
Lorch also expressed concerns over property setbacks, potential parking problems and the possibility of traffic signal lights being needed at the hotel's intersection in the future.
But the project received strong support from a majority of the council.
"I'm very pleased with the project," Councilman Truman Benedict said.
A similar project was proposed for the same site in 1989. But that hotel, which would have included 57 units and 900 square feet of commercial area, was denied by the council because of concerns over density, parking, landscaping and other issues, Ambrose said.