After several years of wrangling among the property owner, the city and its residents, plans to redevelop the Treasure Island mobile home park into a luxury resort have hit another delay: Opponents have gathered enough signatures on a petition to force a public vote.
The Laguna Beach City Council, which backs the high-priced hotel proposal, agreed Tuesday to set an April 27 date for the referendum. But the developer vows to withdraw from the coastal community if the public doesn't endorse the current project.
"We're not going to start all over again," said Jack Cuneo, a general partner of Treasure Island Associates, which is owned by the New York investment firm Merrill Lynch. "We don't have the stomach to go through all that."
For nearly two years, city officials have lobbied the community to support the plan, which consists of a 275-room hotel and 18 homes on estate-sized lots. To get the California Coastal Commission's OK, the project would include such public amenities as a bluff-top park, beach access, a health spa, and banquet and conference rooms.