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Local News in Brief : Biltmore Site Issue OKd for Ballot

A petition calling for a vote on preserving Hermosa Beach’s Biltmore site as open space has enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot, the county registrar-recorder’s office confirmed Thursday.

The petition, which was circulated by community activist Parker Herriott, is the latest in a series of ballot proposals aimed at determining use of the city-owned parcel at 15th Street and The Strand. It has been vacant since the Biltmore hotel was torn down about 20 years ago.

All of the past measures have been rejected by voters. Most city officials in recent years have advocated selling the Biltmore site and using the revenue to help overcome persistent budget shortages.

The new petition “gives people, for the first time, a chance to vote on open space,” said Herriott, an apartment building owner and actor. He collected 1,880 signatures and 1,445 were verified when checked against county records of registered voters. To qualify, the petition needed 1,272 valid signatures.

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The City Council, which recently appointed an 11-member citizens advisory committee to study possible uses of the Biltmore site, has the option of adopting Herriott’s petition as an ordinance. Otherwise, the measure must be placed on the November ballot.


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