The Beverly Hilton's contentious plan to refurbish the aging hotel, add a 12-story Waldorf-Astoria and build as many as 110 luxury condos has moved a step toward approval.
The Beverly Hills City Council voted 3 to 2 Tuesday to approve a development agreement for the project at Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards. But the council delayed its final vote on a zoning change. The postponement was necessary, Mayor Barry Brucker said, to satisfy the concerns of citizens who plan to circulate a referendum petition that would place the project on the ballot for a community-wide vote.
Project opponents reminded the council that, under state law, such a petition must be accompanied by all documents relating to the zoning ordinance. In this case, that would come to about 2,100 pages, weighing 15 1/2 pounds, that signature gatherers would be required to haul around as they canvassed residents. The council voted unanimously to limit the exhibits to the documents, thus reducing the number of required pages to about 300, or 4 pounds. A final vote on that alteration is scheduled for Monday.
-- Martha Groves