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Petition signers object to H.B. hotel project

Hundreds of Huntington Beach residents have signed a petition letting city officials know that they don’t want a 142-room hotel that would require the rezoning of a residential area.

The proposal calls for construction on the northwest corner of Beach Boulevard and Indianapolis Avenue of Hotel Indigo, as well as a new Hilltop Market, a Surf City Tacos and other commercial buildings, according to project planning consultant Michael Adams.

The project would occupy about 1.5 acres, Adams said. The developers are the family that owns Hilltop Liquor at 815 Indianapolis Ave., which occupies the same lot where the hotel would be built, he said.

The project has not yet been officially proposed to the city, but residents have been quick to express their unhappiness with the idea.

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Resident Ron Sterud started a petition on change.org at about 6 p.m. Tuesday, and by Thursday afternoon it had gathered 949 signatures.

Sterud, who lives near the proposal site, said the hotel would be “inappropriate for the area.” He said the area is currently residential, so it would need to be rezoned before the hotel could be built.

He said he worries that the hotel would bring lighting, traffic and parking problems.

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“Imagine living across the street and seeing a well-lit hotel at all times of the day,” Sterud said.

High-density development is a hot topic in the city, with residents wary of further commercial growth.

“This is a residential area with too much dangerous through traffic on Indianapolis already,” one signer wrote on the petition. “There are enough hotels downtown. Don’t ruin the quality of life for homeowners in a quiet, historic, family-oriented residential area of Huntington Beach by putting up yet another high density development.”

“Absolutely against the building of this development,” another petitioner wrote. “Our sleepy little beach town is no more. We’ve lived in Huntington Beach for almost 35 years and remember when you could drive from one end of H.B. to the other side within less than 15 minutes, now it takes 30 to 45 minutes.”

Sterud said he was surprised by the outpouring of support for his petition. He said he hopes the developers heading the project will engage and work with the community.

Adams said he’s aware of the petition and said it was “premature” for residents to comment on the project before they get all the facts.

Adams said he will be holding a public meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 13 in the parking lot of Hilltop Liquor to hear from the community.

“We are willing to work with residents,” he said.

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Adams said the project is in a “conceptual stage” and comments from residents will be gathered before the parties involved “go back to the drawing board.”

Adams said he is aware that the area would need to be rezoned for commercial purposes before the project could move forward.

He said the project will be formally submitted to the city by spring.

benjamin.brazil@latimes.com

Twitter: @benbrazilpilot


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