Skip to main content

Dig Imperial Beach

IB Design & Review Board Votes 4 - 0 to Approve Imperial Beach Resort Hotel in Public Hearing Held Wednesday

Apr 14, 2017 05:22AM ● By Paul Spear

IB Design & Review Board Votes 4 - 0 to Approve Imperial Beach Resort Hotel in Public Hearing Held Wednesday with Conditions that Parking and Safety be Reviewed!

After a delay on the hearing from March 16th due to proper notice of the meeting not being given, the Imperial Beach Resort Hotel finally had their day as a Public Hearing was held on Thursday April 13th in front of the IB Design and Review Board. The board voted to approve the hotel with the condition that that parking and safety issues be reviewed on a regular basis. It will now go on to the Imperial Beach City Council for approval. The City Council can choose to accept the Design & Review board's Recommendations or come up with their own. In the master city plan made up over 20 years ago, that property location along with were Pier South is being the only 2 properties that were approved to be developed into hotels.

James and Kenneth Knudsen, brothers, purchased the property back in 2014 at the North-West corner of Seacoast Drive and Imperial Beach Blvd with plans to develop a hotel there and chose to name it the Imperial Beach Resort Hotel.

Thursday's approval came after much public debate and even the people against approval weren't against the hotel being developed, they just wanted it scaled back. However, the majority of the 23 people who signed up to speak were for the hotel. 

Back on March 13th, the Imperial Beach Tidelands Review Board Voted 3 to 0 to Approval the proposed Imperial Beach Resorts Hotel at Seacoast and Imperial Beach Blvd. 

The proposed new hotel, zoned A1, would feature shops and kids arcade on the ground level, guest rooms on 2nd and 3rd floors as well as a restaurant on the 3rd floor with an ocean view and visitor access to roof to enjoy looking out over Pacific Ocean and Tijuana Estuary.

James Knudsen, one of the owners of the proposed hotel said "It was very gratifying to see the amount of public support for The Imperial Beach Resort, at the Design and Review Board hearing. We have striven to be a good neighbor as we design and build a first-class hotel here in this wonderful community. We have appreciated the public input we have received at our various events where our plans were being shared. We have used these suggestions to make a better project, one that meets the planning and desires of the people of Imperial Beach".

He went on to say, "The IB Design and Review Board reviewed our proposal and listened to public comments, they decided that the project was a benefit to the community and the goals of the City Planners." 

At the Design & Review Board hearing the Imperial Beach Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors told the Board that they had unanimously voted to support the proposed hotel. Also, supporting the hotel is the Seacoasters Group who was represented in the meeting by Bob Miller. Moms from Mar Vista High School's Water Polo Team and Dig Imperial Beach also support approval of the hotel as did about 15 other residents that chose to speak at the meeting. There were 2 people who were not in support of the proposed hotel at the meeting. Speaking against the hotel's currant design but not the hotel in general were Michael Kerry and Randy Chase, who would live next door to the hotel.

some of the people who spoke at the meeting cited the proposed hotel's support of Mar Vista High School Athletics & Local Non-Profits in the Imperial Beach Community.  The last two years the proposed hotel's contributions have played a big role in Imperial Beach being able to hold a 4th of July Fireworks Show. Two years ago, they contributed $9,000 of the $25,000 cost of the Firework Show. At this time, we don't have exact figures for last year's show but they are believed to be in the same range.  

 People also cited the hotels beautiful design which has been done to fit in with future plans for the Imperial Beach Pier area and Seacoast Drive and their willingness to make adjustment to their designs when requested and the big benefit it will have for small local businesses. 
Also, mention as reasons for support of the proposed hotel was the tax that would be generated from the hotel. The tax would go a long way in generating funds for a lot of programs Imperial Beach residents have been asking the City of Imperial Beach for but that the City hasn't had the funds to Implement. 

After it receiving approval from the Imperial Beach Design and Review Board the proposed hotel needs to receive approval from the Imperial Beach City Council and then would need other approvals from other agencies such as the California Coastal Commision. Imperial Beach Resorts is hoping for an opening by the Spring of 2020.

We have attached pdf documents above for downloading that show the designs and floor plans for the hotel.

In March the hotel sent a letter out to various people in the community which read:

Letter to Community from Imperial Beach Resorts

Imperial Beach, CA

The next step to achieve the goal of a first class tourist hotel on Seacoast Drive, is to present the project to the Tidelands Commission and the Plan Review Board. We are looking for your support at these events. It is vitally important to have community members and business leaders stand up and support the construction of this Hotel.

We have worked hard to create a beautiful hotel, that reflects Imperial Beach, we have met with the public and the city offices to receive input that we have used to make changes to enhance our inclusion in this beautiful city.

The Tidelands Commission meets   March 13, 2017 at 3 PM at the Imperial Beach Counsel Chambers

The Plan Review Board meets March 16, 2017 at 4 PM at the Imperial Beach Counsel Chambers.

It is important that both Boards hear from you. Your enthusiastic support for this project will go a long way toward moving this project forward.

Although speaking is the most impactful, showing your support by filling out the participation card as being in favor of the project but not wanting to speak is helpful. For those who are unable to attend but would like to participate please send an e-mail Tyler Foltz City Planner  subject: Support IB Resort.  Please send separate e-mails for the two meetings.

I would like to thank you for your support, and look forward to building this beautiful building in this great location.


James Knudson




Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Dig Imperial Beach's free newsletter to catch every headline