IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. -- Imperial Beach residents are upset about the possibility of a four-story hotel going up in their backyards.
Sudberry Properties is building a shopping center on a 15-acre lot on Palm Avenue and 9th Street. The developer has been unable to find a retailer to occupy an acre-and-a-half on the western edge of the lot. As a result, Sudberry is turning to hotel chains who are interested in the property.
On Monday night, Sudberry met with dozens of concerned residents.
"The height, the density, do they have to have a 100 rooms?” asked Scott Jennings, who lives just feet from the new development. “Can it be three stories and 70 rooms? Are they going to make that much more money by making it that much taller or that much bigger? "
Jennings lives in the home his great-grandmother bought in 1940. He's fighting to preserve the area's small town atmosphere. In 2008, he fought plans for a condo complex on the same lot.
"We feel that they have kind of come in the back door on us and now once again fighting a project that has four-stories, high occupancy and it's something that the city didn't vote for," said Jennings.
Many residents said they'd like to see a restaurant or park built on the remaining land. Others said it should remain vacant until a suitable business is found. Sudberry said it will continue trying to find a retailer. Meanwhile, Jennings is getting ready to rally the community to help fight the possibility of a hotel.
"I'm going to put my roller blades on and I'm going to roller blade a flier to every person in Imperial Beach," Jennings said.