Monday, April 17, 2006


Hyatt Plans To Swap Golfing For Timeshare Units

Newport Beach hotel is putting down its sand wedge and picking up its timeshare shoes.

Hyatt Newport Beach's owners have submitted plans to convert the nine-hole Back Bay Golf course into a time-share development and build a 24,387-square-foot ballroom on the hotel's southwest parking lot.

The expansion will require approval from the City Council and the California Coastal Commission because the project will require an exemption from the city's coastal height-limitation code.

The proposal has been submitted to a Costa Mesa environmental consulting firm that will draft an environmental report on the project.

The city of Newport Beach's senior planner, James Campbell, said the changes could present some traffic and aesthetic concerns, but he expects the process to run smoothly.

"I don't necessarily think there is going to be any impacts, but that's why we're studying it," he said.

The timeshare resort's owner, Sunstone Hotel Investors, is hoping to construct 88 timeshare units on the space currently used for the 31-year-old golf course, with buildings of three and four stories.

The proposed 45-foot structures are 10 feet higher than what is allowed in the city's coastal zone, and Sunstone is asking the city and the Coastal Commission to change the coastal zone's boundaries to exclude part of the hotel property.

The developer also hopes to build a large ballroom facility with an 11,000-square-foot master ballroom and a two-story parking center. A new 10,000-square-foot health and beauty spa is planned for the hotel.

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