California hotel slapped with $1.6 million fine for blocking access to public beach



January 5, 2017 Half Moon Bay / CA / USA – The Ritz Carlton Lodge on the Pacific Ocean Coastline on prime of eroded cliffs

CALIFORNIA — A luxury lodge in Northern California has been hit with $1.6 million advantageous for proscribing entry to public beaches.

The settlement reached Thursday between the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay and the California Coastal Fee is the second largest of its type for the commission.

Lisa Haage, Chief of Enforcement for the Commission, informed CNN she hopes these penalties will send a message.

“$1.6 million is enough to make them actually concentrate and I feel actually enhance their conduct,” Haage stated.

When the lodge opened in 2001, it agreed to offer 25 simply recognized public parking areas and access to the seashore by way of the lodge premises. Through the years, the Fee acquired numerous studies of the lodge failing to satisfy these requirements.

“For those who pulled up on the Ritz-Carlton parking zone you definitely would not really feel welcome or really feel you’ve a nice public seashore there,” stated Jennifer Savage, California Coverage Supervisor for the Surfrider Basis, an environmental organization.

Stories made to the Commission included incidents the place guests have been denied access to the general public parking zone or saw the lot being used by lodge valet.

“I went on the market once and noticed a public parking sign actually pointing to nowhere,” Haage stated.

Haage noted that signage might look like a minor difficulty however stated with out indicators individuals have no idea they’ve a right to be there.

“For those who don’t know that you’ve a proper, you possibly can’t train it,” Haage stated.

The lodge was issued smaller penalties in 2004, 2007 and 2011, however in accordance with a current employees report from the Fee, the violations continued.

This latest settlement features a much greater positive, in addition to stipulated penalties and an order that the lodge perform a media campaign, making the public aware that they’ve entry to the seashore there.

The lodge may also be required to finish an audit of their single-use plastics. Haage advised CNN this stipulation is a brand new and distinctive strategy to limit the lodge’s environmental influence.

The Commission will give a large chunk of the $1.6 million to an area land conservation group to accumulate land simply north of the lodge. The group will use the land to broaden the public seashore and California coastal trail.

CNN has reached out to the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay for remark.

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