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After an hours-long debate about the need for affordable lodging along the beach, a split California Coastal Commission voted Thursday to allow a luxury hotel overlooking the Santa Monica Pier to continue operating even though it opened without proper permits and demolished two moderately priced hotels to make way for the swanky project.

The commission voted 7 to 5 to approve the after-the-fact permits for the Shore Hotel but only after negotiating with the hotel’s lawyer to require that it include 72 moderately priced rooms, waive the resort fees for guests in those rooms and limit parking fees to no more than $25 a night.

The hotel developer must also pay $2.3 million in mitigation fees.

Even the commission members who voted in favor of the permits expressed anger and frustration with the hotel developer, noting that the commission in May imposed a record $15.6-million penalty on the developer for opening the luxury boutique hotel without a proper permit.

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