The owners of a Santa Monica beachfront hotel built without proper permits have agreed to pay $1 million in penalties and restitution to Los Angeles County, prosecutors said Wednesday.
As part of the final judgment, the Shore Hotel has agreed to provide a certain number of rooms at discounted rates, the LA County District Attorney’s Office said.
The civil complaint alleged that developer Sunshine Enterprises violated state law by falsely representing to the California Coastal Commission that the hotel would provide some affordable lodging to replace two older, less expensive motels on the site.
Instead of waiting for its permit to be approved, Sunshine demolished the old motels and built the new property, which the company’s website described as a luxury boutique hotel.
Up to $500,000 in restitution will go toward providing discounted room rates to first responders and other essential workers of the COVID-19 pandemic, prosecutors said.
The Shore Hotel said in a statement Friday that its owners felt the settlement would “benefit the hardworking members of the community while simultaneously putting their employees first.”
Sunshine Enterprises previously paid $15.6 million in penalties to the state coastal commission.