SANTA MONICA—On Wednesday, May 8, the state Coastal Commission levied a 15.6-million-dollar penalty against the owner of the Shore Hotel in Santa Monica. The owners of the Shore Hotel, Sunshine Enterprises, were in violation of the California Coastal Act by building without the proper permits. The $15.6 million is the largest fine in Coastal Commission history.

The commission held a meeting in Oxnard where they approved the penalty against Sunshine Enterprises who owns the Shore Hotel establishment located by the Santa Monica Pier.

Sunshine Enterprises had approval to replace two lower-cost motels on their site with a more affordable property, but never got the permit issued and it expired. Sunshine Enterprises demolished the motels in 2011 and built the Shore Hotel without the proper permits. According to documents, the Shore Hotel offered rooms with a bed and breakfast starting at $300 and rooms with an ocean view at $800.

The Coastal Commission recommended that Sunshine Enterprises pay $9.5 million in mitigation fees attached to the approval of a new permit. The company has agreed to pay the fees as well.

The fees are targeted to make up for the loss of lower-cost lodging in the Santa Monica area by aiding in the development of affordable properties in the coastal area which would include motels, and campsites.

The California Coastal Act includes specific policies that address issues such as shoreline public access and recreation, development design, public works, water quality, landform alteration, and marine habitat protection.

The California Coastal Commission was established in 1972 by a voter initiative and was later made permanent by legislature through the California Coastal Act of 1976. The Coastal Commission plans and regulates the usage of land and water in California’s coastal zone. The commission is made up of 12 voting members who are appointed by the Governor, the Speaker of the Assembly, and the Senate Rules Committee. Six members of the voting commission are elected locally and the other six are appointed by the public.

Canyon News reached out to the California Coastal Commission for comment, but did not hear back before print.