At its July 16 meeting, the Livermore Planning Commission unanimously passed a resolution recommending that the city council instruct staff to file a notice of determination with the Alameda County Clerk and adopt an ordinance approving the Development Agreement with Presidio Co. to construct a downtown hotel on the southeast corner of South Livermore and Railroad Avenue.

Bryan Fagundes recused himself because his office is located in the vicinity of the project.

Nine speakers addressed the council at the public hearing. Eight opposed the development agreement (DA), and one supported it.

Elizabeth Judge stated that the hotel size and location would not allow lucrative weddings. She believes that the site would present difficulty for wine country buses to navigate, and along with traffic issues, would make the hotel unlikely to be successful. “This hotel will be a financial burden for the city later on. If you vote to move these negotiations along, you will be complicit in what I see as unprincipled, irresponsible leadership.”

Jean King maintained that the citizens could not understand why the city would want to “squish the hotel up against the Bankhead Theater.” She said, “The location on the westside looking over a grand Central Park would be a perfect location for it to be a real destination ...This is a chance to make the downtown special.”

Johnna Thompson read a submission from Tamara Reus stating, “This is not what the people wanted. The council is now considering yet another tactic to undermine voter rights.”

Loretta Kaskey referred back to John Stein’s remarks to the city council on July 8 that concerned the financial cost of the downtown hotel development. “It is good to see an indemnity clause in the matter before you, shifting the city’s obligation and expenses for litigation to Presidio.”

Dawn Argula, CEO and President of the Livermore Valley Chamber of Commerce, said that the Chamber represents nearly 500 businesses. The Chamber supports the staff recommendation and the city’s plan.