City approvals for a proposed hotel catering to South Livermore Valley Wine Country visitors are being challenged by a group of residents concerned the project could harm the nature and quality of life in surrounding neighborhoods.
The Livermore City Council next Monday is scheduled to consider an appeal to environmental and design review approvals for the Livermore Valley Wine Country Inn — a 30-room hotel planned for an undeveloped three-acre lot on the southwest corner of Hansen and Arroyo Roads — granted in November by the city’s Planning Commission.
The appeal was filed with the city by M.R. Wolfe & Associates, P.C. of San Francisco, on behalf of a group that calls itself Friends of South Livermore. The appeal claims the project conflicts with the city’s general plan, the South Livermore Specific Plan, and the municipal code. It asserts the project could have a significant impact on the environment in the areas of traffic, noise and air quality, thus triggering a requirement for additional analysis in a full environmental impact report.
In addition to the appeal, several residents in the subdivisions of Los Olivos, The Corners and Twin Oaks have voiced vigorous opposition to the project. They are concerned that traffic generated by the hotel will cut through their rural residential streets, which are more narrow and winding than typical residential streets in Livermore; this poses a safety hazard for pedestrians and bicyclists.
The city’s Community Development staff said the approvals are consistent with the city’s land use policies, and maintains that a full environmental impact report is unnecessary. They recommend that the City Council uphold the Planning Commission’s approval of the project site plan and related conditional use permits.
The land is part of the South Livermore Valley Specific Plan and includes residential and commercial sites that were annexed from Alameda County to the City of Livermore in 2001.
Plans for the project call for a two-story building with approximately 30,000-square-feet of floor space. The main floor would include a lobby, wine bar, and manager’s office, 15 guest rooms, a kitchen and a restaurant. The second floor includes an additional 15 guest rooms and a conference room. The project site plan also calls for a 2,300 square-foot caretakers unit that is attached to the main building, 61 paved parking spaces, and 19 overflow parking spaces.
"This project executes the General Plan as zoned, and meets the dire need for boutique lodging to serve the South Livermore Valley Wine region," said Michelle Boss, a Livermore entrepreneur and the hotel project's proponent.
Boss in 2018 formed the limited liability company LWCI which purchased the property from the Surplus Property Authority of Alameda County for $750,000. Boss hopes to break ground on the project this year and open in 2021.