Trinidad Rancheria Responds To Coastal Commission Rejecting Hotel Project

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TRINIDAD, CA (KIEM) – The California Coastal Commission votes 6 – 3 rejecting the Trinidad Rancheria’s proposed 100-Room Hotel project.

Those at the hearing in San Diego who voted against the project are concerned about how the Rancheria will supply enough water for the proposed 5-Story building. The tribe tells Redwood News that they have a plan to solve that.

The Trinidad Rancheria returns from the California Coastal Commission hearing, not with the outcome they had hoped for. Their biggest hurdle, convincing the Commission that their water plans are consistent with state coastal protections. The tribe would like to use Trinidad’s water supply, but if they can’t, they do have alternative options.

“Other alternatives include developing onsite water. The Rancheria as stated at the meeting the other day, the Rancheria has water rights to the existing creeks here on the Rancheria,” said David Tyson Interim CEO for Rancheria Economic Development Corporation.

The tribe does not need the green light from the Coastal Commission to move forward with the hotel project. The final call comes from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Rancheria does want the Commission’s approval before they break ground.

“BIA has all along wanted us to get to a yes with the Coastal Commission. So since we’re so close with only one outstanding issue, and that being the water issue, I think they would like to see us to reapply and go through that process again,” said Tyson.

The Commission wants the Rancheria to resubmit their application for its August meeting in Eureka. The tribe is considering it.

“What we’ve heard very clearly is their big concern is the water. Now whether or not there’ll be other issues raised that cause them concern. That’s yet to be determined. We have a couple of months for everyone to re-look at this project, and look at our application,” said Tyson

After a few heated town hall meetings on the hotel project, those that oppose the hotel project created a petition online that gathered over 1300 signatures. The Rancheria is hesitant on the next Coastal Commission meeting.

“These kinds of comments that we’ve been talking about will come up at that meeting. Like I said, some people do it naively, they don’t understand the culture. They do it naively, they say things. They don’t mean to be offensive. But others do,” said Tyson.

The Coastal Commission is scheduled to meet August 7th through the 9th at the Eureka Wharfinger building.