January 27, 2023
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Miramar green-lighted, but Caruso not happy with restrictions


At a Jan. 21 Montecito Planning Commission meeting that lasted well into the evening, developer Rick Caruso was ultimately given the OK for his redesigned Miramar project.

However, the commission attached a few conditions to the approval, which didn’t sit well with the founder of one of the largest privately held real estate companies in the nation and his Caruso Affiliated team.

Among the caveats, the commission limited the number of club memberships Caruso could sell to 100 once the project gets off the ground. The firm had noted it wanted to sell at least 300 memberships to supplement early revenues. Additionally, the commission moved to restrict special event attendance over the first 36 to 42 months of the hotel’s opening. The commission also reiterated concerns over parking, traffic flow and water use.

If Caruso’s parking plan turns out not to be sufficient enough, he won’t be able to sell additional private beach club memberships, according to the commission’s approval terms. According to memorandums from both Dudek Environmental Consultants and PKF Consulting USA, a hotel consultant firm, the 436 parking spaces proposed are adequate. PKF goes further to say that it’s unlikely the 436 spaces would be fully utilized by the guests, club members, event attendees and the estimated 120 daytime employees during most of the year.

The project as proposed includes 170 rooms, including 27 oceanfront suites, two restaurants totaling 258 seats, an oceanfront walk up bar, 8,000 square feet of meeting space with a capacity of 400 people, a 3,000 square-foot spa and 2,000-square-foot fitness center, a sundry shop and salon totaling 1,000 square feet, a 4,000-square foot private club, a 1,000-square-foot kids club and activity center, and two swimming pools.