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Owner fights for county approval to build Castaic hotel

Posted: January 7, 2009 8:51 p.m.
Updated: January 8, 2009 4:59 a.m.

When it's built, the Holiday Inn will replace two acres of dry waist-high grass on a wedge-shaped lot between the Interstate and The Old Road, as seen here.

County officials extended a permit Tuesday for a Bakersfield woman who continues her struggle to build a hotel on the main road to Castaic Lake despite the county's ongoing road repairs and a sagging economy.

For the last five years, Ya-Yung "Irene" Yeh tried to get Los Angeles County approval to build a Holiday Inn on the west side of Interstate 5 on Parker Road, which ushers motorists into the Castaic Lake recreational area.

On Tuesday, Yeh asked the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning to have her conditional-use permit extended to the beginning of December.

"It's a perfect location, that's why they let us try to build there," said Yeh, reached by phone at the California Inn, which she owns in Bakersfield.

"There's been (regional planning) hearing after hearing after hearing, but we're hanging in there," she said. "We're not in any rush. Whatever happens, happens."

Her plan calls for a 121-room hotel with pool and dining area on the access road to Castaic Lake.

Department of Public Works officials want her to design and construct traffic lights at the intersection of Parker Road and The Old Road.

Anita Gutierrez, with the county's regional planning department, granted Yeh's extension request in light of department of public works demands.

Tuesday's request for extension was the second granted since the hotel project was approved in January 2006.

"They have until Dec. 5, 2009, to have substantial construction there. They have to have foundation poured or something to that effect," Gutierrez said.

Ongoing construction along The Old Road has "impacted the surrounding area," she added.

When it's built, the Holiday Inn will replace two acres of dry waist-high grass on a wedge-shaped lot between the Interstate and The Old Road.

Three motels already dot the busy Parker Road interchange including the Rodeway Inn, which features a vast parking lot designed for truckers, the Day's Inn on the southeast corner and the Castaic Inn closest to the Interstate on the east side.

The proposed Holiday Inn would be its neighbor on the other side of the Interstate overpass.

The manager of the Castaic Inn who would give only his first name, Ji (pronounced "gee"), said the motel business is not as lucrative as it was a year ago.

"The economic situation is the same for everybody," he said. "They don't have events (at Castaic Lake) like before. Before, they would have three or four (boating) events, but right now it's more like one a year."


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