Coral Casino Appeal Resolved 

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 18, 2023

The announcement of the new restaurant operation team comes on the heels of the dismissal of multiple appeals made by Coral Casino members against Warner’s application to amend the Coral Casino’s land use permit. 

The Coral Casino operations team was in front of Montecito Planning Commission in April, asking for amendments to two of its 92 conditions of operation of the Biltmore Hotel and Coral Casino Development Plan, which were originally approved in 2005. The proposed amendments include reducing the number of hotel rooms at the nearby Biltmore Hotel from a maximum of 229 to 192, as well as allowing limited public use – 265 members of the public per day – of the existing second-floor restaurant at the Coral Casino, currently operating as Tydes. In addition, the proposed changes to the CDP include eliminating use of the Coral Casino by Biltmore hotel guests and their guests, reducing the number of allotted monthly memberships to reciprocal clubs, and eliminating the seasonal membership allowance for Biltmore guests.

Ty Warner Hotels & Resorts spokesperson Bill Medel told the Commission at the time that the limited Coral Casino private member community of 600 families limits a viable business model for an award-winning restaurant, and that having a publicly accessible restaurant on the beach aligns with the spirit and intent of the Coastal Act. Medel went on to say that many members were happy that the Club will change to members-only, instead of being able to be accessed by Biltmore guests and their guests. Other improvements at the Coral Casino include expansion of Fins, the Club’s take-out juice bar, relocation and enlargement of the children’s pool, relocation of the spa and an added plunge pool, addition of a new members’ rooftop lounge, and upgrading of the private dining room. 

The Montecito Planning Commission voted 2-1 to approve the amendments, with Commissioners Bob Kupiec and Marshall Miller in support and newly-seated Commissioner Sandy Stahl in opposition. Commissioner Ron Pulice abstained from the agenda item. Following the meeting, five Coral Casino members appealed the decision, citing lack of inclusion of member opinion, lack of noticing, and lack of protection for members’ rights. 

Last month, an internal email sent to members shared the news that the appeals had been resolved after mediation and facilitation, and on Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors formally denied the appeals on the basis that the appellants and Warner had come to an agreement. The appellants and Medel both spoke at the hearing, with both sides saying they were happy a resolution was agreed upon. Other members of the Coral Casino also spoke, voicing their enthusiasm towards moving forward with reopening the club. 

The negotiations between both sides included operational amendments including member priority for dining reservations and measures that will ensure the rest of the club will remain for members only. 

No word yet on when the Coral Casino will officially reopen. 


You might also be interested in...