Court of Appeals Denies Coral Casino Lawsuit

The California Second District Court Appeals on December 19 found that a lawsuit against the renovation of Ty Warner’s Channel Drive club, the Coral Casino, had no merit. A panel of judges ruled that an alternative to the $65-million rehabilitation “was unfeasible and that the Warner project was consistent with the Montecito Community Plan.”

In a written statement following the ruling, Greg Rice, executive vice president of development for Ty Warner Hotels & Resorts, LLC, said: “We are grateful for this decision by the Court of the Appeals, now the seventh agency in over six years to support the integrity of our plan. Since June we have been moving forward full-steam with our plans, under a great deal of risk while the lawsuit was still pending. We hope that this matter will soon be resolved, once and for all.”

As of yesterday, it was difficult to determine whether Cynthia Ziegler, whose Coral Casino Preservation Committee filed the lawsuit, would advance her case to the next level, the California Supreme Court.

Ziegler has contested Warner’s rehabilitation on the basis that the construction would destroy historically sensitive portions of the 69-year-old club and violates specific tenets of the Montecito Community Plan.

Before the December 19 ruling, the project had received approvals from six governmental agencies: the Montecito Board of Architectural Review, Historic Landmarks Advisory Commission, Montecito Planning Commission, County Board of Supervisors, California Coastal Commission and the Santa Barbara County Superior Court.