Bakersfield Planning Commission refers Howard Johnson Hotel rezoning project back to staff, neighbors satisfied

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Bakersfield Planning Commission referred the rezoning project of the Howard Johnson Hotel back to staff for evaluation after a lengthy meeting on Aug. 3.

Owners of the property and neighbors met before the planning commission to give their sides of the story, with the planning commission eventually siding with the neighbors.

Residents clapped as planning commission chair Zachary Bashirtash addressed co-owners of the Howard Johnson Hotel located on White Lane just off Highway 99, now named The Blanco.

Bashirtash reprimanded co-owner Daniel Sadeh of Blue Ocean Equities for the inability to supply more security at The Blanco. After that, the commission referred the project back to staff for evaluation.

“He can seek a few different options of trying to get it pushed through again,” Bashirtash said. “Basically our hopes of referring it back to staff is giving him time to come up with a solution as to the stuff that we had presented.”

Neighbors refused to speak on camera with 17 News, saying they’re fearful to appear on air despite being present at the meeting. However, they said they’re satisfied with the result.

Bashirtash says there is no time frame for when the owners need to present back to commission. He defended the commission’s decision. 

“The applicant didn’t come in with enough of a model and a business plan to justify it being rezoned,” Bashirtash said. “What we did get, we didn’t see it was happening now. You can’t sell me on a promise if it’s not actually happening now.”

For now, the neighbors of The Blanco are satisfied, while the zoning of the area The Blanco rests on remains the same.

17 News reached out to the owners of the property for comment, but did not get a response before the publication of this article.

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