The largest development in eastern Chula Vista is going to downsize.
Tuesday evening, the Chula Vista City Council voted unanimously to decrease the number of hotel rooms on the 21-acre Millenia development project from 500 to 135 rooms and increase the minimum amount of commercial space from 800,000 square feet to 1.5 million square feet.
Red flags went up with opponents because the city would technically stand to lose millions over the next decade from lost hotel tax fees.
“We’re not losing the hotel rooms,” said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas. “They’re just being shifted to another area.”
Salas said three nearby hotel developments offset the loss of the hotel rooms within Millenia, which was originally approved in 2009, before the three hotels.
Salas was annoyed with online reports and social media commentary that the city was wiping away upwards of $4.5 million in TOT (transient occupancy tax) revenue. She said the city is actually gaining ground in the proposed deal.
“The number that you have to look at is the increase in the minimum,” she said while leafing through a city report.
Salas said the original plan only guaranteed Millenia would provide 800,000 square feet of commercial space. The new plan would guarantee Chula Vista 1,500,000 square feet.
“So that’s a net gain of about double the commercial space,” she exclaimed.
The number of planned homes stays the same at more than 1,000 residential units.
Salas said with the recent passage of Measure A and projects like the Bayfront Master Plan and Millenia, things are looking up for Chula Vista.
“I think overall they are in spite of some of the misgivings of some people that don’t have all the information at hand,' she said.
In June, Chula Vista residents approved a half-cent sales tax hike when they approved Measure A.
Revenue from Measure A will go into a general fund and will be managed by an oversight committee put in place to make sure the money from Measure A is only used for police and fire staffing.
In 2016, voters approved Measure P, a 10-year, half-cent sales tax.