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While the Laguna Beach, Calif., Planning Commission voted unanimously to renovate the Coast Inn, the next step in preserving the historic local gay epicenter comes in obtaining a ranking in the city's Historic Register.
Owner Steven Uvdar-Hazy bought the property in 2005; it was the home of the Boom Boom Room, a gay bar in which late actor Rock Hudson held court for decades. The bar was shut down in 2008, but the Coast Inn remained open. Now Uvdar-Hazy plans to convert the structure into a boutique hotel complete with a rooftop pool, according to the Coastline Pilot. Plans also show that the area that used to be the Boom Boom Room may be leveled to create a 13-space parking lot.
However, residents behind the Save the Boom project are vying to have the owner instead donate the property to the city as an LGBT center or keep the bar open as a gay bar. Instead, Uvdar-Hazy said he is considering an art gallery or wine-tasting bar, rather than a standard hotel bar or restaurant.
The commission granted the owner a C rating in the Historic Registry but also said that an interpretive exhibit should be included on the site to explain the property's historic significance. The K rating, which would give the inn more historic value, would let Uvdar-Hazy claim several money-saving tax breaks. He applied for the K rating in March but was denied.