The doomsday clock for Pleasant Hill’s CineArts theater dome just ticked closer to midnight as the city council voted to deny an appeal by preservationists to save the structure.
In a meeting that ran to 2:30 a.m. and included hours of public comment from some 50 supporters of the dome, the council finally decided in a 3-2 vote that developer SyWest could go ahead with its demolition of the structure.
Mayor Michael Harris and Councilman Ken Carlson voted in favor of the appeal. Council members David Durant, Tim Flaherty, and Jack Weir voted for it, per the Contra costa Times.
“It would be patently unfair to retroactively impose criteria on a developer,” Weir said, according to Pleasant Hill Patch. SyWest president Bill Vierra, who had previously pledged never to reopen the theater, “did not give a timeline for beginning the demolition,” according to The Times.
So now the Save the Pleasant Hill Dome folks say they’re going to meet to review their limited options. “Next step will have to be legal, a costly road to go down, and we have to see if that’s the road our supporters want to go down,” Save the Dome’s Martha Ross said in an email.
For now, the developer has a valid demolition permit, and the bulldozers could start rolling very soon.
Update: The developer didn't waste any time following the council's decision. The theater was demolished the very next day, on May 8.