• FILE - This Aug. 18, 2016 file photo shows Banning Ranch, including what remains of an oil-extraction operation, on what is believed to be the biggest piece of privately-owned vacant land on Southern California's coast in Newport Beach. The California Coastal Commission will hold a hearing in Newport Beach on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016, on the plan to build 895 homes, a 75-room hotel and retail complex on the 401-acre site long used for oil drilling. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

    FILE - This Aug. 18, 2016 file photo shows Banning Ranch, including what remains of an oil-extraction operation, on what is believed to be the biggest piece of privately-owned vacant land on Southern California's coast in Newport Beach. The ... California Coastal Commission will hold a hearing in Newport Beach on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016, on the plan to build 895 homes, a 75-room hotel and retail complex on the 401-acre site long used for oil drilling. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File) (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This Aug. 18, 2016 file photo shows what remains of an oil-extraction operation in Banning Ranch, on what is believed to be the biggest piece of privately-owned vacant land on Southern California's coast in Newport Beach. The California Coastal Commission will hold a hearing in Newport Beach on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016, on the plan to build 895 homes, a 75-room hotel and retail complex on the 401-acre site long used for oil drilling. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

    FILE - This Aug. 18, 2016 file photo shows what remains of an oil-extraction operation in Banning Ranch, on what is believed to be the biggest piece of privately-owned vacant land on Southern California's coast in Newport Beach. The California ... Coastal Commission will hold a hearing in Newport Beach on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016, on the plan to build 895 homes, a 75-room hotel and retail complex on the 401-acre site long used for oil drilling. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File) (The Associated Press)

California panel to weigh development on coastal oil land

Markets Associated Press

A hotly-contested proposal to build homes on a stretch of Southern California coastline that provides wildlife habitat is up for public discussion Wednesday.

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The California Coastal Commission will hold a hearing in Newport Beach on Wednesday on the plan to build 895 homes, a 75-room hotel and retail complex on the 401-acre site long used for oil drilling.

A Commission spokeswoman says Banning Ranch is considered to be the largest remaining, privately-held coastal property that could be developed south of Los Angeles.

While the plan would preserve roughly 80 percent of the property as open space, environmentalists want a much larger chunk protected.

Commission staff members want developers to confine building to 20 acres to protect habitat for the burrowing owl.