La Quinta City Council Meets to Discuss the proposed La Quinta Surf Park at Coral Mountain Resort
After seven hours of city presentations and public comments on the Coral Mountain Resort. The hearing ended well after midnight without a vote for or against the controversial proposed surf park project.
The project, called Coral Mountain Resort
Includes a nearly 17-acre wave pool, 150 hotel rooms, 600 short-term vacation rentals, and a variety of other recreational facilities.
The land where the surf park would be built is about 400 acres of undeveloped space at the base of Coral Mountain off Madison Avenue between Avenues 58 and 60. The parcel would need to be rezoned from low-density residential to commercial/tourist.
With more than 100 golf courses already serving the Coachella Valley, the builders hope to stand out with a $200-million complex built around a surfing basin created by Kelly Slater Wave Co. The Solana Beach engineering firm founded by surfing legend Kelly Slater says it will provide the largest, rideable open-barrel, human-made waves in the world. Slater, who’s originally from Cocoa Beach, Florida, is the most successful professional U.S. surfer ever, earning 11 world championship titles.
“We chose to do this project because it allows us to further build on our technology … and I’m personally excited to create a new wave that will be a standalone design that nowhere else in the world has,” Slater said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. “This can become the blueprint for new developments around waves and surf parks going forward and is in line with some of my original ideas from when we started this project. I can’t wait to get underway.”
Wave Based Luxury Resort
Developers say the La Quinta Surf Park at Coral Mountain Resort could accommodate up to 25 surfers at a time, and is part of Coral Mountain Resort, a proposed “wave-based” luxury resort complex.
La Quinta is one of several locations in and around the Coachella Valley where a surf resort or large water feature is planned. DSRT Surf in Palm Desert would include a 5.5-acre surf lagoon that would be open to the public. The former Wet ‘N’ Wild water park in Palm Springs is slated to become a surf park, also open to the public. Thermal Beach Club surf park resort, which would include a 20-acre surf lagoon, was approved last year by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.
None have been built yet. The projects differ in various ways, using different wave technology. Each of the surf projects has been approved by the respective water agencies. Coachella Valley Water District, which would administer water for Coral Mountain Resort, said the La Quinta project’s annual water usage is under the maximum the district allows.
The Coral Mountain Resort – Wave Development’s Proposal
- Up to 600 residential units – 496 in an area to be zoned low-density residential areas, and 104 in an area proposed to be zoned for tourist commercial.
- Up to 150 hotel rooms.
- Up to 60,000 square feet of Neighborhood Commercial uses at the southwest corner of Madison and Avenue 58.
- Up to 57,000 square feet of resort commercial uses in the tourist commercial area.
- A 16.6-acre wave pool and the equipment to create the waves, maintenance and water treatment buildings and a water tank. The wave pool would be open only to residents who are club members and resort guests.
- 26.5 acres of “back of houses” area immediately south of the wave pool, which can include parking, temporary buildings and facilities for operations and special events.
- 24 acres of open space on the south end of the property, to include trails, ropes courses and passive and protected open space.
The near 1,000-page final environmental impact report was posted last week on the city’s website, laquintaca.gov/cmresort, and made available for public review at City Hall and the library.
Water is the Main Concern from Opponents of the Project
The Coachella Valley Water District says there is sufficient water for the La Quinta Surf Park at Coral Mountain Resort. The water agency estimates the project’s total domestic water demand for indoor and outdoor use will be about 958 acre-feet per year, well under the 1,200 acre-feet per year that CVWD allows.
The Wave Basin is projected to use 119.58 acre-feet per year or approximately 15% of the projected outdoor water use for Coral Mountain Resort, according to the findings of the environmental impact report.
In contrast, the gated housing community with 18-hole golf course originally planned for that property would have used about 1,058.4 acre-feet per year. A project with no water amenities or golf would use about 906.6 acre-feet per year, according to the findings of the environmental impact report.
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