According to The Desert Sun, A proposed housing development across from the SilverRock Resort project received lukewarm reception from La Quinta city leaders this week, who are giving the developer another two months to create a plan that puts more room between the homes.
“I’m anxious to see something on this property, but not anxious to see something so compact,” Mayor Pro Tem Kristy Franklin said. “You’ve got to open it up a little bit.”
It’s the second proposed housing development for the 20.8 acres on the northwest corner of Jefferson Street and Avenue 52.
The land was initially approved in 2004 to be a 250-unit, gated condominium development. The site was graded, portions of utility infrastructure installed and one eight-plex building and 10 podium garages constructed.
But the economic downturn brought a halt to the project, known as Watermark Villas.
The land was ultimately sold to Beazer Homes, which wants to build 82, Spanish-style single family homes, demolishing the existing buildings but keeping the wall, entry gate and paving and the retention basin in place.
Lots would range 6,000-to-10,000 square feet, with homes starting at 2,338 square feet and priced around the $650,000 range, depending on the market, Nicole Sauviat Criste, consulting planner for the city, told the council.
The three models include a two-story designed so that it doesn’t raise the height of the homes, she said.
A recreation area also is proposed opposite the entry, consisting of a pool and spa, pool building with restrooms, and turf areas on 0.8 acre. Pedestrian paseos are proposed behind the lots in the center of the project, connecting to the recreation area.
Among the five resolutions needed for the project to move forward is a zone change from medium/high density to low density; approval of a mitigated negative declaration of environmental impact; a specific plan amendment; tentative tract map; and site development permit.
Planning commissioners recommended approval of the project, but the consensus on the council was that the 10-foot setbacks and distance between the homes was too tight.
“SilverRock Resort is the five-star resort for the entire Coachella Valley,” said Councilman Lee Osborne. “I’m challenged to have something of this type with these setbacks … across from SilverRock,” Councilman Lee Osborne said.
Two nearby residents and the marketing director for neighboring Citrus Club also spoke during the lengthy public hearing. They all approved of the project, as long as two-story homes weren’t allowed on the boundaries closest to Citrus, to protect the privacy of those residents.
Officials sent it back to see if the developer and architect can develop a plan with fewer homes. However, Monica Ultreras, spokeswoman for Beazer, told council members that a reduction in lots would make the project unfeasible.
Beazer is expected to return to the council on March 3.