A popular RV park in Palm Desert, Calif., may soon be replaced with a residential development aimed at providing “attainable” housing for people working at and around the University of California Riverside campus, according to a report in the Desert Sun.
The Palm Desert Planning Commission recently voted unanimously to approve a recommendation that will allow the 80-acre Emerald Desert RV and Golf Park to be rezoned and rebuilt as Spanish Walk, with townhouses and single-family homes priced between $300,000 and $400,000.
“There is a trade-off,” said David Tschopp, commission chairman, about the vote to close Emerald Desert. “You’d like to have both, but sometimes you can’t.”
The development will include about about 600 townhouse condos and single-family homes, plus a 150-unit apartment complex specifically targeted at university staff and students.
Tim Day, project manager for developer Taylor Woodrow of San Diego, said construction on what the company terms “attainable” housing should begin spring of 2006, with initial move-ins by mid-2007. The median home price in the Coachella Valley hovers at about $370,000.
The commission vote cleared the way for the proposal to go the Palm Desert City Council for approval, most likely at its Nov. 10 meeting.
The impact on the RV park users was not discussed at the meeting. But Mike Meirs of Lucerne, Calif., a park regular since 2000, was unhappy about its likely closure.
Emerald Desert “is our favorite place,” he said. “(If it closes) you have to go to Arizona.”
But the prospect of housing that working families might be able to afford clearly won over the commissioners, some of whom expressed mixed feelings about the impact of a high-density development.
The question remains whether the prices at Spanish Walk will survive market forces by the time the first units are ready for move-in in 2007.
Tschopp said the planning commission has no power to require certain prices but was hopeful they would remain “attainable.”