138-unit mixed use development in Uptown Palm Springs would fill 4.6-acre vacant lot

The yet-to-be named project just north of Stonewall Gardens and south of Mykonos Desert Suites along North Palm Canyon Drive got an initial review from the Planning Commission last week.

The developers of a proposed 138-unit project in Uptown Palm Springs will likely move ahead with a formal development following mostly positive review from the city Planning Commission last week.

The news: The yet-to-be named project on 4.6 vacant acres just north of Stonewall Gardens and south of Mykonos Desert Suites along North Palm Canyon Drive got an initial review from the Planning Commission at its July 13 meeting.

  • Included in the plans is a two-story, 10-unit hotel with bottom-floor retail fronting North Palm Canyon Drive, and eight two-story structures behind the hotel, each with 16 units of livable space.

  • Commissioners voiced approval for the design and efforts to bring more development to that section of the city. They were not in favor of an initial concept that would have seen short-term rentals behind the hotel — preferring instead to see apartments in the neighborhood.

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Why it matters: The concept of allowing short-term rentals and a hotel on the same property has no provisions in the city’s Zoning Ordinance and the city’s Vacation Rental Ordinance prohibits short-term rentals of apartment units. A lack of rental housing and oversaturation of vacation rentals in some neighborhoods are concerns consistently voiced by city residents.

  • “I would just love to see some rentals,” said Commission Chair Kathy Weremiuk. “We need rentals in this city. We need them desperately.”
The initial design for a project on 4.6 acres in Uptown Palm Springs.

Going forward: “We’re thinking about this project as a hotel,” said Lance O’Donnell, architect for the developer, in response to concerns over trying to set precedent with the initial concept. “We want to get it entitled as a hotel. There’s an operator interested in it as a hotel at the moment.”

What they’re saying: “I think it’s an incredible project. I love the density. It’s something we’ve been trying to get other developers to do. This is the exact site plan the city is crying out for. This is what we need.” – Planning Commissioner Michael Hirschbein

Next steps: The developer, Yuin Kim, will need to formally apply to begin the construction process. That involves permitting at City Hall and review by boards and commissions. That process typically takes months.


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