Imagine a city with more than double the current population, 26,000 additional jobs, and 19,000 more housing units. That’s what Palm Springs can expect by 2040, planners said Tuesday, as they shared a draft of updated plans to prepare for what could be the highest rate of growth in the city in 70 years.
The projections were presented to a sparse crowd at the Palm Springs Convention Center, and up to a dozen others who tuned in on Facebook Live, during a community workshop to discuss an update of the city’s General Plan. A deadline to adopt updates to one element of the plan comes in April 2022. It was last updated in 2014.
The plan addresses nine areas of importance to the city, including air quality, noise issues, and recreational opportunities. None of those may be as important as the housing element. City planners, and consultants they are working with, must figure out where a projected population of 101,000 people — up from the current population of 46,000 — will live. The housing portion of the updated plan is due for adoption in October.
If population predictions pan out, the city will grow by 118 percent in the next 20 years. That’s only five percent less than the last time the population boomed — going from 3,400 to 7,600 between 1940 and 1950.
Wendy Nowak, principal at a firm hired by the city to help guide the update, told audience members that to address the growth the city must work to change zoning maps, land use descriptions within the zones, and identify how a mix of single-family and high-density housing can blend in with the needs of businesses and the environment.
City residents on hand Tuesday evening got a look at current maps outlining how that might happen. Nowak and city planning staff encouraged those who could not make the meeting to look at the plans and share their thoughts by going here. The deadline for public input on the maps is this Sunday, July 18.
The public may also provide comments directly to the Planning Services Department via email at [email protected]. To view a recording of Tuesday’s workshop and any other materials related to the General Plan update you can visit the project website at https://www.psgeneralplan.com/.
The Post covered two of four community meetings last month that specifically addressed housing issues in the city. Coverage of those meetings is available here and here.