Housing project near abandoned golf course sees slight movement forward

The developer of “Casa Verona,” near the abandoned former Palm Springs Country Club, is asking to increase the size of the project from 25 homes to 31.

A recently-erected sign at the site of land near the abandoned Palm Springs Country Club has neighbors wondering if a housing project is moving forward. The answer is yes and no.

Yes, the developer of one of two projects in the area recently applied for a zoning change to help move his project ahead. No, the sign is not in relation to the nearly 400 homes planned on 126 acres, dubbed “Serena Park.”

Instead, city staff said Monday, the sign refers to the “Casa Verona” project — which the developer is hoping to expand from 25 to 31 single family homes, each built in “a single story modern contemporary style with pools and desert landscape.” The zoning change currently being considered will allow for the additional homes. While the Serena Park project was planned for land formerly occupied by the golf course, the Casa Verona project is on a 4.6-acrea triangle section of land to the right former golf course’s parking lot, clubhouse, and tennis courts, bordered by East Verona Road.

The on-again, off-again development of the golf course land has long frustrated area residents, who have voiced concerns about additional traffic after the homes have been built, and construction noise during their build-out. The golf course has been closed since 2007, with its facilities and acreage falling into disrepair. The Serena Park project was approved in 2016, but is not currently moving forward

The builder of Casa Verona, Temple Development, purchased the land in question in 2005. In a letter to the city requesting the zoning change earlier this year, Mark Temple said abandonment of the golf course and multiple economic downturns have been tough to overcome, but his company has stuck with the plans for Casa Verona and has every intention of moving forward.

“We are the only vacant land property owners in this area that have stayed with the project and weathered the storm,” he wrote in a justification letter to city planners. “(We) are committed to complete this project.

“I have lived permanently in Palm Springs since 1977 and Temple Development has developed over 1,800 resort homes and condominiums in Palm Springs.”

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