While the debate rages about whether the decaying former Bel Air Greens golf course should become land for housing, a similar Palm Springs property is proving that even when conversion is allowed, development remains elusive.
At issue: The former Palm Springs Country Club off North Whitewater Club Drive has been abandoned for more than a decade. Like Bel Air Greens, the property is an eyesore.
- Residents of neighboring developments report trash, off-road vehicle activity, and sand – lots and lots of sand – kicking up from the 126 acres and blanketing their homes. One nearby resident labeled the property a “blighted craphole.”
Driving the news: The city approved converting the property from open space to land for housing in 2016. Since then, developers have failed to build a single home. There was some hope last fall, which now appears to have dimmed.
- In September 2021, elected officials allowed the developer of the proposed Serena Park project to delay moving forward in exchange for a $500,000 payment to the city and promises to clean up and secure the property.
- The money was deposited with the city. But neighbors who were skeptical about promises to clean and secure the property said recently they were right to be suspicious.
What they’re saying: “They removed a few trees and a small area of debris in October 2021 and paid the money to the city. Nothing has happened since then. The debris and fire danger continues, illegal use of dirt bikes and ATVs go unaddressed, the property is completely unsecured, and dust and dirt continue to plague our community from this property.” – Paul Green, Four Seasons resident
State of play: A home builder slated to team with the landowner reportedly backed out earlier this year, city staff said in emails to concerned neighbors. There’s no word whether anyone responded when the owner of the property went shopping for a new partner back in January.
- “So much for the promise of the start of new home construction there by early 2023,” said one nearby resident in an email.
- We reached out to the city for a comment and haven’t heard back yet. We’ll update you if officials have anything to add.