Neighbors, commissioners differ over concerns about condo project planned in Uptown

It’s unclear whether the neighbors will follow through with legal action — referenced in letters to the Commission — in an attempt to force a traffic study for the project.
A rendering of a proposed condominium complex that would front North Palm Canyon Drive, across from the Skylark Hotel.

Neighbors looking for changes to a proposed condominium development in the Old Las Palmas area didn’t get what they wanted Wednesday evening. However, the project will still head back to the drawing board.

Driving the news: The Palm Springs Planning Commission asked the developer of “12 @ Las Palmas,” planned for 1424 Camino Norte, to return with a handful of changes or clarifications in December. None of the work will be done to address the primary concerns of the neighbors.

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  • At issue for residents is the potential for additional traffic along Camino Norte — particularly near the entrance and exit to the development, which they said is too close to a blind curve — and the inclusion of eight accessory dwelling units (ADUs) they fear will become short-term vacation rentals.
     
  • “That curve is a huge safety issue,” said resident Paul Popowich. “I’m hoping that that space can be widened.”

Planning Commissioners didn’t have an issue with the traffic and said their hands were tied with the inclusion of the ADUs, which are encouraged under new state laws. “We’re talking 12 units,” said Vice Chair J.R. Roberts. “I don’t think it’s going to add a significant amount of traffic to this neighborhood.”

  • Issues commissioners were concerned with, however, included the lack of a landscape plan, how occupants of the ADUs would dispose of trash, what the development would look like along North Palm Canyon Drive (which it would front), and the inclusion of a driveway gate. 
     
  • “I don’t think this is ready,” said Chair Kathy Weremiuk. “It’s a little too preliminary to me right now for us to say yes to it.”

Moving forward: All those issues will be addressed by the developer and brought back for further review at a December Planning Commission meeting. It’s unclear whether the neighbors will follow through with legal action — referenced in letters to the Commission — in an attempt to force a traffic study for the project.

  • A traffic study was included for a project on an adjacent lot to the north — a 71-unit affordable housing project for seniors titled “Aloe Palm Springs.”

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