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La Quinta wave park developer wants to prove outraged neighbors wrong

The developer of a proposed wave pool resort in La Quinta is working to answer the concerns of outraged residents.

Some neighbors in private, quiet golf communities on the south end of the city said a bustling surf park isn't right for the area. But the developer said he intends to show them their concerns of traffic, noise and peace disruption are not warranted.

"We’re gonna prove out that this may not be what people think it is," said John Gamlin, president of Coral Mountain Wave Development.

Gamlin faces an uphill battle trying to win over the approval of hundreds of the projects' neighbors for Coral Mountain Resort, a luxury, private, residential community with a nearly 17-acre surfable wave pool.

Recreation in the Coachella Valley is changing, Gamlin said, and a project like this aims to draw new people to the desert while helping La Quinta stay relevant.

"Younger people, millennials and Generation Z are not playing golf and so theres this sea change going on in demographics," he said.

The $1 billion project is expected to drive up to $2.2 million in city revenue each year, but nearby residents are worried the resort will wreak havoc on their quality of life.

"This is just the wrong place for this," said Trilogy resident Kelly Welton. "This doesn't belong in the middle of a residential quiet area."

An independent Environmental Impact Report draft addresses all of the concerns Gamlin has heard so far, he said, from neighborhood disruptions to water usage.

He said noise was studied at an existing surf park in central California, and this project has enough mitigation to keep it quiet.

"You can drive by this community with the wave basin operating and you wouldn’t know it was operating," he said.

Traffic studies, Gamlin said, show no nearby intersections will need to be immediately improved as a result of this project, with no longer waits at traffic lights projected.

"I haven't found anything that I don't think we can't address in a way that would be acceptable to any neighbor," he said. "We’re the private country club equivalent of a wave pool, instead of golf."

La Quinta's planning commission is expected to take up the project in October and developers are looking for city council's approval by the end fo the year.

The project's review period ends Friday, Aug. 6. Residents should submit their comments to the city of La Quinta before then.

To provide comments in response to this notice (please include "Coral Mountain Resort DEIR" in the subject line) in writing, by August 6, 2021, to: Nicole Sauviat Criste, Consulting Planner, City of La Quinta, 78‐495 Calle Tampico, La Quinta, CA 92253, or consultingplanner@laquintaca.gov. Please include your name, address, and other contact information in your response.


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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.

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