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La Quinta council delays proposed 252-unit apartment complex as it seeks changes to plan

Update 8/1/23 11:05 PM

The La Quinta City Council voted 4-0 to delay the proposed apartment development. This comes after a meeting with several hours of public comment.

The developer will work with the planning commission on a revised build plan. The biggest change that councilmembers requested was eliminating three-story buildings from the proposed plan.

Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing updates.

Original Report 8/1/23 12:40 PM

The La Quinta City Council will vote at tonight's meeting on the fate of a proposed 252-unit apartment complex, which would be located on a roughly 14-acre vacant plot of land on the northeast corner of Washington Street and Avenue 50.

It's the site of the previously approved La Paloma project that would have resulted in the construction of a multi-unit senior community with independent living, assisted living and memory care units.

The new La Quinta Village Apartments project is described as a multifamily apartment project, which would include 178 market-rate units and 74 moderate-income affordable units. The project would include site improvements such as landscaping, utility infrastructure, covered parking, clubhouse, pool, spa, barbecue areas, putting course, pickleball court, and dog park.

The project was heard by the Planning Commission (Commission) on March 28 and June 27, 2023.

According to the City's staff report, the project requires changes to the current La Paloma plans including:

  • Maximum structure height of 28 feet (ft) within 150 ft of image corridor (WashingtonStreet and Avenue 50); current zoning limits the maximum structure height at 22 ft within 150 ft of image corridor.
  • Maximum three stories; current zoning limits maximum number of stories to two.
  • Carports allowed within front yard setback; current zoning does not allow any structures, including carports, within front yard setback.
  • Minimum livable area of 670 square feet (sf); current zoning requires a minimum livable area of 750 sf.
  • Allowance of fencing and retention basins within perimeter landscape setbacks; current zoning does not allow fencing or retention basins within setback.

The units are proposed to be housed in 11 buildings throughout the project site: seven and half of the buildings are two-story, and three and half of the buildings are three-story.

The proposed project is getting mixed reaction from members of the community.

"The three-story variants is the first concern. Safety is obviously the biggest concern. The increase in traffic is just going to be a safety concern that I don';t think we can live with," said Dante Gomez, a resident of Parc La Quinta.

Other residents that live in the area where the new proposed apartment complex could be constructed believe it would offer a solution to California's affordable housing crisis.

"People are shoved out of buying housing, so to have high density is appropriate, particularly due to its proximity to the very, very good schools," said La Quinta resident Robert Perdue.

Other residents have submitted letters to Council which outline concerns over the exclusion of low-income housing in the project. A number of residents have noted that the complex's lower priced units will be roughly 600 ft.² and cost renters roughly $2000 a month.

Watch News Channel 3 at 5:00 p.m. tonight for the full story.

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Jennifer Franco

Jennifer Franco is the weekend anchor/weekday reporter for KESQ News Channel 3


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