David Powell, Palm Springs, requested that the applicant lessen the impacts of construction and operation. He is still awaiting comments from Staff.
Aamer Mumtaz, Palm Springs, HOA President for Center Court Club, discussed massing options. He also commented on his frustration at not being involved in the project early on.
Steve Harris, Palm Springs, commented that a project of this magnitude that is adjacent to a residential neighborhood is astonishing. He also commented on the effect the project would have on the neighborhood's views. He is a resident of Center Court Club which is adjacent to the project.
Richard Clifford, Palm Springs, has been a visitor to Palm Springs since 1938, and a resident since 2002. He supports the project design and feels that it will help to bring more business to the Convention Center and Palm Springs.
Jeff Pickles, Palm Springs, has lived here for 10 years and commented that the project will tie in downtown Palm Springs to the Convention Center. He thinks that it is a great project.
Kristin Bloomer, Palm Springs, commented that the project brings more hotel rooms next to the Convention Center which will bring more business to Palm Springs. She stated that it is a great project.
Robert Moon, Vista Las Palmas, commented that he is impressed with the project. He stated that the revised plan is half of the height allowed, has underground parking, condos and hotel. He also stated that it is a real mixed-use project, an advantage to the vast majority of citizens. The location of the project is appropriate, near the Convention Center.
Bob Helbling, Palm Springs, commented that the hotel has been planned for 8 years on this site and should be no surprise to anybody. He stated that he is surprised and pleased that the developer is still behind the project with financing available even with the recession that has delayed the project. He is ready for the project to begin.
Jim Boehner, Palm Springs, a resident of the Deauville which is just West of the project, supports the change in the project. He stated that it sends the message that Palm Springs is moving forward. Approval of this project sends the message to other developers that Palm Springs is ready to work with developers.
Joy Brown Meredith, Palm Springs, is a business owner in downtown Palm Springs. She commented that she supports the project and stated that lots of changes and concessions have been made. She also stated that the project is architecturally unusual and is glad that the developer is still interested in Palm Springs.
Michael Steward, Palm Springs, Vice President of the Palomino homeowners' association. He had information since 2007 regarding the project and he believes it will be an asset to his condominium project and Center Court Club also. It is a much better project that originally presented and much better than other options.
Roman Whittaker, Palm Desert, attorney and former President of the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce, commented that his wife owned a couple of businesses downtown until 2003. He stated that Palm Springs missed the boat on increasing growth and vitality of its marketplace in the past and that Palm Springs should take advantage of this opportunity.
Ms. Kibby thanked all for their comments. She stated that going forward she intends to be a good neighbor. She commented that within the scope of the approved project they have complied or reduced the impact.
Ms. Kibby explained that the parking structure is at grade and not elevated at all and that the building is 90 feet back from neighboring property line.
J.R. Raymond, Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Palm Springs spoke on replacing the existing parking lot for the Convention Center. He stated that the City owns 9.6 acres on the other side of Avenida Caballeros and that it is part of an Indian lease which incorporates the Convention Center and the Renaissance Hotel. In September 2007 the City purchased the sublease from a private developer who had proposed a 10 story project, which was never built. This area can be used for a parking lot for the Convention Center.
Commissioner Klatchko asked a question regarding the sale and lease of the parking area. The developer is to put aside funds to be used for additional Convention Center parking as a part of the approved project.
Director Raymond confirmed that it is the intent of the City to use those funds to create parking for the Convention Center.
Commissioner Weremiuk asked how the shadow study changed due to the changes in the project.
Ms. Kibby explained that there is very little impact except in the dead of winter. After 3:00 PM there is more shadow, but only for a short while as the sun soon goes behind the mountains and everything is dark.
Commissioner Roberts stated that the shadow study looks better, and appreciates the changes. He asked Ms. Kibby if she has reviewed the documents handed out in today's meeting.
Ms. Kibby stated that she reviewed comments of the homeowners' association but removing rooms from the hotel building and moving them is cost prohibitive. She stated that the changes made to the project have helped the impact on the courtyard at Center Court Club condominiums.
Commissioner Roberts questioned lessening the back of house sounds from air conditioning and kitchen venting.
Mark Philps, co-applicant, commented that the main dock has been moved to the corner providing less impact. Many of the operations have been moved underground and that all vehicular traffic is off grade. The entrance on Caballeros is for emergencies only and will have a gate. The air conditioning cooling towers and boilers are stacked on the second floor roof and have sound-deafening walls around them. The kitchen venting is also released through the roof and away from the neighbors.
Commissioner Klatchko asked staff if they were satisfied that the new "S" configuration is consistent with the submitted plan and that no further study is needed.
Planner Robertson confirmed that everything is in order and is satisfied that no further study is needed on this project.
Commissioner Klatchko is sympathetic to those at Center Court Club that indicated that they have been surprised but for 7 years there has been an approved project. They need to be thankful that they did not build the previously approved project.
Chair Donenfeld opened the floor to public comment. As there was none, he closed public comment and moved on to the motion.
Commissioner Roberts had questions regarding a noticing concern to the residence behind the project.
Planner Robertson confirmed that notice had been given and that there was no response from the neighbor.
Commissioner Calerdine had questions regarding the sewer connection to the City line.
Engineering Assistant for the City of Palm Springs Felipe Primera responded that there is a cost prohibitive cap on the installation of a sewer line and that the previous home discussed at a prior meeting may have met that cap.