The La Quinta City Council has approved the latest design for the proposed Pavilion Palms shopping center at the vacant corner of Jefferson and Avenue 50. The votes on the environmental declaration and specific site plan were unanimous. The proposed development has been through numerous public hearings and deliberations over the last four years.
The Desert Sun has published several substantive accounts of the proposal and delays.
I have been in the construction and development business for 35 years and can bring solid PROS and CON argument’s to this development. There’s no question that this development is needed for our community, multiple types of retail establishments, restaurants, service, etc., however, serious considerations in planning need to be brought forward and addressed. This development is at a very busy intersection which also supports the Ralphs Center, CVS and other small business enterprises on the same parcel of property”. Currently, there are no traffic lights servicing the ingress and egress for the Ralphs center. Putting in another retail development across the street will put added pressure to the intersection on 50th St. and Jefferson, challenging the planning engineers with providing ingress and egress on 50th St. and Jefferson. Because of the amount of traffic coming into the new development, traffic lights will need to be installed on both major roadways. I would assume that it will NOT be a RIGHT-IN and RIGHT-OUT design due to the amount of car and truck traffic this development will draw. Because traffic light will be required, they will be within 150 to 200 yards from the intersection of 50th and Jefferson, thus potentially causing cars to get stuck in the intersection due to traffic light timing and mis-sequencing at all three locations. The traffic light on 50th will need to be coordinated with the Ralph’s Center traffic patterns (Environmental Impact Statement), so there are no impact to cars entering, existing, parking and trying to exit a parking space. Existing the Ralph’s Center to the west on to Jefferson will only be a RIGHT-OUT because new traffic patterns will prevent a left-hand turn onto Jefferson southbound due to new traffic patterns and pressure. This may force the Ralph’s Center to add a traffic light at that location too. If no traffic light is installed, the public will have no other choice but to go northbound on Jefferson and making a U-Turn at 49th Street, or use the traffic light on 50th. Having a gas station in our neighborhood will be a welcome benefit on the surface, but lunch time will be highly congested from the construction trades cars, trucks and trailers getting gasoline, buying and eating lunch in the parking lot. Potential gasoline tank leaks into the aquifer is unlikely due to modern day materials, methods and State of California mandated testing. The question needs to be asked, will the neighborhood residents use this gas station, or will they travel another 10 minutes to Costco and/or other gas stations on Hwy 111 for a more competitive price per gallon for gasoline? I trust the Developer, City and Planning Department are aware of this?
I think most of you are to critical. Having a gas station and more choices to shop closer to home is a great idea and should proceed. The houses around there are within walls and no ones house is going to be directly looking at center. As for traffic I believe all of
Hwy 111 has issues getting in and out of parking lots. It’s just how it is. I live at Trilogy on 60th and driving all the way into town takes a bit of time so having more choices sounds great to me! Groceries, gas and maybe a couple more restaurants and other stores.
Let’s make this work!
I agree the current design looks like a”fort” or the rear side of an outlet strip center. The development is called Pavilion Palms….where are the palm trees? Height restrictions are academic and the design must follow the Building Code. Unfortunately, trying to make any strip center blend into the architecture of a modern day residential community and be aesthetically pleasing is a designers challenge. There are two approaches to strip center planning; the first is as shown in the current design, put the buildings fronting the intersection and hide the parking lot and all activities; the second is set-back the strip center to the rear of the property and put the parking lot in full view of the main roadways. The Ralph’s Center is an example of this approach. Nether design will satisfy everyone. At a minimum, I would think the design motif should at least follow the character of La Quinta. Take for example the Northwood Retail Center Developments in Irvine. This residential community and La Quinta have similar, if not, exact styles. The retail center (there are many) follow the character of the surrounding community and blend in (concealed) very well. Maybe the design team should conduct a field trip and review alternative designs, or at least Google Earth the retail centers. Is the gas station still being planned? If so, it needs to be concealed. King Palm trees and moderate use of low height stucco screen walls along Jefferson and 50th will provide a good aesthetic buffer zone. This approach follows what is widely used throughout all residential communities in La Quinta, but does not need to be as profound. Happy Holidays to all!