Proposed surf park in California desert is rejected by La Quinta City Council
A proposed surf beach in the desert near the California-Nevada border was rejected by the city of La Quinta last week.
The La Quinta City Council voted 5 to 4 on Feb. 27 to deny a special use permit to Redondo Beach-based Pacific Watersports to build a surf park in La Quinta’s Mojave Desert. The decision comes after more than 250 people attended a public hearing on the matter and were briefed by city officials.
Pacific Watersports says the proposed project will give surfers and swimmers access to a place for their recreation, education and fun. The company says it has studied the potential for the project and would open a new surf site that offers more amenities, including a water park, splash pad and beach access.
In the end, the City Council rejected the project, citing many concerns with potential damage to sensitive desert habitats, as well as an alleged “blatant misrepresentation” from Pacific Watersports over its location.
“It wasn’t just about the surf park, but it was about where the site was located and what was being proposed,” Mayor Eric Lueck said.
Last week, Pacific Watersports filed an appeal with the City Council over the denial of its permit application. The appeal is scheduled to be heard by the La Quinta City Council at 10 a.m. Monday, March 5, in the council chambers.
Meanwhile, Pacific Watersports is now taking the case to the local courts.
“We filed a petition with the Riverside County Superior Court on Feb. 27,” said Pacific Watersports attorney Greg Lohman. “That’s the one place that has jurisdiction over this matter. We’re filing with that court first and then from there we’ll take it to the Riverside County County Board of Supervisors or the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. Once we’ve completed our petition, it’s our hope to get it started.”
Pacific Watersports is asking the Riverside County Riverside County Superior Court to reverse the city’s grant of the surf park permit and to issue a permanent injunction against the city