Tribe Accepts Majority of Palm Springs Suggestions for Arena Plans

Max Rodriguez

The City of Palm Springs had their meeting and they got an earful from residents last month, both excited and concerned about the impact of the downtown arena.

A total of 81 suggestions came from that meeting, but the number one worry was parking.

The Agua Caliente Tribe and the Oak View Group are incorporating all but 12 of the suggestions, one of them was a request by the city to redirect parking away from city garages and lots.

The City Manager, David Ready said there may be a compromise as plans move forward.

Ready said, “There’s going to be parking for the arena and there’s parking for the downtown and the question is how will all of those will interact together so that parking for the arena does not affect the downtown businesses and vice-versa.”

The city planning staff reviewed parking plans and said the arena will require around 1,200 parking spots, the current plans by the developers include only about half.

In addition, in a letter by the Agua Caliente Tribe to the city, it rejected a request to avoid scheduling events at the arena during major city events.

“The arena project is under the province of the tribe, they have the right to build it,” Ready said. “And so our role on this is working with them and they want to be cooperative on this so that we mitigate issues that are going to affect the larger community.”

Ready said the discussion will continue as necessary with the developers, among them will be on funding for public safety. The Palm Springs Fire and Police Departments project a cost of $20 million for new equipment, plus $3.5 million a year for staffing.

Ready said, “Well obviously we’re looking for additional contributions so that we can add to staff and that will be part of our discussions and again that’s in everyone’s interests.”

The Agua Caliente Tribe has worked with the city in past projects and it agreed to the majority of the city’s suggestions, including a major proposal for local employees, workers from the Coachella Valley will be hired to build the arena.

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