DHS Mobile Home community appeals new housing proposal, pursuing legal options

Olivia Sandusky

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Diane Powell has lived in the Skys Haven senior mobile home community for seven years.

Her scenic view could soon be blocked by a new housing proposal.

“15 to 18 feet from the back wall of my house will be a 27 foot two story building with balconies,” said Powell.

The 405 unit Marbella project was approved by the Desert Hot Springs planning commission.

The proposal will build two and three story homes in the empty lot next to Skys Haven.

But Tuesday night, Powell and her neighbors appealed the decision.

The group presented a variety of concerns to the council.

“They didn’t do a new traffic study, they didn’t do a new noise study, they have not done a new environmental study,” said Powell.

For the proposal, the Mayor said previous studies were applicable.

The Sky Haven residents also said the housing application had missing and incomplete information, however, the council voted four to one to move forward with the proposal.

“It’s not an easy decision for any of us up here, but I think we need condos in the city, and other smaller houses, there are none right now, it does fit our zoning. I don’t see a way that we can legally deny it,” said council member Gary Gardner.

Mayor Pro Tem Russell Betts was the lone vote against the proposal, he believes the plan has a number of life, health and safety issues.

“In 2000 it was determined to be way too dense, and today, as it’s proposed, it’s more dense. It was a seniors-only complex then, now it’s proposed as a general population complex, it will be more active and have more traffic impacts,” said Mayor Pro Tem Betts.

Betts urged to council to send the issue back to the planning commission for amendments, but his vote was outnumbered.

The plans will now move forward with minor changes, leaving Skys Haven residents to contact local attorneys.

“We’re considering legal action and we’re going to put a billboard out here in front of the property that says we lost the appeal and marbella development and dhs has really screwed the seniors,” said Powell.


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