In 2013, MSA was retained to prepare a 590-acre mixed use Specific Plan and annexation to the City of Cathedral City, north of the Interstate 10 Freeway and adjacent to the unincorporated community of Thousand Palms. This included an IFD Study (Infrastructure Finance District) to provide a regional drainage solution and explore use of the Study as a funding mechanism to acquire property and construct facilities. The Specific Plan proposes to develop the land over a fifteen year build out period. An estimated 240 acres of land is to be maintained as “Open Space” for the accommodation of neighborhood and community parks, multi-use trail network, wind and noise buffers and storm water retention basins and drainage ways.
Approximately 65 acres are designated as a “Mixed Use-Urban” land use district which will provide for regional and community scale commercial projects and higher density housing such as condominiums, apartments and mixed use options; approximately 115 acres of a “Mixed Use-Neighborhood” land use district will accommodate a variety of lower density housing types including apartments, town homes and single family residences; and 74 acres of “Light Industry” to provide business park campus sites.
MSA provided a full range of services, including preliminary engineering, survey, conceptual land planning, Specific Plan preparation, Environmental Impact Report (EIR) preparation, oversight of the IFD Study and annexation processing through LAFCO. Key challenges of the project included the need to address complex hydrology issues and an extensive outreach effort to Cathedral City residents, businesses, public agencies, and the Thousand Palms community prior to City approvals.