Proposed surf park in California desert is rejected by La Quinta City Council
A surf park in the La Quinta/Hemet area of California is not moving forward because of a controversial project proposal, the La Quinta City Council said this week.
The council rejected a project that would have called for building a park and a surfing facility near La Quinta Harbor, a small fishing port that’s a popular surfing destination just north of the California-Arizona border.
The council’s recommendation on Tuesday to reject the site, in connection with two other projects, was a long-shot at best.
The site at Lake Bonita, a reservoir in Southern California’s San Joaquin Valley, is another story. Lake Bonita has held up against a plan by the developers of a possible new mega-casino project that would be built on the reservoir with a proposed 1,400-room hotel.
The proposed La Quinta-area project was seen as a chance to develop a local landmark that could also become a magnet for surfers and others interested in the California coast.
The proposed facility would have been in the same place one would find the now-defunct Bonita Springs Hotel. The Bonita Springs had just one room when it closed in 1989, its main building having been replaced by a parking lot.
The proposed La Quinta area project would have been just a little larger than the one that’s stalled on Lake Bonita. The plan called for building a parking lot on a bluff above the harbor that would have contained a facility and a restaurant.
The plan also included a surf park with surfing lessons, and a surf shop, a restaurant, and a cafe.
The only difference in the two La Quinta projects is that the one on Lake Bonita would require a zoning change to get the project approved, while the one at La Quinta Harbor calls for the city to reject the project.
A meeting to discuss the proposed site was held in June in La Quinta, at which time Mayor Pro Tem Gary Linneman told the audience about the project. He said he hoped the project