The City of Coachella is in the very early stages of planning a new, roughly 2,800-acre development in the open desert north of I-10. The project, dubbed the KPC Coachella Specific Plan, could include about 9,500 dwelling units, more than one million square feet of retail and commercial space, an entertainment complex, a sports complex, parks, schools and a new hospital.
The project, located in the northeast end of the city, is bounded by the All-American Canal and Vista Del Norte to the west, the future Avenue 50 Interchange to the south, and undeveloped desert to the north and east. This specific project will eventually connect with La Entrada, a similar master-planned residential community, taking up 2,200 acres south of Interstate 10.
KPC Group, the Riverside-based company developing the project, initially purchased the land for $14 million in 2018, and began the pre-application process the following year. The company was founded by Dr. Kali P. Chaudhuri, an orthopedic surgeon and entrepreneur.
On Monday night, representatives from KPC Group and the city held a brief public scoping meeting to gather public comments before preparing a draft environmental impact report. The meeting was just the first step in the environmental review process. Before any action can be taken, the city council will have to vote to change the zoning of the project site.
Though it was sparsely attended and there were no questions or comments from the public at Monday’s meeting, the consultants and city said they are eager to hear from residents about their thoughts on the project’s potential environmental impacts
“[Public comments] give us a chance to learn about environmental concerns about the project from individuals so we can address issues of concern that might otherwise be overlooked late in the process,” said Meghan Karadimos, an environmental planner working with the Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. consultants.
Because it’s still early in the planning stage, the planners urged residents to avoid commenting on or offering suggestions on specific topics such as architecture, landscaping, traffic, or affordable housing. Much of those details have not even been planned out, but the public will be able to comment on them once they are narrowed down.
They stress that there is nothing to comment on because there is no data yet.
“We’re primarily here to receive comments on what we should be addressing, not to have a dialogue,” said Kevin Thomas, an environmental consultant working on the project. “We just don’t have the data collected and analysis done yet.”
If all goes according to plan, the environmental impact report should be completed by spring 2023 and available for residents to review and comment on. The project planners are hoping for public comment on the impact report and to put it in front of the planning commission and city council by next summer.
More information: A project overview is available here. Comments on the draft environmental impact report will be accepted through Dec. 14. Residents can either send an email to [email protected], or a letter to the following address: City of Coachella Development Services Department, Attn: Mr. Gabriel Perez, Development Services Director, 53990 Enterprise Way Coachella, CA 92236