DSRT Surf project receives planning commission approval

The highly anticipated Wavegarden Cove slated for Palm Desert moved one step closer to approval this week.

The DSRT Surf Project got the nod from the Palm Desert Planning Commission and will move forward to the Palm Desert City Council for final approval next month.

The project is one of several seeking a home in the Coachella Valley east of Los Angeles. DSRT Surf is run by veteran pros and surf industry personal including Josh Kerr, the Hobgood brothers, John Luff and wave pool connoisseur Shane Beschen.

“Really excited to announce DSRTSurf passed another major hurdle yesterday with the planning commission of Palm Desert,” said Shane Beschen. “With only one more major hurdle to go, we are getting closer to seeing the first all-inclusive surf resort in California.”

dsrt environment

DSRT Surf is an 18-acre development with full-size Cove technology at its center. Other components to the wave pool include two hotels and 88 housing units.

In attendance were Desert Wave Ventures founders John Luff and Doug Sheres. Sheres stated that once the project is approved it will be completed in only 18 months starting from the date of the last meeting. With the next meeting happening in November, DSRT surf could potentially be finished in 2021.

Doug Sheres emphasized keeping the project focused on the culture of surfing despite being miles from the ocean. At the meeting this week he emphasized to those in attendance that the project is committed to working with the community and nonprofits.

At the planning commission meeting, the majority of speakers were very positive and excited about the project. There was some opposition from residents concerned about noise and light pollution as well as view obstruction.

One resident told local News Channel 3 that the 80-foot sports lighting poles and buildings would block the view of the mountains nearby. “It will just be a nightmare for us,” she told the station.

The other big issue is water. The massive 5.5-acre wave pool requires 24 million gallons each year. DSRT Surf has a water conservation plan in place.

The Turf for Surf program converts non-play golf areas back to desert at the Desert Willow course. Estimates are that this process will permanently reduce water use at the course by as much as 35 million gallons per year. This reduction in water use will be applied to the wave pool.

“Our surf pool holds roughly 7 million gallons of water,” said a DSRT Surf spokesperson. “Between evaporation, filtration, maintenance and other ancillary items, we will use roughly 24 million gallons each year. While this sounds like a lot, 24 million gallons is roughly equivalent to just 1.3 holes of golf at the average 18 hole course in Coachella Valley.”

The next step before final approval of the project is a meeting with the city council later this year.

David Hilts of the Coachella Valley Surf Club contributed to this report.

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