New Coral Mountain project will use more water than Kelly’s rejected proposal
La Quinta’s Planning Commission has given the green light to a revised 387-acre development proposal for Coral Mountain, excluding the previously contested wave basin. The new plan, set for City Council consideration, includes 750 homes, an 18-hole golf course, a 10-acre lake, and 60,000 square feet of commercial space – but no wave pool.
The original development, rejected in September 2022 due to zoning change concerns and community opposition, was known for its ambition to house and run a Kelly Slater Wave Company surf pool. Residents objected, raising concerns over over traffic, noise, light pollution, and water usage.
The Coachella Valley Water District estimates the newly proposed development’s 10-acre lake will consume 70.26 acre-feet of water annually, and the golf course’s irrigated turf will require 436.46 acre-feet. With an acre-foot equating to roughly 326,000 gallons, the project’s total water demand is projected to be 27% greater than the initial Kelly wave pool proposal.
John Gamlin, president of CM Wave Development, described the project as an “evolution” of private clubs, focusing on healthy living and quality of life. He emphasized the recreational lake would use non-potable water and serve as an irrigation reservoir, with activities like paddleboarding and kayaking envisioned.
Residents opposed the first Coral Mountain development due to concerns about light pollution, traffic, water use, and noise. This new water-intensive proposal, despite not having a wave pool, is still meeting opposition.
Area resident Sheila Warren demanded assurances against wave-making technology and night golf course lighting. Guillermo Casillas voiced opposition due to the land’s sacred status to Cahuilla tribes and told the Desert Sun that vehicle access onto the property via Avenue 60 should be limited to residents only, saying it would be a “travesty” to have lines of cars along the road abutting his home.
The City Council will deliberate on the Coral Mountain project on February 20, following the Planning Commission’s unanimous support. If approved, construction could start in early 2025, with the golf course opening in spring 2026, and full buildout taking 7-10 years.