A city with more than double the current population, 26,000 additional jobs, and 19,000 more housing units. That’s what Palm Springs can expect by 2040, planners revealed Tuesday, as they shared their current plans to prepare for what could be the highest rate of growth in the city in 70 years.
Those projections were outlined to a sparse crowd at the Palm Springs Convention Center, and up to a dozen others who tuned in on Facebook Live, during a community workshop to discuss the ongoing update of the city’s General Plan. The city has been working on an update the plan — the first since 2014 — since 2018, with a deadline to adopt the entire update by April 2022.
The plan addresses nine areas of importance to the city, including air quality, noise issues, and recreational opportunities. None of those may be as important as the housing element, however, as city staff and the consultant they are working with must figure out where a projected population of 101,000 people — up from the current population of 46,000 — will live. The housing portion of the updated plan is due for adoption in October.
If population predictions pan out, the city will grow by 118 percent in the next 20 years. That’s only five percent less than the last time the population boomed — going from 3,400 to 7,600 between 1940 and 1950.
To address that growth, Wendy Nowak, principal at a firm hired by the city to help guide the update, told audience members the city must work to change zoning maps, land use descriptions within the zones, and identify how a mix of single-family and high-density housing can mix with the needs of businesses and the environment.
City residents on hand Tuesday evening got a look at current maps outlining how that might happen. Nowak and city planning staff encouraged those who could not make the meeting to go online, look at the plans, and share their thoughts. That can be done by going here. Deadline for public input on the maps is this Sunday, July 18.
The public may also provide comments directly to the Planning Services Department via email at email@example.com. To view a recording of Tuesday’s workshop and any other materials related to the General Plan update (including recordings of the General Plan Steering Committee meetings leading up to Tuesday’s workshop) you can visit the project website at https://www.psgeneralplan.com/.