La Quinta surf station developer tests impact of 80-foot-high light poles


The developer of a surf park project in La Quinta tried to gain support from neighbors concerned about the impact of lighting on surrounding communities.

Beams of light fell from above on Wednesday night at the proposed site of Coral Mountain Resort, the massive billion-dollar surf project that is facing a wave of backlash from its neighbors.

Coral Mountain Development put on a kind of light show, a test meant to represent what 80-foot light poles would look like above the 18 million gallon wave pool.

“We’re not here to prove anything else that we’re a good neighbor,” said John Gamlin, president of the development company.

Gamlin said the luxury private resort wouldn’t be as disruptive to nearby residents as they think it is.

His team set up the test with just two of the 17 proposed lights suspended in the air – one closest to a neighboring residential property, the other adjacent to the base of Coral Mountain.

With the lights on for the hour-long protest after dark, some residents were still not convinced.

“We only see 10% of the lights,” said Kathy Weiss. “Even on a full moon night like tonight, it’s an incredible and unnatural effect.”

“We’re still going to see reflections as you see it over there,” said Alena Callimanis. “They said there wouldn’t be. Now add 15 more lights around that wave pool; the glare will be amazing.”

Gamlin said the lights “certified to meet the Dark Skies standard” use special technology to ensure that no light shines into unwanted areas.

“These are directed downwards; they are hooded; they have cut-off lines on the ground where you can see light and darkness in a sharp line, ”he said. “It’s actually quite amazing.”

And despite the demonstration of good faith, some opponents of the project remained resolute in their position.

“Is there anything the developer could tell you that would change your mind about this,” asked News Channel 3’s Jake Ingrassia.

“No, sorry, no,” Weiss said.

Locals say the protest represented only their mild objections – not to mention noise, traffic or water use.

The project still has to go through the planning committee before it can move forward. The developers have said they hope this will happen before the end of the year.


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