ON THE AGENDA: Planning Commission February 6, 2024
Reset Hotel Project aka the "container hotel": One step closer to construction
The upcoming City of Twentynine Palms Planning Commission meeting will take place at City Hall this Tuesday, February 6, at 5 pm. Like the last meeting, this month’s agenda is short—these brief meetings are a good opportunity for your voice to be heard in public comments. The agenda packet can be found on the City’s website, which will also have a livestream link on the day of the meeting for watching at home. The recording will be available for viewing later on YouTube.
After Planning Commission announcements, you can comment on items not on the agenda. Public comments on agenda items will be requested when the item is discussed. Fill out a green comment sheet for public comments or agenda item comments and hand it to the staff usually sitting at the desk at the front of room on the right side. You have 3 minutes to make your comments.
VER23-000001 Vacation of Foothill Drive and Between Bullion and Split Rock
The sole agenda item for the Planning Commission this Tuesday involves a continuation of the multi-part permit approval process for the Reset Hotel. Dubbed the “container hotel” by locals, the site will consist of structures with “prefabricated steel-framed… modules built to 8-foot wide transportation dimensions.”
Permits and approvals for the project are moving forward. NV5, which is managing the permitting process for Wander Hotels JT LLC, the owner of the Reset Hotel parcels, has requested that Foothill Drive between Bullion Avenue and Split Rock Avenue be vacated, which means the termination of the public’s right to use a street. The City’s report says that, “Foothill Drive does not physically exist at this location, and does not serve any residences or businesses.”
The staff report for the upcoming meeting states, “This action would legally connect otherwise discontiguous parcels owned by the proprietors of the Reset Hotel.” By doing so, the parcels the resort occupies become contiguous. This arduous bureaucratic process can be beneficial to landowners because it means they are paying property taxes on one combined parcel of land rather than separate yet adjacent parcels.
City staff recommend that the Planning Commissioners approve the “vacation” of the property, which will check off another bureaucratic box for the hotel project to move forward.
Container Hotel Project History. Initial stages of the Reset Hotel Project were approved by the Planning Commission in November 2021, where it was first proposed to the city as the “Wander Hotel.” The hotel received California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review in September 2021.
At the time, residents Alexandra Maceda, Brett McAffee, Mike Montgomery, Jade Porter, and Rachel Meltz spoke in favor of the project; TJ Williams, Brian Mount, and John Artman expressed concerns.
Located on the corner of Foothill Drive and Split Rock Avenue, the project proposal is laid out in two phases. Phase 1 will consist of construction of 65 rooms, a clubhouse, on-site restaurant and pool, and a wastewater treatment facility. Phase 2 proposes the construction of 28 additional rooms and street improvements. The property encompasses 280 acres and consists of 5 parcels of land, some of which are zoned commercial and others as SR-1 (single-family residence). Two of these parcels lie on the national park boundary, and the entire project is within the National Park Buffer Overlay.
Proprietors of the project, who initially applied for the Conditional Use Permit under the name Wander Hotel JT LLC, with Adam Wininger listed as its registered agent with a principal address located in Sherman Oaks, CA, recently received a loan of $11.2 million to cover construction costs including HVAC installation, plumbing, lighting, and seismic upgrades. Combined with a $7 million mortgage, the project has tacked a bill upward of $18 million dollars to it.
The proprietor’s website lists the location as being in Joshua Tree but a quick Google search of the 7000 Split Rock Avenue address clearly falls within City of Twentynine Palms boundaries, just off Sullivan Road and west of Theatre 29.
The hotel is set to open some in 2025 and will be managed by Sightline Hospitality.
Discussion & Potential Action Items, Community Development Director Updates, and Future items:
The next Homeless Committee Study Session will take place during the March 5 Planning Commission meeting.
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