HTCNO NEWS –
November 22, 2016
(An occasional newsletter from The Historical Tennis Club Neighborhood Association) Greetings to residents and welcome back snowbirds! The HTCNO Board (Frank Tysen, Sammy Rafael, Ron Lamele, Alia Paula, Mike Guerra, Patricia Breslin, Kenneth Falcon, Jan Cronquist) has been working hard over the summer to address issues of importance to the neighborhood. As we enter the busy season, we decided it was a good time to bring you up to date on what has happened and where we are going.
The first thing to do is mark your calendars for the Holiday Party scheduled for Sunday, December 4 from 5:00 – 7:00 at Sammy G’s. Paid members $15/person, member guests $25/person. Please make your checks out to “HTCNO Holiday Party” and send to Mail Box Plus, 611 South Palm Canyon Drive, #7220, Palm Springs, CA 92264. In memory of, and in gratitude to our recently fallen officers, Jose Gilbert Vega and Lesley Zerebny, the HTCNO Board unanimously voted to set up a “Donation Station” for those who wish to make a donation in support of Officers Vega and Zerebny’s families. HOT TOPICS
The Buzz Bus
. There has been much discussion concerning the routing of the Buzz through the Historic Tennis Club Neighborhood. The Board is seeking to clarify how and why the routing of the Buzz occurred and to seek a solution that satisfies both residents and businesses. We have requested information from the City, and have discussed a route that eliminates the routing of the Buzz on San Jacinto. Your input is welcome! We will keep you informed as discussions progress. Neighborhood Development.
Several projects are underway within the HTCN boundaries. In particular, we would note the St. Baristo project on Lugo. That development, which departs significantly from the plan originally submitted by the developer, has been the subject of a lawsuit. At this time, the status of that project is unclear. Please check our website www.htcno.org
for updates. Other developments of note:
- La Serena Villas, 339 South Belardo Road. This project is nearing completion with a grand opening expected in early 2017. A few residents have stated concerns about the two story building located on the property, however, it should be noted that the height is permitted within the applicable zoning.
- Orchid Tree/Community Church, 261 South Belardo. This development is the subject of a Desert Sun article, “Church that was burned on a path to being reborn,” dated 11-21-16. The article states that the proposed 59-room hotel recently received unanimous approval from the Palm Springs Planning Commission. Watch for construction to begin on this site.
- Chase Hotel/Holiday House, 200 West Arenas Road. The former Chase Hotel is being upgraded and transformed into the Holiday House (the original name of that property). Please check our website for information on an opening as that project develops. The anticipated date is February 2017.
As a reminder, the HTCNO Board is a volunteer board and does not always receive information about developments in the neighborhood. Please shoot us an email (through the “contact” on our website) if there is something into which we should be checking. www.htcno.org
. Short Term Vacation Rentals
. Short term vacation rentals (STRs) have a significant presence in the neighborhood. Given that presence, the HTCNO Board undertook a survey of residents to determine their feelings about the rentals and how they were being affected. The survey, which took place between June 22, 2016 and July 1, 2016, was emailed to 243 residents in the neighborhood; 77 people responded. In summary, over 60% of respondents believed that STRs were a problem in the neighborhood; approximately 76% were aware of STRs on their street or within their complex; more than 50% had personally experienced a problem with STRs; over 50% did not know whom to contact if STR occupants were causing a problem; and, over 70% did not agree with the statement “Do you feel, as a homeowner, you should be allowed to rent out your property without restrictions?” (Full survey results can be found at www.htcno.org)
. Survey results were submitted to the City Council for their consideration relative to the July 6, 2016 agenda item “Proposed Urgency Ordinance Imposing Moratorium on Vacation Rental Certificates.” The Council did not impose the moratorium, but has convened a Vacation Rental Subcommittee to elicit resident input and make recommendations to the Council. For more information, please see the recent article in the Desert Sun “California Cities Wrestle with Vacation Rentals.” The HTCNO Board is monitoring the situation. Gas Powered Leaf Blowers.
The City Council has also appointed a Leaf Blower Subcommittee to study the issues associated with gas powered leaf blowers. It is expected that this group will make recommendations to the Sustainability Commission sometime in December; the Commission will then vote on recommendations to the City Council. Public testimony was largely critical of gas powered leaf blowers noting the noise, dust, and gas pollution they create, plus the harm to the health of the workers, however, two people with large lots suggested that they had no reasonable alternatives. The HTCNO Board is monitoring this situation. Rakes and brooms anyone?
Traffic on Arenas. There are concerns by many in the neighborhood that West Arenas is becoming a speedway from Belardo to the Tennis Club. Several residents have been meeting with the City to discuss traffic calming measures (e.g., stop signs, crosswalks, electronic speed monitors). If you are interested in meeting with this group or knowing more about their activities, please contact us through the website. www.htcno.org
. We will also be posting updates as things progress. YARD NOTES
We asked Fritzie von Jesson, local resident and author of Tough Plants in a Fragile Land – Saving Our Planet, One Garden at a Time, to write a few notes about desert landscaping. Her book, an excellent resource on plants native to this area, is available through HTCNO for $25.00. www.htcno.org
Little things mean a lot.
Have you ever considered how your choice of plants for your garden can impact the environment? There’s pretty—and there’s pretty plus. Or to put it another way: a plant is more than a pretty face. We’re in a drought so using non-thirsty (drought tolerant) plants in your landscape should be a priority. But wait! There’s more. By using native plants you lend a hand to the survival of indigenous wildlife, which will return your kindness in various ways. Birds of many species will flock to your garden to feed on seeds and nectar and entertain you with their songs. Some take care of bothersome insects (bats), others feed on pesty rodents (owls and hawks and snakes). The greater roadrunner might kill and feed on a rattlesnake.
Sitting on my patio, I watch the pink flowers of coral vine (Antigonon leptopus) against the clear blue desert sky like a precious painting,
and listen to the buzz of bees diving for nectar with the background music of
finches, sparrows, mockingbirds, and many more, and I feel blessed.