Held at Home of Rancho Santana resident Glenn Farley, September 15, 2012
There was a good turn out with approximately 16 homeowners. Guests included Jim Curtis, Community Services Manager for the City of Indio, and Skip Paige, Vice President of Goldenvoice.
I started with a review of ongoing concerns of Rancho Santana and Carmela residents with regard to Coachella Fest and StageCoach music festivals. The discussion continued with notes from a recent meeting which David Yrigoyen and I had with the La Quinta City Mayor, Don Adolph and La Quinta Planning Director, Les Johnson. David and I offered some take away items about the EIR process which the City of Indio had recently initiated. Les explained that the City of Indio is the Lead Agent of the EIR and is responsible to ensure the proper process is followed. This includes compiling the EIR, which can take 90-120 days, and during this time there is a scope meeting which consists of numerous agencies, such as the City of La Quinta. This ensures that the Agencies have the opportunity to mitigate any issues as the EIR moves forward. Once the EIR is complete it will become available for City and Public review. There will be a 30 day window so that everyone can have the chance to voice concerns/issues, note every way the events will impact their life and their communities. Major concerns voiced during our meeting also highlighted Security, Vandalism, Traffic, Noise, and the absolute End time for the events.
The Guests were introduced and we entered into a General discussion so Residents could voice significant concerns and disconnects with the vision and goals of Goldenvoice. The residents clearly feel that they are the recipients of the noise, security concerns, and general disruption of our lives during these music festivals. The first comments were that Goldenvoice needed to move the Venue. Residents indicated that there are many other parcels of open desert, that the Venue should be moved away from the various communities which currently surround the Polo Fields.
Skip Paige, Vice President of Goldenvoice responded to these concerns by indicating he strongly disagreed with the assessments voiced by the residents. He stated that when they came out to hold the first Concerts that the current location was considered to be out in the desert and away from communities. Skip also made note of a Court case regarding the right of the concerts being held on Polo Fields (El Dorado & Empire) grounds. Goldenvoice was sued and the judgment came back with Goldenvoice’s position being victorious. He also noted there can be no argument that there is a very significant positive economic impact on the Coachella Valley during these two concerts.
It was noted that residents have moved from Rancho Santana due to not wanting to deal with further interruptions of concerts hindering their lives. Also, the fact that 2-3 Homes have been recently placed for sale with concerts being a significant factor. Others voiced their concern for Horses that had been stabled at the Polo Stables. The Animals nerves were affected to an extent that the owner had to move the horses. Other residents noted that if they had known what was going to happen. A key item which was brought up was the severe impact the events are having on our home values. Recently three homeowners in Rancho Santana have sold their homes because of the concerts and the growth of added concerts. Currently, other homeowners have their Homes for sale, for similar reasons.
Additionally, residents voiced concerns that because of some entertainers performing; the wrong element of the general population will be attracted to these festivals. Stated differently, individuals with a disregard to our values, property, and proper conduct are attending these events. The general sense of well being and the life we choose by buying our homes in this area of La Quinta have been significantly impacted in a very negative manner. The residents were clear in saying “we feel that we bear the burden of the concerts side-effects”.
Skip stated that the concerts generate significant revenue for La Quinta and Indio via TOT tax, small business, restaurants and service industries. The residents did not push back on this point. It’s understand how valuable this is to the economic health of our communities. The residents felt that even if the Venue moved somewhere else in the Valley the cities of La Quinta and Indio would continue to get these revenues as there are limited opportunities for the concert goers.
After the discussion on EIR’s we received an overview from Jim Curtis, from the City of Indio. A general discussion on security, traffic issues; both vehicle and foot traffic continued. Some excellent suggestions were given by the residents that both Skip Paige and Jim Curtis supported. Skip said that he came to this meeting to hear residents issues first hand and to talk about ways Goldenvoice can help find fixes. There was a discussion about foot traffic on 52nd between Madison and Monroe. Skip Paige mentioned that they could utilize a similar practice to control foot traffic by fencing in traffic so that there is only 1 entrance/exit gate. Jim noted they used this on 49th and it helped to better monitor such traffic.
There was a discussion relative to the short-terms rentals of homes in Rancho Santana and Carmela. The HOA rules in Rancho Santana or Carmela do not allow for Rentals of less than 1 month.
Jim Curtis, City of Indio, CFEE (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
100 Civic Center Mall
Indio, CA 92201
GoldenVoice – Vice President
Skip Paige (email: email@example.com)
5750 Wilshire Blvd, Suite #501
Los Angeles, CA 90036
ADDITIONAL ITEMS IN THE PRESS
The following information is from a recent article in The Desert Sun:
Goldenvoice Files EIR for Long-Term ‘Coachella’ Plans – EIR looks at plans for ‘Coachella’ and ‘Stagecoach’, and more through 2020. August 25, 2012
The company that puts on the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals has filed plans to continue producing the shows in Indio for up to 18 years, it was reported today.
The Desert Sun newspaper reported that Goldenvoice, a Los Angeles concert-promotion firm, has filed an environmental impact report with the city of Indio. The plan would be to keep the two major springtime events at the Empire Polo Club, on Indio’s western side, into the future.
Skip Paige indicated that Goldenvoice was spending $1.0 Million to complete the EIR study. Skip also indicated that Goldenvoice has no intention of developing any new events in addition to what is already scheduled. That being the two weeks of Coachella Fest and Stagecoach events. Skip indicated that he lives in our general area and is committed to be a good neighbor relative to Goldenvoice and the additional land that Goldenvoice is planning to purchase and develop.
ADDITIONAL ITEMS IN THE PRESS
One additional news story gives additional insight with regards to the property owner, Alex Haagen III. Skip Paige indicated that Mr. Haagen has the right to produce concerts every weekend until 2030 if he wishes. None of those in attendance knew this fact before Skip Paige made us aware. So it is clear our concerns are valid, and it is more than a concern with just Goldenvoice.
Goldenvoice has filed an environmental impact report with the city of Indio indicating an interest to continue producing the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals in the city for up to 18 years.
Paul Tollett, president of the Los Angeles-based promoters, declined to comment beyond an email confirming that he filed the EIR.
Indio planning director Joe Lim said he received a development agreement, a zone text amendment and an environmental assessment Thursday, but hadn’t had a chance to examine it.
Lim said he’d discuss the documents with Goldenvoice in a conference call on Monday.
The report measures the impact of up to five festivals per year at the Empire Polo Club and surrounding properties, according to a source familiar with the report but not authorized to discuss it.
Two of the festivals would have a maximum daily capacity of 99,000 people, including staff and non-paying guests, and three would have a total capacity of 75,000 people per day.
The 99,000-person festivals would be consistent with the total size of Coachella, while the latter three shows would be significantly smaller.
Goldenvoice has never put on more than three music events in one year. It presented the Big Four metal festival — featuring Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer — between Coachella and Stagecoach in 2011, and a three-day festival by the jam band Phish in the fall of 2009.
But city officials and Empire Polo Club owner Alex Haagen III have said they would like Goldenvoice to present more music events to generate more tax revenue for Indio as well as benefit surrounding cities with hotel business. More shows would also mean more income for the landlord.
Haagen, who once wanted to develop the Empire Polo Club property with hotels, has said he’d like to see a blues, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll festival at Empire. The city has expressed a desire for a Latino music event.