Promises of new urbanism label Travertine Point, but many things are evident. The agricultural towns of Coachella, Mecca, Oasis, and the Duroville trailer park don't need it. Neither does Interstate 10 to LA.
Like other mislabeled smart-growth projects, the Travertine Point development is essentially sprawl in one of the worst means. The endless acres of farmland and desert open space near the village of Oasis, where State Highway 86 traffic connects its migrant workers and other travelers to/from the Imperial Valley and Mexico, is certainly no place for spread out development that would house 40,000, create as many as 200,000 new daily vehicle trips and disrupt the local farming sector. The closest public bus stop to Indio is miles away.
Better Growth for the Farms:
Riverside County has a history of encouraging private sector investments and construction of affordable in-fill housing within the existing small villages and towns in the Salton Sea area. Mecca experienced a growth demand of migrant workers in the early 2000's and contained new housing and school development within it's existing street grid network. The town has a population of approximately 40,000, the same as Travertine Point but much smaller in area. Non-profit groups have also proposed redeveloping the nearby Duroville trailer park of 6,000 to comply with health codes without disrupting the local demographics. SunLine transit currently stops its buses in these towns. Daily Amtrak trains will one day stop in Indio with a possible extension to Mecca should its farm workers still their fields.
No to Travertine Point: Placing a new town of 40,000 extra people over acres of farmland is faux smart growth. Travertine Point developers may (or may not pending an EIR lawsuit by the Sierra Club) have the legal means to develop a clone of Rancho Mirage in the middle of nowhere, but this type of growth is not smart, and the Coalition objects it. Riverside County should follow the model used for Mecca's growth spurt last decade and adopt it for the other Salton Sea dwelling areas.
Check out the following resources of how you can stop this project from proceeding.
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