A proposal to build a members-only luxury surf resort near the Salton Sea in eastern Riverside County was unanimously approved Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors.
The board voted 5-0 to authorize construction of the Thermal Beach Club in the unincorporated community of Thermal, south of Avenue 64, and west of Polk Street.
“I want to thank the community advocates and all involved in this project for getting us all to this point,” Supervisor Manuel Perez said in a statement. “This is unprecedented. This has never been done before in the County of Riverside.
“With our concerns for affordable housing needs, clean water, lack of infrastructure and basic amenities, we have to establish partnerships and relationships to advance improvements.”
The developer is planning for 326 luxury housing units, along with a 22-acre lagoon featuring wave-making technology. Memberships will span from $175,000 to $1 million, according to the project’s website.
Following outcry from some Thermal residents, the developer agreed to fund more community benefits, including a commitment “in writing” to helping develop affordable housing near the project, according to Perez’s office.
“If they are unable to identify a site to build affordable housing, the developer has offered to contribute funding towards affordable housing development,” a statement reads.
The developer has additionally committed to spend approximately $4 million for infrastructure improvements near the project area, including paved roads along Polk Street, and extensions of water, electrical and gas lines.
The project will spur an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 temporary construction jobs, along with between 200 and 400 permanent jobs, according to Perez’s office.
Project plans previously came before the Board of Supervisors last year, which punted a vote to a future meeting while the developer beckoned more community input.
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