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  • Rita Zurcher

DSRT Surf Wavegarden Cove Gets First Approval

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

A unanimous vote by the Palm Desert Planning Commission approved the plans for the DSRT Surf Wavegarden Cove resort by Solano Beach-based Desert Wave Ventures LLC. It will seek final approval next month from the Palm Desert City Council.


The two phase project will be built on an 17.7 acre vacant lot adjacent to the Desert Willow clubhouse and parking lot. The centerpiece of the plans is the 5.5-acre surf lagoon powered by Wavegarden Cove. Surrounding the surf lagoon: a sandy beach area, restaurants, bars, stage/amphitheater and assorted sports facilities all open to the public. Up to 350 hotel rooms, 88 residential villas and other amenities will also be added.

The biggest objections came from the height of the light poles (for night surfing!) and hotels, which the planners overcame and the fear that the venture would be too water intensive. The developers laid out their "Turf for Surf" water usage plan. It includes reducing the grass area of the golf course, recycling the lagoon's water and using it to water the golf course and reclaiming backwash from the surf lagoon and resort pools into subsurface dry wells that recharge back into the aquifer.

The most interesting aspects of the development for surfers are the surf lagoon operational specifics. According to the Desert Sun:

The surf lagoon would be open to the public 330 days per year.
Surfers would pay an hourly fee or sign up for various packages or passes.
Surf sessions will run one hour at a time.
On an average, there will be about 50 to 60 surfers in the water at any given time.
On a weekend day, there will be about 75 surfers in the water at any given time.
For a special event, such as surf competitions, there could be as many as 95 surfers in the water at any given time.
Proposed hours for the lagoon are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. weeknights; to midnight on weekends and holidays.
The surf center, open 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., would include restaurants, bars and shops that will be open to the public.
Non-surfers who want to use the beach, pools and enjoy other activities like bocce ball and pickleball, can buy a day pass.

We'll keep you posted as DSRT Surf moves through the approval process. Read original post about DSRT Surf before this approval.

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