Petitions Could Block Downtown High Rise
CREATED Jan. 22, 2013
PALM SPRINGS- A group of residents delivered petitions to stop the building of a six-story hotel, in what is the latest setback in the downtown Palm Springs revitalization project.
The group secured the nearly three thousand signatures required to initiate the referendum process, which would bring the council-approved construction plans to a citywide vote.
"[The council] can go in a filibuster and talk about our futures behind closed doors. We want to have a say so in our futures," said Manuel Montoya, a resident of Palm Springs.
Petitioners say they support the project, but not the high rise in downtown Palm Springs. Wessman Development--the company behind the plans-- released an email statement regarding the petitions.
"Every delay we face delays the hundreds of jobs and benefits to our local economy this revitalization project will bring to Palm Springs," wrote Michael Braun of Wessman Development.
Downtown Palm Springs shop owner Joy Meredith says the petitions send the wrong message to developers and her group plans to fight it.
"Maybe we could go petition vs. petition," said Meredith.
The city must verify the signatures in order for a referendum, or the council could back out of its support for the hotel before it ever goes to a public vote.
Jessica Flores, KMIR6 News.