$50K Settlement Agreement Moves Hotel Project Forward
By Gitzel Puente. CREATED Jan 30, 2014
PALM SPRINGS - It's been months of litigation between an advocacy group and the City of Palm Springs regarding the new development of the Kimpton Hotel downtown.
During a closed session Wednesday evening, the city council came to a settlement agreement with the Advocates for Better Community Development. The ABCD group dropped their appeal for $50,000.
"It was the sanest thing to do at this time given all the hysteria surrounding all this issue and i think that this is not the time to tear the community apart," said Tysen.
He partnered up with the ABCD group for the lawsuit.
In May, the ABCD group and Tysen sued the city because they said the six-story hotel would be too high, so they rounded up nearly 3,000 signatures to put in on the ballot last year.
The city refused and so did a city judge, saying this was an administrative matter and didn't have to be left up to the citizens to decide.
That's when Tysen and the advocacy group appealed the lawsuit a few weeks ago, but that has come to an end.
According to both Tysen and the city council, the settlement agreement is in the citizens' best interest because it could mean less delays of the hotel construction.
Tysen said that "all hell broke loose" after the appeal, and that it would be better to not pursue the issue further with the city, so he is satisfied with the settlement. That money will go to all the legal fees, according to Tysen.
"It saved the citizens three months of acrimonious debate of what the future of the hotel on our downtown project was going to be," said Councilmember Ginny Foat.
This means, the issue won't be on the ballot on April 22, which the city had originally voted two weeks ago. Foat said this will move along the construction a bit quicker and save the city a lot more money than it took to settle the appeal.
She said the original six-story building plans remain in effect despite the debate.
Some shop owners across the new development like at Lappert's Ice Cream, Looksy Couture and Frenchy's Fashions said that the Kimpton Hotel would draw more business from tourists.