On February 6, 2016 the Chamber of Commerce facilitated and sponsored the 2016 Community Economic Development Strategic Planning Workshop for the residents and local business owners to participate in. Here are the results from this four hour workshop, as reported by your Greater Desert Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce:

Subject: City of Desert Hot Springs

Strengths & Ways to improve the Positives:

Economic Development
Flexible land use due to having so much vacant land available: Consider the project itself/benefits and just whether or not it’s the right zoning
Marijuana Cultivation: Demonstrate how cultivation is a positive for the community
Gateway to Coachella Valley and Joshua Tree Basin: Promote this through business recruitment
Located to main highways(10 Fwy and Hwy 62) and amenities: Easy access, high profile from freeway, need sewer plant to bring in business, and land swap for casino there
Available land: Clean up and market
Tourism: Marketing and attraction/targeted audiences/partner with tourism bureau/spas
Affordable: Promote value, scenic view value, family friendly, priced for new buyers, move up and retiree/encourage new home development
Cabots: More advertising and promotion
Vortex Plan: Review and determine whether it needs to be updated or no longer to be used
Solar opportunities: Promote use of solar, provide incentives and use solar for City buildings, street lights, etc…

Quality of life
Outdoor activities: Hiking, golf, swimming, sunbathing, gardening, nearby monuments and new Sand to Snow
Diversity: Multi-culture, diverse art, open mindedness and promote acceptance
An involved community: Promote working together/non-profits to work together
Activities in town and surrounding areas: City to participate in local and regional events such as Date Festival
Weather: Cooler then rest of valley, windy, clearer and ability to exercise outside/year round swimming
Year round community: Stability, community more involved and more stable business environment
History and historic sites: Cabots, Two Bunch Palms, Whitewater, and Pioneertown – promote the area and surrounding locations with emphasis on staying in DHS/encourage historic designations/stagecoach
Scenic views: PR re: sunsets, clean unobstructed, panoramic, and value potential

Water and water quality: Public relations and marketing/need infrastructure improvements
Mineral spring spas: Encourage spas and hotels to work together and encourage more day use passes for locals/more spa tours throughout year/advertisement/branding/collaborate with CVB

Negatives & How to Improve:

Public Safety
High crime: More Police/increase salaries for officer retention/more youth activities/improved technology for PD/community policing/more neighborhood police presence
Vehicle speeding: Evaulate speed limits, traffic enforcement, install traffic calming and lighted(flashing) crosswalk lights/restripe roads and crosswalks
Illegal dumping: Code enforcement/Desert Disposal/fine property owners/
Lack of code enforcement: Hire more code enforcement staff, focus on cleaning up neighborhoods and vacant lots-illegal dumping
Drugs/booze: Educational and rehab programs/participate with Roy’s Center/encourage a Betty Ford Center type of place
Vacant buildings: Code enforcement/
Homeless: Provide housing with amenities/Improved care for Vets and children/support food services/shelter/work with churches

Unattractive housing: Code enforcement
Unattractive neighborhoods: Code enforcement/work with residents & neighborhoods on importance of clean, safe & prosperous neighborhoods/force landlords to keep properties up to code
High home vacancy: Make sure homes are clean/code enforcement/track home auctions
Single infill vacant lots: Offer incentives for in-fill developmentto encourage new home development in existing neighborhoods where vacant lots exist
Vacant lots: Clean lots or be fined?Code enforcement/Encourage zone change to create commercial lots and encourage lot mergers

No after school activities: Provide funds for programs/hire grant writier to get funds/work with churches/senior citizens to help in schools/work with existing organizations in city
Low level of median education: Vocational schools/Skilled education/Improve Adult education/Get C.O.D. to have campus in city/improve school positive reputation
Need for continuing education after high school
Community College Campus: College of the Desert needs to put its west valley campus in DHS

Economic Development
No entertainment: Movie theatre/family activities/more parks/community street fair’s and farmers markets
Lack of dining establishments: Sit down dining/small coffee shop/more diversity in food choice/Mom & Pop place/Bring in unique places that are not elsewhere in the valley/attend trade shows-recruit new restaurants
Lack of employment: Solar job training/Entry level skilled vocational jobs/bring in more business/incorporate Chamber and Desert Lightning in business promotion/vocational programs via COD

Quality of Life
Buildings look ugly on main roadways: Code enforcement and better planning requirements for landscape, color schemes, etc…
Not walking friendly: Put in new sidewalks in neighborhoods/new crosswalks/street lighting(look into solar lights)
Bad reputation: Call city by its name: Desert Hot Springs instead of DHS, etc…/Focus on home ownership/Promote the city/Improve media relations and public relations/stop sensationalism
Negative public relations: Emphasis on the positives, promote solutions, and quit talking bout the negatives
Lack of sidewalks, lighted walkways and bike paths: Add new sidewalks throughout city especially neighborhoods/add bike paths/add new street lights and lighted intersections and flashing lights for crosswalks
No street lighting: Install new street lights, use LED lights, and solar lights at crosswalks, sidewalks, streets and intersections

Municipal Services
General plan is outdated: Update general plan
RDA problems: Attempt to expedite resolution
RDA properties: Work on solutions to maximize use of RDA properties
City zoning seems unclear: Follow the current code
Lack of marketing: Promote city to tourists, homeowner/buyers, investors/business developers and entrepreneurs/improve internet presence and social media

What do the residents and business owners want to have in Desert Hot Springs, possible locations and additional city services desired?

Restaurants Suggested & Location
1. Kaiser Grill
2. Steer & Stein
3. John’s Incredible Pizza
4. Apple Bee’s
5. Macaroni Grill
6. Five Guys In town
7. A Deli (no specific company given)
8. Food court with multiple small eateries
9. Corner Bakery Downtown
10. Winery/brewery Hwy 62
11. Bistros Downtown
12. Cigar lounge Downtown
13. Juice bar Downtown
14. Chipolte Palm Drive or Pierson
15. AppleBees Palm Drive or Pierson
16. Fishermans Market Mission Lakes Center
17. Steakhouse Mission Lakes Center
18. BBQ place Palm Drive or Pierson
19. Famous Dave’s I-10
20. In & Out Burgers I-10
21. Panera’s Bread In town
22. BJ’s Brewery Mission Lakes Center
24. The Hat In town
25. Waffle House
26. Mongolian style food
27. TGIF’s
28. BJ’s Brewery

Shopping Suggested & Location
1. Wal-Mart Palm Drive
2. Target I-10/Hwy 62 or Palm Drive
3. Kohl’s
4. Macy’s
5. Big 5 Sports
6. Dick’s
7. Cabella’s
8. Trader Joes Little Morongo
9. Sprouts Little Morongo or Palm Drive
10. Winco I-10/Hwy 62 or Palm Drive
11. Auto mall I-10/Hwy 62
12. Costco I-10/Hwy 62
13. Home Depot/Lowes Palm Drive
14. Bed, Bath & Beyond Palm Drive
15. Kohls Palm Drive
16. Whole Foods Palm Drive
17. Aldi’s
18. Smart & Final
19. Sam’s Club
20. Michael’s Art & Craft
21. Best Buy
22. Men’s, women’s and children clothing stores
23. Marshalls
24. Ross
25. Staples or other office supplies store

Services & Suggested & Location
1. Movie Theatre Palm Drive or Pierson
2. Ampitheater Palm Drive
3. Art District – Galleries Downtown
4. Waterpark I-10/Hwy 62
5. Indoor entertainment complex I-10/Hwy 62
6. Full service hospital I-10/Hwy 62
7. Performing arts center I-10/Hwy 62
8. Medical Plaza Pierson
9. Bowling Alley Palm Drive or Pierson
10. Ice rink or roller skating Two Bunch Palms
11. Batting cages
12. Car wash
13. Mental health clinic
14. Education program for recovery/detox

New City Services Requested by the Residents and Business Owners:

Public Safety
Our own City dispatch center
Staff new fire station – east side of city
Expand police department
Full medic fire services
Expand code enforcement services
Increase police salaries to be competitive and for officer retention
City operated animal control center and shelter

Quality of Life
New large gateway/monuments with water features into town
Add bike paths throughout city
Beautify Pierson
Annual concert series in the park/same for movies and plays

After school programs: art, music, education and mental health service center

Municipal Services
Better planning services and fast track processing
Improved public relations
Hire grant writer
Reopen a visitors center – high profile location
Hire more staff to help existing staff
Increased budget for a City Park & Recreation department
All use City park with multiple amentities

Create a City operated utility instead of SCE
Community-wide WiFi for all to use
Undergrounding of utility lines

Improve city-wide infrastructure
Fix current roads and slurry seal roads more frequently/paved dirt roads
Sidewalks throughout city, especially high volume areas
Streets properly paved, sidewalks and ADA compliant
Street lights and lights in parks that provide lighting and do not hinder nightscape
Build a new civic center which includes a city hall, library, and convention/meeting rooms
New senior center
Homeless shelter




Tagged with →