09 September 2016

Kathy Buckmaster

Council Statements Regarding CV Link

In citing text from the meeting minutes, others' comment is not often included, and no ellipses are provided.

18 June 2015

The City Council met in regular session.
  • "12. Oppose the alternative CV Link route alignment along Gerald Ford Drive within the City of Rancho Mirage.
  • "Public Works Director Bruce Harry presented the staff report. On June 1st, the Coachella Valley Association of Governments ( CVAG) Executive Committee reviewed three alternate CV Link alignments, which were suggested by CVAG staff and intended to address elimination of the use of Highway 111 and Bob Hope Drive in Rancho Mirage. The approved alternate alignments will be made part of the environmental review, along with the alignments proposed in the March 2015 CV Link Master Plan. Option No. 1 is to not have CV Link go through the City of Rancho Mirage, which was approved by the Executive Committee. Option No. 2, which was also approved, is an on -street alignment on Date Palm Drive, Gerald Ford Drive, and Monterey Avenue. Option No. 3, which was not approved, was to prohibit electric vehicles from the Butler - Abrams Trail segment of the CV Link.
  • "Mr. Harry reported that staff reviewed all three alternatives and found Option No. 2 to be problematic. The area is mostly developed with adjacent residential communities, lush and efficient landscaping, and a behind -curb meandering bicycle path. Gerald Ford Drive is built to ultimate General Plan standards, with four travel lanes, raised landscape median islands, and a bicycle lane. There are only two different ways to install Option No. 2. One option is to locate the route behind the curb and gutter within the approved landscape parkways of numerous residential developments. This would require the removal of virtually all existing parkway landscaping improvements and would negatively impact vehicle ingress and egress out of residential communities and commercial driveways. The second option is to locate the route in the roadway, thereby eliminating two of four existing vehicle travel lanes, in direct conflict with the City' s General Plan, and impacting the current and future level of service of the roadway. Staff recommends that Council oppose Option No. 2 to align the CV Link along Gerald Ford Drive.
  • "Councilmember Kite asked Mayor Hobart where the City stands as far as outstanding proposed alignments.
  • "Mayor Hobart responded that there are currently no approved routes through the City of Rancho Mirage. CVAG suggested Gerald Ford Drive for environmental impact purposes. Mayor Hobart said that he proposed two routes on behalf of the City of Rancho Mirage, which he will elaborate on later in the meeting.
  • "Public Comment
  • "Kathy Buckmaster, Community Manager of The Colony, said that locating the route on Gerald Ford will create safety issues all around. There is no safe way to install the route. Putting it behind the curb will create a lack of curb space and severe safety issues in ingress and egress at The Colony. Putting it in the roadway will eliminate the expensive landscaping and possibly eliminate the ability to turn left out of the residential communities. The route will affect eight communities, Pavilions and the fire station. Ms. Buckmaster said she agreed with staff' s recommendation to oppose Option No. 2.
  • "Erica Felci, CVAG Governmental Program Analyst, submitted and read into the record a letter from CVAG Executive Director Tom Kirk, which addressed CVAG' s intent to continue working with Rancho Mirage leaders to find an acceptable route.
  • "Mayor Hobart said that the Executive Committee voted 7- 2 to designate Gerald Ford Drive as a perspective route, adding that he voted against this option. He explained that the " one dozen alternative routes considered," mentioned in Mr. Kirk' s letter, occurred due to the City of Rancho Mirage being the most uniquely situated of the nine Coachella Valley cities. This makes finding a route difficult. The CV Link idea began with the premise that it would traverse the Whitewater Channel, which poses an issue for residential communities in Rancho Mirage. Using Highway 111 would create chaos. No city in the Valley has approved using Highway 111. Many residential communities enter off of Gerald Ford Drive, from DaVall Road to Monterey Avenue, with the exception of one square mile of undeveloped land across from the Annenberg property. This is probably the most cherished and expensive square mile of empty land in the Valley and the CV Link would impede the development and design of this vacant
  • "Mayor Hobart said that this is not a matter of the City Council not wanting to find a place for CV Link to come through Rancho Mirage. At the Executive Committee meeting, he suggested adding two different routes for consideration from environmental perspectives, and made it clear that the Rancho Mirage City Council will never approve any route without knowing the longterm financial impact on the City. His first suggested route goes down Ramon Road to Bob Hope Drive, then either behind the casino or over to County land on the other side of the freeway, and then up to Monterey Avenue. The second suggestion is to start at the northern edge of Rancho Mirage, between the City boundary and the railroad tracks, and find a pathway through the City that will not disturb anything. 
  • "Mayor Hobart again stressed that a route cannot be approved prior to knowing the operations and maintenance cost. It is projected that the total operations and maintenance cost for the first year will be $ 1. 6 million. CVAG does not know where the funds will come from and has suggested burdening the County and virtually five cities with the cost. That suggestion was denied by a 5- 0 vote. Sixty- three years of cities making those payments would mean over $ 200 million coming out of the Valley to pay for CV Link.
  • "Councilmember Kite asked how the Executive Committee reacted to the two alternative route options suggested by Mayor Hobart.
  • "Mayor Hobart responded that the Executive Committee passed them both, but has not taken any formal action."


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