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DHS/College of the Desert, Desert Hot Springs, CA
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Project Size:

Plan Date:
SunCal Companies
556 acres
2300 Residential Units,
80 acre College Campus,
10 acre Village Retail
November 2005

Located in Desert Hot Springs along Dillon Road and Palm Drive, the project site is located within close proximity to Interstate 10 and easily accessible from other communities within the desert valley region. The Desert Dunes Golf Club, an 18-hole public golf course, is located ˝ mile from the project site along Palm Drive. Working closely with the Client and the City of Desert Hot Springs a plan was developed to provide an 80-acre West Campus location for The College of the Desert, integrated into a community reflecting a small college town ambience. Premier to the success of the plan was the concept of affordable faculty housing and village retail services within walking distance of the college campus.

The development plan provides for two formal boulevards through the community, one accessing from Palm Drive to address the college campus and village retail locale and one accessing off of Dillon Road to address the residential neighborhoods. The tree-lined boulevards meet at a central village green which is surrounded by residential homes and an elementary school site. These proud streets will be faced with architecture designed to the pedestrian scale.

Homes fronting the boulevards will be rear-loaded. The village retail center will be framed with high density residential housing as well as parks and playfields, and linked to the college campus via pedestrian crosswalks. The college campus has three points of ingress/egress from Palm Drive to allow for both a formal address off of one of the community boulevards, and two additional access points for traffic flow and movement.

A 400-foot wide, 4- acre “nature corridor” bisects the project site. The corridor is bridged with a roadway and walkways linking the village retail and college campus area on the west side with the single family detached residential neighborhoods and elementary school site on the east side. The nature corridor provides for wildlife movement and storm water flow during seasonal rains and will also provide the opportunity for pedestrian trails and nature walks. A variety of housing types are proposed in response to the City’s interests, the college communities need for affordable housing for faculty, and to provide for various lifestyles, family make-up and economic segments. Single family detached homes, single family attached homes and apartments are proposed, all with varying densities. Residential neighborhoods will be addressed with individual neighborhood parks and/or are within a short walk of the village green, playfields and nature corridor. Tree-lined streets, pedestrian walkways and trails, and bike lanes provide connectivity throughout the community.
DHS/College of the Desert, Desert Hot Springs, CA

DHS/College of the Desert, Desert Hot Springs, CA
Michael Madden Associates
Community Planning and Design
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Michael Madden Associates provides a creative and dynamic approach to Land Use Planning; New Town and Community Master Planning and Design;
Retail, Mixed-Use and Town Center Planning and Urban Design; and Residential/Neighborhood Site Planning employing principals of New Urbanism,
Traditional Neighborhood Design (TND) and Urban Villages resulting in creative and economically viable projects.