The Coachella Valley's MADISON RANCH by whitecheese



                                                  MADISON RANCH
                                                 A D ESERT E LITE D EVELOPMENT
                                       The    Coachella Valley's    residential inventory. It's a
                                       east end is booming, and     community of 139 single-
       INSIDE THIS ISSUE               Indio suddenly seems to      family homes with four
                                       have become one of the       floor plans ranging from
Madison Ranch                          fastest growing cities. It   1,454 to 2,181 square feet,
Indio, California                      is issuing about 1,100       priced from $201,900.
                                       building permits a year      All have been sold - even
The Tribal Building
                                       and the permanent            though a third of them
Palm Springs, CA
                                       population is expected to    aren't completed yet.
Retention Basins                       reach 65,000 by 2010.
                                       Madison Ranch, on            The distinctive earth-
                                       Avenue 48 at Madison, is     toned     exteriors   are
                                       an excellent example of      enhanced with land-
                                       the type of development      scaped front yards, rear
                                       that is enriching Indio's    and side yard block walls,
                                                                                     cont. on page 2
cont. from page 1

                                                                  STORMWATER RETENTION BASINS
                                                               CONVERTING A LIABILITY
                                                               INTO AN ASSET

                                                               A challenging component of every new proj-
                                                               ect is the design of the stormwater retention
                                                               system. What makes this especially problem-
                                                               atic during the land planning phase is the fact
                                                               that every municipality has its own guidelines;
                                                               and some of the agency rules differ dramati-
                                                               cally. A retention basin in the City of Palm
                                                               Springs, for example, might be sized, land-
                                                               scaped and utilized entirely differently than
                                                               one in Indio, albeit for an identical project.
    dual-glazed windows and concrete
    tile roofs. Interiors have fireplaces,                     The fundamental concept of the basins is to
    media niches and laundry rooms, and                        capture the stormwater run-off to avoid affect-
    are wired for cable television. The                        ing downstream properties or street drainage
    beautiful kitchens include ceramic tile   Madison Ranch,   capacities. Typically, the idea is to hold on-
    countertops, oak cabinets, spacious                        site the incremental difference between the
    pantries, breakfast bars and Maytag        on Avenue 48
                                                               run-off from the developed project versus the
    appliances. Situated in a quiet cul-de-    at Madison,     pre-existing (undeveloped) condition. The
    sac neighborhood in the Desert Sands                       more intense the land use (rooftops and
    Unified School District, it's no               is an       paving), the greater the requirement for reten-
    wonder that families snapped them up                       tion volume.
    as they came on the market.                  excellent

    From MSA's perspective, Project             example of
    Manager Paul Sepulveda says, "The           the type of
    project was pretty straightforward
    as subdivisions go. But it included        development
    the rerouting of a US Bureau of
    Reclamation irrigation line through the       that is
    tract, which was complicated in that
    there were vertical and horizontal          enriching
    clearance challenges with the water,         Indio's
    sewer and storm drain lines we
    designed." He wryly notes that the          residential                  La Terraza community in Rancho Mirage, CA
    process through the Federal depart-
    ments was "enlightening."                   inventory.     As planners and engineers, we seek to find that
                                                               happy balance of aesthetic appeal and func-
    Owner/developer John Pedalino                              tionality. Unfortunately, there are examples
    reports that construction at Madison                       throughout the Coachella Valley of retention
    Ranch, which began in                                      basins that fail on both counts. As land values
    February 2003, will be                                     skyrocket, we will see more and more subsur-
    completed by June.                                         face systems (like the one you can't see under-
    With a tr ack record                                       neath our parking lot at our new office!).
    like that, it comes as
    n o su rpr is e that he's                                  We are avid proponents of well-landscaped
    already building Estacio                                   retention basins that double as passive or
    in Southwest Indio and                                     active open space. After all, they are designed
    is planning a develop-                                     to hold run-off from the 100-year storm event
    ment in La Quinta
                                                               and are dry all but a few days out of most
    called Rancho Santana.
                                                               years. Why not enhance their design so they
    They're sure to be big
    hits, too.                                                 are attractive pocket parks the other 360 days?

Photography by Scott Van Dyke                                                  THE TRIBAL BUILDING

                                                           THE TRIBAL BUILDING
                                                    The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has traditionally
                                                    used the Roundhouse as a gathering place for social and
                                                    ceremonial occasions. The tribe has outgrown the one built in
                                                    1953 after its predecessor was destroyed in a fire and, in March
                                                    2000, the Tribal Council appointed a committee headed by Vyola
                                                    Ortner to create a new Tribal Building. Last month it made its
                                 The Centerpiece    debut. General contractor Chris Foster led the talented team that
                                                    designed and built this special place on seven acres at South Palm
                                for Agua Caliente   Canyon near the entrance to Indian Canyons. Architectural design
                                                    by Reuel Young and Michael McAuliffe of Interactive Design
                                      Gatherings    produced a handsome multi-purpose building with indoor and out-
                                                    door gathering and entertaining areas. Stones from the old
                                                    Roundhouse were placed in the entry, symbolizing continuity
                                                    from one generation to the next. Wayne Williamson of Inside
                                                    West brought in gifted artisans and craftsmen to create unique
                                                    furnishings and fixtures. Michael Buccino & Associates were the
                                                    landscape architects who naturalized the surroundings with desert
                                                    plants, rocks and waterfalls.

                                                    Civil engineering was managed by MSA's Bruce Kassler who was
                                                    responsible for preparation of the precise grading, water improve-
                                                    ment, sewer improvement and storm drain plans, as well as the on-
                                                    site hydrology report. "The landscape architecture and building
                                                    architecture are exceptional," he remarked recently. "The
                                                    architects have really shown their talents in the blending of the
                                                    structures with the native environment." The $10 million Tribal
                                                    Building is not open to the public, but is visible from the road for
                                                    passers-by to admire.
                                                                                                                   From the President
                                                                                                                           BOB SMITH
                                                                                                    We       are frequently
                            J ACK F OX                                                              asked if the Coachella
                            Dry Utilities Coordinator / Assistant Project Manager                   Va l l e y r e a l e s t a t e
                                                                                                    bubble is going to burst
                                                                                                    in the near future. Well,
                            When Jack Fox          Unlike Project Managers who are                  if the activity in our
                       sold his home               assigned several projects at a time,             planning department is
                       improvement                 Jack is involved with almost every one           any kind of leading
                       business i n                of the firm's projects, albeit to a lesser       economic indicator, I'd
                       Orange County               degree than the Project Manager. As              have to say that the
                       ten years ago, he           Utilities Manager, he has developed              economy will remain
 moved to the desert, got married,                 excellent relationships with all of the          strong for at least another few years. The
 recharged his batteries and decided to            local public utility agencies. Jack is           Valley's development community and its
 embark upon new challenges.                       also active in the Building Industry             buyers continue t o h a v e voracious
                                                   Association and Desert Contractors               appetites for commercial, resort and resi-
 He joined MSA Consulting in 1999 as               Association.                                     dential projects in our wonderful desert.
 a client services representative, pro-
                                                                                                    That's not to say that the Valley economy is
 viding support services that included             Jack's avocation is serving as a lay             bullet proof -- the early '90's proved that.
 on-site construction supervision and              minister at the Ironwood maximum                 But our climate and lifestyle are hard to
 PM-10 environmental observation.                  security state prison in Blythe, where           resist. Let's be honest. Given a choice,
 He earned some stripes while spend-               he is a participant in the national              would a sane person rather spend winters
 ing a year as MSA's field representa-             Kairos Prison Ministry program. He               scraping windshields and plowing roads or
 t i v e a t Shea H ome s' Trilogy a t             and his wife Sandy, who has been with            enjoying our view of snow-capped Mount
 La Quinta, a 525-acre project with                MSA for 21 years and serves as                   San Jacinto? I personally answered that
 1,200 homes and an 18-hole champ-                 Director of Administrative Services,             question 30 years ago, landing in the desert
 ionship golf course.                              make their home in Cathedral City.               after shoveling my northern Michigan
                                                   Jack has a son who is an officer with            driveway for the last time. And I feel fortu-
 Last year, MSA's Civil Engineering                the Cathedral City Police Department,            nate to be in an industry that helps make it
 division expanded its client services to          three stepchildren and five grand-               possible for others to enjoy home owner-
 include Dry Utilities Coordination, to            children.                                        ship, recreational opportunities and modern
 which Jack is now devoting his energies.                                                           infrastructure within our slice of paradise.

"Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions." -Oliver Wendell Holmes

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                                        MSAC ONSULTING I NC . COM                         Design: Carol Daniels Graphic Design       Editor: Janet Newcomb

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