Yesterday we reported on the Joshua Tree Retreat Center’s lawful clearing of several acres on the property’s west side adjacent to Highway 62. The area will be used to organize and consolidate parking for upcoming and future events. And while the clearing was within the facility’s legal rights, it generated a great deal of negative public attention and heightened scrutiny. Assignment reporter Mike Lipsitz brings us this follow-up report…
Outrage initially generated by the clearing of several acres for parking at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center put the facility squarely in the crosshairs of an angry public. Immediately, the question of county permitting was raised along with a multitude of quality-of-life issues, including late-night noise and light pollution. Calls and emails came in to Z107.7, as well as the sheriff’s department and county code enforcement.
Some of those complaining expressed frustration that inquiries to the Retreat Center had gone unanswered. The County’s Public Information Officer, David Wert, issued a statement to Z107.7 News saying “the County Planning Division is processing and plans to issue a Temporary Special Event Permit” for a large music event this weekend as it falls within the Retreat Center’s allowed use. Wert went on to say the County has not been approached about permitting for a large music festival planned for October and suggested that the event in question “would exceed what is allowed on the property.”
The concert this weekend, which brought a large blow-up amphitheater to the Retreat Center, is called PHAROS. It is a series of live shows Friday, Saturday, and Sunday by Donald Glover, also known by his musical alias as Childish Gambino. Glover is a multi-talented actor, writer and musician who starred in NBC’s “Community,” and released a Grammy-nominated album in 2013, “Because the Internet.” Gates open at 6:00 pm. Tickets to the event sold out in six minutes. The October event to which Wert referred is known as Desert Daze and has been advertised as happening October 14 through 16.