Leased Land December 16, 2023

New to Palm Springs and Buying a Home? A Short History Lesson on Leased Land

(Tahquitz Canyon, Preserved Land Owned By Agua Caliente Band Of Indians)

License: 02225444 CA

Palm Springs, CA

The history of leased land in Palm Springs, California started in the late 1800’s when Pacific railroad started laying down tracks between Los Angeles, California and Yuma, Arizona. In 1876, the United States government deeded 52,000 acres of land to the Agua Caliente Band of Indians in the Coachella Valley. 6,700 of those acres are in Palm Springs.

As a result, it is estimated that over 23,000 residential properties are on leased land in the Coachella Valley. In Leased Land, a landowner within the Agua Caliente Band of Indians owns the land underneath the property.

Fee Land is the typical standard across the United States where the homeowner owns the land underneath the structure of the property.

The result is a checkboard type pattern divided into one square mile sections of both fee land and leased land across Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. The US Government deeded every other section to the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation. An example, can be found on this map:

The concept of leased land in Palm Springs further emerged in the mid-20th century as a means to promote real estate development and attract investors to the area. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians have played a significant role in the economic development of leased land in Palm Springs with viable projects recently built such as: The Spa at Sec-He and Agua Caliente Cathedral City

Many of the existing leases are long term spanning from 25 to 99 years and this information including the expiration year of the lease can certainly be provided to you when buying a home. These lease agreements provide individuals with the opportunity to buy existing homes, and build new homes, resorts, and commercial establishments on the leased land.

Over the years, the land use policies surrounding leased land in Palm Springs have evolved and in 1977, the Tribe and the City of Palm Springs for instance signed agreements allowing both entities to work closely together on reservation lands.. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians continue to work with local authorities and homeowners to update lease agreements, renew leases, address legal concerns, and ensure mutually beneficial arrangements for both the tribe and lessees.