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Land Use Services

County honored with state, national awards in 2014

Members of the County Sheriff and Fire departments accept their award from CSAC.

Members of the County Sheriff and Fire departments accept their award from CSAC.

Teaching homeowners to prevent fires around their homes, training inmates to fight wildfires and working to end human trafficking are three innovative County programs honored today by the California State Association of Counties.

California State Association of Counties Associate Legislative Representative Cara Martinson appeared at today’s Board of Supervisors meeting to deliver the three 2014 CSAC Challenge Awards to the Land Use Services Department, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, the County Fire Department, and the District Attorney’s Office.

“These awards demonstrate our County’s commitment to developing new and innovative approaches to enhancing public safety,” San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Rutherford said.

The CSAC Challenge Awards are part of a highly competitive recognition program that honors the best and most innovative among California’s 58 counties.

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County seeks more public input on renewable energy

sparcforumThe County wants to hear from you to help Land Use Services develop a renewable energy and conservation element for incorporation into the General Plan.

Land Use Services has created a public participation program called the San Bernardino County Partnership for Renewable Energy and Conservation (SPARC) and began collecting input online and in a series of three community workshops held around the county.

Many of you participated in round one of public workshops and now it is time for round two. This month, the County is hosting a second round of workshops where you can learn more about the County’s renewable energy plan and share your thoughts on the draft goals. The goals will guide development of the County’s Renewable Energy Element. Find the workshop closest to you:

  •  Yucca Valley – August 216-8 p.m. Community Center, Yucca Room (57090 Twentynine Palms Highway, Yucca Valley, CA 92284)
  •  Big Bear Lake – August 25, 6-8 p.m. Big Bear Fire Department #281 (41090 Big Bear Boulevard, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315)
  •  Barstow – August 266-8 p.m. First Baptist Church (1320 Barstow Road, Barstow, CA 92311)
  •  Hesperia – August 286-8 p.m. Hesperia Library (9650 Seventh Avenue, Hesperia, CA 92345)
  •  San Bernardino – August 2910 a.m.-12 p.m. Covington Chambers, County Government Center (385 N. Arrowhead Avenue, San Bernardino, CA 92415)

A third round of public workshops is expected in the fall. Read what others are saying, share your own ideas now at www.SPARCForum.organd plan to participate at one of the upcoming meetings.

An interactive website, www.SPARCForum.org, provides 24-hour public access to project information and opportunities to engage in all phases of updating the General Plan. SPARC Forum also provides access to people who cannot attend public workshops.

More about SPARC: The San Bernardino County Partnership for Renewable Energy and Conservation (SPARC) will provide a framework for renewable energy development while protecting communities and natural resources. Community input will help shape the drafting of a County General Plan Renewable Energy Element for consideration by the Board of Supervisors.

Questions? Visit www.SPARCForum.org or contact the County Land Use Services Department at (909) 252-5105.

Bloomington residents, project developers discuss future at town hall

bloomingtontownhallBloomington residents and project developers gathered at Mary Lewis Elementary School on Thursday night to attend a town hall hosted by the County of San Bernardino’s Land Use Services Department to help plan for Bloomington’s future.

The town hall was held to hear ideas developed since last year’s Community Fair, to talk about Bloomington’s history and how the community wants to see Bloomington move forward.

The County Board of Supervisors has identified the Bloomington community and the Valley Corridor in particular as an area for concentrated reinvestment.

The project area stretches approximately 1.25 miles along Valley Boulevard between Alder Avenue to the west and Spruce Avenue to the east. This project supplements the ongoing investments on Valley Boulevard including construction of median improvements, sewer and water line extensions along Valley Boulevard, new housing, and a new branch library.

Part of the Valley Corridor Project includes implementing a “specific plan.” This plan will provide not only the general vision and policy framework to guide development, but also the regulatory mechanisms that foster timely and quality development.

“This Valley Corridor Project signifies a whole new frontier of opportunities for business owners and residents who call Bloomington home. We’re using this new project as a flagship for new standards and models for what is to come.” said 5th District Supervisor Josie Gonzales.

“I do feel the Valley Corridor Project is an important thing for Bloomington. We need to show improvements and growth in this town, and I believe this is a start. People are hopeful as to what’s going on with the library and other improvements,” said Betty Gosney, vice-chair of the Bloomington Municipal Advisory Council.

Land Use Services has a website dedicated to the Valley Corridor Project. Visit www.valleycorridor.com for complete details.

Town hall set for improving Valley Boulevard in Bloomington

color seal smallJoin the County of San Bernardino at the Bloomington Town Hall to be held on Thursday, July 10, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Mary Lewis Elementary School, 18040 San Bernardino Avenue in Bloomington.

See ideas developed since last year’s Community Fair. Talk about Bloomington’s history, how your community is doing today, and help plan for the future. Generate new ideas for changes that can foster a healthier Bloomington. Come be a part of an interactive workshop where you will have the opportunity to map out your ideas. Community input will inform and shape physical and programmatic improvements through a Valley Corridor Specific Plan.

For more information, call 909.387.4431 or visit www.valleycorridor.com.

County to hold second Joshua Tree community meeting

SBCountySEALBack in September, residents and stakeholders turned out in large numbers for a spirited discussion about the future of Joshua Tree during a special community planning workshop conducted by the County.

Experts on the issues raised in September from the County and other agencies will be available to answer questions and discuss additional concerns. Topics will include the desired character of the community of Joshua Tree, environmental concerns, renewable energy, transportation, bike and pedestrian facilities, tourism, housing, and incorporation.

The community is invited to participate from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 26 at the Joshua Tree Community Center, 6171 Sunburst Avenue in Joshua Tree. The meeting will begin with a brief recap of the comments received in September then move quickly into an open house format where residents may meet individually with representatives from County departments and other agencies.

For more information about the meeting, contact Michelle McCoy at the Land Use Services Department at (909) 252-5105 or email Michelle.McCoy@lus.sbcounty.gov.

Citizens praise Supervisors and County Land Use staff for work on solar energy ordinance

Solar PanelsCitizens thanked the Board of Supervisors and the Land Use Services Department today for working with the community on developing a solar energy ordinance which balances the preservation of the environment and desert landscape with the demands of a burgeoning new energy industry.

During today’s Board meeting, the Supervisors voted to approve the new ordinance, effectively lifting a temporary moratorium imposed in June.

Land Use Services held community meetings to address concerns about new solar energy projects, mostly from citizens throughout the High Desert. After hearing those concerns, new guidelines that will protect natural resources and maintain compatibility with current neighborhood and future development needs were written into the ordinance.

For instance, developers of solar projects will be required to obtain a special use permit which allows for Code Enforcement to monitor the sites to make sure projects are in compliance. The projects must be compatible with current and future land use and have minimal impact on the environment, ecosystem and scenic views.

The Board is expected to adopt the ordinance on December 17 and it would go into effect 30 days later.

Planning Director Terri Rahhal told the Board the department is still working on creating a renewable energy plan that will establish new guidelines into the County’s development code by 2015. The solar energy ordinance is expected to incorporate those changes as the development code for renewable energy projects is updated.

“It is a first step,” Rahhal said of the ordinance. “It doesn’t answer every question or concern out there.”

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