Elevation 6752'
The Official Newsletter of the City of Big Bear Lake, CA
Elevation 6752', composed monthly by City Manager Frank A. Rush, Jr., is presented to keep our residents, property owners, investors, businesses, and visitors well-informed about the City of Big Bear Lake's issues, projects, and initiatives!
Issue #21-4 - Published April 27, 2021
COVID-19 Vaccinations Increase, Cases Decrease
COVID-19 vaccinations continue to increase, the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to decrease, and the City continues to move closer and closer to "normal". At this point, Big Bear Lake appears poised for a relatively normal summer season with the State's planned elimination of nearly all COVID-19 restrictions in June, the gradual return of special events in Big Bear Lake, and a return to historical visitation patterns.

As of April 26, there have now been a total of 1,067 cases of COVID-19 reported in the entire Big Bear Valley since the COVID-19 pandemic first affected the United States in March 2020. There have been 25 new cases reported in the Big Bear Valley over the past month (since March 26), and the number of new cases continues to decrease as more and more members of our community are vaccinated. Through April 26, nearly half (49.2%) of the City's adult population (age 16 and older) is at least partially vaccinated, with 34.0% fully vaccinated.

The City continues to encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible, and will continue to partner with San Bernardino County to offer additional vaccination events at City Hall. The City is currently working with the County to offer a full week of vaccination events at City Hall sometime in May, and more details will be announced as they become available. In the meantime, there are now plentiful vaccination opportunities in San Bernardino County, and a full list of vaccination sites and appointment information is available by clicking here .
Next COVID-19 Testing Event at City Hall - Wednesday, April 28
The City continues to partner with San Bernardino County to offer free COVID-19 testing, and the next testing event at City Hall will be held on Wednesday, April 28 from 9 am - 3 pm. To schedule your appointment, please click here . Walk-ins are also welcome.
City Council Approves New Mission, Vision, and Core Values Statements
After thoughtful discussion and consideration during three public meetings earlier this year, the City Council has adopted a new Mission statement and collective Vision for the City of Big Bear Lake.

The City's new Mission statement is as follows:

"Sustain a high quality of life for our community members, while promoting a vibrant local economy that welcomes respectful visitors, in order to foster a kind and caring community of people who value and enjoy our beautiful natural environment."

The City's new Vision statement is as follows:

"To become a world-class mountain resort community, while preserving our small-town atmosphere and charm, where the appearance and quality of the built environment matches the exceptional appearance and quality of our natural environment." 

For the first time, the City Council also adopted a set of Core Values that will guide the City Council and City staff's efforts as we strive to fulfill our Mission and achieve our Vision. The adopted Core Values are as follows:

  1. The City recognizes that, ultimately, we all seek a sense of belonging, and strives to achieve a strong sense of community in Big Bear Lake where our residents and visitors can live an enjoyable life, develop meaningful relationships, build lasting memories, and reach personal fulfillment.
  2. The City values the unique contributions of all who have chosen Big Bear Lake, including our residents, second homeowners, businesses, and visitors, and recognizes that all groups are essential to our collective success as a community.
  3. The residents of our community are fortunate to enjoy this special place year-round, and are entitled to a peaceful and enjoyable existence. As such, the City prioritizes the need to manage and balance the impacts of visitors on our community to ensure a high residential quality of life.
  4. The City embraces its status and good fortune as an attractive destination for visitors, and welcomes respectful and responsible visitors to enjoy our plentiful outdoor recreational opportunities and peaceful alpine retreat.
  5. The City recognizes that our unique and beautiful natural environment is the reason our residents and visitors have chosen Big Bear Lake, and the City is committed to preserving our environmental quality, sustaining our environment over the long-term, and protecting our community from wildfire and other threats.
  6. The City places special value on its small-town atmosphere and charm, and the preservation of these attributes is critical to its future success.
  7. Everyone is entitled to enjoy this unique and special natural environment, provided they afford it the proper care and respect it deserves, and the City will strive to provide high-quality opportunities for everyone to enjoy Big Bear Lake.
  8. Aesthetic quality is essential to achieving a strong sense of place and fostering respect for our community, and the City will invest and regulate appropriately to promote a high-quality, clean, and well-maintained built environment.
  9. The City will promote the availability of workforce housing in our community to ensure that a quality labor pool is available to provide necessary private sector goods and services for our residents and visitors.
  10. The City will operate in a responsive, transparent, and caring manner, clearly focused on the needs and success of all community stakeholder groups. 
  11. The City places a priority on public education and awareness, values input from all community stakeholder groups, and will engage the community in all significant policies and decisions.

The new Mission and Vision statements and Core Values were carefully drafted and are intentionally aimed at promoting our collective success in the City of Big Bear Lake. Ultimately, our success as a community depends on the contributions of everyone who values Big Bear Lake, our ability to work together, and our ability balance everyone's interests!
Bids for Moonridge Corridor Improvement Project Due May 20
After additional thoughtful review, the City Council authorized the solicitation of construction bids for the Moonridge Corridor Improvement Project at its April 5 meeting. City staff and consultants have released the bid package to potential contractors, and formal construction bids are due on Thursday, May 20. The full bid package, including bid forms, plans, and specifications is available here .

Assuming favorable bids, the City Council is expected to award a construction contract at its June 7 or June 21 meeting, and construction is expected to begin this July. The project will be constructed over two seasons, with sub-surface work along Moonridge Road set to occur this summer and fall. Construction will cease during the winter months, and all planned road and streetscape improvements will be constructed during spring, summer, and fall 2022.
FY 2021-22 Recommended Budget and 5-Year Capital Plan To Be Presented at May 3 City Council Meeting
City staff will present the FY 2021-22 Recommended Budget and 5-Year Capital Replacement / Improvement Plan to the City Council at its May 3 meeting. City Council will conduct additional review of the recommended budget and capital plan during May and June, and is expected to formally adopt both formal spending plans (with desired adjustments) at its June 7 or June 21 meeting.

The FY 2021-22 Recommended Budget and 5-Year Capital Replacement / Improvement Plan have been carefully crafted to address the City Council's collective priorities expressed over the past 4 months, and ultimately promote the fulfillment of the stated Mission and Vision outlined above. The recommended budget and capital plan deliberately and intentionally include funding for key Council priorities, including:

  • vacation rental enforcement,
  • additional law enforcement capabilities,
  • enhanced litter collection efforts,
  • better maintenance of City parks and other heavily-visited public spaces,
  • improved efforts to address blighted commercial properties,
  • additional investment in street rehabilitation throughout the City,
  • the construction of the long anticipated Moonridge Corridor Improvement project,
  • the construction of a comprehensive pedestrian and bicycle trail network,
  • construction of the planned Castle Rock trailhead parking area, and
  • more.

In addition, the FY 2021-22 Recommended Budget includes proposed strategies to enhance public transportation and promote additional workforce housing in the future. The FY 2021-22 Recommended Budget also relies on planned increases in the vacation rental license fee to cover 100% of program administration and enforcement costs, and also includes an increase in the assessment rate for the Village Maintenance District to more adequately cover maintenance expenses.

The FY 2021-22 Recommended Budget and 5-Year Capital Replacement / Improvement Plan will be posted on the City's website on May 1. The public is encouraged to attend an upcoming City Council meeting to share your thoughts and ideas as the Council finalizes these important spending plans in the coming weeks.
Additional Vacation Rental Ordinance Meetings Planned
The City Council adopted the City's a new vacation rental urgency ordinance in January, and the new ordinance appears to be working well thus far. The new urgency ordinance includes a significantly improved enforcement approach, more significant penalties for violations, and places emphasis on noise, party, and parking complaints.

City Council and the Planning Commission continue to consider additional adjustments to the new ordinance, and have conducted two special meetings thus far to receive additional public input. Additional special meetings are planned in May and June, with additional opportunities for public input. The City Council is expected to consider the permanent vacation rental ordinance in June and/or July, and the new permanent ordinance is expected to be effective later this summer. The City will also conduct annual reviews of the vacation rental program in the future, and make adjustments as needed.
Accessory Dwelling Units Present Additional Option for Long-Term Housing
In an effort to promote additional rental housing, California law requires all cities within the State to allow accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in single family residential, multi-family residential, and mixed use zones. As such, the City of Big Bear Lake has adopted regulations intended to make it easier for property owners to add ADUs on their property.
 
An ADU is a completely independent living unit, and may take different forms, including:

  • an independent living unit converted from an existing space within an existing primary residence, such as a master bedroom, game room, or attached garage,
  • an independent living unit converted from a detached garage, guest house, or storage building,
  • new construction of an attached room or rooms, or
  • new construction of a detached building on the property.
 
Consistent with State law, the City allows an ADU on a property of any size. Most types of ADUs are approved ministerially by issuance of a building permit only.  Because ADUs are intended to be affordable and add to the availability of long-term housing, most types of ADUs are not permitted to be vacation rentals. There is no requirement that the property owner live on the premises of an ADU, and both the primary residence and the ADU may be rented on a long-term basis.
 
Under the City's ADU ordinance, there is no minimum size of an ADU, however the unit must contain all facilities for independent living. There is no maximum size of a converted ADU in an existing residence. New attached ADUs are limited to 850 square feet for a one-bedroom unit or 1,000 square feet for a two-bedroom unit, but may not exceed 50% of the floor area of the primary residence. Under a building permit only, new detached ADUs can be up to 800 square feet in area, and may not exceed 16 feet in height.
 
A front and street side building setback area is required, and at the current time, a four (4) foot interior side yard and rear yard setback are required. One (1) on-site parking space is generally required for the ADU, however, no replacement parking is required when converting an existing garage into an ADU.
 
Development impact fees are not charged on ADUs of less than 750 square feet in area. School fees and utility connection fees are assessed on new construction ADUs, however.
 
For specific requirements and to learn more about ADUs, please contact the Planning & Inspections Department at 909-866-5831.
New Ordinance to Prohibit Smoking at all Outdoor Public Spaces
In response to a request from Rim Family Services and the Above The Influence Youth Coalition, the City Council has tentatively approved a new ordinance that will prohibit smoking at all outdoor public spaces in Big Bear Lake. The new ordinance was tentatively approved on April 19, is expected to be finalized on May 3, and would be effective in June.

The new ordinance recognizes the harm resulting from second hand smoke, in addition to the threat of wildfire from an improperly disposed cigarette (or other smoking device), and prohibits smoking of any kind on public streets, at public parks, on the grounds of public buildings, and at public beaches in the City limits. The new ordinance prohibits all forms of smoking, including tobacco, cannabis, and vaping, and violations may result in a $100 fine.
City Planning to Rehabilitate Nearly 6 Miles of City Streets This Summer
The City will soon accept bids for the rehabilitation of nearly 4 miles of City streets, with work expected to be completed by a combination of contractors and City staff later this summer. The attached map indicates street segments where work is planned. Additionally, the Department of Water & Power will be replacing water lines in various areas of the City this spring and summer, and street segments impacted by this work will also be rehabilitated after water lines are replaced. The attached map indicates the affected street segments.

The City currently maintains more than 87 miles of streets in the City limits, and is working to increase its investment in street rehabilitation in the future by allocating additional resources and strategically implementing different rehabilitation techniques. Ideally, the City's goal is to rehabilitate at least 4 - 5 miles annually in the future in order to maintain a smooth ride surface and aesthetically appealing neighborhoods.
City Testing "Pop-Up Trash Sites"
The City continues to consider potential solid waste service enhancements, and is currently testing the use of "pop-up trash sites" at key locations in the City in an effort to make it easier and more convenient for our residents and visitors to dispose of trash, and also to relieve congestion at the City's two Clean Bear sites on peak disposal days (weekends).

The City recently offered "pop-up trash sites" on two different Sundays in the Moonridge area. The "pop-up trash sites" simply include a dedicated truck and staff in a temporary location during peak hours, available for residents and visitors to quickly dispose of trash without traveling to a Clean Bear site. The City will continue to test this approach in the coming weeks in other areas of the City, and may ultimately consider this approach on a permanent basis in the future if it proves successful and cost-effective.
City Staff Remove Unsightly Graffiti on USFS Property
In partnership with the US Forest Service, City staff recently removed unsightly graffiti from the damkeeper's house near the Big Bear Lake dam. Although this area is outside the City limits and under the jurisdiction of the US Forest Service, the City believes it is important to keep the entrances to the City looking clean and attractive and is committed to working with the USFS, San Bernardino County, and others on these issues.

There is absolutely no tolerance for this kind of behavior in Big Bear Lake and the surrounding areas. If you see individuals engaging in these actions, please call law enforcement immediately (911). If you observe graffiti after the fact, please contact City Hall at 909-866-5831.
Get Involved! City Seeking Applicants for 4 Board and Committees
The City is currently seeking applicants for the following boards and committees, and encourages interested residents, property owners, and business persons to get involved! The application deadline for all positions is Friday, May 21.

Department of Water and Power - 2 vacancies, details available here.

Planning Commission - 3 vacancies, details available here.

Solid Waste Advisory Committee - 7 vacancies, details available here.

Economic Development Advisory Committee - 7 vacancies, details available here.

All appointments are expected to be made in June, with service expected to begin in July.
City Welcomes New Employees
The City is pleased to welcome 4 new employees to the Public Services and Tourism Management Departments, and their efforts will help us provide high quality services for our residents and visitors in the future.

New employees in the Public Services Department include Francisco Bernal, Timothy Richard, and Casidey Samples. These new Facilities / Parks Maintenance workers will help to ensure that City amenities are functional and clean on a consistent basis. The City is particularly focused on eliminating litter in all public spaces in the future.

Douglas Craig is a new Code Compliance Officer in the Tourism Management Department, and will help to ensure that all vacation rentals are operated in compliance with the City's regulations. Douglas will serve in one of 4 authorized Code Compliance Officer positions (after the City doubled our enforcement staffing earlier this year).
New Regular Meeting Schedule for City Council
The City Council's regular meeting schedule was recently amended, and the City Council will now conduct its regular meetings on the first and third Monday of each month at 6 pm at City Hall. Upcoming City Council meetings are scheduled for May 3, May 17, June 7, June 21, and July 19. The City Council will not meet on Monday, July 5 due to the Independence Day holiday.

Additional special meetings for specific issues will be scheduled as necessary, and appropriate public notice will be provided.

Meeting agendas and supporting information for upcoming meetings are routinely posted here, usually at least 4 days prior to the meeting date.
Special Memorial Day Fireworks Show - Monday, May 31
Visit Big Bear, the Rotary Club of Big Bear Lake, and the City are busy preparing for a special Memorial Day fireworks display over Big Bear Lake on Monday, May 31. The planned Memorial Day fireworks display is the rescheduled July 4 show from 2020 that was postponed due to COVID-19, and is purposely scheduled for a Monday night to provide our local community with a fun, positive event after a very long and challenging past year +. We look forward to a great show, and to a great start to the summer in Big Bear Lake!
Did You Know?
The City owns and/or maintains the public areas and parking lots in The Village, Veterans Park, Rotary Park, and Boulder Bay Park, and also maintains the Knickerbocker trail, Rathbun Creek trail, and new Stanfield Cutoff trail.

Other parks and key recreation areas in the City limits are owned and/or maintained by other agencies, including the Big Bear Alpine Zoo (Big Bear Parks and Recreation District), Meadow Park (Big Bear Parks and Recreation District), and the Stanfield Marsh parking area and boardwalks (Municipal Water District). The public boat launching ramps (Municipal Water District), Aspen Glen recreation area (US Forest Service), and the Alpine Pedal Path (US Forest Service) are all located outside of the City limits, and maintained by other agencies.
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The Official Newsletter of the City of Big Bear Lake!
Thank you for checking out this issue of Elevation 6752', the official newsletter of the City of Big Bear Lake, CA! This newsletter is presented to keep you well-informed about the City's issues, projects, and initiatives, and will be complemented by other public communications strategies in the future. The City Council, Planning Commission, City staff, and numerous others are all working hard to provide the highest quality City services, in a helpful and professional manner, and promote new public and private investment in our community - in order to enhance the quality of life and visitor experience - and we want to make sure you are well-informed about our efforts on your behalf!

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City of Big Bear Lake
39707 Big Bear Blvd. PO Box 10000, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Phone: (909) 866-5831 | Fax: (909) 866-5491