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 #21-6 - Published June 25, 2021
City Council to Appoint New District 4 Member
Apply by July 16 to Serve Your Community!
With the recent resignation of David Caretto, the City Council is now accepting applications from citizens in District 4 interested in serving on the City Council.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, registered to vote in Big Bear Lake, and reside in District 4. District 4 includes a total of 666 registered voters, and generally includes the western areas of the City from Boulder Bay to areas south of The Village, and extending along Big Bear Boulevard to lower Moonridge and Catalina Road. An interactive map of all City Council districts can be accessed here .

Applications are due by the close of business on Friday, July 16, and City Council will interview candidates at a special meeting on Monday, July 26. It is anticipated that the Council will select a new member prior to the regularly scheduled City Council meeting on Monday, August 2, and that the new member will be sworn in and begin serving our community at the August 2 meeting.

The new District 4 member will serve until November 2022, the remainder of David Caretto's unexpired term, and would need to win election at that time in order to continue to serve.

For more information, and to download an application, please click here .
July 4 Fireworks Back in Big Bear Lake!
After a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the City is very pleased to support Visit Big Bear and the Rotary Club for the presentation of July 4 fireworks!

This year's show is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, and will be visible all around the lake. Please join us as we celebrate the founding of the greatest country on Earth in the mountain sky!
Moonridge Corridor Improvement Project Set to Begin Construction
The City Council formally awarded a contract for the construction of the Moonridge Corridor Improvement Project at its June 21 meeting, and construction is expected to begin in July.

Granite Construction, Indio, CA, has been awarded the nearly $8.4 million contract that will ultimately transform the Moonridge corridor between Elm Street and Clubview Drive. The project includes comprehensive streetscape improvements, drainage improvements, a new bicycle trail, two new roundabouts, a new median, landscape improvements, and more.

Construction of sub-surface improvements will begin in July and continue into October, before a winter pause. Construction of the most significant and visible improvements will commence again in April or May 2022, and continue through October 2022. Ultimately, the project will create an attractive new public and commercial area in Big Bear Lake that will complement The Village. The project is funded exclusively with transient occupancy tax revenues and funding provided by the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority.

City staff will be working closely with affected businesses and residents in this area in order to minimize disruption and inconvenience during construction. Please contact the City's Public Services Department at 909-866-5831 with any questions or concerns, and we'll be happy to assist in any way possible!
Please Get Your Vaccination!
Weekly Clinics Planned for Big Bear Lake City Hall
The City continues to partner with San Bernardino County to offer free and convenient vaccination opportunities at the Big Bear Lake City Hall. The County will be offering weekly vaccination clinics at City Hall every Thursday during the month of July, with the next clinic scheduled for Thursday, July 1. Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be offered. To make your appointment, please click here and complete the online form. When you insert your zip code, the Big Bear Lake City Hall location should appear as an option.

As of June 25, a total of 60% of the City's population over the age of 12 has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 50% are fully vaccinated. Vaccination numbers are lower in the unincorporated areas outside of the City, with only 36.2% of Big Bear City residents, 51.7% of Fawnskin residents, and 31.5% of Sugarloaf residents having received at least one dose. The City encourages everyone to get vaccinated, and help keep our community safe from future COVID-19 outbreaks that may occur this fall and winter.
City Council Approves FY 21-22 City Budget
The City Council unanimously adopted the FY 21-22 budget and a new 5-year capital plan at its June 7 regular meeting.

Total planned City expenditures across all funds equal approximately $45.8 million, with the General Fund representing approximately $17.8 million of this total. The Sanitation Fund (wastewater collection and disposal) includes approximately $6.2 million, and the Refuse Fund (solid waste collection and disposal) represents approximately $3.7 million. The remainder of the budget primarily represents new capital investment in our community, including the planned Moonridge corridor improvements and additional park development (dependent on pending grants).

The FY 21-22 recommended budget is intentionally focused on addressing our community's most critical issues to enhance the quality of life for our residents, second home owners, and visitors. Targeted investments are included to improve law enforcement patrol and response, ensure timely and effective response to vacation rental complaints, provide better park maintenance, expand litter collection efforts, address blighted properties, more than double our typical street rehabilitation efforts, and invest in major capital improvements in the Moonridge corridor.

All of these investments are ultimately aimed at enhancing the quality of life for our residents and second home owners, promoting a vibrant local tourism economy, and providing a quality visitor experience. We are proud to serve all of our customer groups, and believe the FY 21-22 budget will enable us to do a better job in the future - for you!
New Vacation Rental Ordinance Moving Forward
After months of thoughtful review, and consideration of hundreds of verbal and written comments from the public, the Planning Commission reviewed and endorsed a draft of the new, permanent vacation rental ordinance at its June 16 meeting. The draft of the new, permanent ordinance is expected to be presented to City Council for first reading at the August 2 City Council meeting, and could be adopted as soon as the August 16 meeting.

The draft of the new, permanent ordinance builds off of the success of the current vacation rental urgency ordinance adopted by City Council in January 2021, and continues to emphasize timely and effective enforcement by City personnel, with significant fines levied on owners, managers, and/or guests that do not meet the City's expectations for respectful behavior. A redline version of the most recent version of the draft ordinance begins on page 104 at this link . Among the notable new provisions for formal City Council consideration in August are the following:

  • a provision requiring the guest responsible for the vacation rental to be at least 25 years of age,
  • the specific authorization of home-sharing activities that occur while the owner of the home is also present,
  • a new limit of 3 vacation rental licenses per owner, in an effort to prevent corporate ownership of vacation rentals (the handful of existing licensees with more than 3 vacation rentals would be grandfathered),
  • new insurance, signage, and trash requirements,
  • revised maximum occupancy limits of 2 adults per bedroom plus 2 additional adults, and any number of children up to the maximum established for the specific vacation rental unit (maximum of 1 occupant per 200 sq. ft., not to exceed 16 - including children),
  • revised parking requirements, with certain exceptions for gravel driveways at older properties,
  • a requirement that all guest vehicles be parked ONLY in established driveways and garages (not on public streets or in yards), with no more than 6 vehicles at any unit at at any time, and
  • authorization for the City Manager to impose additional conditions on individual vacation rental units after just one violation (likely including mandatory video and sound monitoring of the premises in the future), and the ability to revoke a license after just one violation (if particularly egregious or if repeated violations are validated by City staff).

It should be noted that additional changes may be incorporated by the City Council during its review in August, and additional public comment will be accepted up until adoption. The draft of the new, permanent ordinance does not currently include a moratorium, a cap on the number of vacation rental licenses, or other limits on the frequency of use of vacation rentals, but these potential provisions are expected to be discussed as part of City Council review in August.

It should also be noted that the vast majority (more than 90%) of vacation rentals in the City of Big Bear Lake routinely meet the City's expectations for respectful guest behavior, and the City's efforts have been and continue to be clearly focused on the relatively small number of "bad actors" that exhibit poor behavior. The City continues to aggressively enforce the urgency ordinance, validating each complaint, and issuing citations and hefty fines to offending parties (the owner, manager, and/or guest), and will continue an aggressive enforcement approach in the future.
Stakeholder Group Discussing Potential Strategies to Limit Number and/or Frequency of Use of Vacation Rentals
A 9-member stakeholder group that includes City officials, residents advocating for a cap on the number of vacation rental units in Big Bear Lake, and vacation rental owners and managers will meet with City staff over the next 5 weeks (and longer if helpful) to discuss potential strategies that would limit the number of vacation rental licenses in Big Bear Lake in the future.

City staff are attempting to engage these stakeholders in thoughtful discussion of these issues, and any recommendations that may emerge from this group will be presented to the full City Council for review and discussion in August. These stakeholder group meetings are staff-level meetings only, and not open to the public, however, any recommendations that may emerge from this group will be presented for public review and comment in August.
Grocery Outlet Appeal Continued Until July 19
The City Council conducted a public hearing on two appeals of the Grocery Outlet project at its June 7 meeting, and conducted further deliberations at its June 21 meeting. The Council will further consider the appeals at its July 19 meeting, and a final decision is expected at that meeting. Council discussion on June 21 focused primarily on traffic safety concerns, and these concerns will be reviewed further at the July 19 meeting.

The Grocery Outlet is proposed to be located on an approximately 3 acre site on the east side of Big Bear Boulevard between Sandalwood Drive and Starvation Flats Road. The proposed store is approximately 18,000 square feet, with a total of 89 parking spaces.
City Council Approves Increase in Village Assessments
At its June 21 meeting, City Council formally approved a $5 per linear foot increase in the maintenance assessments that help to fund maintenance of public areas in The Village. The proposed increase was submitted to the 56 property owners in The Village district for a potential protest vote in May and June, and only a very small minority expressed opposition to the increase. The increase will help to eliminate an annual recurring deficit in The Village Maintenance Fund over the next 5 years.

The assessment rate will increase from $18.01 per linear foot to $23.00 per linear foot for FY 2021-22, and similar increases are planned in future years. In addition to the assessment increase, the City will also be exploring alternative strategies to cover maintenance expenses in The Village, potentially including the implementation of paid parking in City parking lots and on-street parking spaces in the future. City staff will analyze different options over the next year, and work closely with Village businesses to develop an acceptable plan.
City, Mountain Transit, and Others Exploring Public Transit Service Improvements
City staff are currently working with Mountain Transit, Visit Big Bear, Big Bear Mountain Resorts, the Big Bear Airport, and San Bernardino County on a proposal to enhance public transportation in the Big Bear Valley this coming winter.

The group is currently exploring the potential for more frequent (every 30 minutes) service, provided by trolleys, throughout the entire Big Bear Valley, at no cost to riders in the future (riders would simply hop on and hop off, with no fare collected). The goal of this initiative is to make it as easy as possible for our residents and visitors to move around Big Bear Valley without having to get in their cars - to hopefully reduce congestion on our local roads. If ultimately approved, the enhanced service would also make it easier and more affordable for local workers to travel to and from work.

A formal proposal is expected to be presented to the City Council in August, following deliberations by the governing bodies of the other partner agencies in July and August.
Big Bear Film Summit Marks First Event in Performing Arts Center Since Start of Pandemic
The City is pleased to host the Big Bear Film Summit at the Performing Arts Center this weekend! To learn more, and to purchase tickets, please click here .

This year's event is the first large-scale event to return to the Performing Arts Center, and we are excited to welcome our community back to this great venue!
New Hampton Inn / Home 2 Approved
The Planning Commission unanimously approved plans for a new Home 2 / Hampton Inn at its June 16 meeting.

The new hotel will be constructed on the north side of Big Bear Boulevard, just west of Summit Boulevard, on a vacant ~ 2.7 acre parcel. The hotel will include 128 dual-branded rooms in a new 3-story building fronting on Big Bear Boulevard, with vehicle access via Summit Boulevard and Park Avenue.
Street Rehabilitation Work Set to Begin
A City contractor and City staff are set to begin work to rehabilitate a total of 4.63 miles of City streets in July. Granite Construction, Indo, CA, will complete milling and other associated work, with City staff applying a new, smooth layer of asphalt on various City streets.

This year's investment in street rehabilitation represents the largest annual length of street segment rehabilitation in recent years, and represents the intentional assignment of a higher priority to these activities by the City. The City Council authorized a total of $1.4 million for street rehabilitation in the recently adopted FY 2021-22 budget, a more than 50% increase over typical annual appropriations for street rehabilitation efforts.

Street segments included in the upcoming work are included in the list below. For more information, please contact the City's Public Services Department at 909-866-5831.
Did You Know?
The City's current TOT rate is 8%, plus an additional 3% TBID rate - for a total of 11% collected from guests at overnight accommodations in the City of Big Bear Lake.

Of this total, the proceeds from 6% are used to fund various City services, including law enforcement, street maintenance, snow removal, and more. The proceeds from 2% are used exclusively for capital projects in the City, including things like the upcoming Moonridge Corridor project, new pedestrian and bicycle trails, and other park improvements. The remaining 3% is remitted to Visit Big Bear, and utilized for targeted marketing efforts and also to mitigate tourism impacts in our community.

For FY 2021-22, we expect to collect approximately $10 million from our overnight visitors for essential community services, projects, and marketing.
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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