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 #22-2 - Published February 24, 2022
Significant Decrease in New COVID Cases
As has been the case nearly everywhere in recent weeks, the number of new COVID cases has dropped significantly in the Big Bear Valley.

Following an increase of 446 new cases between December 28 and January 27, and an increase of 158 new cases between January 27 and February 14, there have only been 29 new cases reported between February 14 and February 24. Similar dramatic decreases are being reported throughout San Bernardino County, and the number of patients hospitalized with COVID has dipped below levels experienced in summer 2021.

COVID has now impacted the Big Bear Valley for nearly 2 years. Mayor Rick Herrick was the very first person reported to have contracted COVID on March 20, 2020, and since that time there have been a total of 2,612 cases among residents of the Big Bear Valley. Sadly, the deaths of 48 residents of the Big Bear Valley have been attributed to COVID.
Additional Vaccination Clinics Scheduled in March and April
The City continues to partner with San Bernardino County to offer additional vaccination clinics, with new clinics scheduled for March 18, April 8, and April 29. Appointments are encouraged (visit this website), but walk-ins are also welcome between 10 am and 2 pm. If you haven't already been vaccinated, or need a booster, please do so soon!
Free At-Home COVID Test Kits Available at City Hall
The City, in partnership with San Bernardino County, continues to offer free at-home COVID test kits for Big Bear Valley residents. Test kits may be picked up in the lobby of City Hall during normal business hours (Monday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pm).
City Council Considering Two Map Options for Redistricting
City Council reviewed a total of 18 redistricting map options at its February 7 meeting, and has narrowed the options to 2 maps that will now be considered at the Council's March 7 regular meeting. City Council is expected to select one of the 2 map options at that meeting, and the selected map is expected to be formally adopted in April for use in the November 2022 Council elections.

Each of the 2 options is compliant with California law, and would result in more compact districts with boundaries that are more easily identified. Option 1 and Option 5B, the 2 options under consideration at the March 7 meeting, are presented below.
Significant Moonridge Construction Set to Begin in April
City staff and Granite Construction, the City's contractor, are gearing up for the resumption of construction activities associated with the Moonridge Road corridor improvements project. Initial work involving sub-surface utilities was completed in summer and fall 2021, and construction of street and streetscape improvements is expected to begin in April 2022. The project is expected to be complete by fall 2022, and will include a complete transformation of the Moonridge Road corridor between Elm Street and the Big Bear Alpine Zoo.

The project includes the reconstruction of the entire roadway in this area, the installation of two new traffic calming roundabouts, a new center median, new sidewalks, a new bicycle path, landscaping features, and the installation of new lighting, street furniture, and other amenities. This nearly $9 million project is funded exclusively with grant funding and transient occupancy tax revenues derived from overnight visitors.

City staff and Granite construction will be working hard to minimize disruption and inconvenience during construction, however, there will likely be some level of disruption and inconvenience in this area between April and November 2022. The City will be posting regular project construction updates on the City's website and social media platforms throughout construction.

The City is excited to make this long-awaited, transformational project a reality later this year!
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations To Be Installed in March
City officials are excited for the installation of 7 new electric vehicle charging stations in The Village next month!

Three new charging stations will be located in the Bartlett Road parking lot, and four new charging stations will be located in the Pennsylvania Avenue parking lot. City staff are working closely with Chargepoint, the vendor, and Bear Valley Electric to complete the installation, and the new charging stations are expected to be operational by the end of March or soon thereafter.

The new charging stations are funded exclusively by the State Air Pollution Trust Fund and transient occupancy tax revenues derived from overnight visitors.
New Bicycle Trails Expected to Be Constructed This Summer
City staff will soon be soliciting construction bids for the construction of a new, paved bicycle trail on City property near Stanfield Cutoff, with construction anticipated later this summer and fall.

The City plans to construct approximately 2,850 linear feet of 10 ft. wide asphalt path from the existing parking lot at the corner of Stanfield Cutoff and Big Bear Boulevard east to Division Creek (near the former Riffenburgh Lumber property). The new bicycle trail will be connected to the existing wooden boardwalks over Stanfield Marsh, which are expected to be completely replaced in the next few years.

The new bicycle trail is another component of the City's aggressive capital plans to create a safe and enjoyable bicycle trail network in the City. The new trail planned for this summer and fall will connect to the existing bicycle trail on Stanfield Cutoff, which continues on to the Solar Observatory and will also eventually connect to the Big Bear Alpine Zoo on Moonridge Road in the next few years.

This beneficial project is funded by a combination of State grant funding and transient occupancy tax revenues derived from overnight visitors.
Due Diligence Process Ongoing for 19-Acre Bear Valley Mutual Property
City staff continue to complete "due diligence" tasks associated with the City's acquisition of the 19-acre Bear Valley Mutual Property, and expect to complete this process and assume control of this property in June 2022.

The City has completed an environmental review of the property, and this review did not identify any significant environmental concerns at the site. City staff are currently completing a comprehensive financial review of the property, which includes two restaurants, two single family homes, and the Leisure Bear Mobile Home Park that will now be leased by the City to the current tenants. The City will receive all rental income associated with these properties, and will be responsible for maintenance functions in the future. City staff recently met with the owners of the two restaurants, and will soon meet with all residential tenants in the two homes and the Leisure Bear Mobile Home Park to explain the City's agreement and better understand the residents' concerns.

The City's agreement with Bear Valley Mutual will allow the City to construct a new, signature lakefront park on the lakefront portion of the property in the future, and also allows for future redevelopment of a portion of the site. The City has not yet developed specific plans at this time, and expects to engage the entire Big Bear community in a community planning effort later this year to determine future plans.
Potential Paid Parking Discussions Continue With Village Businesses
City staff recently met with several business owners in The Village to discuss the potential implementation of paid parking in The Village. The group engaged in a thoughtful and productive discussion, and City staff are currently working to refine paid parking proposals to present back to the group at a planned meeting in March. If the group reaches consensus, a formal paid parking proposal will be presented to the City Council for review and consideration later this spring.

Depending on the specifics of any ultimately implemented plan, it is estimated that paid parking could generate up to $400,000 annually for Village maintenance expenditures. Discussions to date have contemplated providing free parking for locals and employees (in some form or fashion; multiple options), charging on weekends and holiday periods only, initial free parking for short periods of time, and a phased implementation approach.
City Set to Begin FY 2022-23 Budget Process, Update Capital Plans
The City is already hard at work on the development of the FY 2022-23 City budget that will authorize City expenditures for the period from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023, and the City Council is scheduled to participate in a special budget workshop meeting on March 21. City staff will review the current budget status and early projections for next year with the Council, and also engage the Council in discussion about their desired budget priorities for FY 2022-23.

The City is fortunate to be in a solid financial position, with a structurally sound annual budget. The City's annual General Fund budget is approximately $18 million, and the City's various other funds have an annual budget of more than $12 million. In addition to the annual budget, the Council will review an updated draft of the 5-Year Capital Replacement / Improvement Plan that outlines significant capital projects over the next five years. The total amount of funding identified for various projects in the capital plan over the next 5 years is approximately $36 million.

City Council will provide valuable feedback and input to the City staff at the March 21 budget workshop meeting, and City staff will then incorporate this feedback and input into a Recommended FY 2022-23 City Budget that will be presented for Council review and consideration in May and June, with formal adoption expected in June.
Community Visioning Process Set to Begin
The City is excited to engage the Big Bear community in the development of an updated community vision, and the City Council is scheduled to consider the first steps in this process in the coming weeks.

At the April 4 meeting, Council is expected to consider and potentially award a contract with a consulting group to lead the community vision process, which will involve robust public engagement in the coming months. The selected consultant will guide the City through this process over the next 6 - 9 months, and will ultimately incorporate the entire community's input to develop a new vision for our community. The last time the City engaged in this process was in the mid and late 1990s. Much has changed in our society and our community since that time, and the City wants to ensure that the City's future vision reflects the needs and desires of our community.

A key part of this process is the appointment of a citizens advisory committee to steer this process over the next 6 - 9 months, and these appointments are expected to be made in April or May. The citizens advisory committee will include more than 20 community members, representing a variety of community interests, and this group will provide important guidance to the consulting firm as the City seeks to secure meaningful public input from the entire community in the coming months. Ultimately, the Planning Board and City Council will review the final report later this year, with the City Council formally adopting the new community vision. The new community vision will then be used as the starting point for the development of a new General Plan for the City in the coming years.

It is anticipated that this planning process will incorporate the entire community's input on many important topics and issues facing the City, including residential quality of life, a vibrant local economy, the importance of tourism, the need to effectively balance visitor impacts, transportation issues, the development of new parks and recreation infrastructure, environmental quality, and much more. Stay tuned for more information on how you can participate in this critical process!
Deteriorated Structures to Be Demolished at Civic Center Campus
The City Council authorized a contract for the demolition of 6 deteriorated structures on City property adjacent to City Hall at its February 7 meeting, and this work is expected to occur in March and/or April. UBD, Inc., North Hollywood, CA, was awarded a $53,000 contract for this work, which will be funded by the City's Refuse Fund.

These 6 structures are located between City Hall and Iris Drive, and the demolition will make approximately 1.5 acres of land available for future use. City Council will consider potential future uses of this property in the coming months, with potential future uses including the construction of affordable housing, reservation of this land for future City facilities, and/or the preservation of open space.
Visit Big Bear Planning Memorial Day, July 4, and Labor Day Fireworks Displays
Beginning in 2021, Visit Big Bear took responsibility for organizing and financing the annual July 4 fireworks show in Big Bear Lake, and is currently planning a spectacular 2022 show.

In addition to the July 4 show, Visit Big Bear is also working to arrange for two new special fireworks displays - one for Memorial Day weekend, and another for Labor Day weekend. The proposed new shows are expected to be of the same high quality as the July 4 show, but for a slightly shorter duration.

The Rotary Club will be working closely with Visit Big Bear on this effort, and will provide essential volunteer labor and coordination for all three shows. Enjoy!
Planned Stanfield Roundabout Progressing
The planned installation of a new roundabout at the intersection of Stanfield Cutoff and North Shore Drive continues to progress, and San Bernardino County anticipates that construction will occur during summer 2023. The new roundabout is expected to improve traffic flow and safety at this busy intersection, and City staff continue to engage with the County and Caltrans on this beneficial project.

The estimated $4.5 million project is under the jurisdiction of San Bernardino County, and is primarily funded by transportation funding through the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA). Because the project is located just outside the City limits, no City funding is involved, however, the City is providing input to the County and Caltrans and is available to support their efforts in any beneficial way.
Did You Know?
The City received a total of 255 concerns from City residents about vacation rental issues in January 2021. In January 2022, the City received a total of 111 concerns - a decrease of more than 56%. The City has worked hard over the past year, and continues to work hard, to improve the vacation rental enforcement program, with a significantly improved vacation rental ordinance, a larger enforcement staff, a City-employee response to every concern received, and improved communications with vacation rental owners, managers, and guests.
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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 is complemented by other public communications strategies as needed. 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