Elevation 6752'
The Official Newsletter of the City of Big Bear Lake, CA
Elevation 6752', composed monthly by City staff 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 #22-3 - Published March 31, 2022
Decrease continues in New COVID Cases
The number of new cases of COVID-19 reported in the Big Bear Valley continues to decrease significantly with only 10 new total cases reported between February 24 and March 12.

During the week of March 6 - March 12 only three new cases were reported in the Valley. The Big Bear Valley is currently trending at 56.4 percent below the countywide average for new cases.

Since the COVID-19 cases began appearing in the Big Bear Valley there have been a total of 2,622 cases among residents. Sadly, the deaths of 52 Big Bear Valley residents have been attributed to COVID.
Additional Vaccination Clinics Scheduled in April
The City continues to partner with San Bernardino County to offer COVID-19 vaccination clinics, with clinics currently scheduled for 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.
City Council decides on single redistricting map, final approval in April
Every 10 years, cities with by-district election systems must use new census data to review and, if needed, redraw voting district lines to reflect how populations have changed. This redistricting process ensures all districts have nearly equal population and nearly equal representation on the City Council. California State Law requires that voting districts be redrawn after the most recent census.

After engaging in a thorough process that included input and draft maps submitted by members of the public and by a redistricting consulting firm, a final map needs to be adopted no later than April 17 to comply with the California Fair Maps Act.

City Council reviewed a total of 18 redistricting map options throughout this process and ultimately narrowed the options to two maps. At their March 7 meeting, the Council selected Option one, which will be formally adopted at the regular meeting on April 4. For more information visit the City's redistricting page here. The selected option for approval is presented below:
April 4 council meeting preview
In addition to the adoption of a new district boundaries several other items of interest will be featured at Monday's City Council meeting.

The City is expected to authorize and agreement with DKS Associates for the facilitation of the upcoming community visioning process. The community visioning process will take place over the next 6-9 months, and will include significant community and stakeholder engagement, an appointed citizen steering committee, development of a new community vision and development of an action plan.

The City will be accepting and administering funding from the "CA 4 ALL" Youth Workforce Development Program Grant on behalf of the Southern California Mountains Foundation. The grant will provide youth employment and job development opportunities for youth in the area and the funding would allow for a year round trails crew to assist in the ongoing maintenance of the existing trails network throughout the City of Big Bear Lake and the Valley. The City's role is to sponsor the application and administer the funding on behalf of the Foundation and the City's costs would be covered through the grant. The grant has been awarded in the amount of $1,467,000 and the establishment of the trails crew would begin on July 1, 2022.

Other items on the agenda include authorizing bid solicitations for Stanfield Cutoff public restrooms site preparations, the summer street rehabilitation project, and the Jay Bird Lane sanitary sewer main replacement project. Staff will also provide an update on the Moonridge Corridor Improvements Project as work will resume in April.
Significant construction in Moonridge are to resume in April
City staff and Granite Construction, the City's contractor, are gearing up for the resumption of construction activities associated with the Moonridge Corridor Improvements Project. Initial work involving sub-surface utilities was completed in summer and fall 2021, and construction of street and streetscape improvements will resume 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 Club View Drive.

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 San Bernardino County transportation funds 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 improve this long-awaited, transformational project this year. For more information visit the project webpage.
Planning commission approves events
The Big Bear Lake Planning Commission has recently approved annual events in 2022 to take place including:
  • the Spartan Race at Snow Summit May 14 and 15
  • Big Bear Lake Grill and Chill and KC Barbeque State Championships on May 28, 29 and 30.
  • Big Bear Lake Antique Car Club Fun Run and Car Show to be held on August 12 – 14. Mark your calendars!

Free trolley ridership skyrockets
The Mountain Area Transit Authority has had a busy year. The transportation organization’s free Trolley service has gained a lot of steam in just one year.
In January alone, the free service recorded a record ridership of 17,054 compared with just 4,487 one-year prior. This represents a 280 percent increase in ridership during a one-year period and has helped ease traffic congestion and protect our mountain air quality by reducing emissions.
Check out more on the Free Trolley Service by visiting www.mountaintransit.org

County Supervisor Dawn Rowe speaks to Sugarloaf Property Owners Association 
San Bernardino County 3rd District Supervisor Dawn Rowe spoke to a packed crowd Wednesday night at the Sugarloaf Property Owners Association meeting.

The standing room only crowd comprised residents, Big Bear Lake City Council members, Big Bear CSD board members, and many others. Rowe addressed a myriad of concerns facing valley residents, who submitted questions ranging from vacation rental ordinance enforcement to Burro crossing road signs and everything in between.

Supervisor Rowe covered an in-depth county update of her own before spending the rest of the allotted time fielding questions from residents. Of note, Rowe said that since the recently approved redistricting, her district geography has grown from 3,700 square miles to more than 10,000. She also represents more than 100,000 unincorporated San Bernardino County residents, including those throughout the Big Bear Valley. This puts her well above her fellow supervisors in being a representative for those living in unincorporated areas, bringing challenges that are unique to her constituency.

"I was pleased with the tremendous turnout we had last night and enjoyed the opportunity to address concerns of area residents,” Rowe said. “It's important for Big Bear constituents to stay actively engaged to ensure their elected officials have a clear understanding of the issues they face. I look forward to continuing the dialog as we work together to address area priorities.

Rowe on several occasions encouraged folks to come to the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors meetings to lend their voice to the issues that matter, because as one of five supervisors, she can only do so much. A few of the high points Rowe said the county is working on:

  • The county is modifying its vacation rental ordinance to strengthen restrictions and enforcement.
  •  San Bernardino County’s media team is reaching out to visitors with messages on staying respectful while visiting the mountains.
  • The County matched the City of Big Bear Lake’s illegal parking fees to ensure no one was incentivized to park anywhere in the Big Bear Valley illegally.
  • She expressed her support for the Replenish Big Bear project.
  • The Stanfield roundabout project continues to progress and is now in the environmental review stage.        
  • The County Public Works Department has looked at the continual flooding of Big Bear Airport, determined a potential fix, and Supervisor Rowe is looking at funding options to implement the improvement.

Rowe closed her remarks and took several questions from the audience. It was her second recent trip up the Mountain, as she also attended the March 7, Big Bear Lake City Council meeting.

Former Big Bear Lake mayor left lasting impact
Elected in 1994 and serving as the City’s tenth mayor from 1994 – 1998, Neal Hertzman, passed away Monday at the age of 92. He was heavily involved in the community away from the Dais, helping to organize Old Miners Days, serving on the Senior Center Board of Directors and serving in the Kiwanis Club of Big Bear Valley.

A mechanical engineer by trade, Hertzmann worked on several of the Falcon Missiles for Hughes Aircraft as well as the lunar unmanned soft landing spacecraft development that preceded the Apollo manned landings. Despite a successful career in engineering, Hertzmann always felt a call to serve his community. He served on the Palos Verdes Board of Education for eight years in the 1980s including twice serving as its president.

“Neal Hertzman loved Big Bear and the people of our Valley,” said Current Mayor Rick Herrick. “He taught me the art of patience and the ability to listen for inspiring ideas no matter where they sprang from. I will miss him, and more importantly, we will miss him. Neal, thank you for making our home in the sky a better place.”

Moving to Big Bear Lake to retire in 1988, Hertzmann was appointed to the Big Bear Lake Department of Water and Power Board by 1993 and won election to the City Council in November of 1994. Immediately he was appointed by his colleagues as mayor, an honor that would be repeated for his next three years of service. In the 20-year anniversary and First 20 Years of Big Bear Lake publication, Hertzmann recalled the difficulty of his first council meeting as they were confronted with an appeal to a Planning Commission decision and, later that night, the departure of the City Manager.

“We had a good, hard-working council that always got along and treated each other with respect,” Hertzmann said in his autobiography in the publication. “Probably of most importance, the staff was improved tremendously through development and training of existing personnel or by hiring experienced new people. It is clear to me that the City is in much better shape now than it was when I joined the Council. I can only hope that this progress is continued for many years to come.”

Hertzmann served on a number of different boards and committees including four years on the Mountain Area Regional Transit Authority (two years as chair); Director of SANBAG (now SBCTA) for four years; Four years as the City’s representative on the League of California Cities, including one year as the Vice President of the Desert-Mountain Division; and more.
After leaving the council, Hertzmann didn’t slow down, being reappointed to the DWP board, serving as Vice-Chairman of the Discovery Center Gala 2000, serving as Vice President of the Old Miners’ Association and as Chairman of the Board of the Silent Valley RV Park.

Hertzman no doubt left a lasting positive impact on the Big Bear Valley and will be sorely missed.  

Director of Tourism Management headed to Vista
The City of Big Bear Lake's Director of Tourism Management Larry Vaupel has accepted a job as the Director of Economic Development in Vista, Calif.

During his time with the City of Big Bear Lake, Vaupel transformed the City's vacation rental program, from implementing a new ordinance, to rolling out a software and system that replaced manual paper and single-use software.

We wish him well.
Did You Know?
That The Village area in Big Bear Lake attracts more than 1.7 million visitor days per year. That's 600,000 more visits than Death Valley National Park received in 2021. More than one million visitor days are also spent on Big Bear Valley's network of trails.

For more statistics check out the annual tourism report on our YouTube page here.
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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 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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Ryan Orr, Public Information Officer
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