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 #21-7 - Published July 23, 2021
PLEASE Get Vaccinated!
The City of Big Bear Lake urges EVERYONE in the Big Bear Valley to get vaccinated! Please help us avoid a resurgence in cases and put an end to COVID-19!

The City continues to partner with San Bernardino County to make it easy, convenient, and free to secure a vaccination. Vaccination events are held every Thursday at City Hall, with both the two-shot Pfizer and one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccines readily available. Please visit this website to make an appointment, or simply stop by City Hall at the next event on Thursday, July 29.

As of July 23, 65.2% of City residents over age 12 have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 55.2% of Fawnskin residents have received at least one dose. These numbers are impressive, however, only 38.9% of Big Bear City residents and 33.1% of Sugarloaf residents have been vaccinated with at least one dose. The entire Big Bear Valley needs to increase these numbers in order to put an end to COVID-19! The Big Bear Valley, like many places, has seen a recent increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases, with 38 new cases in the last two weeks.

If you've not already been vaccinated, PLEASE take the initiative to do so as soon as possible. In addition to City Hall, vaccines are widely available through private medical providers and even at McDonald's!
City Council Expected to Appoint New District 4 Member on July 26
The City Council will meet in special session on Monday, July 26 to interview five applicants for the vacant District 4 Council seat previously held by David Caretto. Council is expected to make an appointment at the conclusion of interviews, with the new member scheduled to be sworn in and participate in the August 2 regular City Council meeting.

The five applicants being considered for the appointment are Michael Beveridge, Samantha Bowman - Fleurov, Crisann Conroy, Ronald Krueper, and Perri Melnick. To view the July 26 meeting agenda, and learn more about the applicants, please visit this website.
New Vacation Rental Ordinance To Be Considered by Council at August 2 Meeting
After several months of public input and discussion by both the Planning Commission and City Council, a draft new vacation rental ordinance will be presented for City Council review on August 2.

The new ordinance will include many of the same provisions included in the urgency ordinance adopted in January 2021, along with several new provisions designed to:

  • return to the original model whereby vacation rentals are used as a means to offset second home ownership and maintenance expenses, and not solely for business purposes,
  • promote respectful behavior by vacation rental guests,
  • further enhance already-improved enforcement by City staff,
  • improve transient occupancy tax collections, and
  • enhance communication and partnership between the City and vacation rental owners, managers, and hosting platforms.

As part of the review of the draft new vacation rental ordinance, the City Council will also discuss possible implementation of a cap on the number of vacation rental licenses in the future, as well as planned efforts to incentivize the conversion of vacation rentals to long-term rentals.

The final details associated with the draft new vacation rental ordinance are still being reviewed, and a copy of the August 2 agenda packet including the proposal will be available on the City's website on July 29 or 30. Depending on Council's progress, the new ordinance could be officially adopted at the August 16 regular City Council meeting, and would be effective 30 days later.
Grocery Outlet Appeal To Be Considered Again on August 2
The City Council again discussed two appeals regarding the proposed Grocery Outlet project at its July 19 meeting, but did not take definitive action. Because there continue to be outstanding concerns about traffic safety at the project location, and with the expected appointment of a new City Council member on July 26, the appeals were continued and will be considered again at the August 2 City Council meeting.
City Offering Free Vegetative Debris Chipping and Collection Program to Promote Fire Safety
With the height of fire season fast approaching, and in an effort to promote the creation of defensible space, the City is now offering a free vegetative debris chipping and collection program for our residents and property owners.

The new program allows City residents and property owners to pile the vegetative debris adjacent to their property in an accessible space and request chipping service by visiting www.freechipping.org. Once a request is entered, the City will coordinate the chipping and removal of this debris within 2 - 3 weeks, all at no cost to the resident. This program is available to all residential property owners within the City limits, and is intended to mirror the service previously provided by the Fire Department.

The www.freechipping.org website will go live for the City of Big Bear Lake on Monday, July 26. Chipping and collection requests will be accepted through September 17, with all services completed by early October.

For more information, please call the Public Works Division at (909) 866-7521. Please note that requests for chipping service will only be accepted through the website. 
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Coming Soon to The Village
At its July 19 meeting, the City Council approved the installation of electric vehicle charging stations at two public parking lots in The Village.

The City is partnering with Bear Valley Energy and TurnKey Energy to bring Level 2 Charging Stations, with two charging ports each, to both the Bartlett and Knickerbocker parking lots, as well as a Level 3 DC Fast Charger to the Bartlett parking lot. City staff are coordinating the electrical construction and the purchase of the charging stations, and the City anticipates the new charging stations being operational by the end of September.

This program is available through the Bear Ready Commercial Program, offered by Bear Valley Electric, and is funded through Air Quality Management District Funds that are dedicated to promoting a reduction in air pollution. The City is pleased to offer the new charging stations, and hopes to add more at public facilities in the future.
Street Rehabilitation Work Now Underway
City contractors and staff are hard at work on the annual street rehabilitation program! This years' work includes the resurfacing of more than 4.6 miles of street surfaces across 21 street segments throughout the City of Big Bear Lake.

The City's contractor, Granite Construction Company, is completing preparation work by grinding the streets and removing the old asphalt. Public Works staff is following behind to pave the new asphalt surface and replace the pavement markings as appropriate. 

Construction activities will continue now through September. For more information on this project, including up to date schedules, please visit this new City website established to provide regular updates on current City construction projects. You may also contact City staff at (909) 866-5831, or email engineering@citybigbearlake.com
Construction of Moonridge Corridor Improvement Project Set to Begin Next Week
Construction crews are mobilizing and preparing to break ground on the Moonridge Corridor Improvement Project, with work expected to begin next week.

The project, which will be constructed by Granite Construction Company, includes comprehensive streetscape improvements, drainage improvements, a new bicycle trail, two new traffic calming roundabouts, new medians, and comprehensive landscape improvements across the corridor. The project will be constructed over two seasons and should be completed by October 2022. The total contract amount is approximately $8.4 million.

Work during the first construction season will occur between now and the middle of October, and will focus on the underground drainage and utility improvements. Over the next two weeks, Granite Construction will be completing extensive survey and layout work as well as potholing (localized digging to verify the location of utilities) prior to beginning trenching for the utility construction. It is anticipated that this work will take place over the next two weeks, with more significant construction activity beginning the week of August 9. Overall, for this season, the intent is to complete the underground work and have it backfilled and secured by this winter, with construction of the more significant streetscape improvements beginning next spring.

The City’s project team is coordinating enhanced communication efforts to keep the community apprised of construction activity. This effort will include regular updates and schedules on the City’s website. In addition, City staff will be sending out frequent email updates to a special mailing list for this project. If you would like to be added to that mailing list, please email moonridge@citybigbearlake.com . You may also contact City staff at (909) 866-5831 with any questions or concerns. 

The City is pleased to begin work on this transformational project in the Moonridge area, and looks forward to a beautiful new streetscape by next fall! Thank you for your patience during construction!
City Council Approves Draft 2021-2029 Housing Element
At its July 19 meeting, City Council approved the Draft 2021-2029 Housing Element, and authorized its submittal to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for preliminary review to ensure compliance with State law. 

The draft includes various policies aimed at accelerating housing production in the City of Big Bear Lake, including identification of properties suitable for new housing development, encouragement of accessory dwelling units (ADUs), facilitation of employer provided group housing, the potential development of City-owned parcels for new housing, and potential City Development Code amendments and/or the rezoning of certain parcels for new multi-family housing development. Potential future Development Code amendments may include allowances for higher density in suitable areas and the relaxation of other requirements that discourage new housing construction. 

City staff anticipate receiving HCD feedback by September, and expect to present the final plan for Planning Commission and City Council approval in October and November 2021. The City continues to consider workforce housing to be a high priority, and continues to pursue strategies to increase the supply of housing in the City of Big Bear Lake in the future.  
City Staff Planning New Public Restroom Facilities at Three Locations
City staff are working on the construction of new public restroom facilities at three strategic locations, and hope to have the new facilities installed by fall 2022.

New restroom facilities are being designed for the Stanfield Cutoff area (near the new paved parking spaces), and will be funded 50% / 50% by Visit Big Bear and City transient occupancy tax revenues. The City is also seeking grant funding for the installation of a new public restroom facility near the intersection of Moonridge Road / Fir Street / Rathbun Drive, and this new facility will complement the larger Moonridge Corridor Improvement Project. Additionally, the City plans to utilize transient occupancy tax revenues to install a new public restroom facility near the Castle Rock trailhead (and new parking lot).

The installation of these new facilities is part of the City's overall efforts to better manage visitor impacts, and provide additional convenience for our residents and visitors. We look forward to completing all 3 of these new facilities in the next 15 months.
City Council Expected to Discuss Retail Cannabis at August 16 Meeting
All cannabis business activities are prohibited in the City of Big Bear Lake, and have been since recreational cannabis was legalized by the voters of California in 2016.

The City has recently received multiple requests to reconsider this position and consider an amendment to Development Code and/or Municipal Code to allow for retail cannabis activities in the City. The City Council will conduct an initial discussion about this issue at it August 16 meeting, and will provide direction to City staff at that time.
Did You Know?
Despite a difficult year for everyone, and significant visitation in 2020, crime in the City of Big Bear Lake actually decreased by approximately 12% from 2019. Overall, we continue to be fortunate to live in a relatively low-crime community, and appreciate the hard work of Big Bear Sheriff's Station to keep us safe!
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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