Eblast November 8, 2023

  • Attend County Virtual Meeting on Short Term Rentals
  • Flamingo 640 to be Heard by Board of Supervisors
  • Landers Eco Dome Project
  • Ongoing Threats to Rooftop Solar
  • Desert Wise Living Landscape Tour Videos Now ReleasedItem 1

Attend County Virtual Meeting on Short Term Rentals (STRs)
As a condition of the acceptance of the Housing Element of the County Wide Plan by the State Department of Housing and Community Development, the County committed to performing a study of the effects of STRs on the housing supply within portions of the County. The results of the study will be presented at a virtual meeting in advance of the findings being presented to the full Board of Supervisors in December. We look forward to seeing that the comments by MBCA and others have been incorporated into the study results. The virtual meeting will be held on November 16, 2023 at 5:30 PM to present the study’s findings and receive thoughts in advance of County staff’s planned December presentation to the Board of Supervisors. MBCA has been advocating for this study (“Program 4”) for the last several years. It is our hope that this study will lead to constructive solutions to the on-going housing crisis within the unincorporated communities of the County.

The link for the meeting will be published at the County website on November 9.

Flamingo 640 Community Meeting / Goes to Board of Supervisors
Under the misidentified guise of a ‘campground’, this commercial resort / Glamping development is anticipated to be heard by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors at their December 19th meeting. The developer has opted not to prepare a new design and to instead appeal the decision of the Planning Commission’s March 9, 2023 denial of the project. In anticipation of the hearing, we encourage attendance at a community Town Hall meeting to discuss strategies to prepare substantive comments regarding this ill-advised project.

Where:       Flamingo Heights Community Association
                   55977 Perris St, Yucca Valley, CA 92284
When:        Saturday November 13, 2023, 6:00 p.m.

Landers Eco Dome Project
The onslaught of ersatz campgrounds within the rural residential districts of the high desert continues with the Eco Dome ‘Campground’ proposed for a site adjacent to the Integratron in Landers. With 6 geodesic dome rooms, each with a full bathroom, deck and spa, as well as a communal dome with full kitchen, a swimming pool and bocce ball court, this project is a de-facto resort motel/hotel within a residential zone. MBCA has submitted comment letters on the Draft Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND). While the comment period has officially closed on the IS/MND, there is an on-line petition about the project where comments can be posted. The project now awaits consideration by the San Bernardino County Planning Commission and when the schedule is announced, in-person comments will be accepted. In the interim, written comments can still be submitted regarding PROJ-2022-00119 to:

Jim Morrissey, Contract Planner 909-387-4234
[email protected]
County of San Bernardino Land Use Services Department 
Planning Division
385 North Arrowhead Avenue, First Floor
San Bernardino, CA 92415-0187

Ongoing threats to Rooftop Solar
On November 16, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will be considering further actions that would de-incentivize the implementation of roof-top solar and the conservation of electricity.

A proposal to eliminate Virtual Net Metering would affect rooftop solar for schools, renters and farms - those facilities that have multiple electric meters - by blocking the ability to directly utilize the solar power generated on the premises. The power generated would be sold to the utility at the wholesale cost and credited to the owner, and then the electricity utilized billed to the owner at the retail cost! This would serve as yet another discouragement to create a reliable, resilient distributed electrical generation infrastructure.

We recommend calling the Governor, who appointed the members of the CPUC, and tell him not to block solar for renters, farmers and schools. His number is (916) 445-2841 during the week.

A proposal to institute an Income Graduated Fixed Charge Rate Design for users of electricity is creating concern among advocates for social justice and energy conservation. MBCA has signed onto a coalition letter challenging this proposed ‘tax’ on electricity. The effort to block this proposed ‘tax’ has expanded with the issuance of a letter signed by 22 members of the State legislature calling for further studies before this tax is approved. We support the analysis and recommendations of the Solar Rights Alliance to ask that the legislature pass legislation addressing this issue. This ‘tax’ is a result of AB 205 passed as a trailer bill during the prior legislative session. This complex and sweeping legislation also affects the environmental review process for renewable energy projects and may be utilized to facilitate industrial scale renewables within the Lucerne Valley area.

We encourage our members and supporters to contact your state representative and urge them to sign on to this letter.

Desert Wise Living Landscape Tour Videos Now Released
The 2023 DWL videos of this year’s landscape tour have now been posted! A comprehensive review of greywater systems, a tour of the Mojave Desert Land Trust seed bank and tips for utilizing boulders in the landscape can be seen on our YouTube channel!

Bookmark your browser to our website to follow our calendar of events for happenings and events in the Morongo Basin. The Morongo Basin continues to draw interest from tourists and travelers from all over the country and the globe - and from developers! We look forward to supporting ‘smart’ development that supports the healthy desert environment, our rural character and the economic health of the Morongo Basin!

Steve Bardwell
Your MBCA Board:

Steve Bardwell, President
David Fick, Vice President
Laraine Turk, Secretary
Cathy Zarakov, Treasurer  
Pat Flanagan, Director

Stacy Doolittle, Director
Brian Hammer, Director
Janet Johnston, Director
Sarah Kennington, Director
Arch McCulloch, Director

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