Land Development

Photo courtesy of Alexandra Hicks
Morongo Basin residents cherish our region for its open spaces, native plant life, spring wildflowers, scenic views, wildlife encounters, clean air, and dark night skies.  To maintain these natural and rewarding conditions, MBCA provides information and encourages public comment on land development that may threaten the very conditions that make our region unique and eminently livable and enjoyable.
Photo by Laraine Turk

Problems that arise from poorly-planned developments include excessive dust from land scraping, blocking of wildlife corridors, flooding, and traffic and safety issues. 

Past developments of concern have included poorly-sited solar fields and a casino.  More recently, an  inappropriately large gated housing subdivision (see information on Alta Mira below), a chain store, and another poorly-sited solar field have been of concern.  

Our latest information on land development issues in the Morongo Basin will be provided on this page and the MBCA News page.


  • Featured post

    Flamingo 640 Glamping Project "Denied without prejudice"

    Posted by · March 10, 2023 11:46 AM
    The San Bernardino County Planning Commissioners listened to almost three hours of public comments almost completely against the RoBott Land Company's proposal for a Conditional Use Permit for "a campground that includes a number of facilities, including 75-camp sites, camp store, restaurant, bar, restrooms, pool, workshop buildings, helipad, and common area gardens and pathways within an approximate 25-acre portion of a 640- acre parcel." The denial of the project "without prejudice" means the company can appeal to the Board of Supervisors or resubmit a revised program later. You can view the meeting on the County's website; the public hearing on the glamping project starts at 9:22 AM. 
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  • Featured post

    MBCA Comments on Wonder Inn Resort Project

    Posted by · February 27, 2023 12:26 PM
    MBCA supports the position of the Stop Wonder Inn community group opposing the County's acceptance of a Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Wonder Inn Hotel/Resort. Instead, we argue that a full Environmental Impact Report is required under the California Environmental Quality Act. In a presentation to Wonder Valley residents on January 28, MBCA Board member Pat Flanagan illustrated that many of the Project's Initial Study conclusions overlook or minimize conditions and show significant discrepancies from the experience of residents. Among the areas of concern are sand transport (dust) exacerbated by additional traffic, the presence of desert tortoise, diminishment of dark night skies, and environmental justice issues for a state-indicated Super Disadvantaged Community.  On February 21 MBCA sent a detailed comment letter to San Bernardino County Land Use Services, explaining these concerns in more detail. In an addendum also sent February 21, reference is made to extensive social media advertising by the Project proponent promoting expansion of facilities and services beyond the project application.  
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  • Featured post

    MBCA Comments on Soda Mountain Solar ... Again

    Posted by · February 17, 2023 5:26 PM
    The Soda Mountain Solar project along the I-15 corridor that was denied six and a half years ago is again being evaluated. In this comprehensive comment letter submitted as a Draft Environmental Impact Report is being prepared, MBCA outlines still-pertinent and new concerns ranging from fugitive dust and environmental justice to issues of widespread unobstructed views that entice visitors and the "lake effect" that entices birds to their deaths. 
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  • Featured post

    MBCA Comments on Regional Advanced Mitigation Policy Draft

    Posted by · February 01, 2023 10:49 AM
    MBCA has supported the Southern California Council of Governments (SCAG) draft Regional Advanced Mitigation Policy (RAMP) draft plan. It is proposed "to allow state and federal agencies to consider the environmental impacts and mitigation needs of multiple planned infrastructure projects and urban development all at once, and satisfy those mitigation requirements early in the project planning and environmental review process." Benefits would include cost savings and climate change considerations. This comprehensive presentation about RAMP provides more background and details. 

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  • Featured post

    MBCA Joins Request for Public Health State of Emergency in Inland Empire

    Posted by · January 27, 2023 10:09 AM
    MBCA joined over 60 organizations in an appeal to Governor Newsom to declare a public health state of emergency in the Inland Empire due to "the unchecked escalation of warehouse growth and an accompanying health crisis within Inland communities."  The case is made not only for environmental harm that affects health, but the unbalanced effect on low income and communities of color, creating an environmental justice issue as well. 
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  • Featured post

    Response from Flamingo 640 Campground Developer

    Posted by · October 04, 2022 1:28 PM
    As reported on local radio station KCDZ, the RoBott Land Company replied in writing to questions asked at a recent Homestead Valley Community meeting with a 17-page document. Their detailed replies are to a great extent based on the acceptance and approval of San Bernardino County in their application process and their belief that the growth in visitors to Joshua Tree National Park supports their project.
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  • Featured post

    MBCA Comments on Sienna Solar 2 in Lucerne Valley

    Posted by · September 25, 2022 8:36 PM
    Changes to the proposed Sienna Solar project in Lucerne Valley triggered a new scoping comment letter from MBCA about Sienna Solar 2. The proposed site has expanded and poses a wide range of potential harms to quality of life and the desert ecosystem. In a community designated as Severely Disadvantaged, Lucerne Valley residents will be subjected to dust, degraded views, and excessive lighting. Environmental problems likely to arise include degraded air quality, water issues, and harm to wildlife including threatened species. MBCA Directors Pat Flanagan and Brian Hammer have outlined the problems and created detailed maps illustrating the issues in MBCA's Scoping Comments to San Bernardino County’s Land Use Services Department. 
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  • Featured post

    Golden Currant Solar Project Needs RMP Review

    Posted by · September 24, 2022 1:58 PM
    MBCA and 7 other conservation groups have requested a pause in the Golden Currant Solar project variance review until a revised Bureau of Land Management Resource Management Plan is completed to replace the 1997 version. The 25-year old plan predates many changes in desert management, including updated desert tortoise status, water availability, visual resource and habitat conservation plans, plus water availability, public land access, tribal consultation and many more concerns. While this Nevada project is not within the Morongo Basin, MBCA has always viewed the entire Mojave Desert as part of "the healthy desert environment" that we seek to preserve.
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  • Featured post

    Coalition Letter on Program 4 in County Housing Element

    Posted by · September 20, 2022 2:53 PM
    As part of the County's amended Housing Element (required report to the state), Program 4 is a study to determine the impact of short-term rentals on the housing supply of unincorporated desert and mountain communities. In this September 19 letter to San Bernardino County's Planning Director, MBCA and the Center for Biological Diversity along with Mojave Desert Land Trust, Tahquitz Group of the Sierra Club, and Unincorporated San Bernardino Together, ask the County to show that they are taking their responsibility to their communities seriously. The letter recommends formation of two Advisory Committees – one for the Mountain Region, and one for the Desert Region. The letter also recommends setting an interim cap during the study period, plus a timeline and goals for the study. The introductory paragraphs of the letter summarize past concerns and the intent of the recommendations. For more background information, read MBCA's News posts from May 15, June 9 (MBCA letter)June 9 (letter with CBD)June 15, and July 5, 2022. 
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  • Featured page

    Google Earth Maps


    MBCA is happy to provide a new tool to the public --Google Earth Pro maps related to the Mojave Desert and California. These maps include light pollution, terrestrial corridors (wildlife corridors) and local groundwater basins, among other topics. Below you'll find instructions on how to use these maps. 


    Instructions for Use

    1.To use the map files, you must first install Google Earth Pro on your computer.

    It is a free program that will work both on MAC and PC computers.

    You may download the program here:

    Please follow the prompts to install. After downloading the program, proceed to Step 2. 

    2.   To use the files MBCA created, you must store (download) them on your computer. 

    1. Go to our online folder to locate the map files. 

    2. Download a map from the folder by right-clicking (control-click for Macs)on it, and selecting Download from the options. 


    3. To view the downloaded files, launch Google Earth Pro.

    1. From Google Earth Pro, select FILE>OPEN.

    2. Navigate to the downloaded files in your folder and click OPEN.

    3. This can be repeated for each file. 

    4. To save the files in your version of Google Earth Pro, select YES when closing the application.

    If you're wondering about the source files for these maps, here is an Excel/Google Sheets file with source information for each map. When locating geospatial data most of the time it comes in a professional GIS data format. These files have been converted and optimized for Google Earth Pro viewing. 

    Here are image samples of many of the maps. 







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