San Bernardino County Provides a Short Term Rental Map

San Bernardino County now provides an online Short Term Rental Map for viewing permitted short-term rentals (STRs) in unincorporated areas of the County. While permitted and well-managed STRs provide income for local residents and businesses, the effects on quality of life due to the escalating number of such properties that are unpermitted and/or not well-managed have been increasing. 
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MBCA Comments on Oberon Solar Project

Photo courtesy of the US Department of the Interior
The proposed Oberon Solar Project, to be located on undisturbed BLM land near Desert Center, has drawn a great deal of concern by numerous groups in addition to MCBA. While in a Development Focus Area (DFA) proposed under California's Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, the proponents are asking for amendments that contradict the Plan’s underlying rationale. In short, as MBCA’s Pat Flanagan writes in the MBCA letter, “It is not the role of the DRECP to bend to accommodate a project proposal. It is the project proponent’s role to accommodate the DRECP.”

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Planning Commission Forwards Light Trespass Ordinance to Supervisors

NPS/Lian Law photo night skies in JTNP
Photo courtesy NPS/Lian Law, Creative Commons 2.0 License
The San Bernardino County Planning Commission unanimously approved the new Light Trespass Ordinance at their September 9 meeting. It will be forwarded to the Supervisors for their vote in the near future. Following its approval, compliance will be required in 18 months for businesses and 24 months for residents. The approved version is contained in pages 4-15 of the Staff Report; the existing Glare and Outdoor Lighting Ordinance is on pages 17-25.
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MBCA Comments on San Bernardino County Housing Element

In reference to the County staff's workshop presentation to the Planning Commission on September 9, MBCA has submitted a letter that outlines our concerns with the current severe problem of affordable housing in the Morongo Basin, with pointed suggestions about the state-required updating of the Housing Element of the Countywide Plan that triggered the Workshop. Thanks to Director Janet Johnston for extensive research in composing the letter. We will again report and comment on the County's Draft Housing Element which is expected later this year. 
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Eblast September 6, 2021

  • Planning Commission to consider Light Trespass Ordinance
  • Planning Commission Workshop on Housing Element
  • California Rooftop Solar Threatened
  • AB 1183 California Desert Conservation passes Senate
  • Comment period on Joshua Tree National Park Improvements
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Letter: Coalition on 30 by 30 Strategy

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Plant Spotlight: Texas Ranger

Texas Rangers are a welcome respite during the dog days of summer. Referred to as barometer plants, Rangers blooms occur with high humidity and rain. When this happens, the plants are covered with purple or magenta flowers.
tx ranger
Photos by Stacy Doolittle
A native of the Chihuahuan Desert and other locales in Texas, Leucophyllum frutescens is a powerhouse of a shrub for Morongo Basin gardens. When young, hungry rabbits can find this sage appealing, so cage it in hardware cloth for protection. Once mature, it is ignored by foragers. Here is a handy guide (pdf) to the different varieties, which you can buy at big box stores and local nurseries. 
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MBCA Joins Scientists to Request Greater Consideration of Desert Carbon Sequestration in Climate Change Planning

Following a meeting with scientists from the California Air Resources Board, MBCA and twelve other organizations submitted a letter to the Board demonstrating the need for greater consideration of desert carbon sequestration in planning for climate change. The letter includes reference to scientific studies, a summary paper about “Carbon Dynamics for the California Desert,” and a two-page Science Brief about conserving carbon in California’s deserts.
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Plant Spotlight: Desert Willow

close up of Desert Willow tree
Photos by Stacy Doolittle

Willow-like in appearance, the Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis) is actually a catalpa tree, hence its other name: Desert Catalpa. No matter what you call it, this tree is ideal for Morongo Basin landscapes. Attributes such as fast growth, heat tolerance, ease of care, and drought adaptation make it a desirable addition to the water-wise garden. It can be pruned into a shrub or allowed to grow into a tree. 


Desert Willow tree in public garden

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Letter: MBCA Joins Scientists to Request Greater Consideration of Desert Carbon Sequestration in Climate Change Planning

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