Flamingo 640 Glamping Project "Denied without prejudice"
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.
MBCA Comments on Wonder Inn Resort Project
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.
MBCA Comments on Soda Mountain Solar ... Again
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.
MBCA Comments on Regional Advanced Mitigation Policy Draft
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.
MBCA Joins Request for Public Health State of Emergency in Inland Empire
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.
Response from Flamingo 640 Campground Developer
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.
MBCA Comments on Sienna Solar 2 in Lucerne Valley
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.
Eblast September 22, 2022
- Short Term Rentals and Housing Element Update
- Workshop and Webinar: Joshua Trees and Climate Change
- Sienna Solar 2
Coalition Letter on Program 4 in County Housing Element
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.