In a 3-2 vote on December 19, San Bernardino County Supervisors denied RoBott Land Company's appeal of the Planning Commission's earlier denial of their "campground" project in Flamingo Heights. MBCA's December 17 comments summarize the many concerns voiced by hundreds of area residents. All of the related documents are included on the County's page for this agenda item, including the video of the meeting. (Here is a timestamped list of the video of the Flamingo 640 Agenda Item). Supervisor and Chair Dawn Rowe introduced a substitute motion to replace Supervisor Hagman's motion to send the project back to the Planning Commission. Supervisors Cook and Baca joined Rowe in the majority decision to deny the RoBott Land Company's appeal. Extensive details can also be found on the Save Our Deserts FH 640 page.
Covering multiple areas of concern, MBCA has submitted two comment letters challenging the Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration/Initial Study (MND/IS) and in opposition to the granting of a Conditional use Permit (CUP) for this "Eco Dome Campground" project in Landers. One letter notes both the inappropriate designation as a campground, and the inaccurate characterization of the "Eco Domes" as related to the Integratron, a totally unique historic building that has nothing but the shape in common with the proposed domes. The second letter, which includes illustrations, cites many other concerns about the project, including likely negative effects on the community related to noise, dust, traffic, wildlife corridors, and impaired views.
MBCA's October 23 comment letter about the proposed Easley Solar Project near Lake Tamarisk and Desert Center explains how the proposal will add to the already excessive dust problems in current projects nearby, affecting residents' health and violating concepts of environmental justice. Additionally and critically, undisturbed desert land provides carbon sequestration that has far more value and far less harm than scraping more desert for industrial scale solar.
At the County Land Use Services Open House held in Joshua Tree on August 30, MBCA's President Steve Bardwell talked at some length with Mark Wardlaw, new Director of the department. MBCA sent a followup letter outlining concerns about land use issues that affect the Morongo Basin's unincorporated communities particularly. The letter includes some specific suggestions and summarizes our concerns related to water issues, Community Action Guides, climate change, Short-Term Rental ordinances, and a number of other topics.
MBCA is among four regional conservation non-profits recommending together in this letter that the draft of the San Bernardino County Regional Conservation Investment Strategy be edited to meet statute requirements regarding quantifiable goals and gap analysis. In addition, MBCA along with Mojave Desert Land Trust, California Desert Coalition, and The Wildlands Conservancy suggest the use of the 2012 Morongo Basin Conservation Priorities Report to enrich the evaluative data for habitat value.
MBCA's comment letter to the Bureau of Land Management requests they deny the Bonanza Solar Project in the greater Las Vegas area of the Mojave Desert and instead establish an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) to protect an incredible array of desert plants and wildlife that would be decimated by the project.
MBCA has submitted a letter to the Wildlife Conservation Board of California's Desert Conservation Program in support of Mojave Desert Land Trust's effort to acquire and protect acreage in the Corridor Spring Site, a Morongo Basin location with water sources and documented wildlife corridor attributes.