Morongo Basin Conservation Priorities Report
Between 2008 and 2010, the Morongo Basin Open Space Group convened dozens of Morongo Basin residents in multiple workshops and discussion groups concerning long-term conservation and development planning in the Basin. Its printed product was the Morongo Basin Conservation Priorities Report which represents the collected perceptions of the Open Space Group participants plus a lot of related scientific data.
Support for this project was provided by the Sonoran Institute. Both public input and conservation science were used to develop this information-rich document. The report provides a comprehensive picture of which areas of the Morongo Basin are considered by its residents to be particularly worth conserving, and which areas may be more suited to development, and why.
Tuesday, September 27 - San Bernardino County Supervisors voted 3-2 to deny the appeal, thereby approving the Altamira Housing project to go forward.
The 2 votes for the appeal, therefore against the project, were District 3 Supervisor James Ramos and District 1 Supervisor Robert Lovingood.
Read MBCA's September 12, 2016 submission to the Hi Desert Star "Guest Soapbox"about the Altamira appeal.
REPORT ON THE SUPERVISORS' HEARING ON YV105 LLP, AKA THE ALTAMIRA HOUSING PROJECT
Supervisors Meeting September 13, 1016
Action Recorded on the Altamira Issue
This is a summary of what happened during the Altamira Housing Project agenda Item at the San Bernardino County Supervisors Meeting of September 13, 2016. Agenda item #102 included a public hearing to consider the appeal by JT105 Alliance, and the staff had recommended that the Supervisors deny the appeal and go forward with the project.
Acting as representative for the JT105 Alliance appeal, Pat Flanagan made a very detailed, specific, and comprehensive statement of all the myriad problems with the project.
Here are the PowerPoint slides Pat presented. Here are the notes that she presented with each slide.
Then the Project Applicant YV105, LLP made their case. Public Comment was then opened, where about 30 people (most at the videoconference room at the Burke Government Center in Joshua Tree and several in San Bernardino) made eloquent, impassioned, and well-researched statements opposing the project.
Among the topics addressed were traffic safety, fire safety, native plant removal and other environmental issues, the presence of tortoises, water issues, historical (and questionable) up-zoning of the project property, and the incongruence of such a high density project in Joshua Tree. Repeated many times was the concern that the project plan never even mentioned the Joshua Tree Community Plan, and that state law requires that it be considered for such a project. In fact, according to both state and county law the Community Plan became part of the General Plan when adopted in 2007. At that time, according to the General Plan, the zoning should have been returned to its original density and it was not.
Both the project applicant and JT 105 Alliance’s representative were given one more 5-minute comment opportunity.
Supervisor Ramos made a motion to accept the appeal and deny the project, and Supervisor Lovingood seconded the motion. But then, the County’s attorney indicated there would be legal difficulties if the vote on this motion were 2-2. It was a complicated matter related to the County’s need to have “findings” supporting the denial. The Supervisors present also appeared to prefer the full attendance of all 5 Supervisors to conduct this vote. So Supervisor Rutherford, although stating that she was “for” the project, moved to Continue the decision to the next meeting. The other 3 Supervisors present agreed. We are uncertain under what protocol Supervisor Ramos’s motion to accept the appeal and deny the project was “dropped.”
So the issue will be taken up again at the next Supervisors’ meeting on September 27.
- Altamira Gated Housing Appeal hearing - Sept. 13
DRECP Record of Decision (ROD) Event – Sept. 14
We are all welcome to attend an event this Wednesday to mark the Record of Decision (ROD) that initiates the long anticipated DRECP (Desert Renewable Conservation Plan). Apologies for the late notice – MBCA just learned of it. Find the Department of Interior’s invitation below with details.Read more
- Altamira Gated Housing Project
- Joshua Tree Solar Farm
- Soda Mountain Solar Project
- Dollar General Store vs. Joshua Tree
- Homestead Valley & Pioneertown Community Plans
- MBCA Desert Wise Living fall lecture
SAVE THE DATES:
- Alta Mira Gated Housing Appeal hearing preparation – Sept. 1
- Alta Mira Gated Housing Appeal hearing - Sept. 13
- Homestead Valley & Pioneertown Community Plans – see below
- MBCA Desert Wise Living fall lecture – Sept. 24
Recent decisions were made on a couple long standing issues of concern to MBCA and our conservation partners. Opposition wages on as several others continue to wind their way through decision makers. We can however finally celebrate one wonderful victory.Read more
MBCA, the Morongo Basin MAC, and others have strongly stated opposition to the Joshua Tree Airport Solar Farm proposed by NextEra. The meeting on August 9 that begins at 10 AM in San Bernardino (or at the videoconference center in Joshua Tree) will likely be the last opportunity to stop the project that would have numerous harmful impacts to the local community, as well as visiting tourists (documented in links that follow).
San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors (BOS) will conduct a public hearing to consider three appeals of a Planning Commission action to approve the Conditional Use permit to establish this 20-megawatt photovoltaic solar energy generating facility on approximately 115 acres at the former Hi Desert (Roy Williams) Airport. The Appellants are: Coalition for Responsible Solar, Socal Environmental Justice Alliances, and Joshua Tree Community for Responsible Solar, as well as individuals.
Re.: The appeals of the Joshua Tree Solar Farm Project (Main Project No. P201400482, Appeals No. P201600230, P201600234, and P201600230)
Read the official notice of the appeals hearing.
Read Joshua Tree resident Tom O’Key’s letter to the Hi Desert Star.
Read MBCA’s comment letter.
- Sand to Snow National Monument Collaboration Workshop
- Joshua Tree Community Plan meeting with San Bernardino County representatives
- Joshua Tree Airport Solar Farm BOS Appeal Hearing
- Soda Mountain Solar BOS Hearing
- Dollar General: JT Downtown Business Alliance loses in State Court of Appeal
Here is a quick review of important meetings for several issues that have been on our radar for the past months. Would love to see you at these meetings to ensure the public interests are well represented – especially those aligned with MBCA’s mission!Read more
- Pumped Dry: The Global Crisis of Vanishing Groundwater - June 8
- Salton Sea Action Committee's Ex-Officio & Stakeholders Meeting - June 9
- Emeritus Director Susan Luckie Reilly celebrates her 100th Birthday!
- Public Meeting: Land Use in the Johnson Valley Area
- Soda Mountain Solar: SB Co. Supervisors to decide future
I have several events you may want to consider attending and put into your calendars. Also, I have a correction to the previous E-Blast related to water projects.