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Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) released for public review!

The County of San Bernardino has released the Draft EIR for the proposed Countywide Plan for public review and comment. While state law only requires a 45-day public review period, the County has opted to provide a 60-day review period so that sufficient time is available to the public for both review of the Draft EIR and submission of comments.

The public review period for the Countywide Plan Draft EIR runs from June 17 to August 15, 2019.  

Click here to download and review the Draft EIR and find out how to submit your questions and comments.

Countywide Connection Newsletter | December 2017

The second issue of the Countywide Connection has been released!

Click here to read the full newsletter.

The newsletter provides a quick update on the project, highlights public input from regional and environmental scoping meetings, illustrates where growth is planned over the next 20+ years, and explains next steps for the EIR (environmental impact report).

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR INPUT! 

As you know, the past two years included 75 public meetings with communities, agencies, businesses, and organizations to better plan and improve our county. Public feedback generated numerous land use changes, adjustments in policy direction, and refinements to Community Plans.  Below are key deadlines for public input on two aspects of the Countywide Plan.  The next opportunity for formal public input will occur later in 2018 when we release the draft Policy Plan and draft EIR.

  • December 15, 2017 | Draft Community Plans. Public comments are due on Draft Community Plans (look for revised Plans in early 2018).  Visit countywideplan.com/cp to view draft Community Plans and provide input.
  • December 31, 2017 | Regional Open House Survey. There is still time for you to tell us what is important to you as we update County policies.  Visit countywideplan.com/surveys to take the survey.

We encourage you to share this newsletter with friends, family and colleagues so that they can keep up with the process, too! Click the image below to read the full newsletter.

Newsletters will be prepared periodically so that we can provide you updates with project progress and highlights at key milestones in the process.  Have suggestions for articles or topics for future newsletters? Let us know! CountywidePlan@lus.sbcounty.gov

Countywide Plan Connection Issue #2

 

Nov. 20th deadline for comments on the EIR scope

Let us know what you think should be included.

The deadline is approaching for agencies and other members of the public to comment on the scope and content of the information and analysis to be included in the EIR.  See below for more information and some FAQs.

The 30-day comment period, as dictated by state law, began on October 17th and runs through November 20, 2017.  A formal scoping meeting was held on October 26, 2017.  Click here for related links and materials.

Please send your comments (via mail, e-mail, fax, or our online comment form) as soon as possible—and no later than 5:00 PM on Monday, November 20, 2017.  

Your comments should be directed to:

Jerry L. Blum, Countywide Plan Coordinator
County of San Bernardino
Land Use Services Department
385 N. Arrowhead Avenue, 1st Floor
San Bernardino, CA 92415

Email: CountywidePlan@lus.sbcounty.gov

Fax: (909) 387-3223

Click Here to go to our online comment form.

Will the County extend the 30-day review and comment period?

No, the County does not plan on extending the 30-day period to receive comments on the proposed scope of the EIR.  The County is preparing a comprehensive EIR, which means that all 18 environmental topics included in the Appendix G CEQA Checklist will be addressed.  Additionally, the County and its consultants must start the technical studies as soon as possible to remain on schedule.

Will the County still accept comments beyond Nov. 20th?

Yes, the County will continue to accept comments throughout the preparation of the EIR.  However, comments on the NOP and scope of the EIR that are submitted after the 30-day review period may not be formally documented in the EIR.

Will there be other opportunities to comment on the EIR?

Yes, the County anticipates releasing the draft EIR around mid-2018.  The public review and comment period for the draft EIR will be a minimum of 45 days per state law.

EIR Comment Form

The comment period for the NOP is now closed.

The County received input from both agencies and members of the public on the scope and content of the environmental information and analysis in the EIR, as outlined in the NOP.

Written comments were accepted from October 17, 2017 to November 20, 2017.



Environmental Review

Environmental Impact Report

The County of San Bernardino has released the Draft EIR for the proposed Countywide Plan for public review and comment. While state law only requires a 45-day public review period, the County has opted to provide a 60-day review period so that sufficient time is available to the public for both review of the Draft EIR and submission of comments.

The public review period for the Countywide Plan Draft EIR runs from June 17 to August 15, 2019. Links to download PDF copies of the Draft EIR are provided below.

The Department is seeking input from both agencies and members of the public regarding preparation of the Draft EIR. Written comments must be sent via mail, e-mail, or fax no later than 5:00 PM on Thursday, August 15, 2019. Please send your comments at the earliest possible date to:

Jerry L. Blum, Countywide Plan Coordinator
County of San Bernardino
Land Use Services Department
385 N. Arrowhead Avenue, 1st Floor
San Bernardino, CA 92415

Email: CountywidePlan@lus.sbcounty.gov
Fax: (909) 387-3223

Draft Environmental Impact Report

Click Here to download a PDF copy of the Notice of Availability (NOA).

To facilitate review of the Draft EIR, each chapter and/or sub-chapter is listed individually below to minimize file size. Please note that some files are still fairly large and will require some time to download.

DRAFT EIR

Title Page

Table of Contents

Chapter 1) Executive Summary

Chapter 2) Introduction

Chapter 3) Project Description

Chapter 4) Environmental Setting

Chapter 5) Environmental Analysis (each topic listed below)

5.1 Aesthetics

5.2 Agriculture and Forestry Resources

5.3 Air Quality

5.4 Biological Resources

5.5 Cultural Resources

5.6 Geology and Soils

5.7 Greenhouse Gas Emissions

5.8 Hazards and Hazardous Materials

5.9 Hydrology and Water Quality

5.10 Land Use and Planning

5.11 Mineral Resources

5.12 Noise

5.13 Population and Housing

5.14 Public Services

5.15 Recreation

5.16 Transportation and Traffic

5.17 Tribal Cultural Resources

5.18 Utilities and Service Systems

Chapter 6) Significant Unavoidable Adverse Impacts

Chapter 7) Alternatives to the Proposed Project

Chapter 8) Impacts Found Not to Be Significant

Chapter 9) Other CEQA Considerations

Chapter 10) Organizations and Persons Consulted

Chapter 11) Qualifications of Persons Preparing EIR

Chapter 12) Bibliography

DRAFT EIR APPENDICES

A) Notice of Preparation (NOP), NOP Comments, and Scoping Meeting Attendance Sheets

B) Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Data

C) Community and Municipal Greenhouse Gas Inventory

D1) Biological Resources Existing Conditions (Report)
D2) Biological Resources Existing Conditions (Appendices)

E) Cultural Resources Technical Report

F) Paleontological Resources Technical Report

G1) Safety Background (Report)
G2) Safety Background (Figures)

H) Water, Wastewater, and Hydrology Existing Conditions

I) Land Use Background Report

J) Noise Data

K) Responses Received from Service Providers

L1) Transportation Impact Analysis (Report)
L2) Transportation Impact Analysis (Appendices- Part 1)
L3) Transportation Impact Analysis (Appendices- Part 2)
L4) Transportation Impact Analysis (Appendices- Part 3)
L5) Transportation Impact Analysis (Appendices- Part 4)

M) Responses Received from Native American Tribal Representatives

How can the public view the Draft EIR?

In addition to the links above, hard copies of the Draft EIR are available at the County’s Land Use Services Department at the San Bernardino County Government Center and the Jerry Lewis High Desert Government Center. Click Here for addresses to each location.

The County is also expanding access to the Draft EIR through the County libraries. The public can view the digital files at computers at any County library. By June 24, 2019, a hard copy of the Draft EIR will also be available at the following County libraries: Barstow, Big Bear Lake, Bloomington, Chino, Crestline, Joshua Tree, Lucerne Valley, and Mentone. Click Here for addresses to each location.

Legal References

Pursuant to Public Resources Code Section 21165 and the California Environmental Quality Act Guidelines (CEQA Guidelines) Section 15050, the County of San Bernardino (County) is the Lead Agency responsible for preparation of a Program Environmental Impact Report for the proposed San Bernardino Countywide Plan (Project), described below. Notice is hereby given that the County has completed a Draft EIR (State Clearinghouse No. 2017101033) for the Project to address the potential environmental effects associated with implementation of the Project.

Draft Land Use Map (Web Map).

  • About the EIR

    What is it?

    The Policy Plan component of the Countywide Plan will be evaluated under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), through preparation and review of a comprehensive, programmatic environmental impact report (EIR). An EIR provides the most complete analysis and maximum level of public participation available through CEQA. The purpose of an EIR is to:

    • Disclose project impacts to the public and decision-makers
    • Identify ways to avoid or reduce environmental impacts
    • Analyze alternatives with the potential to avoid/minimize impacts
    • Foster inter-agency coordination and review

    The EIR will be structured to provide defensible CEQA documentation, strictly comply with processing requirements, and optimize “tiering” and streamlining options for future development projects that are consistent with the Countywide Plan.

    Technically speaking

    Statutes and Guidelines. CEQA is codified in the California Public Resources Code (Sections 21000 et al), with guidelines interpreting the CEQA statute, known as the CEQA Guidelines, contained in Sections 15000 and following of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations.

    Purpose of an EIR. An EIR is—first and foremost—an objective disclosure document; it does not in itself advocate for or against a project. An EIR describes the project in detail and the potential environmental impacts on the existing environmental setting. Supported by numerous technical studies (traffic, air quality/greenhouses gases, cultural and biological resources, noise, geotechnical resources, etc.), the EIR will document probable environmental impacts, feasible ways of reducing or eliminating those impacts, cumulative effects, and alternatives to the project.

    Public and agency input is key to a meaningful EIR, and by law will occur throughout the process. Beginning with the EIR scoping meeting on October 2017, the public and various agencies were given the opportunity to provide their knowledge and expertise to assist the County and consultant team in further focusing the approach and analysis needed in the EIR. The County distributed a Draft EIR for a 60-day public review on June 17, 2019. Formal responses to any comments received will be presented in a Final EIR, with additional opportunities to comment on the analysis, mitigation, and alternatives at public adoption hearings.

    Program EIR. This EIR will be a programmatic EIR. A Program EIR is ideal to analyze large-scale projects that cover future actions that may be related geographically, as a phased series of actions, by statute or regulatory requirements, or by types of impacts and mitigation. For the proposed County Policy Plan, it allows review of broad policy issues and potential cumulative effects, and the appropriate consideration of program-wide alternatives.

    The EIR will be prepared in accordance with CEQA Statutes and Guidelines, and it will focus on the primary effects than can be expected to occur after the adoption of the Countywide Plan. Because of this, the Program EIR will not be as detailed as a Project EIR prepared for a specific development or construction project may be.

    CEQA Streamlining and Tiering. A Program EIR also optimizes streamlining opportunities for future actions which may or may not require a subsequent or project EIR. “Tiering” refers to covering general matters in broader EIRs (such as General Plan EIRs) and narrowing the analysis for subsequent review when more “project-level” or site specific information is available. It cost-effectively avoids redundant analysis, and with the use of specific requirements for subsequent technical studies and performance standards, can limit the need for CEQA documents for future projects consistent with the General Plan.

    However, it is important to note the tiering process does not eliminate CEQA for future projects. Any subsequent project must still be processed in accordance with CEQA and there is no expectation that all (or even most) future projects will be streamlined by a tiering process.

    Recent Legislation. The EIR also evaluates issues and conduct processes introduced by recent legislation. Examples include alternative transportation metrics (Senate Bill 743, Steinberg, 2013) and tribal cultural resources (Assembly Bill 52, Gatto, 2014).

    When will it start?

    The EIR started in late 2017 with the release of the Notice of Preparation and public scoping meeting. The County then conducted technical studies, conducted two rounds of regional meetings, and released a Draft EIR suitable for public review on June 17, 2019. A Final EIR will accompany the Policy Plan for the public adoption hearings, which are expected to occur in late 2019. EIR-related documents will be posted on this website as they become available for the public’s review and input. Please check back here for progress.

  • Commenting during the EIR process

    Draft EIR Public Review Period

    The Draft EIR is available for a 60-day public review period from June 17, 2019, to August 15, 2019.

    The County has opted for a 60-day public review and comment period for the draft EIR (minimum required is 45 days per state law). The Department is seeking input from both agencies and members of the public regarding preparation of the Draft EIR. Written comments must be sent via mail, e-mail, or fax no later than 5:00 PM on Thursday, August 15, 2019. Please send your comments at the earliest possible date to:

    Jerry L. Blum, Countywide Plan Coordinator
    County of San Bernardino
    Land Use Services Department
    385 N. Arrowhead Avenue, 1st Floor
    San Bernardino, CA 92415

    Email: CountywidePlan@lus.sbcounty.gov
    Fax: (909) 387-3223

    NOP Public Review Period

    The NOP was available for a 30-day public review period from October 17, 2017, to November 20, 2017.

    The County received input from both agencies and members of the public on the scope and content of the environmental information and analysis that was incorporated in the EIR. Comments received by 5pm on November 20, 2017 were addressed during the EIR process. Due to the time limits mandated by state law, the County is no longer receiving comments regarding the NOP.

    Will there be other opportunities to comment on the EIR?

    Yes, the County will release the Final EIR in advance of the public adoption hearings. The public will be able to provide public comment as part of the public adoption hearings.

  • NOP and Scoping Meeting (2017)

    Notice of Preparation (NOP)

    Click here to download a PDF copy of the NOP, including information about the Scoping Meeting.

    Click Here to go to the web map showing the Proposed General Plan Land Use Plan.

    Hard copies of the NOP are available at the County’s Land Use Services Department at the San Bernardino County Government Center, the Jerry Lewis High Desert Government Center, and the Bob Burke Joshua Tree Government Center. Click Here for addresses to each location.

    Public Scoping Meeting

    A public scoping meeting was held Thursday October 26, 2017 (9:30-11:30 am).

    Click Here to view the calendar event.

    Click Here to view a video recording of the Scoping Meeting.

    Pursuant to the California Public Resources Code Section 21083.9, the County conducted a public scoping meeting. This meeting provided a public forum for information dissemination and dialogue regarding the components of the proposed project and the environmental review process. Please note the main purpose of the public scoping meeting was to provide a project description and solicit comments to refine and/or expand the scope of the EIR. Although staff will summarize the issues raised at these meetings, anyone wishing to make formal comments on the scope of the EIR must do so in writing as part of the public review period noted in the “Commenting during the EIR process” section above.

    The meeting was held at:

    San Bernardino County Government Center
    385 N Arrowhead Avenue
    San Bernardino, CA 92415

    Remote video conferencing was available at the following locations and County staff was present to take questions and comments:

    Jerry Lewis High Desert Government Center
    15900 Smoke Tree St, Suite 131
    Hesperia, CA 92345

    Bob Burke Joshua Tree Government Center
    63665 Twentynine Palms Highway
    Joshua Tree, CA 92252

    The Scoping Meeting was also available to stream live via the County’s website.

  • Draft EIR (Released June 17, 2019)

    The County completed the Draft EIR and released it for public review on June 17, 2019. Please click on the links below to download the Draft EIR. To facilitate review of the Draft EIR, each chapter and/or sub-chapter is listed individually below to minimize file size. Please note that some files are still fairly large and will require some time to download.

    Draft EIR (Released June 17, 2019)

    Title Page

    Table of Contents

    Chapter 1) Executive Summary

    Chapter 2) Introduction

    Chapter 3) Project Description

    Chapter 4) Environmental Setting

    Chapter 5) Environmental Analysis (each topic listed below)

    5.1 Aesthetics

    5.2 Agriculture and Forestry Resources

    5.3 Air Quality

    5.4 Biological Resources

    5.5 Cultural Resources

    5.6 Geology and Soils

    5.7 Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    5.8 Hazards and Hazardous Materials

    5.9 Hydrology and Water Quality

    5.10 Land Use and Planning

    5.11 Mineral Resources

    5.12 Noise

    5.13 Population and Housing

    5.14 Public Services

    5.15 Recreation

    5.16 Transportation and Traffic

    5.17 Tribal Cultural Resources

    5.18 Utilities and Service Systems

    Chapter 6) Significant Unavoidable Adverse Impacts

    Chapter 7) Alternatives to the Proposed Project

    Chapter 8) Impacts Found Not to Be Significant

    Chapter 9) Other CEQA Considerations

    Chapter 10) Organizations and Persons Consulted

    Chapter 11) Qualifications of Persons Preparing EIR

    Chapter 12) Bibliography

    DRAFT EIR APPENDICES

    A) Notice of Preparation (NOP), NOP Comments, and Scoping Meeting Attendance Sheets

    B) Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Data

    C) Community and Municipal Greenhouse Gas Inventory

    D1) Biological Resources Existing Conditions (Report)
    D2) Biological Resources Existing Conditions (Appendices)

    E) Cultural Resources Technical Report

    F) Paleontological Resources Technical Report

    G1) Safety Background (Report)
    G2) Safety Background (Figures)

    H) Water, Wastewater, and Hydrology Existing Conditions

    I) Land Use Background Report

    J) Noise Data

    K) Responses Received from Service Providers

    L1) Transportation Impact Analysis (Report)
    L2) Transportation Impact Analysis (Appendices- Part 1)
    L3) Transportation Impact Analysis (Appendices- Part 2)
    L4) Transportation Impact Analysis (Appendices- Part 3)
    L5) Transportation Impact Analysis (Appendices- Part 4)

    M) Responses Received from Native American Tribal Representatives

  • Final EIR and NOD (Coming Late 2019)

    The Final EIR will be certified alongside the Policy Plan during the public adoption hearings, which are expected to occur in late 2019.

    The Notice of Determination (NOD) will be issued prior to the public adoption hearings in accordance with state law.

    When available, the Final EIR and NOD will be posted here.

    Final EIR (Coming Late 2019)

    Notice of Determination (NOD) (Coming Late 2019)