This page provides answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Countywide Plan. The information will be updated and added to from time to time.
If you don’t see answers to your questions on this page, want more information, or want to let us know what you think, send us an email.
Click on the links below to jump to an FAQ category and individual questions.
FAQS ON THE COUNTYWIDE PLAN
What is the Countywide Plan?
In 2010, the Board of Supervisors set out to establish a vision for the future of the county as a whole, and subsequently adopted a Countywide Vision in 2011 after two years of input from the community and the county’s 24 cities and towns. Following the adoption of the Countywide Vision, which calls for the creation of a “complete county”, the Board adopted the County paradigm and job statements in 2012.
In 2015, San Bernardino County launched an effort to go further than any county or city has ever gone with a general plan by creating a web-based comprehensive “complete county” plan.
General plans are almost always strictly rule books for guiding development and growth. San Bernardino County’s General Plan, last updated in 2007, will go well beyond a traditional general plan to become a comprehensive Countywide Plan that complements and informs the Countywide Vision by taking into account all services—not just land-use planning—provided by County Government, and the unique values and priorities of each unincorporated community. It will serve as a guide for County decision-making, financial planning, and communications.
With a target adoption date of 2018, the Countywide Plan’s web-based format will provide a wealth of easily accessible data on how the County operates, and allow independent research using County data and information.
What are the components of the Countywide Plan?
Driven by the Countywide Vision, the Countywide Plan will include:
- A County Policy Plan, which provides:
- An update of the County’s General Plan addressing physical, social, and economic issues facing the unincorporated portions of the County.
- An expansion of the County’s General Plan to address supportive services for adults and children, healthcare services, public safety, and other regional county services provided to both incorporated and unincorporated areas.
- A Community Plans Continuum, which will be a new system of community planning that articulates what is important to each community, with a greater focus on community self-reliance, grass-roots action, and implementation. Goals, policies, land use, and infrastructure decisions will be addressed in the Policy Plan.
- A County Business Plan, which will contain governance policies and operational metrics that outline the County’s approach to providing municipal and regional services.
- A Regional Issues Forum, which will be an online resource for sharing information and resources related to issues confronting the County as a whole, including the work of the Countywide Vision element groups.
Additional supporting components will include:
- An Outreach program, which will include online and in-person efforts:
- A project website and other online engagement tools
- Over 80 public meetings (workshops, briefings, study sessions, and hearings) with the general public and key stakeholders held throughout the unincorporated communities
- Coordination with local, regional, state, and federal agencies and organizations
- An Environmental Impact Report to provide environmental clearance for the County Policy Plan and facilitate streamlined CEQA review for future planning and development projects.
- A number of Modeling Tools and Technical Studies, which will provide an understanding of potential implications of growth scenarios on the following topics:
- Land use
- Biological, cultural and paleontological resources
- Fire hazards
- Storm water, hydrology, and water quality
- Utilities, including water, wastewater, and water supply
- Air quality and greenhouse gas emissions
What are the project objectives?
- Countywide Vision and collective impact. A Plan that continues the County’s commitment to the Countywide Vision and a framework for investing the County’s time and resources in ways that yield greater returns, enhanced efficiencies, and more collective impact.
- Institutional ownership and buy-in. A partnership with County staff so that the Plan truly belongs to the entire County organization upon adoption and benefits from staff insights during its preparation. The Countywide Plan will relate to the entire County organization and will not be solely a Land Use Services Department product.
- Expanded General Plan. An expanded role of the General Plan that goes beyond typical land use and development services to incorporate policy direction for regional services in the context of ongoing operations and maintenance requirements.
- Long and short term linkages. A strong link between long term goals and short term decisions and implementation.
- Strategic public investments. A framework for making strategic public investments and a system of continuous reflection and evaluation.
- Trust. Increased trust with the public, jurisdictions, outside agencies, and those within the County organization through improved communication, transparency, and involvement.
- Building partnerships. The identification, building, and refinement of public and private partnerships to create a more complete county.
- CPC integration. A seamlessly integrated continuum of community plans in the County Policy Plan.
- Technology. Use of technology that makes information more accessible, scalable, and adaptable.
- Opportunities and expectations. Participation and involvement by various public and private entities that will identify many opportunities while managing expectations regarding the Countywide Plan and County
- Web-based framework. A web-based framework that is dynamic, flexible, and based on user needs.
- Tracking and feedback. A tracking and feedback mechanism that can grow and expand in functionality and
complexity alongside the County’s institutional capacity and needs.
- Countywide GIS platform. A coordinated GIS platform for the entire County organization that is effective, efficient, stable, flexible, and dynamic.
- Best practices and continuous improvement. The use of organizational best practices and a system of continuous improvement.
- Streamlining CEQA. A programmatic environmental impact report that facilitates tiering and streamlining for future development projects that are consistent with the Countywide Plan.
- Competing as a collective whole. A collective positioning of the entire county (unincorporated municipality, regional services, incorporated jurisdictions, and unincorporated communities) to compete in regional, state, western U.S., national, and international markets.
- Regional coordination and solutions. Regional coordination that capitalizes on a shared Countywide Vision, despite a vast diversity of geography and communities, to craft regional solutions to regional issues.
- Repository for informed decisions. A platform of tools and information that offer insight into the regional data and implications for use in the decisions of local jurisdictions, agencies, and organizations.
FAQS ON COMMUNITY PLANS
What is a Community Plan?
The purpose of a Community Plan is to guide the future use, character and independent identity of a community. Community plans currently identify land use goals and policies unique to each community. They outline how the County of San Bernardino will manage and address growth issues while recognizing the special attributes unique to each unincorporated community.
The County has 14 Community Plans currently in use, which were adopted in 2007, except for Oak Hills, which was adopted in 2013. Click here to view the current Community Plans.
Don’t we already have a Community Plan?
In 2007, the County adopted 13 Community Plans to guide future growth and development in select unincorporated communities while maintaining their distinct character and sense of identity. A fourteenth Community Plan was adopted in 2013 for the Oak Hills Community. These 14 Community Plans contain goals and policies that augment the County’s overall General Plan and attempt to address unique issues and concerns facing each community.
As part of the Countywide Plan preparation, the County is taking a fresh look at the purpose and functionality of these documents. The updated Community Plans will become more action-oriented and focus on specific tools and strategies to improve each individual community.
The new Community Plans will continue to include information on each community’s background, character, issues, concerns, and priorities—updated and shaped by the input received during community workshops.
The goals and policies in the 2007/2013 Community Plans will be updated and incorporated into the broader County Policy Plan, which will be searchable by topic and community.
The new organization of the Community Plan documents is intended provide the County and community with more effective tools for making future decisions and improvements. The County has created a graphic to illustrate where the existing Community Plan content will be found in the updated Community Plans and updated and expanded County Policy Plan.
To see if your community has an existing plan that will be updated, or to see if a new community plan will be created for your area, click here.
What is the Community Plans Continuum?
The Community Plans Continuum (CPC) is an all new system of community planning that will guide local expectations for County services and set a clear direction for the future of each unincorporated community. It will consist of updates to existing plans and the addition of new plans, all of which will be web-based, living documents that will be refined regularly to reflect progress and change.
The CPC will provide planning and implementation guidance for all unincorporated communities as they pursue their own unique lifestyle choices and aspirations. The CPC will include a hierarchy of plan-types (see below) that will ensure that planning details, tools, and resources match the conditions and needs of each community.
- Detailed Plans. Applies to communities that contain, or have the potential for, a variety of housing opportunities and supporting uses, such as commercial and industrial businesses, schools, a library, parks and recreation facilities, and religious and civic organizations.
- Framework Plans. Applies to communities that are primarily characterized by single-family residential properties and a limited number of supporting uses, such as a school, post office, and commercial businesses.
- Foundation Plans. Applies to communities that are primarily characterized by single-family residential properties. Residents of these communities typically drive to nearby towns or cities for employment, shopping, entertainment, education, and recreation opportunities.
- Fundamental Plans. Applies to communities that are primarily characterized by open space or farmland with a scattering of residential homes and/or highway commercial uses, or an area where growth is constrained by adjacent land ownership, such as federal lands and state park lands
How does the Community Plans Continuum relate to the Countywide Plan?
Driven by the Countywide Vision, the Countywide Plan is a comprehensive strategic plan that will guide the County’s future. One component of the Countywide Plan is an update and expansion of the County’s existing General Plan and Community Plans for the unincorporated areas.
As stated above, the CPC will update and replace the existing Community Plans, with a greater focus on action and implementation. The policy direction found in the existing Community Plans will be placed into the overall County Policy Plan. Both the Policy Plan and CPC will be web-based, allowing for policy direction and implementation to be applied at multiple scales (e.g., Valley Region and Bloomington), and topics (e.g., land use, mobility, and health and wellness).
When will my Community Plan start?
The starting date for each Community Plan effort will vary. A little over half will start in late 2015 or early 2016. The balance will start later in 2016. The page for each Community Plan will post updated information as soon as it is available. Note that the Bloomington Community Plan was started earlier to serve as a model for other Community Plan efforts.
How long will the Community Plan process take?
The process for each Community Plan will vary depending on the plan type and outreach. In general, most plans are expected to be completed within 6 to 10 months.
Will the land use designation (zoning) of my property change?
Only Detailed Plans will consider updates to the land use designations for a community. The update process will include opportunities to change land use designations and to establish new place-based designations within the community. See the Community Plans website for a list of communities that will have detailed plans.
How can I help my community obtain improvements, such as paved roads and parks?
The County will prepare a Community Development Toolkit to help residents engage in self-help and/or partnership activities that will facilitate the changes they would like to see in their community. Toolkits will include guidance and information links on a wide range of community improvement and development issues, such as:
- How to create a nonprofit community development corporation
- Guidelines for organizing a farmers market
- Methods, tools and process for establishing and maintaining a community park
- Process for creating a special district for landscaping, street lights, roads, etc.