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
Click below to see answers about 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 2019, 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 Planning 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
- A County Policy Plan, which provides:
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 commitments.
- Web-Based Gramework. A web-based framework that is dynamic, flexible, and based on user needs.
- Tracking and Geedback. 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 PLANNING
Click below to see answers about Community Planning.
What is Community Planning?
The purpose of Community Planning is to guide the future use, character and independent identity of our communities. The County is working with residents and stakeholders to identify how to maintain and improve the quality of life in unincorporated communities through updated goals, policies, mapping, and implementation guides. The resulting plans, guides, and maps will be implemented by County government, community residents, local stakeholders, and/or service providers.
Don't we already have a Community Plan? What's changing?
2007/2013 Community Plans. In 2007, in conjunction with an overall revision to the County’s General Plan, 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.
Consolidation of Community Goals and Policies. The 2007 General Plan, including the 14 Community Plans, contains over 400 goals and 1,700 policies (over 250 goals and 1,000 policies in the Community Plans alone). This is an incredibly large number of goals and policies to review—for members of the public, County staff, and decision makers—when evaluating potential projects, improvements, and other changes. The large number of goals and policies also creates potential problems when trying to maintain consistency between and avoid redundancy among the General Plan and Community Plans.
Accordingly, the County is proposing to update and consolidate goals and policies from both the overall 2007 General Plan and the 2007/2013 Community Plans into a single source of policy direction called the County Policy Plan.
Transition from Community Plans to Community Action Guides. As part of the Countywide Plan preparation, the County took a fresh look at the purpose, functionality, and cost implications of Community Plans. The County was able to eliminate a substantial amount of redundancy and resolve consistency issues by consolidating all goals and policies into one Policy Plan. The County was also able to expand the application of key goals and policies beyond singular communities to help guide multiple communities and regions.
However, the County determined that it does not have the financial resources to implement many of the policies in the current Community Plans without potentially compromising existing local and regional levels of service. The updated goals and policies guide and improve the county while remaining fiscally sustainable.
In addition to updated goals and policies, the County prepared draft Community Plans containing hundreds of grass-roots tools, actions, and strategies—shaped by over two years of public outreach. Public feedback led to the renaming of the documents from “Community Plans” to “Community Action Guides”, which more accurately reflects their purpose and content. The Community Action Guides also include updated information on each community’s background, character, issues, values, and aspirations provided by the community.
How did the County update existing Community Plan goals and policies? Where did they go?
2007/2013 Policy Matrix. To enable residents to better understand how the County addressed the existing Community Plan goals and policies in the County Policy Plan and elsewhere, the County created a Policy Matrix for each current Community Plan that lists each goal and policy from the current Community Plan and where it will be addressed in the future:
- Policy Plan: the location for updated goals and policies that apply to unincorporated areas
- Implementation Plan: the location for actions to be undertaken by the County to implement the Countywide Plan (to be released in 2019)
- Community Action Guide: the location for actions to be undertaken by community members, in coordination with the County
- Development Code: detailed standards or regulations that are already addressed in the Development Code or can be considered in the upcoming Development Code update
- Other: those issues, goals, policies, or actions that have already been accomplished, are outdated, or are no longer a community priority
Where to find the 2007/2013 Community Plan Policy Matrix. If you have a 2007 or 2013 Community Plan, you will find the Policy Matrix on the same web page as your community’s draft Community Action Guide.
The County also created a graphic to illustrate where the existing Community Plan content will be found in the updated Community Action Guides 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 Action Guide will be created for your area, click here to visit the main Community Planning portion of the website.
What are Community Action Guides?
The Community Action Guides provide action-oriented direction for each community to remain and become the type of community that current and future residents desire. The Guides include Action Plans that place a focus on self-reliance, grass-roots action, and implementation, allowing the community to take the lead in moving actions forward. Furthermore, the Guides frame these potential actions in a set of community-driven values and aspirations generated through three years of outreach involving thousands of residents in over 70 communities.
The Guides will also link to 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.
As stated elsewhere, the Community Action Guides and the County Policy Plan combined will replace the 2007/13 Community Plans. The Community Action Guides focus on community-led implementation, while goals and policies are now located in the broader Policy Plan.
How will I be able to find what goals and policies are unique to my community?
All goals and policies will be tagged and searchable on the Countywide Plan website to make it easier to find content applicable to your topic or area of interest.
What is the Community Planning Continuum?
The Community Planning 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 our unincorporated communities. The CPC will consist of updates to existing plans, goals, policies, and maps as well as the creation of new action-oriented guides and tools. The CPC will be implemented by both County government (Policy Plan and Implementation Plan) and community residents and stakeholders (Community Action Guide and Community Development Toolkit). The resulting plans, guides, maps, and tools will be web-based, living documents that will be updated regularly to reflect progress and change. The CPC will include a hierarchy of community planning areas (CPAs – see below) that will ensure that planning details, tools, and resources match the conditions and needs of each community:
- Detailed CPAs. Includes 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 CPAs. Includes 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 CPAs. Includes 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 CPAs. Includes 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 lands.
How does Community Planning 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 the creation of a Policy Plan that updates the County’s existing General Plan for unincorporated areas and expands policy direction to address regional issues and services for the entire county.
The Community Action Guides 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 Community Action Guides 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 compatibility, health and wellness, and trails).
How long will the Community Planning process take?
The process for Community Planing will occur over the span of approximately three years, with targeted public engagement taking place in specific community planning areas over the span of approximately 6 to 10 months, along with two rounds of regional outreach (round 1 in 2017 and round 2 in 2018).
Will the land use designation (zoning) of my property change?
Overall, the majority of changes to privately-owned land will be considered in Detailed Community Planning Areas (CPAs) based on community and property owner input. The County will also be considering minor changes to properties throughout the unincorporated county to more accurately reflect existing land use and ownership.
Map of Draft Proposed Changes. To see if your property is identified for a potential change in land use, click on the following link to view the Proposed Land Use Web Map. This link will take you to an interactive map where you can search for a property by street address or Assessor’s Parcel Number, change the background (e.g., aerial vs street map), turn information on and off, and click on an area or parcel to see the current land use district and proposed land use category.
Proposed Land Use Categories. The County’s current Land Use District (LUD) system serves as its Zoning and Policy map (aka, a one-map system). The County is proposing to transition to a two-map system that retains the current LUD system as Zoning Districts and introduces a second land use mapping system that groups the current LUDs into simplified Land Use Categories (LUCs).
While the Draft Land Use Plan may look different because of the introduction of simplified LUCs, the vast majority of areas retain the same intent, nature, and development potential as under the currently adopted Land Use Plan.
Click on the following link to view an interactive Proposed Land Use Categories story map and learn more about the Proposed Draft Land Use Categories, including density/intensity, primary purpose, typical uses, implementing Land Use/Zoning District, and locations throughout the unincorporated county.
How can I help my community obtain improvements, such as paved roads and parks?
The primary way is to become and stay engaged with the community planning process and join others in implementing the Community Action Guides.
Additionally (coming in 2019), the County will prepare a Community Development Toolkit to supplement the Community Action Guides and 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.