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  • Introduction
  • Our Community
  • Our Aspirations
  • Our Action Plans
  • Maps & Links

  • Introduction

    Joshua Tree National Park

    In 2016, the community embarked on a new community planning process. Three public workshops, open to any community resident, or business, or property owner, addressed strengths and weaknesses of the community, the community’s values, and what the community aspires to be in the future. Participants brainstormed areas of focus and actions to help the community move forward to achieve its aspirations.

    In October 2017, the results were released for public review as a draft community plan. In response to public comments, the plans were renamed Community Action Guides. This name change along with other revisions that resulted from the public review are incorporated in the 2018 Draft Community Action Guide.

    The results are presented as the Draft Community Action Guide through this webpage, including the additional tabs above.

    The final format of the Community Action Guide will be web-based. The PDF version of the Draft Community Action Guide (linked below) is provided as a courtesy for simplifying public review, but may not be available once the online version of the plan is finalized.

    2018 Revised Draft Community Action Guide

    2017 Public Review Draft

    2007 Community Plan 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 that lists each goal and policy from the current Community Plan and where it will be addressed in the future.

    Policy Matrix for your community’s 2007 Community Plan


    • The Draft 2018 Community Action Guide for Public Review

      You may use the feedback form on this page to submit your comments online — look to the left or scroll down to the bottom depending on your device.

      In addition, you may e-mail comments to CommunityPlans@lus.sbcounty.gov or submit written comments by mail to:

      County of San Bernardino
      Land Use Services Department
      385 N. Arrowhead Ave., 1st Floor
      San Bernardino, CA 92415-0187

      This Draft Community Action Guide was created by the community members who attended workshops, provided comments online or sent in written comments. It is written in the words of those participating in the public engagement process. Therefore, the community’s action guide retains the voice and future image of the community presented by the community members participating in the public engagement process.

      The final format of the Community Action Guide will be web-based. The PDF version of the Draft Community Action Guide is provided as a courtesy for simplifying public review, but may not be available once the online version of the plan is finalized.

    • How to Use This Community Action Guide

      Purpose and Approach

      Overall, the Community Action Guides are a framework for communities to create the future character and independent identity, as identified in the workshops with community values and aspirations, through completion of a community action plan. As stated at the community workshops, the new Community Action Guides replace any existing 2007/2013 Community Plans, with a greater focus on community self-reliance, grass-roots action, and implementation. Goals, policies, land use, and infrastructure decisions are addressed in the Policy Plan of the Countywide Plan. The County Development Code will still regulate zoning and land development.

      The Community Action Guide is strategic in nature and provides clear Focus Statements and Action Statements identified by the community that led to creation of an Action Plan that can be implemented at the grass-roots level within each community. Some actions may require assistance by a County department, but the community will take the lead in moving the action forward, identifying funding or scheduling meetings or requesting information from specific County departments.

      A detailed implementation plan and training module will be set up by the County to guide communities in identifying Champions, setting up Action Teams, contacting County departments and answering questions. In addition, the County’s role will be clarified. This information will be included on the website for easy reference by communities.

      Plan Organization

      The Community Action Guide is organized into three main sections, the community’s Values, community’s Aspirations, and Action Plans.

      VALUES – Those shared assets, principles, standards, mores and in the judgement of the community, what is important to the lives of its residents and businesses. (Identified in Workshop #1 and reviewed and finalized in Workshop #2)

      Community Values are listed under the Our Community tab.

      ASPIRATIONS– A written narrative illustrating the community’s desired look and function once the Community Action Guide is fully implemented. This is a long-term view of 10 to 20 years. It is written as if the community’s desired changes have already occurred. (Identified in Workshop #1 and reviewed and finalized in Workshop #2)

      Community Aspirations are listed under the Our Aspirations tab.

      ACTION PLANS– The action plans consist of:

      • Focus Statements, which provide general direction towards realizing the Community’s aspirations and help organize the plan. (Identified in Workshop #2 and reviewed and finalized in Workshop #3)
      • Action Statements, which are measurable statements providing critical information on the program, initiative or project to complete. (Identified in Workshop #2 and reviewed and finalized in Workshop #3)
      • Action Plan Matrices, which provide general sets of action steps necessary to implement each action statement, identify those that would initiate and champion the action statement, provide a general timeline for implementation and identify resources for additional assistance. (Created to support and guide the Community’s identified Focus and Action Statements)

      The Focus Statements and Action Statements of the guide are not prioritized. It is up to the community to select the three to five priority Action Statements that they wish to begin implementing. The related Action Plans for each Action Statement provide guidance on the actions and timeline that may be necessary to implement the Action Statement. The Champions and Action Teams should review the Action Statement, Benchmark, and Action Steps. They may even hold a public meeting to get additional input before starting implementation of a specific Action Statement. Changes may be made as new input is received.

      Action Plans are listed under the Our Action Plans tab.

      The Action Guide as a Living Document

      The Community Action Guides and the Countywide Plan are designed to be web-based and therefore will be easily updated. The Community Action Guide is intended to be championed and implemented by the Community. The Focus Statements and Action Statement within the guide were created through public engagement workshops by community participants.

      The guide is meant as a way to organize activities and provide overall direction to move the Community forward. The plan should never be considered to be written in stone, but should be malleable as the needs of the Community continue to change. Focus Statements and Action Statements should be changed and amended as Action Statements are completed or new priorities take their place.

      The Community should consider reviewing its guide annually to celebrate what was accomplished and make changes to the guide, as necessary, to ensure it is a relevant work plan. Communities should report back to the County as they complete actions to ensure their online guide is updated with success stories included on their website and to ensure their Action Plans are updated reflecting completed actions. As communities complete their Action Plans, the County will determine when to revisit the community to expand or modify their Action Plans.

    • Relationship to the Countywide Vision and Countywide Plan

      Relationship to Countywide Vision

      The Community Action Guide’s values and goals are specific to each community. However, they are consistent with, build on, and contribute to the Countywide Vision.

      Relationship to Countywide Plan

      In 2010, the San Bernardino County 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, the County of San Bernardino 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. The 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.

      The Countywide Plan serves as a guide for County decision-making, financial planning, and communications. Its web-based format provides a wealth of easily accessible data on how the County operates, and allow independent research using County data and information.

      The Countywide Plan includes:

      • A County Policy Plan, which serves in part as the County’s General Plan for the unincorporated areas and also provides guidance for regional county services. The Policy Plan establishes goals and policies for the entire county as well as specific sub regions and communities.
      • A County Business Plan, which contains governance policies and operational metrics that outline the County’s approach to providing municipal and regional services.
      • A Regional Issues Forum, which is an online resource for sharing information and resources related to issues confronting the entire county.
      • A Community Planning Continuum of 35 Community Action Guides, which articulates what is important to each Community; sets out an Action Plan based on community input, and for the most part, would be implemented by the community; and provides a Community Profile. Links will also be provided for maps, goals, and policies in the Countywide Plan.

    • Where Did the Goals, Policies, and Land Use Map for My Community’s Plan Go?

      The existing Community Plan content was used in the development of the Community Action Guide and Policy Plan of the Countywide Plan. Goals and policies from the existing community plan, as well as proposed land use changes discussed during the community workshops, were considered for inclusion in the County Policy Plan and Land Use Map, components of the Countywide Plan. The Land Use Map will be adopted as part of the County Policy Plan. The content of the Community Action Guide focuses on those actions identified by the community that the community is willing to take to make desired changes to their community. The County Policy Plan and the Community Action Guides will be web-based, with adoption of the Countywide Plan in 2019.

      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 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

      Click here to download a Policy Matrix for your community’s 2007 Community Plan

      Click here to visit the webpage for the County Policy Plan

    • What is the Community Development Toolkit?

      The County of San Bernardino Land Use Services Department is creating an online Community Development Toolkit to expand the action topics and guidance on implementation as well as ideas for future amendments or additions to the Community’s plan.





  • Our Community


      Joshua Tree

    • Who We Are

      There is a uniqueness to Joshua Tree that sets it apart from other High Desert communities. The combination of people, culture, history, and landscape give the community a “sense of place” as distinctive as its namesake national park. Above all else, the people of Joshua Tree value the natural beauty of the desert and strive for a harmonious relationship with the environment. This translates into a strong desire to preserve the rural desert lifestyle for its spaciousness and tranquility, and for growth in the community to occur in a measured and sustainable way. The community prides itself on being the gateway to Joshua Tree National Park and recognizes the symbiotic relationship it has with the park. Although life in the Mojave Desert can present many challenges, Joshua Tree is committed to ensuring that the community has excellent public infrastructure and full access to essential services.

      Strengths and Opportunities

      Community workshops were conducted in each community as part of the engagement process. In addition, input was gathered through the Countywide Plan website. As part of the process, participants defined the strengths of and opportunities for their community. The word cloud below was created using the input provided during the Strengths, Opportunities, Values and Aspirations exercises and served as part of the base information utilized to develop the Focus and Action Statements of the Community Action Guide. The word cloud quickly informed participants of key issues and focus areas that could be addressed in the guide. The more a word or phrase was articulated, the larger the word appears in the cloud. The full results of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats gathered as a part of the engagement process is found in the Community Profile.

      Joshua Tree Word Cloud

    • Community Values

      The Values are those shared assets, principles, standards, mores, and in the judgement of the community, what is important in the lives of its residents and businesses. A community’s values are an important consideration in shaping its aspirations, focus and actions.

       

      Natural Beauty

      Joshua Tree residents value the natural beauty of the surrounding desert environment.


      Responsible Tourism

      Joshua Tree residents value the economic and cultural benefits of tourism to Joshua Tree National Park balanced with maintaining a respectful connection with nature.


      Cultural Reputation

      Joshua Tree residents value the community’s reputation as an educational, artistic, and cultural center with abundant social and cultural amenities.


      Sustainable Focus

      Joshua Tree residents value dark skies and the natural desert with a focus on sustainability and diversity.


      Vibrant Atmosphere

      Joshua Tree residents value the diverse group of local businesses, artists, and personalities who make life in the community vibrant and unique.

    • Community Profile

      The community profile is a summary of the social, cultural, economic, and historic dimensions of Joshua Tree. It presents data collected through secondary sources to inform future actions. The profile, together with future studies and information gathered from residents highlights essential facets and “tell the story” of the Joshua Tree Community.

      2018 Revised Draft Community Profile

      2017 Public Review Draft Community Profile




  • Our Aspirations

    Joshua Tree Workshop #2

    The Aspirations Statement is a written narrative illustrating the community’s desired look and function once the Community Focus Statements and Action Statements are fully implemented. This is a long term view of 10 to 20 years. The Aspirations Statement serves as a foundation for developing Community Focus Statements and Action Statements.


    • 1. A Model Community for Sustainability

      Our community is at the forefront of the sustainability movement by focusing on healthy and balanced living practices that do not negatively impact the surrounding desert environment. Local community groups organize incentive programs for homes that convert to point-of-use solar units. Additionally, monthly programs are held for the community to educate residents and businesses on ways to recycle, compost, and reduce water consumption. Joshua Tree continues its efforts to preserve the desert ecosystem and maintain a harmonious relationship with the environment.


    • 2. Responsible and Respectful Growth and Development

      Growth and development within Joshua Tree progresses at a measured pace, with each project reviewed by a committee of residents and local stakeholders. Our community has an adopted set of design guidelines for the community to maintain the appearance, culture, and “Desert Funk” style of the area. We understand that growth is important in order to capture revenue from tourism to Joshua Tree National Park and to help the community continue to thrive. The design review committee and new guidelines help the new businesses and residences fit in seamlessly with the existing community and add value to the area.


    • 3. A Gateway to Nature

      The community of Joshua Tree distinguishes itself as a well-known gateway to Joshua Tree National Park. Economic development in the area meets the needs of both residents and tourists, and many of our local businesses are focused on promoting the natural environment around us, whether through the sale of outdoor gear or services such as hiking or climbing guides. We also have a signage and wayfinding program to promote the community and help visitors better navigate the area.


    • 4. Fostering Local Businesses with Rural Desert Character

      Joshua Tree is a community whose character is defined in part by local mom and pop shops The Joshua Tree Chamber of Commerce, with advice from the County, developed a streamlined process that serves all the needs of both new and existing small-business owners to start and retain new businesses. The local Chamber of Commerce works with the surrounding chambers of Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms to coordinate business attraction, marketing, and business support activities, which benefits all three areas.


    • 5. Enhancing Community Services

      Growth and development in Joshua Tree has enhanced community services, such as education, fire, and law enforcement. Joshua Tree’s K–12 school system is a highly competitive learning environment whose students have access to the technology and resources needed for them to excel. Additional sheriff’s patrols increase safety and better serve the larger population and increased numbers of visitors to Joshua Tree National Park.




  • Our Action Plans

    Action Plans

    2018 Revised Draft Action Plans

    2017 Public Review Draft Action Plans

    The Action Plans consist of:

          • Focus Statements, which provide general direction towards realizing the Community’s aspirations and help organize the plan. (Identified in Workshop #2 and reviewed and finalized in Workshop #3)
          • Action Statements, which are measurable statements providing critical information on the program, initiative or project to complete. (Identified in Workshop #2 and reviewed and finalized in Workshop #3)
          • Action Plan Matrices, which provide general sets of action steps necessary to implement each action statement, identify those that would initiate and champion the action statement, provide a general timeline for implementation and identify resources for additional assistance. (Created to support and guide the Community’s identified Focus and Action Statements)

    Focus Statements and Action Statements

    Each Focus Statement is listed below. The Action Statements display under the corresponding Focus Statement. Expanded discussions of each Action Statement are included in the compiled Action Plans, linked at the top of this page.

    The Focus Statements and Action Statements of the plan are not written with a prioritization. It is up to the community to select the priority action statements that they wish to begin implementing. The related action plans for each Action Statement provide guidance on the actions and timeline that may be necessary to implement the Action Statement.

    Focus Statements


    • A. Preserve the desert ecosystem, its natural beauty, and the community’s harmonious relationship with the environment

      Action Statements

      A1. Partner with organizations such as Mojave Desert Land Trust to conserve natural desert habitats and wildlife corridors and to protect native plants and animals.

      A2. Promote water conservation as an essential part of living in the desert.

      A3. Develop a master plan to connect existing designated open spaces with Joshua Tree National Park.

      A4. Promote respect for local ecosystems and be stewards of the environment.

      A5. Promote smart, sustainable, low-impact growth and development.

      A6. Encourage small-scale rooftop solar rather than large industrial solar farms.


    • B. Maintain the rural desert lifestyle and character

      Action Statements

      B1. Establish a welcome program to greet new residents, educate them on the unique desert experience, and offer them information regarding the community.

      B2. Prepare a landscaping and lighting guide to help current and new residents, landscaping companies, and construction and development companies either install or modify landscaping and lighting to meet the needs of the desert landscape and dark sky regulations.

      B3. Develop community-based design guidelines that explain the “Desert Funk” design style that helps define the unique character of Joshua Tree. The guidelines should focus on design concepts for the downtown area and include both residential and commercial development guidelines to assist designers in meeting community expectations.

      B4. Combine a harmonious vibe of peace and spaciousness with community activities to bring Joshua Tree’s diverse population together.


    • C. Become a model gateway community to Joshua Tree National Park

      Action Statements

      C1. Enhance the community’s identity as “The Gateway to Joshua Tree National Park.”

      C2. Establish a plan to create a vibrant downtown with more restaurants, cafes, bakeries, craft shops, galleries, and the like.

      C3. Coordinate with business and property owners to develop a series of guidelines for wayfinding and advertising signage that embraces the community’s design vision while providing direction and information to both residents and visitors.

      C4. Establish a downtown business improvement district (BID), or similar financing mechanism, to assist in developing improvements to the gateway.

      C5. Partner with SBCTA and Caltrans to advocate and seek funding for pedestrian and parking enhancements to provide a safer environment for residents and visitors on Twentynine Palms Highway (SR 62), in particular, through downtown Joshua Tree.

      C6. Construct a lighted crosswalk at the intersection of Twentynine Palms highway and Sunset Road.

      C7. Construct pedestrian refuge areas at key intersections to aid pedestrians crossing Twentynine Palms Highway.

      C8. Collaborate with businesses and property owners to discourage Caltrans from widening of Twentynine Palms Highway.

      C9. Establish a parking management plan organized by the Joshua Tree Chamber of Commerce within the downtown/gateway area.

      C10. Locate open spaces such as courts, plazas, and park areas near and around businesses to encourage visitors to stop in the core downtown/gateway area.


    • D. Grow the local economy in a manner consistent with the rural desert character

      Action Statements

      D1. Enhance ecotourism by creating an economic development and marketing strategy that promotes the local environment and associated activities.

      D2. Encourage the sustainable development of lodging for Joshua Tree National Park visitors and advocate for responsible short-term rental (e.g., Airbnb) operations.

      D3. Support local business ownership and investment while attracting new entrepreneurs that share similar values with the community.

      D4. Partner with local educational institutions such as Copper Mountain College to develop or expand educational programs that lead to higher wage employment.

      D5. Support local job training opportunities for area teens.

      D6. Explore opportunities to strengthen the Joshua Tree Chamber of Commerce, partner with the Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce to coordinate business attraction, marketing, and business support activities.


    • E. Improve roads and other public infrastructure throughout the community while preserving the desert landscape and rural character

      Action Statements

      E1. Design a trail system for both bicycles and pedestrians, connecting the downtown with surrounding open space and communities.

      E2. Establish desert road development standards that downplay the need for urban street improvements such as street lighting, curb and gutter, and sidewalks except as needed for safety.

      E3. Encourage rapid maintenance of key roadways immediately following storm events.

      E4. Embrace the Complete Streets approach to the construction and operation of the community’s transportation network, balancing the needs of all modes of travel.

      E5. Manage off-highway vehicle (OHV) use within the community boundaries through creation of an educational campaign to better educate OHV users on existing laws and legal use of their vehicles.


    • F. Improve the delivery of essential services to the community

      Action Statements

      F1. Advocate for increased police patrols.

      F2. Collaborate with the Morongo Basin communities on a regional plan to improve health care services and facilities in the area, emphasizing accessible, state-of-the-art care.

      F3. Collaborate with the Morongo Basin Transit Authority to improve bus routing.


    • G. Reinforce the sense of “community”

      Action Statements

      G1. Prioritize and develop community recreational facilities such as a community cultural center, an open space venue for live performances, and/or a dog park.

      G2. Advocate for substantial improvements to the Joshua Tree Library.

      G3. Organize more community events and activities to bring Joshua Tree’s diverse population together.

      G4. Embrace the Transition Movement, which aims to increase community self-sufficiency to reduce the potential effects of peak oil, climate change, and economic instability.

      G5. Partner with appropriate agencies in pursuing grant and other financing opportunities to fund local improvement projects.

      G6. Promote the unique artistic culture of Joshua Tree.


    • H. Strive for greater independence and self-government

      Action Statements

      H1. Reestablish the Joshua Tree Municipal Advisory Council to more specifically address the issues affecting the community.

      H2. Explore the potential for incorporation.


    Action Plan Matrices

    The Action Plan Matrix for each Action Statement listed above can be found in the compiled Action Plans, linked at the top of this page.

    How to Implement the Action Plans

    The Action Plans provide a general organization of the action steps necessary to implement each Action Statement. The Community may want to meet to identify the top three to five priority Action Statements to work on first. Some of these may be those actions that the community believes could be completed quickly and easily. Completion of one Action Statement will provide the community and local groups with the motivation to move forward with another Action Statement.

    Once an Action Statement is selected for implementation, the community identifies a Champion for that Action Statement to initiate activities, identify those responsible for carrying out action steps, identify and secure resources that will be required, and develop a timeline. The champion is not responsible for completing the action, but serves to facilitate and guide the Action Team. While suggested action steps are included in the guide, each community should develop more specific assignments based upon available community resources such as volunteers (e.g., individuals, businesses, property owners, etc.), community groups (e.g., chamber of commerce, non-profits, etc.) and organizations (e.g., scouts, community service districts, churches, schools, etc.). This step of planning for implementation is an important first step necessary to help ensure successful implementation.

    Potential resources are identified for each Action Statement. These may be guides on implementation, case studies of how other communities have implemented similar projects, sources of potential external funding, and organizations and agencies that can provide guidance and advice.

    A more detailed Implementation Plan will also be developed. The Implementation Plan will include information about how to inform the County about changes to your Community Action Guide. In addition, the County will want to know when work starts on an Action Statement and when each Action Statement is completed. It is important for the community to celebrate as actions are fulfilled.

    The Action Plans are Not Set in Stone

    The Action Plans are to be used to guide community actions and are not “set in stone”. Champions and Action Leaders are suggestions, but your community has a better idea of the best Champion for individual actions. The Action process is a general set of tasks that can be modified by the Champion, Action Leaders and/or Action Teams to best fit your community. The community should feel free to make changes and find alternatives for completing actions.

    The Community Development Toolkit

    San Bernardino County Land Use Services is in the process of creating an online Community Development Toolkit to expand the action topics and guidance on implementation as well as ideas for future amendments or additions to the Community’s plan.



  • Material in this section will be added as it is completed with community input. Click on each item for more information and a link to download the material.