Morongo Valley

Community Action Guide

Who We Are

Morongo Valley is located in the high desert of the Morongo Basin along State Route 62 between Coachella Valley and Yucca Valley. Morongo Valley is the gateway to the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve – a true desert oasis. Residents value the quiet, slow-paced lifestyle found in their rural community and the wide open spaces of the desert. Although diverse, Morongo Valley is a community that works well together on matters of common interest. Morongo Valley endeavors to remain rural and to grow the local economy with independently owned businesses. The community takes pride in operating its own fire department and strives to maintain and improve these emergency 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.

  • Community Values

    The Values are those shared assets, principles, standards, mores, and in the judgment 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.

    As a community we value:

    • Rural Lifestyle. Morongo Valley residents value the lifestyle found in their small rural community – one that is safe, quiet, slower paced, and affordable.
    • Natural Environment. Morongo Valley residents value the natural desert environment and the characteristics that typify the area – wide open spaces, spectacular views, wildlife, dark skies, and cool summer nights. More specifically, residents value the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve and the contrasting lush environment that the wetlands canyon provides.
    • Community Spirit. Morongo Valley residents value the spirit and diversity of the community, in particular, the willingness of residents to be engaged, to volunteer, and to work together on important matters. The residents and businesses of Morongo Valley pride themselves on having their own Fire Department and highly value the emergency services and general support to the community that the Fire Department provides
  • Community Profile

    The community profile is a summary of the social, cultural, economic, and historic dimensions of Morongo Valley. 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 “tells the story” of the Morongo Valley Community.

    2020 Community Profile (opens in a new window)

The Aspirations Statement is a written narrative illustrating how the community desired look and function once the Community Focus Statements and Action Statements are accomplished. 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.

  • Remain a Small Rural Community

    The residents of Morongo Valley know the benefits of rural living and strongly desire to keep things rural. The desert offers wide open spaces, clean air, dark skies, wildlife, and a peaceful, quiet environment. These valued qualities stay unchanged over time and the community remains a safe small town with low density development on spacious lots surrounded by the natural beauty of the desert and mountains.

  • Maintain Local Control of the Fire Department and Strengthen Emergency Response

    There is a great sense of pride among Morongo Valley residents that the community sustained the Morongo Valley Fire Department (MVFD). The Fire Department has become an integral part of life in the community with firefighters actively participating in local programs and events. Through local fundraising efforts and state and federal grants, the community has succeeded in maintaining local control of the MVFD and in providing it with the tools necessary to protect Morongo Valley homes and businesses.

  • Encourage Sustainable Growth of the Local Economy

    Local economic development does not have to come at the cost of sacrificing the rural desert lifestyle that the community values. Morongo Valley’s approach to responsible growth is primarily focused on providing opportunities for independent businesses that provide goods and services for the local community while supporting tourism, as well as providing local jobs and additional tax revenue. Morongo Valley has leveraged its assets, including the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve and the community’s location within the Sand to Snow National Monument, to capitalize on sustainable tourism and the revenues generated from visitors to the area.

  • Provide Improved Services

    The maintenance of infrastructure and the provision of essential services are critical functions to the prosperity of any community, including Morongo Valley. Through the Morongo Valley Community Services District, the community has established a formal way to notify the County of all infrastructure and service issues such as damaged roads, power outages, or trash collection problems, improving service times and helping to make the community function more efficiently.

The Action Plans consists 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

Expand each Focus Statement to see related Action Statements and download the Action Plan Matrices.

  • A. Preserve and enhance the rural characteristics of Morongo Valley
    Action Statements
    1. Advocate for San Bernardino County to adopt and enforce “Dark Skies” requirements for buildings and outdoor lighting to minimize light pollution.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    2. Collaborate with San Bernardino County Land Use Services to develop and adopt design guidelines that reflect the unique characteristics of the community, and will lead to residential and nonresidential buildings that are compatible to the architectural style within Morongo Valley.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    3. Advocate with San Bernardino County Land User Services to review the Rural Residential zoning in Morongo Valley, and revise the zoning designation as needed to be more responsive to community values and priorities, including preventing utility-scale renewable energy developments.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    4. 4.1: Host regular community clean-ups of public land, including public rights-of-way. 4.2 : Conduct a community inventory of properties that may be in need of code enforcement action and meet regularly with County Code Enforcement to help point out issues and to determine if there are community-based solutions, in particular, with regard to enforcement of property maintenance standards and illegal dumping.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    5. Preserve the improved dirt roads in Morongo Valley to be consistent with the desert landscape and rural characteristics of the town, while ensuring that the roads are sufficient for traffic volumes and use conditions.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    6. IN PROCESS: Maintain and improve existing multi-use trails to be suitable for bicyclists, hikers and runners, and equestrians.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    7. IN PROCESS: Expand the network of multi-use trails around Morongo Valley.* *Morongo Basin Active Transportation Plan was accepted by the Board of Supervisors in 2019. The Plan identifies opportunities for active transportation for the Morongo Basin Region. The plan can be used as a resource for transportation grants for walkways and bike paths

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    8. Collaborate with San Bernardino County as it develops a draft ordinance for short-term rentals.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
  • B. Preserve the natural environment in and around Morongo Valley
    Action Statements
    1. Coordinate with the Bureau of Land Management, San Bernardino County, and local community groups to protect the natural resources in the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve, and to protect additional resources that support the preserve’s ecosystem.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    2. Protect the wildlife corridors in Morongo Valley from development and other habitat disruptions to preserve the biological integrity of the broader Morongo Basin ecosystem.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
  • C. Improve public health and safety in Morongo Valley
    Action Statements
    1. Coordinate local fund raising efforts and seek local, state and federal grants and funding to support the Morongo Valley Fire Department (MVFD) and maintain local control of the MVFD.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    2. Leverage the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Citizens on Patrol program and promote volunteer recruitment to increase community patrols, monitor vacant properties for any issues and assist at times of disasters and emergencies.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    3. Advocate to Caltrans to decrease traffic speeds on State Route 62 to 40 mph through the Morongo Valley business district.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    4. Work with the California Highway Patrol to increase law enforcement activities along State Route 62, including enforcing any reduced traffic speeds.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    5. In partnership with surrounding communities and landowners, establish trails for off-highway vehicles (OHVs).

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    6. Promote and encourage the responsible use of OHVs through signs, amenities, and educational campaigns while prohibiting OHV use that threatens sensitive natural environments or local quality of life.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    7. Prepare a community earthquake resilience plan to analyze Morongo Valley’s specific vulnerabilities to seismic events, and to propose policies to decrease future damage from earthquakes.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
  • D. Enhance Communication among community members
    Action Statements
    1. Prepare a welcome packet to distribute to all new community members and businesses with information about Morongo Valley.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    2. Create an online community portal for residents and local businesses to share news and information, weigh in on policy proposals, and comment on issues to local and regional elected officials.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    3. Distribute a quarterly newsletter to residents and local businesses with information about upcoming events, issues of importance to Morongo Valley, and other items that relate to the well-being of the community.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    4. Work with community groups and regional social service providers to engage with socially isolated persons, including elderly persons and individuals with limited English comprehension.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
  • E. Continue to improve access, affordability, and quality of important services for Morongo Valley community members
    Action Statements
    1. Evaluate the impacts of proposed development activities on water supplies, and encourage decision makers to oppose development activities that may reduce local water resources below sustainable levels.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    2. Increase the number of rooftop solar energy installations through incentive programs and financing mechanisms, changes to building and design codes to easily allow these installations, and educational campaigns about the benefits of rooftop solar.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
  • F. Grow the local economy in a manner consistent with the rural character of Morongo Valley
    Action Statements
    1. Promote the unique artistic culture of Morongo Valley through marketing efforts and economic development activities.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    2. Construct a Visitor Information Center in Morongo Valley that provides information about the community and the region, including information on Big Morongo Canyon Preserve, Joshua Tree National Park, and the Sand to Snow National Monument.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    3. Secure funding from local financing mechanisms, state and federal grants to fund non-essential services, events, and programs in Morongo Valley.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    4. Partner with the San Bernardino County Economic Development Agency to support local business ownership and investment to attract new small businesses and to enable growth of existing small businesses that are consistent with the values of the community.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    5. Work with local businesses and community groups to establish annual festivals in Morongo Valley, and market these festivals to potential visitors through new and existing community marketing efforts.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix

Download the Community Action Guide

Download the Community Action Guide in PDF format.

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