Hilltop Communities

Community Action Guide

In 2016, the communities embarked on a collective planning process to develop a new community plan. Over the course of a year, residents, business and property owners, and community leaders attended three public workshops (March 1, May 3 and July 19, 2016). During the workshops, participants worked collaboratively to identify strengths and weaknesses, describe the communities’ values, and define future aspirations. With an orientation toward community-based implementation, workshop participants brainstormed areas of focus and actions to help the Hilltop communities move forward to achieve their aspirations.

This Community Action Guide is a framework of actions identified by the community and supports implementation of the actions by the community. The goals and policies from the previous Community Plan were used to inform the guide and the Policy Plan portion of the Countywide Plan.

Who We Are

The Hilltop communities consist of three mountaintop communities (Running Springs, Arrowbear and Green Valley Lake) where residents enjoy a tranquil, small-town lifestyle while supporting additional economic development opportunities that will capitalize on the natural environment, attract visitors, and provide entertainment for residents. Residents and business owners support a thriving destination village for outdoor activities during all four seasons, while strongly seeking preservation and enhancement of the unique mountain environment. Residents are actively involved in local and regional affairs and activities and regularly participate in community and social organizations that enhance the well-being of the communities. Of primary focus is the attraction of full-time families to the area by providing high-quality education and employment opportunities.

  • Strengths & 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 Plan. The word cloud quickly informed participants of key issues and focus areas that could be addressed in the plan. 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 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.

    As a community, we value:

    • Family and Community Focus. Hilltop communities residents value family and community, where neighbors know each other and look out for one another, and are actively involved in various community and social organizations.
    • Natural Mountain Environment. Hilltop communities residents value the small-town character and the natural environment, including habitat, wildlife, air quality, clean air, and the tranquility of the mountains.
    • Recreation and Outdoor Activities. Hilltop communities residents value recreation and outdoor activities, including skiing, snow play, sledding, hiking, and other activities that encourage tourism and allow for active lifestyles.
    • Positive Locals and Tourists Relationships. Hilltop communities residents value and support tourism and the economic contribution tourists make to local businesses and services, including maintaining the necessary infrastructure, services, businesses, and activities to support tourism.
  • Community Profile

    The community profile is a summary of the social, cultural, economic, and historic dimensions of the Hilltop Communities. 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 Hilltop Communities of Arrowbear, Green Valley Lake, and Running Springs.

    2019 Community Profile (opens in 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.

In the Hilltop Communities, we aspire to have:

  • Protected Natural Environment

    The communities continue to protect, enhance, and enjoy the natural environment. Marketing and educational materials are prepared to inform residents and tourists of the variety of opportunities to enjoy the natural environment and the importance of environmental protection.

  • Safe and Thriving Communities That Attract Families

    Our communities are safe, with high quality education and employment opportunities that attract full-time families to the area. Residents and business owners support programs and improvements that foster a sustainable, thriving, and active community, including improved education, home-based businesses, marketing the area for tourism, and added infrastructure to support these activities. The communities also partner with the San Bernardino County Fire and Sheriff’s departments to identify safety concerns and implement solutions.

  • Thriving Destination Village

    Residents work to make Running Springs a thriving destination village for outdoor activities during all seasons. The provision of recreation amenities and programming for all ages and abilities is a primary focus. The communities work together to provide recreational activities and infrastructure, such as hiking/biking/walking trails and sledding and snow play areas, and to attract ecotourism businesses that complement protection of the natural environment.

  • Maintained Involvement in Local and Regional Affairs

    Residents of the Hilltop communities are actively involved in local and regional affairs and activities. Involvement in community and social organizations that enhance the well-being of the communities is a primary focus. Residents continue to seek opportunities for collaboration with government agencies to express the communities’ needs and wants and to ensure the Hilltop communities are being considered in the decision-making process.

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. Provide economic development opportunities that capitalize on the natural environment, attract visitors, and provide entertainment for residents
    Action Statements
    1. Establish a marketing strategy to promote the natural environment and associated activities to encourage the eco-tourism businesses (e.g. snow-related, parasailing, off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails, hiking, etc.).

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    2. COMPLETED: Provide amenities to support visitors to the area such as parking, restrooms, seating areas, open space, trails connecting key nodes/activity centers, and a visitor information center/kiosks.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    3. Coordinate with local businesses, community groups, and organizations to support an arts and theatre program with the potential for hosting an annual festival.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
  • B. Reduce the impacts associated with seasonal visitors and tourist activities
    Action Statements
    1. Provide dumpsters and signage that encourages proper disposal of trash in high-traffic visitor areas.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    2. Investigate opportunities to establish designated sledding areas with parking to avoid visitors establishing undesignated sledding and parking areas.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    3. Provide signage, maps, and other informational materials that identify trails and amenities.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    4. Provide readily available programs and marketing materials that educate visitors on the natural environment and importance of its protection in order to foster responsible tourist behavior.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    5. Advocate with the National Forest Service (NFS) to provide snow play/recreation areas and parking that does not impact the environment.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    6. Establish a strategy/implementation plan for large events that proactively considers and responds to challenges associated with a large influx of visitors at one time.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    7. Provide centralized parking with shuttles and pedestrian paths that connect key commercial recreational activity areas to reduce vehicle use and trips.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
  • C. Improve mobility and reduce vehicle trips through the development of multi-purpose trails that connect key nodes/activity areas within and between the communities
    Action Statements
    1. IN PROCESS: Construct trails for all users that connect neighborhoods with commercial/business areas and key activity areas, such as schools, parks, and community centers.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    2. IN PROCESS: Identify opportunities to extend existing trails or modify existing trails to serve multiple uses.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    3. PLAN ADOPTED 2018: Coordinate with the Rim of the World Recreation & Park District to implement the Active Transportation Plan.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
  • D. Preserve the unique natural environment
    Action Statements
    1. Coordinate with the local schools and other youth organizations to develop a program focused on educating children regarding the natural environment and its protection.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    2. Establish a marketing campaign that promotes the mountain communities and educates visitors on the importance of protecting the natural environment.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    3. Establish targeted clean-ups within less urbanized/forest areas at least two times per year.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
  • E. Improve the appearance of the community
    Action Statements
    1. Establish a compatible/unifying theme for downtown areas and businesses.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    2. Encourage property owners to maintain and improve their properties (e.g., new paint, façade improvements, trash/debris clean-up).

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    3. Organize a community clean-up to be held at least two times a year.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    4. Establish a social media campaign to solicit community involvement in preserving and enhancing the community.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    5. Establish a façade and sign improvement program.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
  • F. Provide a thriving and vibrant local small business environment
    Action Statements
    1. Coordinate with the San Bernardino County Economic Development Agency (EDA) and Running Springs Area Chamber of Commerce to expand strategies to improve communications with business and develop Business Retention & Expansion (BR&E) program.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    2. Establish a marketing plan with incentives to attract new businesses to the area.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    3. Attract and retain permanent residents by developing and implementing a marketing campaign to highlight the values of mountain living for young families focusing on education, family values, community, natural environment, and activities.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    4. Create a business appreciation program, including events, webinars, and awards.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    5. Identify and develop entrepreneurial talent through a coaching program and entrepreneur training program, known as “Economic Gardening.”

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    6. Equip the local Chamber of Commerce to be a one stop shop for help with regulatory permits, financing sources, and serve as ombudsperson with local agencies.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    7. Establish a marketing plan with incentives to encourage home-based businesses.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
  • G. Provide quality educational opportunities at all levels
    Action Statements
    1. Establish mountain-wide partnerships for joint use of existing Public School infrastructure with universities and junior colleges to provide expanded educational opportunities for residents.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    2. Investigate the declining enrollment and quality of public schools in the mountain communities through community organizing and involvement (mountain-wide).

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
  • H. Improve public safety
    Action Statements
    1. Establish a neighborhood watch program that can be implemented throughout the communities.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    2. Encourage community members to participate in the Citizens on Patrol Program coordinated through the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    3. Partner with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, United States Forest Service, San Bernardino County Fire, local safety experts, insurance companies to educate property owners on securing homes and businesses to deter crime and make properties safe.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix

Download the Community Action Guide

Download the Community Action Guide in PDF format.

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