Helendale

Community Action Guide

In 2016, the community embarked on a planning process to develop a new community plan. Three public workshops were held over the course of the year (February 23, March 29 and July 19, 2016). These workshops, open to any Helendale residents, business or property owners, addressed strengths and weaknesses of the community, the community’s values, and what Helendale aspires to be in the future. Plan participants brainstormed areas of focus and actions to help the community move forward to achieve its aspirations. 

This Community Action Guide is a framework of actions identified by the community and supports implementation of the actions by the community. 

Who We Are

Helendale is an independent community with strong community pride. The community values neighborliness, local control, open space, and the unique rural desert lifestyle that only the Mojave Desert can offer. Helendale strives to promote responsible development that protects the natural environment, continue to be a safe and attractive community, expand recreational opportunities to its residents, while improving its commercial and industrial base.

  • 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 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 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:

    • Rural Desert Lifestyle. Helendale residents value a rural desert lifestyle with fresh air, a quiet and tranquil atmosphere, a slower pace of life, and a starry night sky.
    • Open Space. Helendale residents value the community’s close proximity to wildlife and open space.
    • Community Pride. Helendale residents value a strong sense of community and residents’ participation in matters impacting the community.
    • Friendly Neighborhood Atmosphere. Helendale residents value friendly neighbors and lending each other a hand.
    • Local Control. Helendale residents value local control over sewer, water, parks, trash, and streetlights through the Silver Lakes Association and the Helendale Community Services District (CSD).
  • Community Profile

    Purpose

    The community profile is a summary of the social, cultural, economic, and historic dimensions of Helendale. 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 Helendale Community.

    The initial objective research prepared for the community profile was provided to participants as a handout at each community workshop to provide a basis for discussion during the SWOT, values, and aspirations exercises. Workshop participants were asked to review the information and provide comments as a way to infuse local knowledge into the community plans process. Their feedback was used to finalize the community profile, which includes objective research and issue identification by community workshop participants.

    The objective information, community stories, and public’s participation in the community profile, SWOT, values, and aspirations exercises were all used when developing the framework for the focus and action statements that make up the community plan.

    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 Helendale Community, we aspire to have:

  • Responsible Development

    We have achieved responsible development and living in balance with the natural environment. New development is designed to preserve our rural lifestyle and our values, including neighborliness. This development continues to preserve pristine vistas, the Mojave Desert ecosystem, and our highly valued starry night sky.

  • Safe and Attractive Access to Our Community

    We embrace the community’s location on historic Route 66 (National Trails Highway). Beautification of our gateway roads and development of secondary access points allow safe access in and out of the community, especially for emergency services, in the event that our at-grade railroad crossings are blocked.

  • Expanded Recreational Opportunities

    Community residents, the Helendale Community Services District, and the Silver Lakes Homeowners Association cooperated to expand recreational opportunities. Helendale Park is complete and includes additional activities for all ages. We partner with our local schools to improve after-school programs, and we partner with local organizations to improve youth and adult activities. In addition, we enjoy expanded hiking, walking, and cycling paths that take advantage of the natural beauty of the wash and the Mojave River.

  • A Vibrant Commercial and Industrial Base

    The commercial and industrial businesses within our community grew to provide jobs, additional tax base, and expanded shopping and professional services. The community’s central commercial area has additional restaurants, stores, and professional services such as primary medical care and dental services.

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. Improve the overall safety of the community
    Action Statements
    1. Coordinate with the County to design walkable routes to local schools, Helendale Community Park, and Silver Lakes’ parks to improve pedestrian safety.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    2. Coordinate with the County to improve safety issues caused by Route 66 tourism on National Trails Highway by advocating for speed limit reductions, potential road improvements in high crash areas, targeted traffic enforcement, and an education program in conjunction with Route 66 tourism groups to educate tourists on road safety and high-risk behaviors caused by driver inattention or distraction.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    3. Install additional streetlights on residential streets.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    4. Construct sidewalks along Helendale Road and Shadow Mountain Road.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    5. Develop a neighborhood watch program.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    6. Enhance the bridge across the Mojave River on Vista Road to meet minimum ADA criteria for pedestrian access.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    7. Promote the relationship between the County and the Community Services District by designating a community liaison that communicates the need and desires of Helendale residents to the Board of Supervisors and County agencies.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
  • B. Improve the visibility and access to Helendale from Route 66 and Interstate 15
    Action Statements
    1. Coordinate with the County to design a corridor plan for National Trails Highway that improves aesthetics, provides wayfinding and addresses safety from Oro Grande through Helendale.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    2. Establish a more visible gateway to Helendale on Vista Road and National Trails Highway to attract tourism traffic to local retail.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    3. Coordinate with the County to re-evaluate an alternative access to Helendale from Wild Road or Shadow Mountain Road.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    4. Advocate for the County to re-evaluate an access strategy from Helendale to Interstate 15.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    5. Coordinate with the County to re-evaluate a grade separated crossing at Shadow Mountain Road.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
  • C. Maintain and enhance Helendale’s aesthetic value
    Action Statements
    1. Expand the desert cleanup program to at least 2 times a year to reduce the overall amount of refuse and litter on undeveloped and public lands within Helendale.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    2. Design and promote education materials to help residents understand what constitutes potential code violations and how to report illegal dumping activities.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    3. Design a recycled water system for irrigation and landscaping.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
  • D. Attract new development to Helendale while maintaining the existing community character and rural desert lifestyle.
    Action Statements
    1. Coordinate with the San Bernardino County Economic Development Agency (EDA) to market available properties for industrial and commercial development.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    2. Promote the San Bernardino County EDA Business Services website and the California Businesses Portal to business prospects and existing businesses for potential incentives and programs available.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    3. Establish a local Design Committee to provide advisory input to the County on land development matters.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    4. Develop stronger coordination on planning between the Silver Lakes HOA, Helendale Community Services District and the County.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    5. Coordinate with the CSD and incumbent utilities, such as Frontier, to provide higher speed internet access for Helendale residents including broadband internet (20Mbps or higher) and public hotspots.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    6. Collaborate with the U.S. Postal Service to improve service at the local post office.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
  • E. Improve open space and recreational opportunities for Helendale residents
    Action Statements
    1. Continue the development of, and expand upon, a parks and recreation program that is for all Helendale residents, including completing development of Helendale Community Park.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    2. Establish more walking and multi-use trails within the community including areas such as the wash and the Mojave River.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    3. Enhance recreation programs for youth as well as programs for life-long learning

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    4. Create a little league park and practice fields.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    5. Establish more family-friendly programming such as “Movies in the Park”.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    6. Construct a community gym with workout facilities and an indoor pool.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    7. Enhance the existing Dog Park.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    8. Coordinate with the Helendale School District on a joint use agreement in order to expand before and after school activities for youth.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix
    9. Establish a public access computer center with internet access.

      >>Download PDF Action Matrix

Download the Community Action Guide

Download the Community Action Guide in PDF format.

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