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  • Policies
    1. Policy LU-2.13 Short-term private home rentals

      We enforce appropriate operation standards, maintenance standards, and permitting procedures for the establishment and maintenance of short-term private home rentals in the unincorporated areas.

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    2. Policy LU-3.3 City/town standards in SOIs

      Upon negotiation with individual jurisdictions, we may require new development in unincorporated municipal sphere of influence areas to apply the improvement standards for roads and sidewalks of the incorporated jurisdiction.

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    3. Policy LU-4.2 Fire-adapted communities

      We require new development in high or very high fire hazard severity zones to apply fire-resistant design techniques, including fuel modification areas, fire resistant landscaping, and fire-resistant building materials.

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    4. Policy LU-4.3 Native or drought-tolerant landscaping

      We require new development, when outside of high and very high fire hazard severity zones, to install and maintain drought-tolerant landscaping and encourage the use of native species.

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    5. Policy LU-4.6 Adaptive reuse

      We encourage the rehabilitation, adaptive reuse, and revitalization of existing structures to preserve and celebrate the unique sense of place, identity, and history of our communities.

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    6. Policy LU-4.8 Public gathering spaces

      We require the development of safe and attractive public gathering spaces that facilitate social interaction, community events, and physical activity in master planned communities, large residential developments, and large commercial developments.

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    7. Policy LU-4.9 CPTED

      We require public gathering spaces to use CPTED (crime prevention through environmental design) principles and ensure sufficient access for public safety services.

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    8. Policy LU-4.11 Businesses in Joshua Tree

      We prohibit the establishment of franchise businesses in the commercial focus area/franchise-restricted in Joshua Tree to preserve the unique community character and its value as a year-round, world renowned tourist destination.

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    9. Policy LU-5.2 Military Influence Overlay

      We require conditional use permits for projects within the Military Influence Overlay that could penetrate the defined floor elevation of the military airspace, or that could encroach upon military operations. We consider how development of roads and infrastructure within the Military Influence Overlay will promote growth that might lead to incompatible land use.

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    10. Policy LU-5.4 Ranged activities and projects

      We require activities and projects that can exert impacts beyond project boundaries, such as renewable energy facilities, wireless communication systems, and unmanned aircraft systems, to coordinate with military installations in preliminary planning and throughout the project’s construction stages and long-term operation.

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    11. Policy LU-6.1 Residential amendments that increase density in the Desert and Mountain regions

      We discourage policy plan amendments that would permit new development on lots smaller than 2.5 acres in the Desert regions and lots smaller than one-half acre in the Mountain region. We approve general plan amendments that would increase residential density only if:
      • The proposed change is determined to be compatible in accordance with policies
      LU-2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and 4.5.
      • Adequate infrastructure and services are available concurrently.
      • The increase in density would not degrade existing

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    12. Policy LU-6.2 Large residential development in the Desert and Mountain regions

      We require a specific plan or Planned Development process for proposed residential development in the:
      • North or East Desert regions: when the proposed development would include one or more lots that is 2.5 acres or smaller and the overall development would cover 40 or more acres.
      • Mountain region: when the proposed development would include one or more lots that is 1 acre or smaller and the overall development would cover 40 or more acres.

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    Related Materials
    1. Policy Tables Tables LU-1 to LU-3 (PDF only)
  • Policies
    1. Policy H-1.1 Appropriate range of housing

      We encourage the production and location of a range of housing types, densities, and affordability levels in a manner that recognizes the unique characteristics, issues, and opportunities for each community.

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    2. Policy H-1.2 Concurrent infrastructure

      We support the integrated planning and provision of appropriate infrastructure (including water, sewer, and roadways) concurrent with and as a condition of residential development to create more livable communities.

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    3. Policy H-1.3 Quality multiple-family standards

      We enforce multiple-family residential development standards, amenity requirements, and other regulations to ensure the development of quality rental and homeownership opportunities for residents.

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    4. Policy H-1.5 Life-cycle costs

      We encourage energy-conservation techniques and upgrades in both the construction and rehabilitation of residential units that will reduce the life-cycle costs of housing.

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    5. Policy H-2.1 Development Code review

      We review the Development Code regularly for possible revisions that might unduly constrain the production or rehabilitation of residential development.

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    6. Policy H-2.2 Small lot sizes

      We continue to utilize Planned Development density bonus and density transfer provisions as described in the County Development Code to allow the development of lot sizes less than that normally required by residential land use districts.

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    7. Policy H-2.3 Flexible standards

      We allow flexibility in the application of residential and mixed-use development standards to gain benefits such as exceptional design quality, economic advantages, sustainability, or other benefits that would not otherwise be realized.

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    8. Policy H-2.5 Certain and transparent process

      We maintain a residential development review process that provides certainty and transparency for project stakeholders and the public, yet allows for the appropriate review to facilitate quality housing development.

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    9. Policy H-3.3 Housing maintenance

      We enforce all applicable state and county health, safety, building, and zoning laws directed at housing and property maintenance to maintain healthful, sound, and attractive residential properties.

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    10. Policy H-3.5 Inspection of subsidized housing

      We inspect or facilitate the inspection of assisted multifamily rental housing, contract shelters, voucher hotels, and other housing projects on a regular basis to ensure that properties are regularly repaired and maintained in good condition.

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    11. Policy Policy H-3.6 Neighborhood improvements

      We support comprehensive neighborhood efforts to address housing conditions, property maintenance, infrastructure repair, public safety, landscaping, and other issues affecting the livability of neighborhoods

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    12. Policy V/H-1.3 Preferred housing types

      Within the Valley Region, we favor the following types of development: urban infill, single family detached (specifically adjacent to the Foothill Freeway corridors), clustered development with single-family appearance, and single-family detached on large lots.

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    13. Policy M/H-1.1 Site design

      We regulate the density, mass, and height of residential development in hillside areas in order to reduce fire hazards, prevent erosion, preserve natural viewsheds, and maintain the forest character of the Mountain Region.

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    14. Policy Policy M/H-1.2 Building design

      We require architecture and outside facades of residential development that are in keeping with the mountain character; use natural woods, wood composite materials, and masonry as much as practicable.

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    15. Policy M/H-1.3 Single family building size

      We ensure that development standards for single family homes result in building sizes that are limited to size and scale that are compatible with existing development and the character of the Mountain Region.

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    16. Policy M/H-1.4 Protection of scenic qualities

      We use the planned development permit or other discretionary reviews to regulate the density and configuration of residential development along the shores of all mountain lakes or on slopes to protect their scenic qualities.

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    17. Policy M/H-1.5 Grouping or clustering

      We encourage the grouping or clustering of residential buildings where this will maximize the opportunity to preserve significant natural resources, natural beauty, or open space within the density limits of the underlying zone.

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    18. Policy D/H-1.1 Rural living pattern

      We encourage lower density residential development in the Desert Region by retaining Rural Living (RL) zoning in Community Planning Areas that are outside of city spheres of influence and removed from more urbanized community core areas.

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    19. Policy D/H-1.2 Rural-scale infrastructure

      We discourage urban-scale infrastructure improvements (e.g., such as curbs, gutters, and street lighting) for different communities in the Desert Region in cases where public health, safety, and welfare are not endangered.

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    20. Policy D/H-1.3 Waterwise landscaping

      Where multiple-family apartment projects are required to have landscaping, we encourage water-conserving, drought-tolerant, or native landscaping that is capable of surviving a desert climate.

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  • Policies
    1. Policy IU-1.1 Water supply

      We require that new development be connected to a public water system or a County-approved well to ensure a clean and resilient supply of potable water, even during cases of prolonged drought.

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    2. Policy IU-1.9 Water conservation

      We encourage water conserving site design and the use of water conserving fixtures, and advocate for the adoption and implementation of water conservation strategies by water service agencies. For existing County-owned facilities, we incorporate design elements, building materials, fixtures, and landscaping that reduce water consumption, as funding is available.

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    3. Policy IU-2.1 Minimum parcel size

      We require new lots smaller than one-half acre to be served by a sewer system. We may require sewer service for larger lot sizes depending on local soil and groundwater conditions, and the County’s Local Area Management Program.

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    4. Policy IU-3.1 Regional flood control

      We maintain a regional flood control system and regularly evaluate the need for and implement upgrades based on changing land coverage and hydrologic conditions in order to manage and reduce flood risk. We require any public and private projects proposed anywhere in the county to address and mitigate any adverse impacts on the carrying capacity and stormwater velocity of regional stormwater drainage systems.

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    5. Policy IU-3.2 Local flood control

      We require new development to install and maintain stormwater management facilities that maintain predevelopment hydrology and hydraulic conditions.

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    6. Policy IU-3.4 Natural floodways

      We retain existing natural floodways and watercourses on County-controlled floodways, including natural channel bottoms, unless hardening and channelization is the only feasible way to manage flood risk. On floodways not controlled by the County, we encourage the retention of natural floodways and watercourses. Our priority is to reduce flood risk, but we also strive to protect wildlife corridors, prevent loss of critical habitat, and improve the amount and quality of surface water and groundwater resources.

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    7. Policy IU-5.3 Underground facilities

      We encourage new and relocated power and communication facilities to be located underground when feasible, particularly in the Mountain and Desert regions.

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  • Goals
    1. Goal TM-4 Complete Streets, Transit, and Active Transportation

      On- and off-street improvements that provide functional alternatives to private car usage and promote active transportation in mobility focus areas

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    Policies
    1. Policy TM-2.2 Roadway improvements

      We require roadway improvements that reinforce the character of the area, such as curbs and gutters, sidewalks, landscaping, street lighting, and pedestrian and bicycle facilities. We require fewer improvements in rural areas and more improvements in urbanized areas, consistent with the Development Code. Additional standards may be required in municipal spheres of influence.

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    2. Policy TM-2.6 Access control

      We promote shared/central access points for direct access to roads in unincorporated areas to minimize vehicle conflict points and improve safety, especially access points for commercial uses on adjacent properties.

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    3. Policy TM-4.10 Shared parking

      We support the use of shared parking facilities that provide safe and convenient pedestrian connectivity between adjacent uses.

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    4. Policy TM-4.11 Parking areas

      We require publicly accessible parking areas to ensure that pedestrians and bicyclists can safely access the site and onsite businesses from the public right-of-way.

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    5. Policy TM-6.4 Airport land use compatibility

      We require proposed development in unincorporated areas to be consistent with applicable airport master plans, airport safety review areas, and military air installation compatible use zones. We may support proposed development in the influence area of County airports only when they are consistent with applicable airport master plans.

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  • Policies
    1. Policy PP-3.4 Fire prevention services

      We proactively mitigate or reduce the negative effects of fire, hazardous materials release, and structural collapse by implementing the California Fire Code, adopted with County amendments.

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    2. Policy PP-3.5 Firefighting water supply and facilities

      We coordinate with water providers to maintain adequate water supply, pressure, and facilities to protect people and property from urban fires and wildfires.

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    3. Policy PP-3.6 Concurrent protection services

      We require that fire department facilities, equipment, and staffing required to serve new development are operating prior to, or in conjunction with new development.

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    4. Policy PP-3.7 Fire safe design

      We require new development in the Fire Safety Overlay to comply with additional site design, building, and access standards to provide enhanced resistance to fire hazards.

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    5. Policy PP-3.9 Street and premise signage

      We require adequate street signage and premise identification be provided and maintained to ensure emergency services can quickly and efficiently respond.

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    6. Policy PP-3.11 Post-burn risk

      In areas burned by wildfire, we require new and reconstructed development to adhere to current development standards, and may require additional study to evaluate increased flooding, debris flow, and mudslide risks.

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    7. Policy PP-4.2 Critical and essential facility operation

      We ensure that critical and essential County facilities remain operational during emergencies.

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    8. Policy PP-4.3 Automatic and mutual aid

      We participate in agreements for automatic and mutual aid with other local, state, federal, and nongovernmental emergency service providers to improve protection services and emergency response throughout the county.

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    9. Policy PP-4.4 Emergency shelters and routes

      We identify and publicize emergency shelters and sign and control evacuation routes for use during emergencies.

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  • Policies
    1. Policy NR-1.1 Land use

      We promote compact and transit-oriented development countywide and regulate the types and locations of development in unincorporated areas to minimize vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions.

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    2. Policy NR-1.9 Building design and upgrades

      We use the CALGreen Code to meet energy efficiency standards for new buildings and encourage the upgrading of existing buildings to incorporate design elements, building materials, and fixtures that improve environmental sustainability and reduce emissions.

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    3. Policy NR-2.5 Stormwater discharge

      We ensure compliance with the County’s Municipal Stormwater NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) Permit by requiring new development and significant redevelopment to protect the quality of water and drainage systems through site design, source controls, stormwater treatment, runoff reduction measures, best management practices, low impact development strategies, and technological advances. For existing development, we monitor businesses and coordinate with municipalities.

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    4. Policy NR-3.1 Open space preservation

      We regulate land use and coordinate with public and nongovernmental agencies to preserve open space areas that protect natural resources, function as a buffer against natural hazards or between land uses, serve as a recreation or tourist destination, or are central to the identity of an unincorporated community.

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    5. Policy NR-3.2 Residential clustering

      We allow residential development to cluster housing units in order to reduce the consumption of undeveloped land, maximize the amount of open space, preserve natural resources, conform to natural topography/grade, and/or reduce exposure of structures to natural hazards.

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    6. Policy NR-3.4 Land exchange

      We coordinate with state and federal agencies to exchange publicly owned lands in order to provide additional areas for open space, recreation, and resource protection. We also request the right of first refusal on publicly owned lands made available for purchase to the public.

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    7. Policy NR-3.11 Off-highway vehicle areas

      In areas under the County’s land use authority, we require new or expansion of existing commercial off-highway vehicle (OHV) areas to be situated and buffered to minimize effects on nearby residential uses, military activity, and environmentally sensitive areas.

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    8. Policy NR-4.1 Preservation of scenic resources

      We consider the location and scale of development to preserve regionally significant scenic vistas and natural features, including prominent hillsides, ridgelines, dominant landforms, and reservoirs.

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    9. Policy NR-4.3 Off-site signage

      We prohibit new off-site signage and encourage the removal of existing off-site signage along or within view of County Scenic Routes and State Scenic Highways.

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    10. Policy NR-5.1 Coordinated habitat planning

      We participate in landscape-scale habitat conservation planning and coordinate with existing or proposed habitat conservation and natural resource management plans for private and public lands to increase certainty for both the conservation of species, habitats, wildlife corridors, and other important biological resources and functions; and for land development and infrastructure permitting.

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    11. Policy NR-5.5 Mitigation and future responsibilities

      We require that new development satisfy habitat conservation responsibilities without shifting conservation responsibilities onto military property.

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    12. Policy NR-5.6 Mitigation banking

      We support the proactive assemblage of lands to protect biological resources and facilitate development through private or public mitigation banking. We require public and private conservation lands or mitigation banks to ensure that easement and fee title agreements provide funding methods sufficient to manage the land in perpetuity.

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    13. Policy NR-5.7 Development review, entitlement, and mitigation

      We comply with state and federal regulations regarding protected species of animals and vegetation through the development review, entitlement, and environmental clearance processes.

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    14. Policy NR-5.8 Invasive species

      We require the use of non-invasive plant species with new development and encourage the management of existing invasive plant species that degrade ecological function.

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    15. Policy NR-7.2 Preservation of important farmlands

      We require project applicants seeking to develop 20 or more acres of farmland (classified as prime, of statewide importance, or unique farmland) to non-agricultural uses to prepare an agricultural resource evaluation prior to project approval. The evaluation shall use generally accepted methodologies to identify the potentially significant impact of the loss of agricultural land as well as the economic viability and sustainability of future agricultural use of the property, including long-term sustainability and economic viability of water resources. If the conversion is deemed significant, the County shall require mitigation at a 1:1 ratio of converted to preserved acreage through conservation easements, payment of its valuation equivalent if a fee mitigation program is established, or inclusion in a regional agricultural preservation program.

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    16. Policy NR-7.5 Agriculture on Rural Living and Open Space properties

      We permit small-scale, non-water-intensive, and incidental agricultural on properties designated for Rural Living. In the Oak Glen and Mentone community planning areas, we also permit commercial-scale agriculture on properties designated for Rural Living. In the Oak Glen and Mentone community planning areas and in the Crafton Hills, we also permit commercial-scale agriculture on privately-owned properties designated for Open Space.

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  • Goals
    1. Goal RE-5 Siting

      Renewable energy facilities will be located in areas that meet County standards, local values, community needs and environmental and cultural resource protection priorities

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    2. Goal RE-6 County Government Systems

      County regulatory systems will ensure that renewable energy facilities are designed, sited, developed, operated and decommissioned in ways compatible with our communities, natural environment, and applicable environmental and cultural resource protection laws

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    Policies
    1. Policy RE-1.2

      Optimize energy efficiency in the built environment

      • RE 1.2.1: Support low- to no-cost retrofits to improve energy efficiency of existing homes through grant and loan programs.
      • RE 1.2.2: Encourage property owners to participate in a PACE program for access to energy efficiency retrofit financing.
      • RE 1.2.3: Encourage utilities to expand free to low-cost audit and retrofit programs in the built environments.
      • RE 1.2.4: Work with utilities (Southern California Edison (SCE), Southern California Gas Company (SCG), etc.) to identify retrofit opportunities with short payback periods, such as variable-speed pool pumps, building air sealing, and attic insulation, for County use in conducting focused energy efficiency outreach.
      • RE 1.2.5: Collaborate with community partners to promote the benefits of energy efficiency to County residents, businesses, and industries.
      • RE 1.2.6: Encourage new development to comply with the optional energy efficiency measures of the CALGreen Code.
      • RE 1.2.7: Encourage passive solar design in subdivision and design review processes.
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    2. Policy RE-1.4

      Encourage residents and businesses to conserve energy.

      • RE 1.4.1: Collaborate with utilities to support and learn from annual energy benchmarking reports that large energy users are conducting pursuant to AB 1103.
      • RE 1.4.2: Collaborate with the CEC, utilities, and local partners to launch online energy tracking competitions.
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    3. Policy RE-2.1

      Support solar energy generation, solar water heating, wind energy and bioenergy systems that are consistent with the orientation, siting and environmental compatibility policies of the General Plan

      • RE 2.1.1: Utilize renewable energy development standards in the Development Code to minimize impacts on surrounding properties.
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    4. Policy RE-2.2

      Promote use of energy storage technologies that are appropriate for the character of the proposed location.

      • RE 2.2.1: Encourage onsite energy storage with RE generation facilities, consistent with County Development Code requirements.
      • RE 2.2.2: Encourage and allow energy storage facilities as an accessory component of RE generation facilities.
      • RE 2.2.3: Establish thresholds for conditions under which energy storage facilities are a primary use and subject to separate permit processes.
      • RE 2.2.4: Periodically review and encourage appropriate technology types for energy storage facilities.
      • RE 2.2.5: Support state policies and efforts by utility companies to plan for and develop energy storage technologies through legislative advocacy and coordination with utility companies.
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    5. Policy RE-2.5

      Support renewable energy systems that accelerate zero net energy (ZNE) through innovative design, construction, and operations of residences, businesses, and institutions that are grid-neutral and independent of centralized energy infrastructure.

      • RE 2.5.1: Allow and encourage construction of new buildings designed to ZNE standards consistent with state programs.
      • RE 2.5.2: Incorporate ZNE into outreach and educational strategies about renewable energy and energy efficiency.
      • RE 2.5.3: Allow and encourage construction of new buildings or developments in remote locations with stand-alone energy systems not connected to the grid.
      • RE 2.5.4: Encourage energy independence and resiliency, including zero net energy and stand-alone systems not connected to the grid, in County economic development presentations and outreach efforts.
      • RE 2.5.5: Collaborate with incorporated cities and other jurisdictions to create region-specific ZNE programs and Community Development toolkit tools tailored to the climates and characteristics of each region to provide consistency and leverage resources.
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    6. Policy RE-2.6

      Encourage energy efficiency through appropriate renewable energy systems.

      • RE 2.6.1: Pursue and consider development incentives such as density bonuses and streamlined permitting for projects that install accessory renewable energy facilities.
      • RE 2.6.2: Allow developers of nonresidential properties to reduce required on-site parking spaces below minimum standards when space equivalent to the parking space reduction is devoted to renewable energy generation and storage facilities designed to serve onsite energy needs.
      • RE 2.6.3: Encourage solar energy generation on rooftops and on covered parking as the first priority for on-site energy generation.
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    7. Policy RE-3.1

      Prioritize, facilitate, and encourage onsite accessory RE generation to serve the unincorporated county, with a primary focus on rooftop and parking lot solar energy generation.

      • RE 3.1.1: Permit rooftop, parking lot, and similar accessory RE generation facilities that primarily serve on-site energy needs in all zoning districts, including micro-grid systems, with minimal regulation and permitting requirements.
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    8. Policy RE-3.2

      Encourage community-oriented renewable energy (CORE) generation that primarily serves local uses in the county.

      • RE 3.2.1: Specific standards shall be established and maintained for community-oriented RE generation facilities appropriate to the Valley, Desert, and Mountain regions.
      • RE 3.2.2: Encourage through the regulatory system the establishment of local and regional organizations to pursue community-oriented RE production and storage.
      • RE 3.2.3: CORE facilities shall be designed primarily to meet the needs of the local users, with an adequate overage margin to meet peak demands and defray the cost of the systems.
      • RE 3.2.3: Encourage utilities and developers to establish community-shared solar programs that allow residents and businesses to purchase shares of the output of RE generation facilities to offset their electricity bills.
      • RE 3.2.4: Provide information and educational opportunities in the Countywide Plan Community Development Tool Kit for local organizations pursuing the acquisition of Community-Oriented Renewable Energy (CORE).
      • RE 3.2.5: Encourage utilization of micro-grid technologies to support the principle of “local production primarily for local consumption,” to enhance local energy security and to improve local costs of living and commerce.
      • RE 3.2.6: Apply minimal discretion in the permit approval process for CORE facilities.
      • RE 3.2.7: Encourage infrastructure, net metering and regulatory systems that support CORE facilities.
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    9. Policy RE-3.4

      Require renewable energy facilities developed in spheres of influence of incorporated cities to be compatible and consistent with standards of the sphere cities.

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    10. Policy RE-4.1

      Apply standards to the design, siting, and operation of all renewable energy facilities that protect the environment, including sensitive biological resources, air quality, water supply and quality, cultural, archaeological, paleontological and scenic resources.

      • RE 4 .1.1: Consult with Native American tribes in the identification, evaluation, and treatment of cultural resources and in the preparation and implementation of measures required to identify, evaluate, protect, and manage cultural resources.
      • RE 4.1.2: RE development applications shall be subject to thorough environmental review, including consideration of water consumption, before being permitted.
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    11. Policy RE-4.3

      Require construction and operation of all renewable energy facilities to minimize negative effects and optimize benefits to unincorporated communities.

      • RE 4.3.1: Define measures required to minimize ground disturbance, soil erosion, flooding, and blowing of sand and dust, with appropriate enforcement mechanisms in the Development Code.
      • RE 4.3.2: Require operators to track and report energy production and other benefits cited in a project proposal, in addition to tracking efforts to avoid and minimize negative impacts.
      • RE 4.3.3: Give preference to the utilization of existing infrastructure to minimize the need for additional transmission development.
      • RE 4.3.4: Establish inspection protocols and programs to ensure that RE facilities are constructed, operated, and eventually decommissioned consistent with the requirements of the San Bernardino County Code, and in a manner that will not be detrimental to the public health, safety, or welfare.
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    12. Policy RE-4.4

      Encourage siting, construction and screening of RE generation facilities to avoid, minimize or mitigate significant changes to the visual environment including minimizing light and glare.

      • RE 4.4.1: Reduce visual impacts through a combination of minimized reflective surfaces, context sensitive color treatments, nature-oriented geometry, minimized vegetation clearing under and around arrays, conservation of pre-existing native plants, replanting of native plants as appropriate, maintenance of natural landscapes around the edges of facility complexes, and lighting design to minimize night-sky impacts, including attraction of and impact to nocturnal migratory birds
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    13. Policy RE-4.5

      Require RE generation facility developers to provide and implement a decommissioning plan that provides for reclamation of the site to a condition at least as good as that which existed before the lands were disturbed or another appropriate end use that is stable (i.e. with interim vegetative cover), prevents nuisance, and is readily adaptable for alternative land uses. Decommissioning plans shall:

      • RE 4.5.1: Include a cost estimate of the decommissioning and site restoration work for the purpose of providing a bond to guarantee completion of decommissioning.
      • RE 4.5.2: Provide for an inspection after all decommissioning and site restoration work to ensure that the work has been completed to the standards required by the County, prior to release of the decommissioning bond.
      • RE 4.5.3: Require any structures created during construction to be decommissioned and all material recycled to the greatest extent possible.
      • RE 4.5.4: Require all material recovered during decommissioning and site restoration work of a renewable energy facility, including the renewable energy technology itself, to be reused or recycled to the greatest extent possible.
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    14. Policy RE-4.7

      RE project site selection and site design shall be guided by the following priorities relative to habitat conservation and mitigation:

      1. Avoid sensitive habitat, including wildlife corridors, during site selection and project design.
      2. Where necessary and feasible, conduct mitigation on-site.
      3. When on-site habitat mitigation is not possible or adequate, establish mitigation off-site in an area designated for habitat conservation.
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    15. Policy RE-4.8

      Encourage mitigation for RE generation facility projects to locate habitat conservation offsets on public lands where suitable habitat is available.

      • RE 4.8.1: Collaborate with appropriate state and federal agencies to facilitate mitigation/habitat conservation activities on public lands
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    16. Policy RE-4.9

      Encourage RE facility developers to design projects in ways that provide sanctuary (i.e., a safe place to nest, breed and/or feed) for native bees, butterflies and birds where feasible and appropriate, according to expert recommendations.

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    17. Policy RE-4.10

      Prohibit utility-oriented RE project development on sites that would create adverse impacts on the quality of life or economic development opportunities in existing unincorporated communities.

      • RE 4.10.1: Prohibit development of utility-oriented RE projects in the Rural Living land use districts throughout the County.
      • RE 4.10.2: Prohibit development of utility-oriented RE projects within the boundaries of existing community plans, which at the time of adoption of this Element are the Bloomington, Muscoy, Bear Valley, Crest Forest, Hilltop, Lake Arrowhead, Lytle Creek, Oak Glen, Homestead Valley, Joshua Tree, Lucerne Valley, Morongo Valley, Oak Hills and Phelan/Pinon Hills Community Plans.
      • RE 4.10.3: Establish exclusion areas in the Development Code regulations for renewable energy development, beginning with the prohibitions in Policies 4.10.1 and 4.10.2 and provide for additional exclusion areas, such as new community plan areas, to be designated by amendment to the Development Code.
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    18. Policy RE-5.1

      Encourage the siting of RE generation facilities on disturbed or degraded sites in proximity to necessary transmission infrastructure.

      • RE 5.1.1: Community-oriented RE generation facility sites may be less disturbed or degraded, but should contribute direct benefits to the communities they are intended to serve.
      • RE 5.1.2: Siting of community-oriented and utility-oriented RE generation facilities will conform to applicable standards set forth in the Development Code.
      • RE 5.1.3: Encourage new subdivision applications to set aside an area of land capable of supporting neighborhood-oriented renewable energy generation.
      • RE 5.1.4: Encourage micro-grids supported by energy storage and innovative technologies for incorporation into neighborhood- and community-scale renewable energy projects.
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    19. Policy RE-5.2

      Utility- oriented RE generation projects on private land in the unincorporated County will be limited to the site-type below, in addition to meeting criteria established herein and in the Development Code:

      i. Private lands adjacent to the federal Development Focus Areas supported by the Board of Supervisors that meet siting criteria and development standards
      ii. Waste Disposal Sites
      iii. Mining Sites (operating and reclaimed)
      iv. Fallow, degraded and unviable agricultural lands
      v. Airports (existing and abandoned or adaptively re-used)
      vi. Brownfields
      vii. California Department of Toxic Substance Control Cleanup Program Sites
      viii. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Sites
      ix. Sites within or adjacent to electric transmission and utility distribution corridors
      x. Existing energy generation sites
      xi. Industrial zones proven to not conflict with economic development needs
      xii. Other sites proven by a detailed suitability analysis to reflect the significantly disturbed nature or conditions of those listed above

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    20. Policy RE-5.4

      Utility-oriented RE generation facilities will be required to meet a higher standard of evaluation for appropriate site selection due to its size and distance from population centers.

      • RE 5.4.1: Establish a two-step application process for utility-oriented RE generation that evaluates site selection early in the planning process.
      • RE 5.4.2: Encourage utility-oriented RE generation to occur in the five DRECP Development Focus Areas (DFAs) that were supported by the Board of Supervisors on February 17, 2016, Resolution No. 2016-20 and on adjacent private lands.
      • RE 5.4.3: Direct utility-oriented RE generation facilities that may require transmission upgrades to seek sites within existing transmission corridors.
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    21. Policy RE-5.9

      Collaborate with utilities, the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to plan for RE generation facilities to be located on public lands, apart from existing unincorporated communities.

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    22. Policy RE-6.1

      Ensure consistency, clarity, and timeliness in the development permitting process for RE generation facilities.

      • RE 6.1.1: Expedite the permitting process for accessory and community-oriented RE generation facilities
      • RE 6.1.2: Provide public information to facilitate installation of accessory RE generation systems, including rooftop solar PV, solar water heaters, and accessory wind energy systems.
      • RE 6.1.3: Establish Development Code standards for ground-mounted accessory RE generation facilities in residential areas and Rural Living land use designations to address issues of aesthetics, safety, flood risks, wind, and dust.
      • RE 6.1.4: Establish procedures and standards in the Development Code for new RE project applications that clearly identify the environmental review process, design standards, and permit requirements.
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    23. Policy RE-6.7

      Induce high volume energy users to develop onsite RE generation systems through streamlining of permit requirements.

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  • Policies
    1. Policy CR-1.1 Tribal notification and coordination

      We notify and coordinate with tribal representatives in accordance with state and federal laws to strengthen our working relationship with area tribes, avoid inadvertent discoveries of Native American archaeological sites and burials, assist with the treatment and disposition of inadvertent discoveries, and explore options of avoidance of cultural resources early in the planning process.

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    2. Policy CR-1.3 Mitigation and avoidance

      We consult with local tribes to establish appropriate project-specific mitigation measures and resource-specific treatment of potential cultural resources. We require project applicants to design projects to avoid known tribal cultural resources, whenever possible. If avoidance is not possible, we require appropriate mitigation to minimize project impacts on tribal cultural resources.

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    3. Policy CR-1.4 Resource monitoring

      We encourage active participation by local tribes as monitors in surveys, testing, excavation, and grading phases of development projects with potential impacts on tribal resources.

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    4. Policy CR-2.1 National and state historic resources

      We encourage the preservation of archaeological sites and structures of state or national significance in accordance with the Secretary of Interior’s standards.

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    5. Policy CR-2.2 Local historic resources

      We encourage property owners to maintain the historic integrity of resources on their property by (listed in order of preference): preservation, adaptive reuse, or memorialization.

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    6. Policy CR-2.3 Paleontological and archaeological resources

      We strive to protect paleontological and archaeological resources from loss or destruction by requiring that new development include appropriate mitigation to preserve the quality and integrity of these resources. We require new development to avoid paleontological and archeological resources whenever possible. If avoidance is not possible, we require the salvage and preservation of paleontological and archeological resources.

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  • Policies
    1. Policy ED-1.4 Planned business park and industrial areas

      We prefer master planned approaches through specific and area plans for business park and industrial development and redevelopment. We facilitate master planned approaches in order to discourage incremental general plan amendments that introduce or expand business park or industrial development.

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  • Policies
    1. Policy HW-2.2 Land use compatibility for schools

      We prioritize the safety and security of public schools in unincorporated areas by minimizing incompatible land uses near instructional facilities. We encourage school districts to place new schools where existing and planned land uses are compatible.

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    2. Policy HW-3.6 Multi-use facilities and integrated development

      We encourage those who build and/or operate community assets to accommodate multiple functions and programs. We encourage the development of new residential, commercial, and institutional uses and public facilities that incorporate one or more community assets.

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  • Policies
    1. Policy HZ-1.2 New development in environmental hazard areas

      We require all new development to be located outside of the environmental hazard areas listed below. For any lot or parcel that does not have sufficient buildable area outside of such hazard areas, we require adequate mitigation, including designs that allow occupants to shelter in place and to have sufficient time to evacuate during times of extreme weather and natural disasters.

      • Flood: 100-year flood zone, dam/basin inundation area
      • Geologic: Alquist Priolo earthquake fault zone; County-identified fault zone; rockfall/debris-flow hazard area, medium or high liquefaction area (low to high and localized), existing and County-identified landslide area, moderate to high landslide susceptibility area)
      • Fire: high or very high fire hazard severity zone
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    2. Policy HZ-1.3 Floodplain mapping

      We require any new lots or subdivisions partially in, and any new development partially or entirely in 100-year flood zones or 100-year flood awareness areas to provide detail floodplain mapping for 100- and 200-year storm events as part of the development approval process.

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    3. Policy HZ-1.6 Critical and essential facility location

      We require new critical and essential facilities to be located outside of hazard areas, whenever feasible.

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    4. Policy HZ-1.8 Wind erosion hazards

      We require new development in medium-high or high wind erosion hazard areas to minimize the effects of wind-blown soil through building and site design features such as fencing, surface treatment or pavement, attenuation or wind barriers, architectural features, building materials, and drought resistant landscaping.

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    5. Policy HZ-1.10 Energy independence

      We encourage new residential development to include rooftop solar energy systems and battery storage systems that can provide backup electrical service during temporary power outages.

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    6. Policy HZ-1.11 Energy efficiency retrofits

      We encourage owners of existing residential and commercial properties to retrofit the walls, doors, windows, ceilings, roofs, ductwork, and other elements of their building envelopes, in order to improve energy efficiency and better protect occupants from extreme temperatures.

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    7. Policy Policy HZ-1.13 Fire protection planning

      We require that all new development in County-designated Fire Safety Overlay and/or CAL FIRE-designated Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones meet the requirements of the California Fire Code and the California Building Code as amended by the County Fire Protection District, including Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations fire safety requirements for any new development within State Responsibility Areas, as well as provide and maintain a Fire Protection Plan or Defensible Space/Fuel Modification Plan and other pre-planning measures in accordance with the County Code of Ordinances.

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    8. Policy Policy HZ-1.14 Long-term fire hazard reduction and abatement

      We require proactive vegetation management/hazard abatement to reduce fire hazards on existing private properties, along roadsides of evacuation routes out of wildfire prone areas, and other private/public land where applicable, and we require new development to enter into a long-term maintenance agreement for vegetation management in defensible space, fuel modification, and roadside fuel reduction in the Fire Safety Overlay and/or Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones.

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    9. Policy Policy HZ-1.15 Evacuation route adequacy

      We coordinate with CAL FIRE, California’s Office of Emergency Services, and other local fire districts to identify strategies that ensure the maintenance and reliability of evacuation routes potentially compromised by wildfire, including emergency evacuation and supply transportation routes.

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    10. Policy HZ-2.1 Hazardous waste facilities

      We regulate and buffer hazardous waste facilities to protect public health and avoid impacts on the natural environment.

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    11. Policy HZ-2.2 Database of hazardous materials

      We maintain up-to-date databases of the storage, use, and production of hazardous materials, based on federally- and state-required disclosure and notification, to appropriately respond to potential emergencies.

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    12. Policy HZ-2.6 Coordination with transportation authorities

      We collaborate with airport owners, FAA, Caltrans, SBCTA, SCAG, neighboring jurisdictions, and other transportation providers in the preparation and maintenance of, and updates to transportation-related plans and projects to minimize noise impacts and provide appropriate mitigation measures.

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    13. Policy HZ-2.8 Proximity to noise generating uses

      We limit or restrict new noise sensitive land uses in proximity to existing conforming noise generating uses and planned industrial areas.

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    14. Policy HZ-2.9 Control sound at the source

      We prioritize noise mitigation measures that control sound at the source before buffers, soundwalls, and other perimeter measures.

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    15. Policy HZ-2.10 Agricultural operations

      We require new development adjacent to existing conforming agricultural operations to provide adequate buffers to reduce the exposure of new development to operational noise, odor, and the storage or application of pesticides or other hazardous materials.

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    16. Policy HZ-3.1 Health Risk Assessment

      We require projects processed by the County to provide a health risk assessment when a project could potentially increase the incremental cancer risk by 10 in 1 million or more in unincorporated environmental justice focus areas, and we require such assessments to evaluate impacts of truck traffic from the project to freeways. We establish appropriate mitigation prior to the approval of new construction, rehabilitation, or expansion permits.

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    17. Policy HZ-3.4 Residential Improvements

      In directing discretionary housing improvements investments in unincorporated communities, we encourage and prioritize investments that also address environmental conditions identified in the Hazard Element tables. We utilize code enforcement activities to enhance structural safety and property maintenance in environmental justice focus areas.

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    18. Policy HZ-3.15 Food access

      We increase access to healthy food in underserved areas by promoting local food production, community gardens, and urban farms in agricultural zoning districts or on vacant or underutilized lands. We also encourage existing and new small grocery or convenience stores to sell fresh foods in underserved areas. We require the County Healthy Communities Program to prioritize environmental justice communities for technical assistance and grant making, and ensure that residents of environmental justice communities are provided educational materials related to food assistance programs, healthy eating habits and food choices.

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    19. Policy HZ- 3.16 Notification

      We notify the public through the County website, mail, and other means when applications are accepted for conditional use permits, changes in zoning, and Policy Plan amendments in or adjacent to environmental justice focus areas. We prepare public notices in the predominant language(s) spoken in the communities containing environmental justice focus areas.

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    20. Policy HZ-3.17 Community stakeholders

      We identify and coordinate with key community stakeholders through advisory committees or other methods to increase public awareness and obtain timely community input concerning potential funding opportunities, conditional use permits, changes in zoning, and amendments to the Policy Plan in or adjacent to environmental justice focus areas.

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    21. Policy HZ-3.18 Application requirements

      In order for a Planning Project Application (excluding Minor Use Permits) to be deemed complete, we require applicants to indicate whether the project is within, adjacent to, or nearby an unincorporated environmental justice focus area and, if so, to:

      • document to the County’s satisfaction how an applicant will address environmental justice concerns potentially created by the project; and
      • present a plan to conduct at least two public meetings for nearby residents, businesses, and property owners to obtain public input for applications involving a change in zoning or the Policy Plan. The County will require additional public outreach if the proposed project changes substantively in use, scale, or intensity from the proposed project presented at previous public outreach meeting(s).
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    22. Policy HZ-3.19 Community education

      We make educational materials available to the public in unincorporated environmental justice focus areas so that they clearly understand the potential for adverse pollution, noise, odor, vibration, and lighting and glare, and the effects of toxic materials to promote civil engagement. We require that such educational materials be developed in accordance with Plain Language Guidelines. We require that this information be made available in public spaces such as libraries and community centers, as well as on County websites and other appropriate means.

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    1. FOCUS STATEMENT A - Improve the quality of our built environment to enhance community health, safety, neighborhood character, and the image of our business corridors.
      Action Statement A.4

      Adopt development standards and public infrastructure in commercial areas appropriate for a rural mountain community.

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      Action Statement A.5

      Establish and implement a façade and sign improvement program for existing and future businesses.

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    1. FOCUS STATEMENT A - Protect the community’s treasures for years to come.
      Action Statement A.5

      Advocate for changes in development standards requiring new development to set aside land for open space and/or agricultural use.

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    1. FOCUS STATEMENT A - Maintain the rural mountain feel, small population and peaceful community.
      Action Statement A.2

      Advocate with the County to utilize sewer and water access availability when considering future development.

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    1. FOCUS STATEMENT A - Provide a unified downtown area that is active and thriving
      Action Statement A.1

      Provide additional public amenities such as restrooms, seating areas, open space areas, and lighted pedestrian paths, walkways, and crosswalks in the Lake Drive area.

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      Action Statement A.6

      Collaborate with the County to establish a consistent/compatible design theme for the downtown/business district areas.

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    1. FOCUS STATEMENT A - Preserve the desert ecosystem, its natural beauty, and the community’s harmonious relationship with the environment
      Action Statement A.5

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

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    2. FOCUS STATEMENT C - Become a model gateway community to Joshua Tree National Park
      Action Statement C.2

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

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      Action Statement C.4

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

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      Action Statement C.10

      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.

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    1. FOCUS STATEMENT A - Create economic development opportunities
      Action Statement A.2

      Collaborate with San Bernardino County to take advantage of the future planned High Desert Corridor to capitalize on development opportunities presented from increased access to El Mirage.

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    1. FOCUS STATEMENT D - Attract new development to Helendale while maintaining the existing community character and rural desert lifestyle.
      Action Statement D.3

      Establish a local Design Committee to provide advisory input to the County on land development matters.

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    1. FOCUS STATEMENT A - Maintain the rural character of the community
      Action Statement A.2

      Encourage the County to adopt rural desert development standards more befitting the high desert community and in keeping with Lucerne Valley’s rural character and sense of openness.

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    2. FOCUS STATEMENT B - Promote responsible and sustainable development consistent with Lucerne Valley’s rural character
      Action Statement B.1

      Establish community-based design guidelines that encourage a common rural design theme for commercial building façades to assist designers in meeting community expectations and to create a cohesive architectural style within the business district.

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      Action Statement B.2

      IN PROCESS: Promote Lucerne Valley as an ideal location for the development of a senior living facility, in particular, close to the Lucerne Valley Senior Center.

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      Action Statement B.3

      IN PROCESS: Advocate for limiting industrial development to only those areas adjacent to the existing railroad tracks in southeastern Lucerne Valley.

      GO TO ACTION PLAN
    1. FOCUS STATEMENT A - Preserve and enhance the unique environmental features of the Lake Arrowhead Communities and surrounding areas
      Action Statement A.2

      Identify incentives for landowners to maintain undeveloped property as open space.

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    1. FOCUS STATEMENT D - Preserve small alpine community (character, history, aesthetics)
      Action Statement D.1

      Host a property owners meeting, with representatives from San Bernardino County Land Use Services, to discuss local aesthetic qualities including architectural styles, building materials, and paint colors and consider regulation through formation of a Homeowners Association with covenants, codes, and restrictions or adoption of development standards.

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      Action Statement D.3

      Work with San Bernardino County Land Use Services to develop a program to promote business sign design guidelines that reflect the community’s desired aesthetic or regulates business signage through design standards that address sign types, placement, lighting, materials, colors, and historic or landmark signage.

      GO TO ACTION PLAN
    1. FOCUS STATEMENT C - Provide for a stable economy focusing on economic development, eco-tourism and Route 66 tourism
      Action Statement C.8

      Establish architectural sign guidelines.

      GO TO ACTION PLAN
    2. FOCUS STATEMENT E - Improve public infrastructure
      Action Statement E.6

      Preserve rural values in public infrastructure projects.

      GO TO ACTION PLAN
    3. FOCUS STATEMENT F - Maintain a clean community.
      Action Statement F.1

      Establish a community code education program, with a focus on local blight.

      GO TO ACTION PLAN
    1. FOCUS STATEMENT B - Promote balanced growth and a viable Town Center around Mane Street.
      Action Statement B.1

      Advocate with the County to establish a commercial zoning overlay on Mane Street that restricts big box retail, encourages neighborhood commercial scale retail and lodging, and establishes flexibility for locally-grown businesses.

      GO TO ACTION PLAN
  • Policies
    1. Policy GV-1.3 Policy Plan Amendments

      We will consider approving amendments to the Policy Plan only when the following conditions are met:

      A. The proposed change is and will be fiscally neutral or positive.

      B. The proposed change can be adequately served by public facilities and will not negatively impact existing level of service or the ability to provide future development with County services.

      C. Amendments that do not meet the conditions in A or B above may still be considered for approval if the amendment is needed to satisfy state or federal mandates (for example: state housing laws), or to enact new policy decisions consistent with the Countywide Vision.

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    2. Policy GV-1.4 Data Use for Decisions and Regulations

      We make decisions and adopt regulations based on the best data available. In order to determine the quality of data, we evaluate the legitimacy of the data source, accuracy, timeliness, resolution, and completeness.

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    3. Policy GV-3.4 Private Sector

      We recognize the importance of private sector and nongovernmental organizations in helping implement the Countywide Plan, and we structure regulations and procedures to facilitate their role in implementation.

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    4. Policy GV-3.6 Data Maintenance

      We regularly update County-maintained datasets as resources permit, and we encourage other agencies and organizations to regularly update their data that the County uses for decision making.

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