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  • Goals
    1. Goal LU-4 Community Design

      Preservation and enhancement of unique community identities and their relationship with the natural environment

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    Policies
    1. 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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  • 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-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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    2. 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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    3. 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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    4. 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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    5. 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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    6. 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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    7. 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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    8. 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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    9. 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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    10. 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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    11. Policy RE-5.3

      Collaborate with utilities and RE generation facility developers to encourage collocation of transmission and intertie facilities.

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    12. 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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    13. Policy RE-5.5

      Coordinate with the Department of Defense on the siting of RE generation facilities in a manner that will not significantly impact military operations in the unincorporated county.

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    14. Policy RE-5.6

      Consult Native American tribes early in the site selection process, with joint evaluation of a Phase 1 Cultural Resources Analysis prior to approval of a site for utility-oriented RE generation.

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    15. Policy RE-5.7

      Support renewable energy projects that are compatible with protection of the scenic and recreational assets that define San Bernardino County for its residents and make it a destination for tourists.

      • RE 5.7.1: Site RE generation facilities in a manner that will avoid, minimize or substantially mitigate adverse impacts to sensitive habitats, cultural resources, surrounding land uses, and scenic viewsheds
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    16. 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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    17. 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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    18. Policy RE-6.7

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

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