9-19-2016, Dan Titus, updated 2-8-2018
The San Bernardino Countywide Plan: Turning unincorporated areas into urban centers. Say goodbye to rural/suburban independence. Say hello to social justice and social equity: higher taxes, fees, increased county code enforcement, increased bond issues for schools; increased water and utility costs and more!
In an about face from the conventional function of government and what has been described as an “unparalleled approach to governance”, San Bernardino County has commissioned consultants to develop a $5 million dollar Countywide Plan. This is an update of the State required general plan mandate. The only part, or element, of the plan that is required to be updated periodically is the Housing Element. The plan’s foundation is the Countywide Vision, which endorses Regional Governance, through unelected boards, bodies, commissions and agencies. This dilutes, and in many cases, replaces our elected form of government. The Countywide Vision is based on sustainable development or sustainability – to save the County from global warming – which is basically rationing of resources.
Officials for the County say that the current plan is lacking complete accountability and not being aligned with socioeconomic changes. They “want your help to shape your community and help achieve our Countywide Vision” through a web-based monitoring system. Therefore, the “shape” of a community already has a predetermined “vision” outcome based on sustainability.
In actuality, the reason the county has embarked on this plan is to be more competitive for Federal government largess in the form of future grants and to subsidize county revenue from development fees charged for development projects. According to the Daily Bulletin, “San Bernardino County is launching the plan so citizens can play a key role in guiding the Board of Supervisors on development projects in unincorporated communities in years to come.”
The plan erodes local control and promotes rezoning of property for expensive taxpayer subsidized high-density housing, mass-transit, and conservation schemes. More regulation; more control…
County Surveys & Outreach
The County Board of Supervisors allocated approximately $1.5 million in 2014 for staff and consultants to complete 49 Community Plans for over 70 communities as part of their Countywide Plan and Community Plan Continuum efforts.
Surveys – The Fundamental Community Plan can help guide the future use, character and independent identity of a community. The county needs the residents, business owners and property owners of each community to fill out the online survey in order for county staff to prepare the plan.
2017 Outreach Meetings – The County completed their outreach sessions for the Countywide Plan. The American Coalition for Sustainable Communities (ACSC) had prepared a documents for citizens to review to help with these meetings:
- Outreach Questions: This document is designed to help Citizens debate city staff and consultants in regards to the San Bernardino County Plan at Community Plan Outreach meeting sessions. The questions are based on the Muscoy Community Plan Outreach document provided by the County.
- Here is a flyer denoting the community outreach process that you can use to alert residents in your neighborhood about the pitfalls of the Countywide Plan and the outcome-based community meetings held to make people “think” they are participating in the planning process.
12-2017- Citizen Comments to Countywide Plan
The digital revolution can help us create intelligent transport, smart energy systems, resource efficiency and transparent and open societies. It can help us create sustainable development.