The High Desert Report » May 20, 2014

Daily Archives: May 20, 2014

General Politics

Killing Prop 13 Should be a Capital Offense

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By Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks)

They say those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.

The battle over Proposition 13 is about to be fought all over again. Prop 13 passed by nearly 65% of the vote back in 1978. A significant majority of citizens of all political persuasions were united in support of a proposition that protected property owners and tenants alike from massive property tax increases.

The reason for this is simple. Markets work, and ordinary Californians are very savvy when it comes to their money, even if their politicians aren’t.

For an example of just how much public support Proposition 13 has, we need look no further than the 45th Assembly District, where candidate Susan Shelley nearly defeated her Democratic opponent – in a highly Democratic district – by putting the issue of Proposition 13 at the front and center of her campaign.

The most dangerous assault on Prop 13 is what’s called the “Split Roll.” In simple English, it means you divide the residential and commercial property rolls and only allow residential properties to continue to be covered under the protections of Prop 13. This means all commercial properties, including business properties, retail properties like your local shops and restaurants, could be reassessed at dramatically higher values, doubling or even tripling their property tax.

Many businesses not only do not own the property, but are on triple net leases, which means they pay three times any additional costs incurred. So your favorite local hang-out might be forced out of business if the split-roll scheme were to pass. If they stay in business, the only way they are to be able to provide you their goods or services is to raise the price. But the dirty little secret is that the tenants of apartment buildings – those who can least afford it – might suffer the worst.

Renters are not stupid. They know if the cost of housing goes up, their rent must go up to cover the cost. There are no “free lunches.” Someone has to pay. The politicians believe they are sticking it to the income property investors – and this may be true for a year or two, but eventually all costs get passed on to the tenant.

The reason for that is also simple: investors need to know they will earn at least a minimum rate of return on investment, also known as the Capitalization rate (or Cap Rate for short), or it is not worth putting their capital at risk.

Since the average cap rate for apartment investments is about 5%, that means every dollar of extra tax lowers the value of the property value by $20 (it’s a 20 to 1 ratio) Meaning, if property tax goes up $5,000 the value of the property comes down $100,000. Why is this important? Because the property is being taxed on its value. So raising the rate does not net out the amount the politicians think it will.

Property tax receipts will fall because property values will fall to bring the market in line with the average cap rate. So their net gain will not be as much as advertised. The lower property values will mean that the county will receive less transfer tax upon the sale of the property. The state and federal government will receive less capital gains tax upon sale. The budgets of cities and counties have been under intense pressure as tax revenues continue to fall, and business owners and taxpayers are leaving California in droves to flee the crushing burden of the nation’s highest income tax.

Since apartment housing is the cornerstone of affordable housing, we cannot overstate the case that a split roll would not only fail to accomplish the proponents goals, but it would put tens of thousands of small business owners livelihoods at risk, and might possibly put an end to affordable housing in California altogether. Rarely do you see a cause that is joined by renter and building owner alike, where the interest of the employee and business owner are the same, but it can be argued that splitting Prop 13 poses a unique threat to public sector budgets and private sector enterprise, equally. The higher tax is just another reason for large businesses to leave the state, taking their jobs with them.

According to contemporary polling on this issue, Proposition 13 still retains the substantial support it had 35 years ago. It is urgent that we join forces and stand unified against the one move that could sink California’s once-vibrant economy for all time. We can do this, you can help.

General Transportation

Caltrans Transforms the High Desert Transportation Infrastructure

Published by:

By Joy Sepulveda
Public Information Officer
Caltrans

Most of Interstate 15 is currently undergoing major improvements from Devore to the Nevada state line. As the High Desert areas surrounding I-15 continue to boom with growth and more and more motorists use the corridor to travel to vacation destinations to both the north and south, it has become necessary to improve the transportation system.

There are several major projects that have broken ground in the last year that aim to transform the infrastructure and operational efficiency of Interstate 15 through the High Desert.

Devore Interchange Project

The I-15/I-215 Interchange in Devore is a heavily traveled interchange due to goods movement, recreational vehicles and commuters. Travel through the Cajon Pass is one of only three routes into and out of Southern California. In addition to being a primary goods movement corridor of national significance, it is the route to vacation destinations such as Las Vegas and the Colorado River, to name a few.

As one of the worst grade-related bottlenecks in the United States, The Devore Interchange Project was initiated to address the issues of this highly traveled interchange.

The project was awarded to Atkinson Contractors, LP of Foothill Ranch, Calif. in November 2012. The purpose of the project is to reduce congestion and accidents and improve freeway operation through the interchange.

The $324 million dollar design/build project will add truck by-pass lanes, which will improve traffic flow and reduce delays; add lanes, which will reduce congestion because it will eliminate the need to make multiple lane changes; bring the interchange up to operational standards, improving the road conditions so that they are in a “state of good repair.” The existing design causes passenger vehicles, freight trucks and RVs to weave to their desired lanes at the same time traffic is exiting and entering local interchanges, which causes higher than average accident rates. Local interchanges will be reconfigured to provide a safer drive, and reconnect State Route 66 (Cajon Boulevard) from just north of the I-15/I-215 interchange to just south of the same interchange.

The project is estimated to be completed in 2016.

I-15 Cajon Pass Project

The second design/build project on I-15, the Cajon Pass Project, which will begin this spring, will resurface and restore the pavement between Kenwood Avenue and the Hesperia Overhead. The project is needed because all of the high volumes of traffic traveling in this area have caused the pavement to deteriorate and settle.

The $120 million project was awarded to Coffman/Parsons: A Joint Venture. It will replace the two outer lanes, grind and replace random slabs in the interior lanes, rehabilitate ramps within the project limits, and upgrade and install roadside safety features.

The project is expected to be completed in summer 2016.

Clyde V. Kane Roadside Rest Area Rehabilitation Project

The existing facilities of the Clyde V. Kane Roadside Rest Area, located on I-15 30 miles east of Barstow, are unable to keep up with user demands in terms of facilities and parking capacity. A project to upgrade the facility was awarded in December 2013.

The work includes installation of new comfort stations, walkways; upgrading water, electrical and sewer systems; expanding parking lots and traveler amenities. The project will provide onsite drainage improvements and new picnic shelters, as well as pet recreation facilities. Also, this project will accommodate increased traffic and will improve public safety.

The project was awarded to RSM2 Contractors, Inc. of La Mesa, Calif. and is expected to be completed September 2015.

SR-58 via Hinkley Widening Project

This project involves the realigning and widening of State Route 58 (SR-58) from two to four lanes and upgrading the highway to an expressway near the community of Hinkley in the County of San Bernardino from west of Hidden River Road to east of Lenwood Road. The project will also add a mixed-flow lane in each direction and include shoulder construction, drainage improvements and median widening.

The project will eliminate the existing gap between the adjacent four-lane roadways. It will also address the need to safely accommodate increased large truck and recreational vehicle traffic, as well as reduce unnecessary delays to the traveling public. Additional benefits of the project include: reduce traffic congestion, improve traffic safety, improve operational efficiency, improve the reliability of goods and movement, and reduce people/goods movement conflicts, as well as extend the life of the pavement.

The project will be ready to list for bid this May and is set to begin construction by the end of 2014.

Caltrans is extremely proud to be able to bring such revolutionary and innovative projects to the High Desert. The Department has heeded the call for infrastructure improvement through the area and is looking forward to building partnerships to ensure that the I-15 corridor continues to shine statewide.

Education General

Victor Valley College Preparing Students for the Future

Published by:

By Bill Greulich
Public Information Officer
President’s Office
Victor Valley College

VVC, now in its 53rd year, serves an area encompassing roughly 2,200 square miles and is located on a 253 acre campus at the center of the three major communities of the Victor Valley (Apple Valley, Hesperia and Victorville). VVC also features a 13-acre Regional Public Safety Center in Apple Valley. VVC serves a population base of approximately 400,000 people and has over 20 feeder high schools and diploma-granting institutions. VVC now offers Associate in Science and Associate in Arts degrees in 23 different disciplines plus more than 100 certificates.

Enrollment

Enrollment for 2013/2014 is approximately 17,000 students, with spring numbers reaching 3.900 Full-Time Equivalent Students (FTES). A full-time equivalent student is a person taking more than 12 credit units or three part-time students taking a single 4 credit class. VVC employs over 800 employees.

During the 2012/13 academic year, VVC conferred more than 1,100 Associate Degrees and Certificates of Completion. Programs that are featured include but are not limited to: Nursing, Liberal Arts, Science and Math and other Transfer Courses, and 16 Career Technology Programs such as Computer -Aided Design, Airframe and Power Plant Technology, Fire Technology, Administration of Justice, Digital Animation, Respiratory Technology, Paramedics, Construction Technologies, etc.

Accreditation

Victor Valley College has also received approval from the Chancellor’s Office to offer six new transfer degrees to California State Universities. Currently, VVC offers an Associate in Science for Transfer in Administration of Justice, An Associate in Science for Transfer in Mathematics, an Associate in Arts for Transfer in Sociology, Associates in Arts for Transfer in Communication Studies, Associates in Arts for Transfer in History, and Associates in Arts for Transfer in Early Childhood Education.

Victor Valley College’s accreditation has been reaffirmed; however, a follow-up report was requested and submitted in March. This report includes a provision for the college to submit a long-term financial plan that guarantees future balanced budgets based on the current year levels of revenue being allocated by the State. VVC also delivered a required midterm self-study report that addressed continued progress on all standards established by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, (ACCJC). In April the college will host a visit by an accrediting team who are charged with the responsibility to validate the information contained in these reports. A letter from the Commission will be forthcoming in June.

Search for a new Superintendent/President

In the interim period, the College Board will proceed with the search process to select a new Superintendent/President for the college. The selection process should be completed by the first week in July.

The Music Building Upgrade and Construction

The Board of Trustees approved the modernization and construction project for the Music building that was built about 1965 for an amount of 3.8 million dollars as part of the Measure JJ bond Funds projects to bring current buildings up to current day standards. During construction, the Music department was relocated to the lower campus until the project is completed. Initially, the building was first abated of all asbestos-containing material and cleared safe for demolition and construction work. Construction should be completed this June and ready for students at the start of the Fall semester. The project consists of new construction of restroom and office areas; the rest of the project involves the modernization of the existing building and bringing it up to current ADA compliance.

New Science and Health Building

The next major project to be constructed on campus for Victor Valley College is the new Science and Health Building. This Building is being funded by Measure JJ Bond funds. The 25,000 square foot building will feature several new labs and faculty areas dedicated to the study of Science and Health. The plan features highly specialized training labs for the Nursing program that includes a simulation lab and fundamentals lab, a Chemistry lab, additional Life and Physical Science lab (digital), an Anatomy lab, a faculty suite and Dean’s office. The plan for this free-standing building also includes an outdoor, covered courtyard area for student and faculty interaction to promote a collaborative and technology-driven learning environment.Victor Valley College has selected Balfour Beatty Construction and NTD Architecture to construct this project. It will be a one-story structure located adjacent to and on the west side of the existing Science Building 31. The college has instructed the builders that they will contract with local consulting firms and contractors to provide training and jobs for the local community.

Future Projects

The expansion of the vocational complex will create a diesel facility and enhance classroom space for both automotiveand welding. Cost is $6.5 million. Completion is expected in 2014-15.

Future Hesperia Campus

VVC owns 55 acres at Main Street and US Highway 395 for a future campus. At this time VVC is focusing on building future enrollment and goodwill. Currently, VVC offers classes at both Silverado High School and Hesperia High School as a means to meeting current academic needs in this region of the High Desert. All of these projects are funded by Measure JJ.

Recently Constructed – now in Service

In 2012 the college opened the Victor Valley College Regional Public Safety Training Center in Apple Valley. The center is located on the corner of Navajo and Johnson roads near the Wal-Mart Distribution Center. The $31.4 million center is the first construction project funded by Measure JJ that was approved by voters in 2008. The center features a multi-agency learning environment to maximize disaster training by incorporating Fire Science, EMT, Paramedic training, and Administration of Justice & Corrections.

Economy General

California Cities Remain High Cost, but High Desert Cities Hailed as Business Friendly

Published by:

By Larry Kosmont, CRE
President & CEO
Kosmont Companies

It should come as no surprise to those in the real estate community that California cities are the most expensive for business in the western United States. Claremont McKenna College’s Rose Institute of State & Local Government, along with Kosmont Companies, recently released their 19th annual Kosmont-Rose Institute Cost of Doing Business Survey. The Survey gathers business fees and tax rates from 305 selected cities in California and eight other western states that many companies view as competitive alternatives. California cities consistently top the list of most expensive and 2013 saw little relief.

The State’s costly structure becomes more evident now that the Great Recession has receded. Real estate prices and occupancy are generally up, and unemployment is trending down, yet California’s cities still struggle to make ends meet. After disposing of Redevelopment Agencies and the Enterprise Zone programs, California has few economic development tools left in the shed to stimulate recovery at the State or the local level, often resorting to adding penalties or taxes to business rather than incentives to create jobs.

Relying on its historic perception as the land of opportunity and good weather, California has been slow to react to an exodus of companies seeking cost-effective tax policies and friendlier politics. Cities do not receive a nickel of the state’s high corporate income tax rate and may lack sufficient local revenue to support them while taxing a shrinking local business base.

High Desert Cities Lead in San Bernardino County as Business Friendly

Nineteen cities in the Survey are in San Bernardino County and five of those are located in the High Desert Region, namely Adelanto, Apple Valley, Barstow, Hesperia and Victorville. What’s interesting is that all these High Desert cities rank as “Very Low Cost,” “Low Cost” or “Medium Cost” in the Survey while most of their older San Bernardino Valley counterparts across the Cajon Pass rank as “High Cost” or “Very High Cost.” This is emblematic of a statewide trend.

Generally speaking, older core cities tend to be more expensive to business than younger, exurban cities. In particular, the Survey cites higher business taxes and utility user taxes as the culprit. There are many underlying factors at play, but older cities such as San Bernardino and Colton generally face higher costs of services. Relatively dense resident populations, an aging infrastructure and pensions owed a long history of past public employees, raises the structural cost burden for cities that did most of their growing in the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. The crux is in a city’s response to higher costs, and business is most often the path of least resistance. Taxing business becomes the most politically palatable solution, particularly when residents are more vocal about their own rising costs of living and access to services.

California Desirable but Expensive

Firms still want to locate in California, citing the Golden State’s world-class weather, large and diverse workforce, and strategic Pacific Rim location. Practically speaking, large corporations have a love-hate relationship with California. They want to be in California. But in their attempt to minimize costs, CEO’s are compelled to ask, ‘How small an operation in California can I manage and still service that market?’ As a result, sales, technology or design offices may stay or even expand in LA or the Bay Area or OrangeCounty or select coastal environs, but the remaining operating units are more likely to end up in states like Nevada, Arizona or Texas.

There are signs that the anti-business sentiment in California politics may be waning. In October Governor Brown signed three bills into law intended to promote economic growth by invigorating existing legislation and creating new methods to develop economic areas. The Legislature is considering additional bills that could further benefit Californian businesses. However, California won’t become business-friendly overnight. Change is apt to be incremental, but sooner or later the State will figure out that the long-term answer to their budget deficit is private investment that creates jobs, and that means it will need to woo business back.

Governor’s Budget Offers a Little Relief, but No Tax Increment Financing for Economic Development in Sight

A new economic development policy won’t have broad and lasting effects without a return of Tax-Increment Financing or “TIF,” which is the underlying tool that was lost when California dissolved Redevelopment Agencies in 2012. Today, the Golden State is one of only three states in the Union without this vital mechanism. The Governor appears open to enabling TIF primarily for public infrastructure in the form of limited reforms to an outdated and almost never used tool called Infrastructure Financing Districts (IFDs), but only if requests for TIF are first put to a public vote, of which he is willing to reduce to 55% from the prevailing 66% threshold.

It is unlikely the legislature will be able to advance any bill that uses TIF for economic development projects until the Governor can set aside ill feelings about the way TIF was used in Redevelopment. The stark reality is California cities are bringing a knife to a gun fight and losing business to other states that are better equipped. Until we get TIF and a more business-friendly culture, the economic development odds are stacked against local cities and counties.

In the long run, the road back to prosperity through economic development measures that avoid more taxes is simple. California gets 85% of its funding from income and sales tax. If we invest TIF in projects that create jobs and train workers and recent graduates, the State can get paid back over 11 to 1 on its investment because the new job handsomely returns increased income and sales tax back to Sacramento. The Project gets to happen. The State gets a check. The City gets a job. That’s a natural win-win-win. With most counties in the State at over 8 to 9% unemployment, the State should find the political will to bring TIF back in a productive way. Until then, attracting and retaining businesses will remain a heavy cross to bear for California.

High Desert is Growing Up

As the State is now discovering, complacency is dangerous. The High Desert isn’t the spring chicken it once was. In fact it’s approaching the next stage of maturity with a sizeable resident population and a newly revitalized Victor Valley Mall. The historic crossroads of the Valley has become a metaphorical crossroads.

There isn’t time to wait for a new tax increment tool to come down from Sacramento. High Desert cities have a lot in their tool kit already that can be used to stimulate private investment that brings jobs and revenue. Existing zoning regulations, special districts, project-specific tax revenue, innovative financing and former redevelopment agency-owned properties offer plenty of raw material to get started. In fact many of these tools were combined when Kosmont Companies guided shopping mall owner Macerich in the revitalization of the Victor Valley Mall – a successful public/private partnership which involved the City of Victorville.

The High Desert Region’s local and regional government has an opportunity to build attractive, walkable downtowns to lure startup firms that are the drivers of much of California’s growth. New private investment driven by young entrepreneurs can form a new, sustainable base of middle-class jobs in a region seen as an affordable alternative to coastal cities.

Economy General

Anatomy of a Crash

Published by:

By Bob Thompson

Things were beginning to happen in the Victor Valley area in 2005. It was high times for sellers as prices surged to new highs month after month. Buyers struggled to obtain loans before “it’s too late.”

That was then. This is now. Now we can look back with hindsight, also known as the “knew-it-all-along effect.” Was it predictable? Were the cues there?

Victor Valley Market Crash Timeline

January 2005-2006: Arizona, California (Victor Valley), Florida, Hawaii, and Nevada record price increases in excess of 25% per annum.

April 2005: Victor Valley percent selling peaks at 79%. When a property comes to market, there are only two outcomes. It will either close or not close. In April 2005, 79% of properties closed. 21% either expired, canceled, or withdrew. After April of 2005, percent selling began to decline precipitously. The market is beginning to show real weakness and will do so for a year.

April 2006: Prices peak at $325,000 one year after selling probabilities indicated a problem.

December 2007: Selling probabilities hit bottom at 15% and begin to rise for 17 months. Prices continue in a free fall.

July 2009: Price bottoms out at $103,000 (median) and begin to rise slowly. Selling probabilities have increased to 70% before prices stabilize and begin to rise.

December 2013: Selling probabilities gyrate in the range 70% to 80%. Median price has risen to $163,000 over a period of 4 years.

The clues were always there. Agents and brokers were not listening and looking: they were reacting—but only after the failing market was absolutely clear to all market participants. Even then, most sellers (as a class) resisted price reduction or moved too slowly to save their equity.

Conclusion: In their current form, real estate markets are slow and sluggish to react. Market reform is required to create methodologies and new concepts to analyze market activity looking for the subtle signals that say, “Change is on the way.” Agents and brokers need to be trained to see and react decisively when action is required. Sellers need to understand they are in a market, not at a tea party. When markets speak, they need to listen. And, no, your home is not special.

Air Quality General

Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District-Not “Just Another Air District”

Published by:

By Christie Robinson
CRE Specialist
Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

In today’s economic climate, regulatory flexibility can mean the difference between success and failure for some businesses. Historically, California’s air quality regulations have garnered a reputation as being some of the most challenging in the nation. The State of California is divided into 35 local air districts that are responsible for implementing these regulations, which apply to stationary sources of air pollution. Each district implements air quality programs required by state and federal mandates and enforces rules and regulations based on air pollution laws.

Every air district in the state must show progress in reducing air pollution to meet state and federal air quality standards in order to preserve the environment and protect the health and safety of the general public.

What Makes The MDAQMD Different?

The Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District, the local air district which regulates air quality in the High Desert portion of San Bernardino County & the Palo Verde Valley of Riverside County, is more than 20,000-plus square miles and is structured in a manner which allows policy on air quality issues to be developed and debated by those who are most affected by it: regulated industry and the High Desert community. Thus, the District employs a common-sense, inclusive approach to the development of air quality management programs. The District’s mission is to attain and maintain a healthful environment while supporting strong and sustainable economic growth.

To the fullest extent possible, industry and the public are the MDAQMD’s partners in the development of air quality plans, rules, and policy. Through District-sponsored workshops and meetings, MDAQMD staff works in a pro-active manner with those impacted by regulatory mandates to find the most prudent course of action and to resolve conflicts to the maximum extent possible. The District believes that tapping ideas from all possible sources is the best way to find mutually beneficial solutions. As a result, local industry has more flexibility in meeting environmental mandates than their counterparts in neighboring air districts and even some nearby states. Between January and March 2014, the MDAQMD issued 4,010 Active Permits, had 1,510 Permitted Facilities, and received 126 “Authority to Construct/Permit To Operate” applications.

As an example of how the District works with local businesses to help them meet state and federal emission mandates, in 2013 alone, the MDAQMD Governing Board approved $549,146 in funding for four proposals through the District’s AB 2766 Grant Program. The MDAQMD Governing Board allocates 25% of all revenue received from AB 2766 (motor vehicle surcharge) for a recurring competitive grant program. Local municipalities receive 25% of the funds for local projects, while 50% of the funds remain with the District to fund operations. The projects are aimed at reducing emissions from mobile sources within the air district’s jurisdiction.

The MDAQMD also provides funding to assist local industry, agencies and residents in doing their part to protect local air quality. The Carl Moyer Program provides grants to reduce emissions through upgrades to heavy duty diesel equipment. The Voluntary Accelerated Retirement Program (VAVR) provides a $1,000 incentive for residents to get older, high-polluting vehicles off the road. The “Cash for Grass,” lawnmower scrapping incentive program is geared to induce residents to remove grass and install desert-adaptive landscapes and receive a gift card for replacing a water-wise landscape. The annual Electric Lawn Mower Exchange event invites residents to switch out their gas powered mowers for a zero-emission electric mower for as little as $99.00.

MDAQMD also partners with local industry to provide sponsorship and funding for the Mojave Environmental Education Consortium (MEEC), a non-profit organization founded in 2001 by the MDAQMD. MEEC provides STEM-based environmental education resources at no charge to teachers and schools throughout the High Desert. Flagship programs co-hosted by the MDAQMD and MEEC include the Youth Environmental Leadership and STEM Service-Learning Conference, student Solar Oven Cooker Challenge, and the Environmental BusBucks school field trip transportation grant program.

To find out how doing business within the MDAQMD could be good for your business, call 760.245.1661 or visit us online at www.mdaqmd.ca.gov today!

General Property

Countywide “Vision in Action” Can Help Victor Valley Economic Recovery

Published by:

By Carlos Rodriquez
CEO
BIA Baldy View Chapter

New single-family home construction has remained flat in the Victor Valley for the third consecutive year, with only 244 permits in 2013 – an increase of 80 permits over the past year. This is still a long way from the height of the housing market in 2005 when 6,408 permits were pulled or roughly 43% of the total permits in the entire county. Today, the Victor Valley permit activity only accounts for 13% of the total countywide permit activity.

This reduced permit activity has resulted in significant job loss and increased unemployment in San Bernardino County. From 2005 to 2012, construction industry jobs countywide declined 42% with almost 19,000 construction-related jobs lost. Likewise, unemployment in the Victor Valley has increased by 56% during that same time period.

The road to recovery for the Victor Valley housing market has been a rocky one, but there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel and it can be found in the City of Hesperia. Once enjoying a thriving economy fueled by home construction in 2005, the City of Hesperia has faced economic challenges resulting in zero new home permits in 2011 and 2012 and the loss of the city’s Redevelopment Agency. However, the City of Hesperia has taken a bold approach of reducing development impact fees to bolster development and economic activity.

This approach was one of many ideas brought to the table on March 19, 2014, as the Building Industry Association, Baldy View Chapter (BIA), partnered with the County of San Bernardino and SANBAG to host a Countywide “Vision in Action” Housing Collaborative Workshop focused on identifying business friendly practices. The cooperative ideas shared during the workshop represent an important first step to ensuring a strong development industry. 80 attendees participated in the unprecedented event which paired representatives from 15 cities and 20 homebuilder companies to have meaningful discussions regarding the best-recommended practices for home development entitlements and permitting.

In attendance was Hesperia’s City Manager, Mike Podegracz, who participated in a discussion panel between city managers and building industry leaders. Mr. Podegracz highlighted the efforts being made by Hesperia including; reduction of development impact fees, interdepartmental training of staff and improved customer service efforts in communication and transparency of processes. The four cities of Adelanto, Apple Valley, Hesperia and Victorville have also established a partnership to market the Victor Valley as a whole and pool financial resources, thus reducing marketing budgets and saving taxpayer dollars.

Early results for the City of Hesperia’s fee reduction efforts have already been well-received. In 2013, single-familypermit totals increased, albeit modestly, from zero to thirty-five new homes. City staff has also received overwhelming positive feedback on their improved customer service and timely returning of phone calls and messages. During the Countywide Vision workshop, Mr. Podegracz shared the importance of creating a culture within the cities “where there is always room for improvement.”

As the Victor Valley continues to a face a long road to economic recovery, it is refreshing to see the bold leadership efforts on display by the Hesperia City Council. The home building industry has and always will be a cornerstone of Southern California’s economic prosperity. Moving forward, it is our hope to continue the Countywide “Vision in Action” dialogue with San Bernardino County and SANBAG. In the meantime, Victor Valley cities should follow the positive examples set by the City of Hesperia to encourage home building development.

General Politics

Grand Re-Opening of the High Desert Detention Center

Published by:

By John McMahon
Sheriff-Coroner
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department officials unveiled a new, state-of-the-art expansion of the High Desert Detention Center Thursday that will provide more housing capacity for inmates and better services to High Desert residents by eliminating the need for deputies to travel to Rancho Cucamonga to book inmates with medical conditions.

The High Desert Detention Center expansion is comprised of 297,000 square feet of various buildings on 8 acres of land and was built adjacent to the existing facility, formerly known as Adelanto Detention Center. Six housing units were constructed, adding an additional 1,392 beds that will help housing issues brought about by the realignment of state prisoners.

In October of 2011, Gov. Brown shifted the responsibility of housing of some state prisoners from the state to the county in an effort to comply with a federal mandate regarding prison overcrowding. As a result, the sheriff’s departments in California have been tasked with housing inmates that would have normally been sent to state prison.

The Sheriff’s Department applied for state funding designated for realignment and placed first in the competitive application process to secure $100 million in funding for the expansion. Also, leveraging the additional facility saved taxpayers more than $30 million versus the cost of building an entirely new stand-alone building.

The High Desert Detention Center will not only add much-needed bed space, it also boasts several technological, medical and social innovations that will provide better security and services to the inmates. The facility is equipped with a high-definition video surveillance system to enhance safety and reduce liability exposure. The facility is also equipped with video visitation, allowing inmates more access to visit with family members. This technology decreases movement throughout the facility, thus making it safer.

Medical advancements at the facility include specially coated walls to reduce the spread of infectious diseases, as well as an onsite dental facility equipped with two stations and staffed with a full-time dental hygienist and a dentist three days a week. Additionally, the facility was designed to allow rehabilitation services, classes and programs to be run directly in the housing units, giving inmates better access to services and, again, eliminating the need for inmate movement.

HDDC will also provide basic medical services to inmates, negating the need for deputies assigned to patrol in the High Desert to have to drive to West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga to book inmates with common medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. This single fact alone will prove a betterment for the entire High Desert region as deputies can stay in the region and get back to their assigned area to provide increased proactive patrol duties.

The new facility will open in phases, with 222 beds being filled in the first phase. These inmates will be determined based on court cases in the High Desert and will be transferred from West Valley Detention Center within weeks.

High Desert Detention Center Facts

  • Design for this facility began inApril, 2006, shortly after the opening of the original Adelanto Detention Center
  • Construction began in 2011 and was completed at a cost of $145.4 million
  • The project consisted of the following:
  • Construction of a new 25,000-square foot support and booking building
  • Construction of 3 new housing units for a total of 255,000 square feet
  • Remodeled existing kitchen and laundry facilities to handle the increase in population
  • Construction of new parking lot, sally ports and fire access roads
  • Each of the three individual housing buildings weighs approximately 11,000 tons, not including the furnishings or foundation
  • 18,000 cubic yards of concrete were used in construction
  • 5,297,842 pounds of rebar were used
  • 1,882,000 linear feet of wire were used
  • 600,000 linear feet of airlines were used
  • 950,027 linear feet of conduit were used
  • There are 736 smoke detectors in the new facility
  • The HDDC has a new water facility system consisting of a well, water treatment system, 228,000-gallon storage tank that allows the facility to maintain its own drinking water supply in the event of a natural disaster.
Economy General

Southern California’s Economy Recovering

Published by:

By Southern California Associations of Governments

The six counties of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) region (Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura Counties) are home to over 18 million residents, 8 million workers, have a gross regional product of approximately $900 billion, all in an area covering 38,000 square miles. Between December 2007 and July 2009, the region experienced the “Great Recession,” a devastating economic downturn with over 1 million jobs lost. Even though the recession technically ended nearly four years ago, California continues to have the fourth highest unemployment rate in the nation with nearly 1.6 million out of work, including approximately 770,000 in the Southern California region.

In 2014, however, Southern California’s economic recovery is starting to gain traction, demonstrating significant job creation momentum. Recovery continues steadily as the unemployment rates across the region dropped to their lowest rates in five years. For example, Orange County’s rate dipped to 5.8 in January 2014, down from 7.1 percent in January 2013. Manufacturing, financial services, and construction, industries hit hardest during the Great Recession, have become leaders in job growth. Self-employment and new businesses are also growing rapidly.

Recovering Lost Jobs in The SCAG Region

The graph to the below shows unemployment rates by county in three time periods: December 2007 (pre-recession), December 2010, and February 2014. Recent data shows that Southern California unemployment levels are well below their recession peaks and moving in the right direction. Nonetheless, none have returned tothe levels enjoyed prior to the Great Recession. The Southern California region still has a ways to go to get back to pre-recession employment levels.

When Will we Recover Lost Jobs?

In 2010 the SCAG team of economic advisors compared the pre-recession to post-recession unemployment numbers in the region, State of California, and United States. The purpose was to determine the number of jobs that would need to be created to return to peak level employment in each county. In the fall of 2013, the economic team once again reviewed and analyzed the current economic indicators and employment trends to estimate a probable timeline for economic recovery by each county. The graph below outlines the projected best- and worst-case time frames for each county to return to pre-recession unemployment levels. Note the difference between Imperial County, where the recovery range is between 2013 and 2014, compared to Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, whose recovery dates could reach as far out as 2020. In general, much progress has been made so far in 2013 in terms of job creation, and economic recovery is on a steady path in most parts of the SCAG region.

Difficult Inland Empire Economic Environment Finally Improving

During the 2008-2010 Great Recession, the Inland Empire lost 148,425 jobs. The economy has finally started working its way out of that deep hole, creating 4,633 local jobs in 2011 and 23,025 in 2012. If 2013 goes as predicted by SCAG and Inland Empire Economic Partnership economist John Husing, 28,300 will be added. By the end of 2013, the total gain of 55,958 positions would represent 38% of the loss (Exhibit 1).

Unemployment Rate Lowering, but Still High

The unemployment rate has fallen from 14.3% in 2010 to 9.4% in February 2014. The October 2013 rate of 9.8% was the highest for any metropolitan area with over 1 million people, above Memphis, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Detroit, all of which are over 9.0% (Exhibit 2).

Job Growth Steady

Some good news is seen in the details of inland job growth of approximately 14,200 from 2013 (Exhibit 3).

The top three sectors adding jobs showed a wide range of recovery as they included:

  • Eating & Drinking (5,992), a low-paying sector driven by more funds circulating through the local economy.
  • Distribution & transportation (4,508), a moderate-paying, blue collar sector that brings money to the inland area from international port trade and the rise of fulfillment warehousing centers like Amazon.com.
  • Healthcare (2,758), a moderate-paying white/blue collar sector that brings money to the area via Medicare and insurance payments. It has grown in every quarter, including throughout the Great Recession.

With that said, the Inland Empire’s growth is blunted by difficulties in two sectors:

  • Federal & State (-1,083) and Local Government (-1,000) continue to shrink due to the federal sequester and low tax revenues at the state and local level. These difficulties will likely persist for a few more years. Growth would have been 16,282 without these job losses.
  • Construction (-1,167) has stopped its major decline but is still not growing. From 2007-2013, the area’s net loss of 106,500 jobs occurred largely because of a 52,500 loss in construction (49.3%).

High Desert Cities Show Growth in Education & Health, Losses in Industrial Jobs

The High Desert region, which is comprised of the cities Adelanto, Barstow, Hesperia, Victorville, Apple Valley town, and 11 San Bernardino County unincorporated areas, is summarized in brief within Exhibit 4with 2012 American Community Survey data, the most recent data available. The region is characterized by unemployment far above the state average and relatively high poverty rates despite a moderate median household income.

The High Desert region experienced good growth in healthcare-related employment, as shown in Exhibit 5 below. Education and health-related jobs are the largest sector in the region, but jobs have been created in arts and entertainment and wholesale trade as well. Job losses in 2012 in the region occurred in the construction, manufacturing, and transportation-related industries, but those industries have subsequently likely turned around and created jobs in the last year (see previous Inland Empire charts for a more current perspective at the larger county and regional level).

Total employment growth (Exhibit 6) was positive in four regions in 2012: Phelan, Barstow, Victorville, and Wrightwood, with other High Desert communities experiencing a tough 2012. Employment growth has likely occurred in most, if not all, areas in the last year.

Income levels are highest in several unincorporated regions such as Helendale and Wrightwood, as seen in Exhibit 7. Here, differences among major cities are less pronounced, with Victorville leading in terms of median household income and Apple Valley leading in terms of per capita income.

Summary

Looking ahead, the forecast for complete recovery was 2016-2018 due to low home prices and lack of construction. Recent economic and employment data provides evidence that recovery may arrive sooner. Why? Because existing home prices in the Inland Empire have recently soared, rising 59.3% from a 2Q 2009 low of $155,319 to $247,418 in 4Q 2013. That means fewer underwater homes (down from 54.9% in 4Q 2009 to 20.8% in 3Q 2013) and foreclosures averaging under 1,000/month (pre-2007 levels). Housing affordability issues are sending coastal residents inland, but finance availability is a big hurdle. Median home prices in the Inland Empire are competitive and low-cost, but there is an enormous difference in price between new and existing homes ($348,217 and $247,418 in 4Q 2013). The area will likely see increased migration from the coastal counties in 2014 as Southern California’s economy starts to normalize.

General Transportation

Update-SANBAG High Desert Transportation Projects

Published by:

By Jane Dreher
Public Information Officer
San Bernardino Associated Governments

San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) is the Council of Governments and transportation agency for San Bernardino County. The SANBAG Mountain Desert Committee is composed of representatives from all Mountain and Desert cities. They evaluate projects in the High Desert, Mountains, Morongo Basin, and Colorado River regions. This edition of SANBAG’s update will focus on these High Desert projects:

  • I-15/LaMesa-Nisqualli Road Interchange Project, Victorville
  • I-15/Ranchero Road Interchange Project, Hesperia
  • I-15/I-215 Devore Junction Interchange Project, Devore
  • Yucca Loma Bridge, Apple Valley and Victorville
  • Lenwood Road Grade Separation, Barstow

I-15/LaMesa-Nisqualli Road Interchange, Victorville

The Interstate 15 LaMesa-Nisqualli Interchange Project located in Victorville between Bear Valley Road and Palmdale Road was completed in August 2013. The total cost of the project, including engineering, environmental studies, right-of-way acquisition, and construction was $70 million. LaMesa and Nisqualli Roads are expected to relieve the heavy burden of traffic that has existed for years on Bear Valley Road and Palmdale Road.

The project was in the planning stages since 1990. SANBAG, in conjunction with the City of Victorville, came up with an innovative funding plan to finance the project that included a combination of Federal, State, Measure I (the county’s ½ cent sales tax measure for transportation improvements) and City of Victorville funds. The project received $16.2 million from the State Proposition 1B fund through its Corridor Mobility Improvement Account.

The interchange improves local circulation, enhances safety, relieves I-15 congestion, and improves the quality of life for area residents.

I-15/Ranchero Road Interchange, Hesperia

The Interstate 15 Ranchero Road Interchange, located in Hesperia, started construction in January 2013.

This $59 million project will add a new bridge over I-15, provide congestion relief for I-15 and Main Street, improve drainage, and enhance safety. It is scheduled for completion in early 2015.

This interchange is part of a series of projects for the Hesperia area. The Ranchero Road Underpass (grade separation) to the east combined with future improvements to Ranchero Road and this new interchange, will offer a much-needed alternative for area residents, saving commuters time and money in their daily travels.

This aerial photo was taken in June 2013. The framework for the bridge is now constructed over the I-15 Freeway and signs of the completed interchange are starting to become more visible

I-15/I-215 Devore Interchange Project

Construction on the $324 million Devore Interchange Project began in June 2013. The project is being constructed through a “Design-Build” process. Caltrans is the lead on the project.

Construction crews are currently conducting nighttime activities which necessitate occasional connector, ramp and alternating lane closures for the safety of the public and workers. Closure restrictions are lifted each day so motorists can travel at peak daytime traffic times. Some graded areas on both sides of the freeway are visible.

Elected officials and representatives from State and Federal agencies gathered for a photo at the groundbreaking ceremony in late June. A western theme was used to depict the days when covered wagons and pioneers trekked across the Cajon Pass.

Yucca Loma Bridge over the Mojave River

Construction of the Yucca Loma Bridge over the Mojave River, which also includes improvements on Yates Road, started in January 2014. The bridge will connect Apple Valley on the east side of the river to Victorville on the west side. Ultimately, this corridor will provide easier access to the I-15/LaMesa-Nisqualli Interchange in Victorville.

The Yucca Loma Bridge is of regional importance in the High Desert as it is midway between the two existing Mojave River crossings at Highway 18 and Bear Valley Road. This project is Phase 1 of the three-phase Yucca Loma Corridor Project that includes Yucca Loma Road/Yates Road/Green Tree Boulevard. The project was designed to provide another east/west connection in the region.

Phase 1 includes building the Yucca Loma Bridge and widening Yates Road from two to four lanes. The new bridge will feature Class II bikeways and improvements to the regional drainage system.

The total construction cost is $37.3 million. The project received funding from Measure I (the San Bernardino County ½ cent sales tax for transportation improvements), Redevelopment Agency Funds, State Local Transportation Partnership Funds and Proposition 1B funds. To qualify for congestion relief funds, the bridge is required to not only get motorists across the river but eventually provide a direct route to I-15.

MAP: The map below outlines all three phases of the project.

  • Phase I includes construction of the Yucca Loma Bridge and improvements on Yates Road.
  • Phase 2 involves widening of Yucca Loma Road on the east side of the bridge. It is in the design stage and should go to construction in the summer of 2015.
  • Phase 3 is the Green Tree Road Extension with a bridge constructed over the BNSF railroad tracks. It is in the design stage and should go to construction in 2016.

Lenwood Road Grade Separation, Barstow

Construction on the Lenwood Road Grade Separation project in Barstow began in March 2014. The Lenwood Grade Separation Project was developed in response to commercial and industrial development in the area. A grade separated crossing along Lenwood Road is being constructed over the existing Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad tracks, allowing the uninterrupted flow of both vehicular and freight rail traffic.

The primary objective of this project is to improve operation and safety by ensuring prompt emergency response time to businesses and residents while eliminating the hazards and inefficiencies of trains passing through the flow of vehicular traffic.

The City of Barstow and the County initiated this project in 2007. After the environmental studies were completed in 2010, the City and County requested that SANBAG take the lead to manage the final design and project development, and to secure funding.

SANBAG combined funding sources from the City of Barstow, the County of San Bernardino, Federal and State, BNSF Railroad, and Measure I, the ½ cent sales tax approved by voters in San Bernardino County for transportation improvements.

The total project cost is $31 million, which includes:

  • $13.7 million in Federal funds
  • $8.3 million from State Proposition 1B Trade Corridor Improvement Funds
  • $3.5 million from Victor Valley Major Local Highway Measure I bond funds
  • $2.5 million from the County
  • $2 million from the City of Barstow
  • $1 million from BNSF Railroad
General Politics

County of San Bernardino Working Together to Build a Better Future

Published by:

By Kelly Reenders
Economic Development Agency Administrators
County of San Bernardino

If you attended the State of the County, held on February 26 at the Citizens Business Bank Arena, then you were among the more than 1,000 attendees who heard the County’s message of collaboration. This has become an important theme within all County departments.

To encourage greater opportunity for the County’s residents and businesses depends on our ability to work together to build a brighter future. Collaboration between the private and public sector is central to this goal. While there are certainly challenges, the County has something significant in its favor, a Countywide Vision. This vision will continue to shape how we plan for transportation, schools and water as well as how we work hand-in-hand with our residents and businesses to encourage a greater quality of life and a positive economic environment.

Throughout the region there are numerous examples of the power of collaboration and how our Countywide Vision is taking shape to transform the region for the better.

Our Jobs/Economy & Housing Collaborative met March 19 to discuss best practices. It brought together, in an unprecedented way, residential developers, city and county officials, SANBAG and the leadership of the BIA Baldy View Chapter to celebrate and encourage business-friendly best practices in order to encourage a proactive business environment.

One element of the meeting was a presentation of a first draft inventory of Business-Friendly Best Practices. The report is designed to create a list of programs and practices that cover customer service, development processing, business attraction/retention and direct business assistance (economic initiatives). Information was also presented from a survey of cities and developers that outlined the factors necessary to encourage investment and development in our communities.

Some of these best practice ideas included: pre-application review, centralized cashier, comprehensive review, an easy to understand fee schedule, ability to use debit and credit cards, incentives, one-stop permit process and review of time commitment/time frames associated with approving milestones.

Throughout the meeting, the message was clear: As a team we can work together to build the best San Bernardino County. Looking ahead, this coalition will continue to work toward building a resource of best practices.

Another powerful form of public agency and public sector collaboration is the ongoing work of our County of San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board (WIB) to help companies thrive and create jobs.

Southern California Aviation (SCA) is a Victorville-based Aircraft Transitional MRO Facility. For the last 15 years, the company has been responsible for repairing and maintaining aircraft for some of the nation’s top carriers, including United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Cathay Pacific Airways and Boeing. SCA recently formed a partnership with the County’s WIB to help recruit and train newly qualified mechanics. This program has beenhelpful for SCA since, in order to uphold strict industry standards, their employees must undergo specialist training to ensure strong understanding of federal regulations.

The County’s WIB helped the firm to recruit licensed A&P mechanics through its On-the-Job Training program. The WIB’s federally funded On-the-Job Training program provides partial wage reimbursement for the first 90 days of employment, the designated training period. The goal is to help alleviate the financial burden that often accompanies hiring new employees, thereby supporting company growth. By absorbing the expense of costly training, WIB helps to create a win-win solution for the business, the employees and the County. Programs such as these are a direct example of collaboration and ways in which the County continues to proactively step in to support its business community.

To learn more about the Countywide Vision, visit http://cms.sbcounty.gov/cao-vision/home.aspx. The VisionWire is another ongoing source of information on County programs: http://wp.sbcounty.gov/cao/visionwire/. We also encourage you to contact our agency, www.sbcountyadvantge.com

General Water

MWA Groundwater Recharge Strategies and Other Programs Ensure Sustainability During Statewide Drought

Published by:

By Yvonne Hester
Community Liaison Officer
Mojave Water Agency

Headlines across the state showcase California’s water woes affecting farms, fish and wildlife, businesses, and residents. The Mojave Desert region, however, is weathering the drought thanks to Mojave Water Agency’s (MWA) capital investments and programs that replenish groundwater supplies, and encourage water conservation. These efforts have helped to “drought-proof” the region and will ensure sustainability without any imported water for the next three years or more.

Guiding MWA is a foundation of collaborative, integrated planning that embraces sound investment, science-based policies and programs, aggressive conservation efforts, and strategic basin recharge using surplus State Water Project water.

The first Integrated Regional Water Management plan, adopted in 2004, helped to more efficiently use the region’s geology, infrastructure, and collective financial resources. That plan, developed with stakeholder participation, yielded a prioritized list of projects and programs. Since that time, more than $170 million in local, state, and federal dollars have been invested in regional infrastructure and water supply projects.

Among the Agency’s recent accomplishments is the start-up of the Regional Recovery and Recharge Project, known as R3, which provides MWA greater ability to effectively manage the region’s groundwater resources. This project provides a renewable supply of high quality drinking water for the Victor Valley communities.

Previous to R3, the Agency’s groundwater projects were constructed to deliver untreated SWP water to strategically located spreading basins for recharge. The R3 project, however, uses water from the California Aqueduct in Hesperia that is transported to the Deep Creek recharge pipeline and then delivered to the Mojave River recharge zone in Hesperia and South Apple Valley.

Developing this project required the installation of 15 miles of pipeline, construction of numerous recovery wells, turnouts, and a new pump station and chlorination facility. Coordination was required among the project partners to ensure compatibility with existing systems, as well as environmental permitting and monitoring, and community impacts.

The $55.5 million project offers an initial capacity of 15,000 acre-feet of water per year, and at full build-out it will produce a total of 40,000 acre-feet annually. An acre-foot of water can supply a family of four for an entire year. The project was funded with $24.5 million in grant funding from a Department of Water Resources Proposition 50 program grant, $11 million from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and $20 million from MWA.

Construction began in 2010 and the first deliveries were made to the Victorville Water District in May 2013. To date, 4,500 acre-feet of water has been delivered, allowing the City of Victorville to reduce its supply from high-arsenic wells.

Following a tour of the project, Victorville Councilman Jim Kennedy said, “All the community will benefit from this project, and there will be a sustainable, predictable water supply well into the future.”

The City of Hesperia has recently submitted applications to MWA for deliveries in 2014, and with Phase 1 turnouts in place and operational, other communities in the greater Victor Valley area can now access R3 to help meet growing regional demands.

A public Open House and Dedication ceremony is set May 15th at 10 a.m. at 7620 Deep Creek Road in Apple Valley. This program will feature tours of the R3 recharge site, San Bernardino County’s High Desert Interpretive Center, and MWA’s new Central Operations Center. The public is invited. For more information call Gloria Golike at 760.946.7001.

City Updates General

City of Adelanto-Progress by Design-Spring 2014

Published by:

By Mike Borja
Senior Management Analyst
City of Adelanto, Development Services

With a willingness to move forward, the City of Adelanto’s economic status is demonstrating what Progress by Design truly means. In the past years, most of the development activities have been in the city’s five Industrial Parks, but Adelanto is finally seeing retail interest from several notable businesses.

New to 2014 are the Family Dollar and Dollar General projects. Both retail giants have proposed to construct a 9,100 square foot retail facility on a 1-acre parcel and are expected to perform extremely well in the much -needed northern region of Adelanto. The Cactus Plaza project that’s located on the southwest corner of Highway 395 & Cactus Road is well under way, with commitments from the eatery chain Steak ‘n Shake and a Shell gas station/convenience store. In addition, the city’s current shopping center, the Adelanto Marketplace, has been continuously receiving interest from new tenants for the thriving shopping center. Its newest tenant, Flame Broiler, is already meeting expectations.

Other future retail developments included the partnership with Lewis Retail Centers to build the Adelanto Town Center. With a Target as the main anchor, the project will be located at the corner of Highway 395 and Mojave Drive on 35 acres of land. Plans call for additional recognized national chains, as well as a variety of shops, services, and food. With these projects moving forward and the development activities already occurring on Highway 395, the outlook is indicating that the city will improve its economic position in today’s marketplace and soon establish Highway 395 as a major retail corridor for City of Adelanto and the High Desert.

Adelanto’s Industrial Parks are continuously seeing significant growth in development as well. Completed in 2012, the Adelanto Detention Center West project consists of a 650-bed correctional facility with 64 additional beds in segregated housing units constructed on a 189,016-square-foot, single-story concrete and steel frame structure with precast concrete cells. Currently, The Geo Group is negotiating with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on adding additional beds to the existing facility and has recently signed an agreement with the State to reopen their Desert View facility for state inmates. In addition, a 20-acre site on Koala Road in Adelanto has been purchased by The Geo Group for future correctional facility development.

Awarded through a state grant to design a new sustainable development model for desert communities in San Bernardino County is the Adelanto North 2035 Sustainable Community Plan. The project will promote sustainable development approaches, protect environmental resources, and forge a strong physical and economic connection between Southern California Logistic Airport jobs center and new mixed-use neighborhoods in North Adelanto. The Sustainable Community Plan will be based on the concept of activity centers surrounded by residential neighborhoods linked to the adjacent jobs/business centers. Activity centers, dynamic focal points and transit hubs allow for community gathering, as well as “events” such as farmers’ markets and cultural performances. “Smart growth” and “healthy community” concepts are anticipated to be keystones in the Sustainable Community Plan. The Adelanto North 2035 Sustainable Community is funded by a State of California Sustainable Communities Planning Grant and Incentives Program and the City of Adelanto. The Community Plan area encompasses 27 square miles of west Mojave Desert land in the City of Adelanto and unincorporated San Bernardino County. The regional access to the Community Plan Area is provided by State Route 18 (Palmdale Road) and Interstate US 395. Other transportation corridors include Adelanto Road, Air Expressway Boulevard and Holly Road.

For more information on the opportunities that exist in Adelanto, please contact the City’s Economic Development Department at 760.246.2300 ext.3062, or via email at economicdevelopment@ci.adelanto.ca.us .