|October 3, 2017 Community Meeting at the Wonder Valley Community Center (WVCC)
Meeting called to order 5:01 PM with 28 Zoom participants (This was a virtual meeting as the WVCC is currently closed due to the COVID pandemic)
Presentations by current Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) representative Steve Reyes and Special Districts Recreation Supervisor Frank Haggard (CSA 70M & CSA 20)
Steve Reyes announced that the position of Wonder Valley representative for Supervisor Dawn Rowe's Morongo Basin MAC is open again with the dissolution of the existing MAC with the conclusion of the Supervisor's term as appointed replacement to serve out the term of the previous supervisor. A new MAC will be appointed in the beginning of 2021 and applicants can apply to the County and be interviewed for the position by filling out the form here: http://www.sbcounty.gov/COB/Main/NewBCCApp.aspx
Steve stated that he has re-applied and Supervisor Rowe's field representative for the Morongo Basin Mark Lundquist later added that the acceptance of applications is for 30-days with interview followings. The process is not expected to be completed and a new MAC seated until March 2021.
Steve announced that he requested and received pandemic Certificates of Recognition from County Supervisor Dawn Rowe for 7 individuals active in Wonder Valley during this difficult period of COVID-19. They are Max & Olivia Rossi, Dylan Baudounie, John Bradford, Teresa & Ken Sitz, Randy Harrison (See below for Steve's note providing more info).
Amboy Road resurfacing has been completed and the County has said it will (unfortunately) not extend beyond the curve.
Steve encourages people to use SB County Code Enforcement to report any issues including about grow houses and recommends the easy to use online complaint forms http://cms.sbcounty.gov/lus/CodeEnforcement/Complaints.aspx
The County will not be able to respond to the recent growth of graffiti by overpainting because the graffiti is on private property [Note: neighbors have been known to cover-up the graffiti ad hoc on neighborhood structures.]
Steve and Supervisor Dawn Rowe field representative Mark Lundquist gave an update on illegal marijuana grows. Steve mentioned that the 2016 law that makes cultivating marijuana a misdemeanor has limited law enforcement options. [Jennifer Ruff who works in the cannabis industry disputed the misdemeanor status and said it was still a felony to sell. See SBC Code of Ordinances on Commercial Cannabs Activity at bottom of theses notes]. Steve has met with the Sheriff about the enforcement efforts that have been concentrated in the Landers and Lucerne area. Mark noted that the Highway Patrol (CHP) has joined in the effort to stop and cite trucks servicing the grows (in the first day in Lucerne, 7 trucks were impounded for various issues, tags, tailpipes, etc). Mark says the County task force does not have an exact number of grow houses in the hi-desert but it's estimated to be between 600-700. Steve estimates there are ~50 in Wonder Valley and Mark said the County task force is beginning to work on Wonder Valley with 9-10 grows cited last week, and to remain patient as the task force develops more techniques to rein in the illegal grows. Due to the numerous issues involving the illegal grows (water usage, noise, road degradation, etc) Steve will work to put together a special community meeting for January.
Special Districts Recreation Director Frank Haggard who oversees both CSA 70M* (Wonder Valley) and CSA 20 (Joshua Tree) presented a planning update for the remodeling of the Wonder Valley Community Center kitchen and bathrooms to bring them up to health code and enable the kitchen to be a commercial kitchen available for events and rental for production (the Joshua Tree center currently has two commercial kitchen that are contracted for local food production). The CSA 70M upgrade includes new park equipment and remodeling to bring it into compliance with the ADA (American with Disability Act). Frank is asking for community feedback through this online survey and hopes to identify people and groups willing to work on seeing the project through. Kelly Hake requested a carousel for the park and Frank thought this was a great suggestion and said to put that into the feedback and that it was one of his dream projects too. https://specialdistricts.wufoo.com/forms/xd09r2u1qu4rdv/
Frank also presented the Phase II plan for the Desert View Conservation Area (DVCA, aka 'Section 6'). He is seeking community feedback on the DVCA Phase II plan at https://specialdistricts.wufoo.com/forms/x14n5snn0pzisjb/
[NOTE: Wonder Valley is County Service Area 70M and is administered by Special Districts which manages operations for unincorporated area of San Bernardino County.]
Agenda Items for Next Meeting
Steve will work with the Sheriff to put together a community meeting on the illegal marijuana grows for early next year (January if possible).
Meeting adjourned at 5:45 pm.
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Pandemic Certificate of Recognition
The one thing I wanted to do was to recognize and thank certain individuals who have been instrumental in keeping Wonder Valley afloat during this trying times. I asked Mark Lundquist if there was a way San Bernardino County could accomplish this. Without hesitation, Mark Lundquist recommended a Certificate of Recognition signed by Supervisor Rowe.
Teresa & Ken Sitz - Although the community center has been closed Ken and Teresa have worked tirelessly in organizing food distributions. Feeding those less fortunate living in Wonder Valley. These food distributions are no small effort and would not take place if it were not for Ken and Teresa.
Max & Olympia Rossi - Pastor Max and his wife Olympia have offered spiritual support to people living in Wonder Valley. Living in a rural community offers its own challenges and the Rossi's continued their efforts regardless of the current environment. Olympia learned of a fresh fruit and vegetable program and she quickly organized volunteers and distributed much need produce.
John Bradford / Dylan Baudounie - Special Districts and Road Maintenance - Our road grader has been doing an outstanding job in maintaining our roads and keeping traffic flowing. Traffic includes much needed services provided to the most fragile members the community. On many occasions, I have spoken to John Bradford and made special requests in regard to sign replacement and the grading of specific roads. On each and every occasion he has directly helped me and or directed me to the correct county entity.
Randy Harrison - (UPS) - Randy our beloved "UPS Guy" never stopped his timely and much needed parcel deliveries. His deliveries are a gamut of Amazon, medicine and food. His service to Wonder Valley cannot be underestimated! Randy knows all the roads in Wonder Valley and always delivers packages as close to peoples doors as possible. Randy once told me "I am just doing my job." In these difficult times this cannot be further from the truth and his efforts are truly appreciated by all.
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SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, CODE OF ORDINANCES
CHAPTER 84.34: COMMERCIAL CANNABIS ACTIVITY
§ 84.34.030 Prohibition of Commercial Cannabis Activity.
Except as expressly provided by §§ 84.34.040 and 83.34.050, commercial cannabis activity shall not be considered a permitted or conditionally permitted use in any land use zoning district. Commercial cannabis activity, including delivery, is prohibited in all land use zoning districts, as those may be amended from time to time, and no permit of any type shall be issued therefor. It shall be unlawful for any person to conduct, cause to be conducted, or permit to be conducted, a commercial cannabis activity within the
unincorporated area of the County. Any person violating any provision of this Chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 86.09 (Enforcement) and Chapter 2 of Division 1 of Title 1 of this Code. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a misdemeanor violation may be cited, charged, and prosecuted as an infraction. This Section shall not affect the right to possess or use cannabis as authorized by Federal or State law.
(Ord. 4309, passed - -2016; Am. Ord. 4360, passed - -2019)