County Embarks on First-of-its-kind Countywide Plan

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By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– San Bernardino County launched an effort to go further than any county or city has ever gone with a general plan by creating a web-based comprehensive “complete county” plan.

General plans are almost always strictly rule books for guiding development and growth. San Bernardino County’s General Plan, last updated in 2007, will go well beyond a traditional general plan to become a comprehensive Countywide Plan that complements and informs the Countywide Vision, www.sbcounty.gov/vision, by taking into account all services – not just land-use planning – provided by County Government, and the unique values and priorities of each community. It will serve as a guide for all County decision-making, financial planning, and communications.

The web-based format will provide a wealth of easily accessible data on how the County operates, and allow independent research using County data and information.  A development toolkit will guide users to resources that will help them develop priorities in their quest for a complete community.

The Board of Supervisors today unanimously approved a contract with planning consultants PlaceWorks Inc. to assist the County in creating the Countywide Plan over the next four years. PlaceWorks has assembled a team of subcontractors specializing in economic analysis, transportation and environmental planning, data management, and web design.  Redlands-based Esri is part of the consultant team.

“This is a historic and pivotal moment for San Bernardino County,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “Some counties and cities have made their general plans more comprehensive than before, but no one has set out to create anything like the Countywide Plan, which will address and improve all areas of life in all of our great and diverse communities.”

The Countywide Plan will include:

— A County Policy Plan, which will be an update and expansion of the County’s General Plan and community plans for the unincorporated areas. It will be a new approach to County planning with a Regional Services Plan for social services, healthcare services, public safety, and other regional county services within both incorporated and unincorporated areas.

— A County Business Plan, which will contain governance policies and operational metrics that outline the County’s approach to providing municipal and regional services.

— A Regional Issues Forum, which will be an online resource for sharing information and resources related to issues confronting the County as a whole, including the work of the Countywide Vision element groups.

Community and stakeholder workshops are projected to begin by the end of the year, and final products will be subject to a public hearing process.

The Countywide Plan is one of a series of innovations San Bernardino County is creating and implementing to improve services and save money and time for taxpayers.

This month, San Bernardino County became the first Southern California county to use virtual building inspections to save travel costs and wait times. The County is also instituting a new system to identify and reduce welfare fraud.

During the past four years, the county has claimed more than 100 national and state innovation awards for developing or improving services for county residents and investors.

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