The Planning Division prepares and implements long-range land use plans and development regulations for the City, including the General Plan, Development Code, specific plans, and ordinances. The Division also reviews, approves, or makes recommendations on applications for land use entitlements, environmental reviews, and sign applications, and responds to public inquiries at the counter and by telephone regarding zoning information.
In addition, the Division provides staff support to the Planning Commission, technical assistance to the City Council, and graphic support to other divisions within the City. The Planning Division is available to the public for consultation concerning prospective projects.
Please note: All development review applications are accepted by in-person appointment only. We are not able to accept application packets with partial information or poor quality graphics. Appointments can be scheduled Monday – Friday, between 8 am – 4 pm by calling (909) 866-5831.
Click HERE to view the Development Code online.
Recent Development Code Amendments can be found here:
- Ordinance No. 2020-487: Ordinance implementing amendments to parking standards for single family residential zones
- Ordinance No. 2022-500: Ordinance to implement SB 9 and regulate urban lot splits and additional units on residential properties
- Ordinance No. 2022-501: Ordinance allowing demonstration areas in the C-2, C-3, and C-4 zones citywide
- Ordinance No. 2022-503: Ordinance implementing process improvements, clarifying development standards and align the Municipal Code with state law
- Ordinance No. 2022-506: Ordinance establishing the R-4 zone district
- Ordinance No. 2023-516: Ordinance Of The City Council Amending Development Code Section 17.25.210 Pertaining To Accessory Dwelling Units And Finding The Amendment Statutorily And Categorically Exempt From The California Environmental Quality Act
CEQA Environmental Notices
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires public notification of the comment period for certain types of environmental review. This includes projects that require a Negative Declaration (ND), Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND), Environmental Impact Report (EIR) or Amendments to previously approved EIRs. The list of projects below provides basic information about the project, the comment period duration, the staff contact and a link to the actual notice.
For more information, visit the State of California Office of Planning and Research's CEQA database.
How to Make Comments:
Your views and comments on the environmental review for proposed projects within the City are welcome. You may submit comments by:
- Email or phone to the project's planner
- Mail to the attention of the project's planner:
Attn: Planning Department
PO Box 10000, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315 Current Notices: Castle Rock Trailhead Parking Lot Public Comment Period: January 4 to February 2 (30 days) Project Description: The proposed project consists of constructing an approximately 0.26-acre parking lot, restroom facility, and a connection to the existing Castle Rock Trail. The parking lot would accommodate 30 parking spaces, two of which would be ADA Standard. The proposed trail connection would be approximately 350 feet long, and would connect the existing Castle Rock Trail (WUSFS Trail 1W03) to the westernmost end of the proposed parking lot. Sewer, water and electrical services would connect to existing utility lines in the adjacent roadways. The basic component of the proposed project is the installation of a paved parking lot that will encompass approximately 12,600 square feet (sf) of impervious surface on Assessor Parcel Number 0306-011-02. The parking lot will be installed and owned by the City of Big Bear Lake which will utilize a grant from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Central Federal Lands Highway Division (CFLHD), to partially fund the new parking facility construction. Once constructed and placed into operation, the City will oversee operation and maintenance of the parking facility. In addition to the parking area itself, a number of on-site and off-site features will also be installed to support the trailhead parking facility operations. Contact Person: Nathan Castillo, 909-866-5831 ext. 128 Project Location: Southwest corner of Talbot Drive and Big Bear Boulevard (Assessor's Parcel Number 0306-011-02) Castle Rock Trailhead Parking Lot Project Initial Study (January 2024) MND (draft) Notice of Completion Notice of Intent
Mountain Transit Facility Relocation CUP Public Comment Period: March 1 to March 30 Project Description: Mountain Transit proposes to relocate operations from the current locations to 170 Business Center Drive in the City of Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino County. The relocation would require approval of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to develop a comprehensive administrative, bus storage, and bus maintenance facility at the proposed Project Site. The 3.55-acre Project Site is located on the northwest corner of Business Center Drive and Sandalwood Drive and consists of Assessor’s Parcel Numbers (APN) 2328-021-12 and -13. Contact Person: Andrew Mellon, 909-866-5831 ext. 194 Project Location: 170 Business Center Drive; northwest corner of Business Center Dr. & Sandalwood Drive Project Sponsor's Name: Mountain Area Regional Transit Authority; PO Box 1501, 41939 Fox Farm Rd., Big Bear Lake, CA 92315 Notice of Intent to Adopt a Mitigated Negative Declaration Initial Study/Mitigated Declaration Acknowledgment Mitigated Monitoring Reporting Program Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration Appendix A - CALEEMOD Appendix B - Biologogical Resources Assessment & Jurisdictional Delineation Appendix C - Cultural Report Appendix D - Geotechnical Investigation Appendix E - Soils Infiltration Appendix F - Water Quality Management Plan Appendix G - Noise Impact Analysis Appendix G - Revised Noise Impact Analysis Summary Form for Electronic Document Submittal Notice of Completion & Environmental Document Transmittal
Planning Applications & Forms
CEQA Local Guidelines Guidelines
These local guidelines are to assist the City in implementing the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"). The purpose of these Local Guidelines is to help the City accomplish the following basic objectives of CEQA:
- To enhance and provide long-term protection for the environment, while providing a decent home and satisfying living environment for every Californian;
- To provide information to governmental decision-makers and the public regarding the potential significant environmental effects of the proposed project;
- To provide an analysis of the environmental effects of future actions associated with the project to adequately apprise all interested parties of the true scope of the project for intelligent weighing of the environmental consequences of the project;
- To identify ways that environmental damage can be avoided or significantly reduced;
- To prevent significant avoidable environmental damage through utilization of feasible project alternatives or mitigation measures; and
- To disclose and demonstrate to the public the reasons why a governmental agency approved the project in the manner chosen. Public participation is an essential part of the CEQA process. Each public agency should encourage wide public involvement, formal and informal, in order to receive and evaluate public reactions to environmental issues related to a public agency’s activities. Such involvement should include, whenever possible, making environmental information available in electronic format on the Internet, on a web site maintained or utilized by the public agency
Community Vision 2023
Visit the Big Bear Lake Community Vision page for more information!
The General Plan for the City of Big Bear Lake was prepared pursuant to California Government Section 65300 et. seq., which requires that each city and county within the state "adopt a comprehensive, long-term general plan for the physical development of the county or city, and any land outsides its boundaries which in the planning agency's judgment bear relation to its planning."
The General Plan and its various elements are required to function as an integrated, internally consistent, and compatible statement of policies. The General Plan serves as a foundation for making land-use decisions based on goals and policies related to land use, transportation, population growth and distribution, development, open space, resource preservation and utilization, air and water quality, noise impacts, public safety, infrastructure and other related physical, social and economic factors. In addition to serving as a basis for local decision making, the General Plan establishes a clear set of development guidelines for citizens, developers, neighboring jurisdictions and agencies, and provides the community with an opportunity to participate in the planning process.
The General Plan contains the following elements:
Pedestrian, Bicycle and Equestrain Master Plan
The Pedestrian, Bicycle and Equestrian Master Plan is conceptualized in a manner to support a wide variety of uses including school and work commutes, access to transit, excursions through commercial and residential neighborhoods and along the lake, scenic road rides, outdoor education and wellness activities, and improved access to the U.S. National Forest. These uses will be made possible overtime. However, the network may take years to build. As a result, this plan is intended to be phased based on a hierarchy of projects, which will result in a coherent system at the end of each phase of construction. Project and program implementation is intended to take place over the span of two to twenty years and will be done in the following three (3) phases:
Phase 1: The first phase of projects includes primary or valley-wide trails, which are considered the armature of the overall system.
Phase 2: The second phase of projects included additional primary trails as well as secondary or neighborhood pathways. Secondary pathways run through neighborhoods and are used to reach the primary trail system or are an alternative to the primary trail system for users that are less experienced, For equestrians, the secondary network is used to access the National Forest and other open space areas.
Phase 3: The final phase will fill gaps and add mileage to the overall network.
This plan represents the unified vision of the multi-modal transportation system, and criteria for evaluating and prioritizing future transportation improvements for the Valley. Over the course of the planning process, the plan framework was developed to consider long-term impacts and future needs. To this end, the plan will continuously be monitored and reviewed in the future to ensure that the policies and strategies remain effective.
Rathbun Corridor Sustainability Plan
The Rathbun Corridor Sustainability Plan emerged from the Big Bear Valley Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Equestrian Master Plan and the goal is to ultimately construct a system of biking, walking, and horse backing tails along Rathbun Creek that lead residents and visitors to the Moonridge Business District/Corridor.
The Rathbun Creek Corridor Sustainability Plan will focus on multiple objectives, such as:
- Environmental impact and conservation focused on watershed health and wildlife habitat
- Community asset building to strengthen recreation opportunities and local destinations
- Economic Development to positively impact businesses and property values along with the Moonridge corridor
- Recreation and transportation improvements to connect Big Bear Lake to the surrounding mountains
Download the Rathbun Corridor Sustainability Plan for additional information.
Village Specific Plan
The Village Specific Plan defines the future development plans for the Village area of Big Bear Lake. It addresses all relevant planning issues and represents the primary opportunities and constraints for the Village. The goals of the Village Specific Plan include: improve the gross retail sales environment for all commercial uses, attract more people to the Village and encourage more lodging and restaurants in the area, improve the visual character of the Village, improve open space opportunities, avoid incompatible land used in the Village area and develop an economically viable business climate. The objectives of the Village Specific Plan are to introduce more resort/residential use areas within the Village to establish a more constant tourist population, delineate areas immediately adjacent to the lake for public pedestrian malls and parks, re-establish commercial areas along major travel routes and high volume pedestrian ways, provide central public parking lots in close proximity to commercial uses, and establish open space common area within the center of the Village to provide a "central focus" and "gathering spot" for those visiting.
- VMT Thresholds of Significance
Phone: (909) 866-5831 x 141
Fax: (909) 866-7511
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
39707 Big Bear Boulevard
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
City of Big Bear Lake
PO Box 10000
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315