At its November 1 meeting, the City Council approved a long-term agreement to lease approximately 19 acres of land for the future development of a new lakefront park and other improvements near The Village. The lease agreement was also approved by the Bear Valley Mutual Water Company Board of Directors, the land owner, on November 9.
The approved lease agreement grants the City control of the entire 19-acre property for 99 years, with an additional 30 years of extensions that would bring the total term to 129 years. In exchange, the City will pay Bear Valley Mutual Water Company a total of $100,000 annually, with a 2% annual escalator. The property includes a half-mile of lakefront, and the City plans to develop at least at least 10 acres of the property as a new park for our residents and visitors to enjoy, with links to the nearby Veterans Park, Rotary Park, and The Village.
Two existing restaurants on the property (The Pines Lakefront and The Pines Tavern on The Lake) will continue to operate, and will now lease the facilities from the City. The City will assume management of the Leisure Bear Mobile Home Park, and will be working cooperatively with residents to improve the park. The City will also assume management of two single-family rental homes on the property. In the long-term, the City expects to explore development opportunities on a portion of the site, potentially including the construction of new workforce housing units and new commercial development.
The approved agreement includes a 6-month due diligence period. The City will be meeting with current tenants in the coming weeks to discuss their concerns, and will also be reviewing any potential environmental concerns at the property. The City expects to complete its due diligence by next spring, and assuming no significant concerns arise, the City would assume control of the property in May or June 2022. Once the City assumes control of the property, an extensive public planning process will be undertaken to determine specific future plans for the 19-acre property.
The City's annual lease payment will be funded by transient occupancy tax revenue generated by overnight visitors to Big Bear Lake, and any future improvements will likely rely on grant funding and additional transient occupancy tax revenue. There is also the potential for the City to generate additional revenue in the future from any new development that may occur on the site.
The City is excited to undertake this beneficial project, and looks forward to great things at this property in the future!