Mane Street Overlay

Hi everyone,

For about the last year, I’ve been working on a proposal to change County regulations for Mane Street in an attempt to get the codes that govern land use in that area aligned with Community interests, specifically encouraging re-use and preservation of historic structures and to ensure that growth occurs in a way that preserves Pioneertown’s community character and occurs in a way that is compatible with the surrounding residential landscape. I’m now at a point where I’d like to share the proposal and get additional feedback before it is formally submitted to the County for consideration. I’ll be doing the first of two public presentations this Sunday at 7PM at Station 38 (5380 Mountain View). All are welcome.

What is this about?
Currently, Mane Street is not treated any differently by San Bernardino County as the rest of the Section 19 portion of Pioneertown - it has the same zoning, no special provisions to deal with businesses or tourists, and nothing that recognizes its historic importance. This proposal would create a special set of regulations for Mane Street that acknowledges its historic importance, and that ensures that commercial development is done in a manner that is compatible with the surrounding community, at a scale that is sustainable and maintains our community character, and encourages (and in some ways requires) the preservation of historic buildings and features.

Why are you doing this?
As part of the Countywide Plan and Community Action Guide, San Bernardino County recognized the need for special regulations for Mane Street, but left it to an individual or organization to develop them.

Who are you?
I’m a Pioneertown resident and Architect. My wife Jenny and I live on Red Ryder Road and are the landlords for the Red Dog Saloon; before moving to Red Ryder we lived on Mane Street. As part of my architectural practice, I have about twenty years experience in Land Use and have spent about ten years doing professional and community work with San Bernardino County. I initiated and was the project manager responsible for The Friends of Pioneertown’s effort to get Mane Street on the National Register of Historic Places, have a degree in Architectural History, and starting with the Red Dog Saloon, have been working to restore and preserve Mane Street since we got there in 2012.

Who is paying for this??
No one - this is a personal project which I am doing without any compensation. In my architectural practice I am working or have worked for many people in Pioneertown; I am currently working with the owners of the Pioneertown Motel and White’s Grocery. I have previously consulted for the owners of the Sound Stage and Pioneertown Corrals. My experience with these projects has informed this project, however none of my clients has any greater influence on this proposal than any other Mane Street or Pioneertown stakeholder.

Why didn’t you engage the community sooner?
This proposal is the result of discussions with Mane Street and community stakeholders, with whom I have consulted with over the last year; beginning about two months ago I started sharing the nearly complete draft with property owners and others in the community to get feedback and ensure that it was headed in a direction which could obtain community consensus. I am putting this out here at the earliest point where I feel comfortable that it is sufficiently complete for the greater community to comment on.

How will community feedback be incorporated?
I am going to hold two public presentations and Q&As to explain the proposal and get feedback; I also welcome feedback by email (bloescher@lmarchitectsinc.com). Once the proposal is revised to incorporate this feedback as appropriate, it will be formallly submitted to San Bernardino County for consideration. County staff has indicated that there will be at least two additional opportunities for written comment and public hearings as part of the consideration of this proposal.

I’ll be periodically checking comments on this thread…

A link to the proposal is here:
210720 Mane Street Overlay.pdf (2.5 MB)

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Thanks Ben, the Mane Street Overlay is a much needed document to protect the historical and best about Mane Street and Pioneertown.

Note that the CA Historical Building Code will apply so there is protection for older structures. The FARs, setbacks and building massing will establish what PT will look like in the future. Really appreciate the effort to engage the community!

A few questions and answers that have come up since I posted this:

Q: Aren’t Pioneertown’s historic buildings already protected without this proposed Overlay?
A: Only kind of. The Mane Street National Register Historic District that the Friends of Pioneertown fundraised for and got approved last year offers some modest protections against demolition of historic buildings and features for projects that need to get a Minor Use or Conditional Use Permit - the County will require the project applicant to study alternatives to demolition, but can still allow demolition to occur. San Bernardino County does not have a historic preservation ordinance, and the California Historic Building Code does not include protection provisions. More discussion on this topic can be found here.

Q: What project is this Overlay about?
A: This is not about any specific project, but rather how future proposed projects and developments will be dealt with by the County. There are a few projects that have already been applied for and will be reviewed by the County based on the rules in place at the time of application. These include the proposed Mane Street Trailer Motel (on Constance Walsh’s old property), the Pioneertown Motel expansion, and a new Bed and Breakfast on Roy Rogers. Each of these will be subject to public comments and hearings separate from this proposed Overlay.

Q: We have a Community Action Guide - why isn’t that good enough?
A: The Community Action Guide is a document that was intended to capture community concerns and interests so that they could be turned into binding regulation - it is not regulation itself. In order to make what is in the Community Action Guide actually have force, it needs to be translated into Development Code regulations - this is the intention of this Overlay. Joshua Tree’s controversial Dollar Tree was approved because the community never was able to translate their Community Plan into Development Code Language.

Q: What is the process for this proposed Overlay?
A: As the proponent, I am holding two pre-application meetings to inform the Community about the proposal and get feedback. When that is complete, I will submit a revised Overlay to San Bernardino County for consideration. Once they receive it, staff will review it, solicit additional community input, and then eventually place it on the agenda for further review and discussion by the Planning Commission which will vote on it after a public hearing. If the Planning Commission approves it, it will go on the Board of Supervisors agenda. Members of the public will be able to submit public comment and testify at this phase as well. If the Board of Supervisors approves it, the Overlay will become part of the development code.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the first meeting to introduce the proposed Mane Street Overlay! Your interest and participation is greatly appreciated and I am very glad for the feedback that I’ve gotten so far. Here are a few updates…

Intro Presentation #2

I’ll be doing a second public presentation next Sunday, August 8th at Fire Station 38 at 7PM for those who were unable to attend the first presentation. This is going to be the same material followed by a Q&A so if you attended the first one you probably don’t need to come to this one as well (but you are welcome to!). Fire Station 38 is located at 5380 Mountain View Rd, Pioneertown, CA 92268.

Feedback/Comments

I would love to hear your questions, comments and concerns about the proposed - feel free to find me in person, email me here (k.ben.loescher@gmail.com) or give me a ring at 310-745-9211. I’ll be posting answers to questions about the why and how on Pioneer.town/locals; concerns and suggestions about the content are being compiled so that they can be addressed. Any feedback received before August 22nd will be used to revise the proposal and those comments (whether supportive or not) will be included as an attachment when the proposal is sent to San Bernardino County.

Schedule:

This is the working schedule for the proposed Overlay leading up to submission.

Community Intro Presentation 1: 7/25/2021 (Complete)
Community Intro Presentation 2: 8/8/2021
Deadline to receive comments for consideration/incorporation: 8/22/2021
Final Pre-Submission Document Posted: 9/12/2021
Overlay formally submitted to San Bernardino County: 9/17/2021
After submission, the schedule for formal feedback, public hearings and approvals will be set by San Bernardino County Planning - I’ll keep everyone in the loop as that develops. As a reminder, what is going on now is just to get feedback and build consensus - the formal process will occur after submission and be administered by the County.

Supporting Documents:

Attached here are two documents that were discussed in the presentation and which are critical to the Overlay proposal. These are:

The Pioneertown Communities Action Guide. This is the document that San Bernardino County Planning put together to document to goals, aspirations and concerns of Pioneertown residents that we wanted to see addressed in future land use regulation.

Mane Street National Register Historic District nomination. This is the nomination, created by the Friends of Pioneertown, that was accepted by the California Office of Historic Preservation and U.S. Department of Interior creating the Mane Street historic district. This document contains information on the history of Pioneertown, the features that make it historically significant, and design standards for new construction.

(The proposed Overlay document can be found higher in this thread)

National Register Historic District.pdf (4.4 MB)
2020 Pioneertown Community Action Guide.pdf (1.7 MB)

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