Big Bear Lake, California 




City Mayor Pro-tem and Councilman Bill Jahn delivered this State of the City of Big Bear Lake speech to the Big Bear Valley Republican Assembly, November 15, 2016.


“As Mayor Pro-Tem of the City of Big Bear Lake, I believe strongly that communication is key in fostering positive relationships between local government and service organizations throughout the Valley. 

The current State of our City is extremely sound! This is evidenced by the City Council approving the 2016-2017 Budget this past June. Our local economy continues to out-perform budget projections and to date, our sales tax and TOT exceed this year’s estimates.


I am proud to be a participant of a City Council that displays solid leadership, accountability and a true desire to make our local government as transparent as possible and our City of Big Bear Lake, a better place to live, work and play.

Also, I am also proud to serve a community and oversee a dedicated City staff, that consistently strives to improve our mountain environment. 


As many of you know, the annual budget is the single most important tool the Council uses to implement priorities.  With major revenues remaining strong, consistently applying conservative budgeting practices, and continued focus on the implementation of technology, the outlook for the remainder of 2016-17 remains solid and allows us to continue to invest in our infrastructure.

The City’s general fund amounts to $12 million, with a total capital and infrastructure investment of $2.6 million this year. The City has secured several major grants, using smaller grants or Measure Y as matching funds, thereby taking some of the pressure off our General Fund.

Following is a review of a number of projects that have been recently completed, or, are in the pipeline for future improvements:


Village Renaissance Project and redesign of the Village L has enhanced the look and feel of the Village, bringing Big Bear Lake’s downtown shopping experience to a modern and beautiful feel that welcomes residents and visitors to enjoy and shop.

The addition of the Knickerbocker Public Parking Lot with restroom facilities completed in 2015 added 65 additional parking spaces for the Village. We are currently adding an additional 200 spaces with the Knickerbocker and Pennsylvania Parking Lots which will continue to create ease of parking for visitors to the Village. These two projects are almost complete and should open in the next week or so.


In the meantime, over 42 miles of streets have been repaved throughout Big Bear Lake and both new and reconstructed sidewalks have been added in some of the most heavily walked areas of town. Additional plans for street paving and sidewalk additions are on the docket for the coming years.


The City of Big Bear Lake Council has directed Staff to continue the City’s goal of developing its Master Plan of Trails with connections Valley wide.  A few examples of these efforts are:


The Knickerbocker Trail – an incredible designed pedestrian and bicycling trail connecting the Village, Big Bear Boulevard and Big Bear Lake. The completion of this trail was the first major step in implementation of the Master Plan of Trails and has been well received by locals and visitors alike.


The Rathbun Corridor Study looks at approximately 3 miles of land use and encompasses Rathbun Creek from the Lake (behind Vons) up through Moonridge and terminates at the end of Sand Canyon and the National Forest.  The plan was funded by a SCAG sustainability grant of $197,000.  Sustainability Planning focuses on creating a community in which the economy, environment and equity are balanced so that it “sustains” itself for future generations.


Rathbun Creek Corridor Plan will:

Redesign the Moonridge business district so that it is more walkable and conducive to bringing in businesses that emphasize an “outdoor lifestyle”.

The plan will clean up Rathbun Creek to enhance wildlife habitat and water quality.

A trail will run along the creek similar to the Alpine Peddle Path promoting a healthy outdoors experience that everyone can enjoy.


The Stanfield Cut-off Extension Trail:   The proposed trail will be located on the west side of Stanfield Cutoff connecting the north shore to the south side of Big Bear Lake, adjacent to the existing roadway but separated by a guardrail.


An extension of the Stanfield Cut-off Project is the proposed Stanfield Connection Project which includes construction of a bike/pedestrian path and sidewalk from Stanfield Cutoff to Division Drive to the east, providing a much needed safe route for non-motorized users to travel between unincorporated Big Bear City and Big Bear Lake.


The Happy Hills Trail Construction Project is underway and includes the construction of a trail connecting the City to the National Forest and rehabilitation of a historical structure on Civic Center property to serve as a gateway into the community with public restrooms and meeting area.


The Alpine Pedal Path Rehabilitation  is an integral part of the Master Plan of Trails, staff has been working tirelessly to secure funding for the rehabilitation of one of the key trails in the community; enhancements to the path and its bridges will make for an even more enjoyable experience for families strolling along the lake’s north shore.


Big Bear Lake continues to grow as a cycling destination, as you can see Council and Staff continue to make cycling in the Valley as convenient and accessible as possible. Recent installation of bike markings and future planned dedicated bike lanes for Big Bear Boulevard will help in this goal.


Continued by-monthly meetings with Caltrans, Bear Valley Electric, San Bernardino County, Southwest Gas, Charter and Frontier communications are allowing future utility undergrounding and improvements not only on the boulevard, but in other areas of the City.


Big Bear Lake continues to be a destination for all seasons and was recently ranked as one of the top areas to visit by Trip Advisor. City Management continues to work with newcomers like Airbnb to create a conducive relationship for locals and visitors and ensure that all homes are in compliance with the Program and that our neighborhoods remain peaceful.


Last but not least, the installation of solar panels at the Civic Center, City of Big Bear Lake Public Works Yard and DWP Offices have helped the City Go Green, by reducing utility costs and taking advantage of grants offered for projects positively impacting our environment.


In closing, as part of our ongoing plans to enhance the various pocket communities, such as Boulder Bay/The Village/Summit Mountain/Fox Farm/Moonridge, located within the City of Big Bear Lake and connecting those pocket communities through the Master Plan of Trails, the Planning Department has been developing signage and design ideas to highlight the unique qualities of each area and direct residents and visitors appropriately.

As I mentioned in my opening remarks, the current state of the City is extremely sound.  Not only will we accomplish our goals, we will do it in the most responsible fashion - making the City of Big Bear Lake the enticing alpine environment and resort community so many people seek to visit, stay and play in year-round!

I look forward to continuing to serve and work with members of the Council, City Staff as well as the community members.  As we work together to move our City of Big Bear Lake forward.”


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