Code Enforcement drafts new rules for short-term rentals By Terri Hill
Andy Wingert, Chief of Code Enforcement for San Bernardino County’s Land Use Services Department (LUS), spoke with Wrightwood residents Monday night about new rules regarding short-term rentals. Wingert explained that while he has addressed other mountain communities during the drafting process, Wrightwood had been neglected, and he wanted to give concerned parties a voice in the discussion. LUS has been working with property owners and residents of mountain communities to update the County’s current Short-Term Rental Ordinance. A proposed amendment address issues such as noise, parking, over-crowding, tenant behavior, and enforcement of the rules governing short-term private home rentals. Within the draft, changes to the current ordinance are intended to benefit both the property owner, and residents of neighboring properties. Residents at the meeting reported issues with abuse of occupancy limits and the resulting parking issues and noise. Many streets in Wrightwood are too narrow to accommodate the overflow of cars, making passage difficult and sometimes causing driveways to be blocked. New criteria for maximum occupancy states that the most restrictive of the following would apply: (a) A 70-square foot room may sleep one person, and each sleeping room occupied by more than one person shall contain not less than 50 square feet per person. (b) For every four renters there must be one parking space. (c) Parcels of one half acre or less may not have more than 15 renters or guests of renters, and parcels one acre or larger may have up to 20 renters or guests of renters. Another section of the current ordinance that will be updated is Conditions of Operation. Commercial uses and advertising such are not prohibited in the ordinance as it stands, but under the proposed ordinance, specific prohibitions for the commercial use of short-term rentals will be addressed. All advertising for the property will have to include the County Permit Number. The ordinance was silent neighborhood peace and quiet, and loud and disturbing noise. Under the proposed ordinance, owners must “take any action necessary to ensure that renters do not disturb neighborhood peace and quiet,” and “defines and prohibits loud and disturbing noise using reasonable person standards.” Owners will be required to be available by phone 24 hours a day, and the owner or agent to be present at the property within one hour after receiving a call. Nuisance renter behavior must be addressed immediately, and the owner must take any and all action necessary for the duration of the renter’s stay. Enforcement of the ordinance was formerly not addressed, nor was permit suspension and revocation. The new ordinance proposal “clearly spells out the right of appropriate County personnel to take any remedial action necessary to ensure compliance with the County Code. Enforcement powers are broad in nature.” Wingert explained that after notification of a violation, continued violation would be met with court action. Wingert also explained that the ordinance singles out mountain communities because, historically, these are the areas of the unincorporated county where people are most likely to offer single-family homes as short-term rentals. He also acknowledged companies like Airbnb may be the catalyst for other communities in the county to revisit short-term rental the ordinance. To make a complaint regarding a short-term rental, call Complaint Line 24/7: 909-361-1842. If you suspect an illegal fire pit, or other dangerous or illegal activity, call the fire department or sheriff.
By Terri Hill
February 27th and 28th, Snowline held a district-wide science fair, the first in the district’s history. Students from The Heritage School and Pinon Mesa Middle School entered a total of 23 projects, which were judged by district administrators, coaches, and high school science teachers. The top 12 projects advanced to the San Bernardino County Science Fair. At the county level, most of the 466 students received participation awards only, but all 12 Heritage entries won at least a medal, and in several cases additional recognition. Bronze Medal winners were QuinYue (Joy) Xia – “Multitasking: Friend or Foe,” Miguel Velesco – “Radioactive Plants,” Kendel Webster – “Recycled Clothing a Planting Oasis,” and Benjamin Mickelson – “Rocket Science Unfolded, Part II.” Silver Medalists included, Kelly Allebes – “Cracking the Kratke Theory,” and Aurora Coulombe – “Scarred Seeds.” Three other Silver Medalists and the three Gold Medalists received additional recognitions, and all six were selected to compete in the Broadcom masters MASTERS® science fair. Broadcom Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering as Rising Stars (MASTERS®) is the premier international middle school science and engineering fair competition. Only 10 percent of the county projects are selected for Broadcom masters. Winners of this fair will fly to Washington DC, all expenses paid, and present their projects to the President. This is a national fair and 30 winners are selected. -Lleyton Steinmann, Silver Medalist received the Ricoh award and was selected to compete in the Broadcom MASTERS® science fair. Lleyton’s project is “The natural Erosion Control.” -Sarah Crowley, Silver Medalist, was selected to compete in the Broadcom MASTERS® science fair. Her project is “A Flashlight That Loves Bodyheat.” - Colin Kayser, Silver Medalist, was selected to compete in the Broadcom MASTERS® science fair. His project is “Burning Hot Hot Hot!” - Grayson Rushworth, Gold Medalist, received the Mojave Environmental Education Consortium (MEEC) environmental award, and was selected to compete in this year’s MASTERS®. Grayson’s project is “Algae and its Effect on Water Systems.” - Annabelle Mersmen, Gold Medalist, received the American Psychological Society award and was selected to compete in the Broadcom MASTERS® science fair. Annabelle’s project is “Inattentional Blindness: More than Just a Magic Trick.” - Avanti Martinez, Gold Medalist, was selected to compete in the Broadcom MASTERS® science fair. Avanti’s project is “Heat Up a Cold Room with a Solar Air Heater.” Some of the students emailed answers to questions posed by Wendi Rodriquez, Heritage Science teacher and NASA Airborne Astronomy Ambassador, and this reporter. Q: What are your feelings about the Broadcom and/or State science fair competition? A: Annabelle Mersmen: I am beyond excited about the upcoming competitions! I was at a loss of words when I heard that I was moving on to the next level. I definitely wouldn't have been able to make it this far without my teacher, Mrs. Rodriguez, or my mom, and I am super excited to be able to bring my project to the State Competition. A: Grayson Rushworth: I was just so excited when I was chosen for State I literally couldn't talk, I was speechless. Then when I got chosen to Broadcom I was just as surprised; I couldn't talk, I was just so happy! Q: What did completing a science fair project mean to you? A: Lleyton Steinmann: I used different local plants that grow vastly in our area for the protection against soil erosion control from rainwater runoff. I loved completing a project because I felt that I was able to contribute to the environment while doing an assignment from school. A: Kelly Allebes: Completing the science fair project meant that I was able to explore a new area of life that I could potentially consider in a future job. Overall, I felt like the county science fair was a great opportunity and achievement. A: Aurora Coulombe: The fact that I was able to see Joshua tree seedlings grow was an incredible sight, and then to plant them in areas where they were all burned was just as amazing. You can help your environment; we are responsible (for) what we do to the wilderness that surrounds us. Q: How did you feel during the County competition? A: Joy Xia: I felt as if I was there to defend the reputation of my school, but now, I think that bringing the students along with their projects wasn't to get them to explain their projects (the information was already on the board), but to look around and get inspired. Many of the projects at the County competition were just absolutely brilliant, and it's great to broaden your horizons. A: Avanti Martinez: This was my first time competing in such a big competition involving science. I learned through this experience how to successfully impact the world of science through people who are willing to understand new ways of engineering from a young generation. All of the students who responded to the questions expressed their nervousness, and eventual pride and excitement to share their ideas, and to receive such accolades for their hard work and finished products.
Peter and the Starcatcher, at Serrano PAC
By Terri Hill The Majestics, a performing arts class at Serrano High School, is excited to present, Peter and the Starcatcher in May. The Tony Award-Winning musical is adapted from the Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s best-selling novel about the orphan boy who becomes Peter Pan. The play written by Rick Elice, with music by Wayne Barker, and was conceived for the stage by directors Roger Rees and Alex Timbers. An orphan boy and his friends are sent from Victorian England to an island far away. The evil King Zarboff is the ruler of the island. At sea, Molly, a Starcatcher-in-training, discovers the boys. Molly realizes that the cargo held in a mysterious trunk onboard is starstuff, a powerful substance that must never fall into the wrong hands. The adventure begins when pirates, lead by Black Stache, take over the ship. Stache is determined to claim the trunk and its mystical treasure for himself. Performances will be Friday and Saturday, May 5, 6 & 12, 13; 7 p.m.- 9 p.m. Location: PAC, 9292 Sheep Creek Rd., Phelan, $10 all seats. Buy tickets online: shs.snowlineschool.com and click on Serrano Online Store.
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