Minutes from May 5, 2015 Open Meeting-Santa Ana River Trail Update

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Open Board of Directors Meeting

San Bernardino Community College District
114 S. Del Rosa Drive
San Bernardino, CA 92408



Present: Deborah Barmack, Peter Barmack, Carole Beswick, Tom Brickley, Ann Bryan, Matthew Buck, Ken Coate, Scott Davis, Louis Goodwin, Dick Hart, Scott Hofferber, Matthew Isaac, Mark Kaenel, Lowell King, Pam Langford, Ed Lasak, Sue McKee, John Mirau, Bev Powell, Brian Reider, Jan Remm, Kristine Scott, Paul Shimoff and Wendy Strack.


Guests: Vicky Ostermann


Announcements:  1) The League of Cities is holding a dinner gala on Friday, May 8, 2015   beginning at 5:30p.m.  San Manuel Band of Mission Indian has sponsored a table and is offering seats.  Please contact Carols Valdez if you are interested in attending.  2) The Inland Action web site is being updated.  Members were asked to supply photos of their business and themselves for the site.  3) Meetings for the Sacramento advocacy trip are being scheduled.  Please contact Carole or Deborah if you have requests.


M/S/P:  Minutes from April 28, 2015.


Ken Coate introduced Patricia Lock Dawson, Principal, PLD Consulting


The Santa Ana River Trail (SART) is a multi use trail that stretches 100 miles, from the San Bernardino Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, through 3 counties, 15 cities and multiple jurisdictions.  The SART has great potential, but also challenges.


The SART is not just a trail, but a common thread following the river through a patchwork mosaic of parks, urban and wild, all easily accessible on foot, bike, or horse.  It has long been the focus of passionate citizens eager to see its potential realized as a destination for recreation. The Santa Ana River Trail helps make our communities more livable and more valuable.


Our limited open space areas have had a negative impact on our community.  Our region is relatively “park poor” and access to outdoor recreation is limited.  30% of our residents live more than ½ mile from a park.  We have some of the highest obesity, diabetes and heart disease rates in the nation with 2 out of 3 adults considered overweight or obese.  Some 32% of our children are at an unhealthy weight and both Riverside and San Bernardino Counties have a high percentage of residents living below the federal poverty line.  Our open spaces are limited but very desirable. Studies and books like the Proximate Principle, by John Crompton, agree that the market values of properties located proximate to a park or open space are usually higher than comparable properties located elsewhere. The Santa Ana River Trail helps provide this much needed open area.


Our City Parks and Trails can and should be used as an economic development tool for municipalities.  They positively affect real property values and municipal revenues are increased.  Affluent retirees, homebuyers of all types and a talented/knowledgeable workforce are attracted to and remain in areas with accessible parks and open spaces.


There has been much success for the SART in 2015.  They have $45 million in funding dedicated to the trail from the passage of the 2006 Proposition 84.   There are now 19 continuous miles from Waterman Avenue to Norco that are complete and ground breaking has begun on gaps in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.  Additionally, the partnership they created has been recognized by the California State Senate, Assembly and U.S. Congress as a best model practice.


Recently legislation sponsored by Senator Correa to create a State Santa Ana River Conservancy received bipartisan support and passed with virtually no opposition.  The parties involved worked with other legislators, water agencies, Building Industry Assoc., flood control agencies and transportation agencies to build support.  The Conservancy will be administered by the State Coastal Conservancy which will provide funding and assistance, but local control will be maintained through the existing local Advisory Group provision.


The Conservancy will need funding and the following was suggested.

  1. Support for Senator DeLeon’s SB317 (2016) as amended was requested. Originally this legislation had no funding for Inland Southern California and would predominantly benefit the Los Angeles region, however there is now an amendment that would provide $50 million for the SAR Conservancy.
  2. The Coastal Conservancy is expected to receive $100 million thru Prop. 1: Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014. Contact and letters of support to direct a portion of these funds to the SAR Conservancy were requested.
  3. Request inclusion of trails and active transportation programs in a new Federal Transportation Bill.



A Q & A session followed.


The meeting adjourned at 8:20 am.