All Village Businesses will remain open during construction, which started on April 8, 2013 and will continue, non-stop, through the summer and fall.
The contractor for the project, Matich Corp, has promised all the merchants in the project area, that pedestrian access as well as access from public parking to business entrances is maintained at all times during the construction .
Any merchants who have access issues are instructed to contact Matich at their Village Construction office located at 571 Pine Knot Ave., in the Mountain Lake Reality center, behind Big Bear Tattoo.
Parking will always be available in the public lots, Bartlett Parking lot, Indian Village Parking lot on Village Dr. or on one side of Pine Knot Ave and Village Dr. for the duration of construction estimated to be ongoing through September of 2013.
The Project is being funded with money from the County of San Bernardino’s SANBAG transportation projects grants and dollars from the City’s measure YY funds, set aside specifically for such capital improvement projects, as they are designated and approved by the City Council. In March, 2013 the City Council voted unanimously to use the County and Measure YY funds to complete the Village construction project. The project was originally approved as it was planned in 2011, when it was part of the Village Specific Plan update and re-visioning process spearheaded by the City’s former Development and Housing Director, Lyle Haynes. At that time, it was to be funded entirely by the City of Big Bear Lake Redevelopment Agency. Both Mr. Haynes’ position and the agency itself has since been dissolved as the by-product of legislation introduced by California’s Democratic Governor, Jerry Brown and ultimately approved into law by State legislators.
With the funding lost for construction in April of 2012, the City of Big Bear Lake, Village Merchants, Restaurants and Lodges were left holding the proverbial bag along with nearly 1 million dollars worth of plans and specifications for the project, that took nearly 3 years to assemble. And no way to build it.
Village businesses, for the most part, are looking forward to the major improvements to drainage and lighting and the new sidewalks and additions to landscaping will be a great improvement to the overall look and feel of the Village and will surely elevate the visitor experience beginning later this summer.
Still to be addressed, are several of the concepts and projects developed by the Village re-visioning process. The process was led by the City’s Redevelopment Director, Lyle Haynes and documented by the City’s consultant and Land Planner RRM Design Group through a long series of meetings between City Staff, the Consultant and a committee of community stakeholders, property owners and citizens at large (Village Specific Plan Update Committee 2009-2010). These projects would include landscaping and underground utilities on Bartlett Rd., additional public restrooms, tour bus parking and loading area, and additional public parking to support more and larger events in the Village.
With plans either complete or in development and construction awaiting a funding source and approval by the city Council, are the other projects aimed at creating additional use and improving parking and circulation in the Village. The Knickerbocker Trail improvements and the creation of a Village Events Complex with an outdoor amphitheater and its own parking element adjacent to the Bartlett Parking. Some of this could start in the spring, 2014.