Etiwanda Heights Neighborhood & Conservation Plan - Rancho Cucamonga, California
Plan Area Context
Community Vision for Etiwanda Heights
Rural/Conservation & Neighborhoods
Conservation Goals & Priorities
Open Space Framework
Milliken Heights Neighborhood
Neighborhood Area Regulating Plan
Building Type Standards
Building Type Standards
Street Type Standards
Open Space Type Standards
Rural Development Standards
Trail Network Standards
Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Process
The City of Rancho Cucamonga selected a large multi-disciplinary team led by Sargent Town Planning to prepare plan to annex to the City 4,400 acres of unincorporated San Bernardino County in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, between the northerly city limits and the San Bernardino National Forest. The upper 3,200 acres lie north of the existing foothill community, and the lower 1,200-acre area is surrounded on three sides by existing housing tracts.
The upper area is rich in natural habitat resources, very high in wildfire hazard, with significant fault zones and areas subject to landslides at the foot of the mountains. The City’s intent is to conserve the natural and rural character, recreational and habitat resources, and visual qualities of that area for future generations. The lower area was historically needed for flood control facilities, but with upstream flood control improvements in recent decades it is no longer needed for that purpose and the County has designated it as excess property and intends to sell it for development to fund ongoing flood control operations.
The City and County agreed to work cooperatively to develop a plan that to enable the conservation of the rural character and natural habitats of the upper area – while respecting the property rights of private owners in that area – and the development of unique, walkable Rancho Cucamonga neighborhoods in much of the lower 1,200 acres. Beginning with extensive analysis of the existing urban and environmental conditions, and interviews with community members and other public agencies, the STP team developed a series of neighborhood plan concepts and conservation strategies for the Plan Area. Through an extensive public engagement process in 2018, a preferred alternative was defined, and a Public Draft Specific Plan and EIR were prepared for public review in the spring of 2019.
The plan framework of the lower 800-acre Neighborhood Area is a fine-grained network of multi-modal streets, trails and open spaces, connecting 9 neighborhood subareas that offer a range of housing types and a small neighborhood center with shops, restaurants and community gathering spaces. For the upper 3,600-acre Rural/Conservation Area, the Plan adds three new preserves to the existing 763-acre North Etiwanda Preserve, a network of trails for recreational and educational access, and conservation and transfer of development rights (TDR) programs to enable development within the Neighborhood Area to fund the further expansion and long-term maintenance of the preserves, in support of the community’s ambitious goals for habitat and open space conservation.
The Plan was adopted by unanimous votes of the Planning Commission and City Council in late 2019, and received an unusual letter of support from the Endangered Habitats League, who had volunteered their time and expertise to assist the City/STP team in structuring and refining the conservation and TDR programs.