San Bernardino’s ‘Lakes and Streams’

An ambitious project has been making the rounds the past few years in San Bernardino. Called the “Lakes and Streams” project, the plan envisions the redevelopment of a large swath of an older, somewhat tired neighborhood just north of downtown San Bernardino.

The downtown area sits atop what is known as the “bunker basin” which for years has battled high groundwater troubles during overly-wet years. During these times, it’s not uncommon for basements in some of the downtown buildings to flood.

The “Lakes and Streams” project is a multi-agency plan to help deal with the high groundwater while at the same time offering the city an opportunity to revitalize a large portion of its landscape. Although scaled back significantly from it’s original proposal, the cornerstone of the $100M project remains a 45-acre lake surrounded by mixed-use development.

The design favored by San Bernardino officials and the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District calls for a 45-acre lake in an area bordered to the north and south by Base Line and 9th Street and to the east and west by H and E streets – a total of about 82 acres.

Lots for 72 new homes, 12 acres of property zoned for commercial use, parks, a boat ramp and a water-treatment plant would hug its curvy shores. Replaced would be dozens of homes and apartments, four churches, businesses and about 10 acres of vacant property in an area dubbed blighted by city officials and historic by residents.

Riverside Press-Enterprise – December 17, 2003

The project has been met with good- to mixed-reviews and is seen by some to be highly controversial. But as with all ambitious, visionary plans, much of the misgivings come about simply due to the natural resistance to change. At the very least, however, a bit of controversy should help refine the plan and eventually help make it into a better overall project.

(2024 UPDATE: The “Lakes and Streams” plan for downtown San Bernardino did not get beyond the proposal stages.)

  • Riverside Press-Enterprise – New San Bernardino lake project is unveiled (Dec. 17)

Sources: Riverside Press-Enterprise (PE-20031217)

2024 PAGE UPDATE: Added newspaper citation/insert; removed outdated links to newspaper article.

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