SAN BERNARDINO – The county Board of Supervisors Monday approved a long-stalled $475,000 property assessment program to finance replacement of the deteriorated water system at Pioneertown, north of Yucca Valley.

The action came after a hearing three weeks ago in which a property owners group expressed concern that improved water service would stimulate development that could destroy the community’s Old West character. The group has since agreed to form an association to keep a close watch on development.

The project will require assessment which, for every 1.25 acres, will amount to $1,629 for those directly served by water lines, $1,129 for those from 330 to 660 feet from the nearest water line and $580 for those farther away.

Owners of the 330 parcels in the square-mile area can pay their assessments in lump sums or in annual installments with interest charges over a 34-year period to pay off a long-term loan by the state Department of Water Resources.

The supervisors authorized the award of three project contracts:

  • $179,993 to Desert Pipeline of Indio to install the water lines.
  • $95,270 to HTI Superior Inc. of Santa Fe Springs to construct a 200,000-gallon reservoir.
  • $74,594 to Desert Pipeline to drill and equip three wells.

The total project is expected to be completed by October.

In another action, the county board postponed a decision until July 25 on the zoning required for the 3,396-unit housing project proposed by Joshua Tree Properties after Supervisor John Joyner said he wants more time to consult with community groups and the developers.

The project is proposed on a 640-acre site extending south from Twentynine Palms Highway and east from Yucca Mesa Road between Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley.