OC Investment Group’s Plans for Riverside County Mega-Warehouse Hit Stumbling Block
Plans by an Irvine-based real estate investment trust to put a 2.5 million sq. ft. logistics warehouse in a residential area in western Riverside County have hit another roadblock as a key committee has recommended that the County Supervisors reject the project.
The Shopoff Group—led by William Shopoff of Laguna Beach--has asked the County to rezone the land, located just off I-10 in unincorporated Cherry Valley, from rural/residential to light industrial. It has proposed using the property for a massive Gateway Center warehouse (the size of 43 football fields), which would have 428 bays for 18-wheel diesel tractor-trailers. When fully operational, the warehouse would attract an estimated 400 to 1,000 truck trips a day.
The property is located a mile or less from four senior citizens’ communities with more than 5,000 residents and three miles from four public schools. Since January, when an initial County hearing on the project was held, opposition to the rezoning and the warehouse has grown. The City of Beaumont, homeowners associations and other organizations in Beaumont, Cherry Valley and Calimesa have gone on record against the project.
Because of the mounting concern, Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley—a key supporter of the Gateway plan—appointed a Gateway Review Committee in April to study the project. The committee was initially supposed to meet monthly until October. However, after just two meetings, the panel recommended that the County turn down the rezoning request and leave the area residential.
“It only took the Ashley committee two meetings to recognize that putting an industrial warehouse in the middle of a residential area is inappropriate and completely contradicts the county’s own General Plan for the area,” said Nancy Carroll, chair of the No Way Gateway community action group that is spearheading the opposition. “It only took two meetings to understand that allowing the spot zoning of this property would set a horrible precedent for our county going forward.”
“We are not against growth. We are not against building warehouses in appropriate places, like industrial parks located far from residential areas. But forcing a huge warehouse like Gateway into a residential area just so the land speculator can make a profit is not appropriate,” Ms. Carroll said.
No Way Gateway is a nonprofit, non-partisan volunteer community action group. For further information, go to: www.nowaygateway.org.