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In His Own Words

The Shopoff Group wants us to believe they are interested in improving our community with their Gateway Warehouse. Mr. Ashley believes the project, as presented by William Shopoff and his Shopoff Group (TSG), can improve our lives. Our elected officials, who are supposed to serve us, some who now sit on Supervisor Ashley's Gateway Review Committee, have put the interests and the wishes of their citizens aside for now. They want to give Mr. Shopoff the benefit of the doubt and take a look at all the facts before they make a decision to endorse or condemn the 2.5 million square foot warehouse. 

If you have any doubts about Mr. Shopoff's true intentions, let him tell you in his own words. Go to the following link and watch a ten minute interview published 5 days before the Gateway Review Committee held their first meeting and 3 days before our School Board put my children's interests behind the priority of a warehouse.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/04/prweb11731322.htm

Did you watch it? Did you hear him say his company is only interested in adding value to land through rezoning? Did you hear him say The Shopoff group stays out of construction? William Shopoff told you in his own words that his intent is to rezone and repackage property and sell for profit. 

What does this mean for Cherry Valley and the Pass? It means TSG can say or promise anything to the County and Marion Ashley's Committee to get the land rezoned. After TSG has done all the heavy lifting of the zoning change the next developer will be happy to pay a premium to TSG and then may or may not complete the improvements obligated to our community and the County by TSG. 

You might think any obligated improvements made to the County of Riverside by Shopoff would be enforceable on future owners but there is nothing preventing the new owner from applying to the County for a different deal. Since the hard part, the zoning change, would have already been completed, there would be much less public scrutiny and an easier path to approval. You can read about such a case the Shopoff Properties Trust was involved with through their Lake Elsinore holding company's purchase and sale of the Winchester Ranch. The Gateway property will likely change hands more than once until the right developer makes the right deal with the county.

The Calimesa City Council and The Beaumont Unified School Board have decided to wait for the details of Shopoff's project before deciding to take a stand. Superintendent Ashley has asked the community, and his elected colleagues, to let the committee evaluate the details and then make a recommendation. Since Shopoff's only concern is the zoning change for their "entitlements" and quick sale, it doesn't really matter what he promises. For example they could even promise a bridle path and never have to deliver.

Once again I question the leadership in the Pass. If the Calimesa City Council and Beaumont Unified School Board wait to protect their citizens and our kids until they see detailed plans, plans that are likely to change with each successive owner, the zoning change will go through. Then, it will be too late to stop a future industrial project regardless of how bad the details might be.

Mr. Ashley, his staff, and the County officials are wrong when they tell us they can’t consider the zoning change separate of Shopoff’s project. This is not a packaged deal to The Shopoff Group. Mr. Shopoff and his group have no intentions of ever building this project and, if they are interested in the quick turnaround, they aren't going to make too many conditions on any future buyers. That's not what a new developer will be paying a premium for, they will pay a premium for the zoning and "packaging" of the project. William Shopoff told us so, in his own words.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Steve Mehlman April 18, 2014 at 12:05 AM
This is a devastating indictment of the Shopoff Group. Shopoff's people will be testifying at the Ashley Gateway Committee meeting on Thursday May 8 at. 6:30 pm at the Beaumont School District Office on Brookside Avenue in Beaumont. We need to show up in force to show Mr Shopoff what we think of his business plan .
Jackalope April 18, 2014 at 03:57 PM
Lloyd! Keep up the good work!!!! Did they decide to "fast track" the committee meetings to every 2 weeks yet?
Lloyd White April 18, 2014 at 04:23 PM
No, not yet. They are still on schedule for one meeting a month through October. However, I wouldn't be surprised if Ashley wraps up his re-election in June that they will move to an accelerated schedule then. But since we know that Shopoff won't be actually constructing anything and the eventual developer will be negotiating their own deal with the County at some later date, I believe the Committee has become even more irrelevant than I originally thought. Why would we care about Shopoff's design if it will never be built? Why should anyone waste their time over the aesthetics or mitigation measures of a plan whose only purpose is to get the zoning change approved. Of course the plan will be designed to please everyone, no one will ever have to follow it. The only issue anyone should be considering is if the land should be rezoned for industrial or not. Whatever Shopoff presents is irrelevant and any committee meeting to discuss an irrelevant plan is an irrelevant committee wasting our tax dollars.
James Andervich April 18, 2014 at 06:50 PM
With a least 3 supers voting for whatever Shopoff wants, blanket opposition will get us nowhere, we need to build a better mousetrap. Why not rezone to commercial rather than industrial? Read my wife's article, top of p 9 in Fridays Record Gazette.

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