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Stopping Gateway Together

After January’s scoping session for the Gateway Center warehouse project, I’ve done some research and spoken to a number of concerned residents. I am convinced we can stop the “Gateway Project” and send a very important message as well.

If the Developer and the County get enough push-back, unless they really want a particular project, the word on the street will be “stay away from The Pass, our residents are warehouse unfriendly and will fight tooth and nail each time to stop these warehouse projects. We will make the developer and county spend way more money and time than they planned.” We need to work to increase the number of people against a project, and raise the expectation of mitigation measures so the cost of mitigation isn’t worth doing the project.  If they still want the project, we want to extract as much as possible in mitigation fees and measures to make the project too expensive and cumbersome to get done as a speculative project.

For years the developers have been working hand-in-glove with the local cities staff staff and consultants and they don’t expect any blow-back from the community–or what they do get, they think will all be handled. They have to understand that their life here will be very expensive and time consuming on every level. Then they will eventually go away. Developers will go elsewhere to get their warehouses in and say they went there because it’s more business friendly.  We need to be warehouse unfriendly on every level.

I’ve heard some say the Gateway project has been fast-tracked, I’m not sure it has. It has been around a while and with the economy improving, the Developers are back pushing for the process to go forward by submitting information that was needed to the County, and probably filling up the developer fee account with cash deposits for staff to work on. The Developer just wants to push this through before the community wakes up–but the process is being followed per State guidelines.  Planners have projects all the time that lie dormant until the economy gets better and when it does the Developers start wanting to move forward, actually turn loose of some money for the County to process the project, get some Bank financing and market the project to new buyers.

We need to be aware that many people in this region need and want jobs–and probably any job.  Many people here barely graduated high school and think its elitist to talk about higher paying jobs.  They resent all the new housing with people who make more money than them.  They could care less if people in the CFD’s, who earn more, have to drive an hour in congestion to professional jobs with high pay and benefits. They are scrapping for work and honestly the job situation here is lousy.  There may well be plenty of people who come out of the woodwork to support warehousing for the economic growth and jobs. Plus the land-owners really want to sell their land. It is not so easy to stop projects. I believe there is a way, but it is not a clear path.  We have to keep working within the system, get with the elected officials, keep the pressure up, educate the citizens, do most of the work ourselves, and even then, our own family and neighbors may say they like the idea of jobs and that growth is inevitable.

There are a number of things we need to do to stop this project. To be successful we are going to need to be organized, raise awareness with a number of responsible agencies as well as our neighbors. We will need to keep the pressure on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, Riverside County Transportation and Land Management Agency (TLMA), Riverside County Flood Control, Riverside County Planning Department, California Fish and Game, Air Quality Management District (AQMD), Caltrans and others.

We need to be speaking at Board of Supervisor meetings, impressing upon them how organized everyone is, and how important it is for Cherry Valley to stay rural and true to all of the planning that has been done to protect the area–and let them know that warehouses such as The Gateway Center, and the trucks, traffic congestion and pollution that accompany them need to be located in more appropriate locations in the County, such as March Air Force Base and other industrial zoned areas.

When the draft EIR is ready for Paul Ruhl of the TLMA to send to the agencies I listed above, we need to already have our network of contacts in place and pressure each agency not to rubber stamp their approval but to weigh in on the concerns we will have already raised. I know attorneys and AQMD were crucial in stopping the big warehouse project in Beaumont last year but attorneys aren’t cheap and the AQMD was almost too late to the game. We need to be able to dispute environmental findings and make sure everyone that reviews the EIR knows they are being watched carefully and that the citizens feel they are just as important and organized as the Developer, the number of people against this project will determine our chance of success.

If you believe this is a cause worth fighting for, jump on board. We are going to need everyone we can get.

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.

Lifer in Bmt. February 16, 2014 at 09:32 PM
Lloyd just needs to remember that not all people go to college, but it won't stop them from becoming good citizens with good jobs wanting the best for their community.
Lloyd White February 16, 2014 at 09:54 PM
Lifer, You are right I wasn't trying to be rude. Actually I was worried that comment would offend the "elitist" living in the new developments. Now, before I get a lot of hate comments, I don't believe we are elitist, remember I live in a new development. I in no way think less of people who don't go to college and I know you are proud of your kids' accomplishments. Are they earning $75k at jobs in Beaumont? I am sure those jobs exist here but I don't believe there are enough of those kinds of careers available here in the Pass. I wanted to get across my opinion that the warehouse jobs aren't the jobs we should be settling for. I also believe arguing the jobs issue isn't going to stop the warehouses. I agree with Steve, I moved here because of what I thought Beaumont could become. I was aware that most of the open land around my home was zoned for residential. Other than planning new developments as a source to finance the city's growth, I don't have a problem with more homes. My problem is with putting off bringing retail, technology, health services and higher educational institutions of learning here until there are another 30,000 residents here is a bad plan. I think we need to be careful how we approach this Gateway project. I agree with Steve again that there are better options for the land in question. I am ok with the developer wanting to make a profit but a warehouse in this location will change the quality of life around my neighborhood for generations. I think we need to appeal to the developer's profit motive and make them understand it will be costly to put a warehouse here and that it is in his best interest to build something else there. I think a Fryes is a good suggestion, I personally would like to see a junor college or a health care center. All three of these options would bring more and higher quality jobs to our community. I was trying to explain when a person is unemployed and has a family to support, for those of us who have good jobs to advocate stopping new jobs coming to the Pass, no matter how few or the quality of the jobs, was not right and a losing argument for many in our community. The real problem I see with this warehouse is the effect it will have on our health and safety and that is the argument we need to make. I think another argument that this property was zoned for residential and that we all knew that when we moved here is also a valid one. If that land stays zoned for residential or changed to commercial, I believe we have a better chance to bring more and better jobs to our community. I never try and belittle or insult anyone and I am sorry if you, or anyone else was offended. I will try to be more concise and considerate in expressing my positions in future posts.
Lifer in Bmt. February 16, 2014 at 10:04 PM
Lloyd, yes all 3 live here & work within 1-15 miles of Beaumont.
Lloyd White February 16, 2014 at 10:12 PM
Lifer, That is good to know. Have their friends been as successful finding that level of employment opportunities without having to drive at least to Moreno Valley or Redlands? I drive to Redlands, about 15 miles, but I still argue we should bring more of these opportunities home to the Pass.
Lifer in Bmt. February 16, 2014 at 10:27 PM
Lloyd, By the time you're 30 plus how many of your friends from high school do you see? How their friends are doing who really knows. Depends if they wanted to succeed or say poor me. Most
Lloyd White February 16, 2014 at 10:31 PM
Lifer, you're right again. I believe jobs in the Pass are an important issue that we need to address. Do you see how our conversation has become all about jobs and very little about the issue of the warehouse? This is why I am trying to impress on others that the jobs argument against warehouses are a distraction from the real issue, as I see it.
Steve Mehlman February 16, 2014 at 10:44 PM
My concern is that the prime argument being used by supporters of the warehouse is jobs, jobs, jobs. It is b.s., but I don't believe we can stop the warehouse if we allow it to go unchallenged. Other than jobs, what other justification do the warehouse supporters have for building it?
beaumontdave February 16, 2014 at 10:47 PM
Creek beds seem like very important wildlife corridors, the only freeway underpasses other than streets and rail tracks and this project sits in the middle of one, perhaps a biologist could address that part of the issue. I just can't imagine huge ugly buildings clogging that beautiful view.
Lifer in Bmt. February 16, 2014 at 11:01 PM
HOLD EVERYTHING SOMETHING IS MISSING, mmmmmm No Libi !! She must be sick or something..... Now back to our conversation. Jobs are important & needed. But what is needed now is to give the youth a goal to aim for. Give them parents who care & love them. Give them a Church for some guidance. The youth now a days need so much, not TV, not video games, not drugs, they need guidance & directions. That is what is needed in this town.
Lloyd White February 16, 2014 at 11:01 PM
Steve, I understand your position, it was one I actually tried to support when we were fighting the Heartland warehouse project. It wasn't a determining factor in the outcome. I don't think we need to convince the warehouse supporters. We need to first try and convince the Supervisors not to rezone the land and if that doesn't work we need to convince the developer that it will be so costly that there are more profitable options available to them. The way I think we are going to accomplish this is by the sheer numbers of citizens mobilized. As I've told you before, I agree with your assessment of the jobs especially when you look at what happened in Moreno Valley. I think we are going to have to disagree a little on our strategy but I think we both agree we are only going to defeat this by pulling all our resources and efforts together and mobilizing the community together.
Steve Mehlman February 16, 2014 at 11:05 PM
I just think that too many good citizens who would normally be on our side are being fooled by the jobs pitch. So by exploding that myth we can get them on our side. As you said, we may have to agree to disagree.
Steve Mehlman February 16, 2014 at 11:07 PM
Libi's pissed because David Castaldo, one of the people she's insulted and slandered regularly, has become our champion on the City Council.
Lifer in Bmt. February 17, 2014 at 12:02 AM
Steve, I'm sure your right.
Joy O February 17, 2014 at 09:55 AM
I'm in. you've got my attention. I'm sending links to all I know in Solera as well as others in the area.
mike middleton February 17, 2014 at 10:54 AM
jobs jobs jobs ther some ass holes at ther
calimesajim February 17, 2014 at 11:58 AM
As Trina Brown said, please sign the petition at this link: http://www.credomobilize.com/petitions/stop-the-gateway-center-warehouse-project-in-cherry-valley-ca It's not a direct link so will need to copy and paste it. Don't stop at just the petition though. Spread the word, contact Council members in Beaumont and Calimesa and the Board of Supervisors and David Rull. Talk to your neighbors.
calimesajim March 14, 2014 at 10:28 PM
Next Calimesa Council meeting is 6 p.m. MONDAY March 17th. Try to be there and speak out.
John Surenok March 16, 2014 at 12:26 AM
More heavy traffic on the 10 ? Jobs calculations are way of. Have u seen the MT warehouses and logistic centers in Redlands, Moreno Valley, Riverside and even as far away as Ontario ? No need for more ... especially in the Pass. Looks like Corp land grab to me of prime Pass land. Let's keep the Pass the Pass.
ATC March 16, 2014 at 11:11 AM
I agree with everyone here that this is a terrible location for warehouses, and that they actually provide a fraction of the jobs that the developers claim. The negatives to this Gateway project far outweigh any positives. However, the argument that warehouse space is not needed is incorrect, and will not hold water when fighting this. Internet sales are exploding, and that type of commerce requires/demands warehouse and distribution centers. Every single warehouse proposed and under construction in SoCal will be leased and filled by the time it is built, period. Developers don't build things to sit idle and lose money. If they are pushing for warehouses, then they CAN and WILL be able to sell/lease them.
Steve Mehlman March 16, 2014 at 12:17 PM
I've found literally dozens of warehouses lying vacant and unsold in the IE (drive down the 215 from Moreno Valley and look to your right, for example). But even if that wasn't the reality, the point is not that warehouse space is not needed. We've never said that. The point is that this is not an appropriate place to put a warehouse. It's located within a mile of four senior citizens communities. It will cause air, noise and water pollution. It will reduce the value of thousands of homes. Put it someplace appropriate and we have no problem with it.
calimesajim March 16, 2014 at 12:25 PM
Shopoff says this is a good location for such a warehouse because of it's proximity to I-10. But this is an inappropriate area. A more appropriate area that would still have I-10 access would be between Cabazon and Whitewater. The housing market is returning so Shopoff can return to original plan to build houses at this location.
calimesajim March 16, 2014 at 04:17 PM
I find it interesting that the developer Shopoff and the company that will prepare the Environmental Impact Report, First Carbon Solutions, are both headquartered in Irvine. Coincidence? The website for First Carbon Solutions informs potential developer clients that their expertise and reports will ensure that developments will be approved more quickly by using their company.
ATC March 16, 2014 at 11:14 PM
I don't know about the warehouses off the 215, Steve, but I would wager that they won't be vacant for long. My brother works as a utility consultant, coordinating various utilities for large projects. Warehouses are extremely hot right now in SoCal, and often are even being expanded midway through construction. While developers may not care about the neighborhood, they are not stupid and are not about to build something that they can't sell/lease. That's just reality. ############## Again, I'm in complete agreement that this is the wrong location for this and also signed the petition; I grew up on Oak Glen Rd. and certainly don't want this monstrosity here. But I also have some experience "fighting city hall" so to speak, both successfully and unsuccessfully, and as such I'm trying to help those of you fighting this. Emotion won't do it, nor will incorrect info/arguments, and several people have suggested that more warehouses "aren't needed". You yourself have alluded to "empty warehouses across the country" and also suggested that the developer might not even be able to sell it. Those claims will be easily shot down. We're much better off focusing on the environmental impacts on this rural area (our strongest argument, IMO), as well as the quantity and quality of jobs (or lack thereof). Don't fight with me; I'm on your side.
Jeremiah March 17, 2014 at 12:24 AM
A good example would be Libi. A lot of her information is correct, but with all the off the wall stuff (to be nice) people throw all of it out. **** Actually this project probably hasn't gotten to the point of actually having the tenants - the EIR isn't even returned and at this point it is still a concept. Correct me if I am wrong, I could be. ATC is right about focusing an attack - too broad and it all gets thrown out. But are we in the attack stage yet? Right now we are trying to drum up support for an attack if I perceive it correctly. Calimesa is a worry - I believe behind the scenes they are possibly a player in this and not letting it out (unofficially, of course). I believe they will sacrifice those senior community's present peace and standard of living to get the ancillary business the warehouse workers and truck drivers will bring to Calimesa as the closest retail community. We'll have a pretty good idea of where they stand after this next meeting Monday night at 6. **** I will be there using my Sharondale address - I hope to see others from that and the other senior communities there and being vocal as well. **** Jeremiah
calimesajim March 17, 2014 at 11:38 AM
See you there. Council meets at City Hall at 908 Park Ave. for any that may not know location.
Nancy Carroll March 17, 2014 at 02:02 PM
To Calimesajim or Jeremiah. I have a specific requirement that I believe you could help with for the don"t give me a Gateway effort. I do not have either of your email addresses and can only reach you via the Patch and would just as soon explain thoughts without the Patch. Could either or both of you email warehouseupdate@gmail.com and I will explain this? I would appreciate it.
Nancy Carroll March 17, 2014 at 02:10 PM
TO ATC. You make some very valid points. It is about winning the battle, no skirmishing with each other. I would like to get some input on your "successful and unsuccessful" efforts to effect City Hall. Please email me at warehouseupdate@gmail.com and let me know how to have a synergistic discussion that we as a group could benefit from your experience. I would welcome it and thank you.
mike middleton March 17, 2014 at 06:39 PM
dont like it move get over it move on
Steve Mehlman March 17, 2014 at 06:43 PM
Lot of folks, especially seniors, can't just "move". And the stuff about jobs is pure b.s. Ask the people in Moreno Valley about the "thousands" of jobs they were promised when the Skechers warehouse was built. I have no problem with warehouses, but Cherry Valley is the wrong place for one.
Jeremiah March 17, 2014 at 06:53 PM
Mike - if you don't like people trying to take a hand in developing their community the way they want, maybe it is time for you to move on if you don't like it. You appear to be in the minority on this issue, and while you have that right to a different opinion, it does no good to post comments like yours on threads where people are working together towards a purpose. It is low-class and juvenile, and I would like to think you are above that and are a contributing member of the community. Maybe you should start your own group in favor of the project, if that is what you believe in. **** Jeremiah

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