Pomona placed the breaks on future warehouses and trucking facilities.
The Pomona City Council on Monday, July 18, approved a 45-day moratorium banning any new industrial and warehouse development in the city.
As an emergency order, the temporary ban on new development went into effect immediately and could be extended for 10 months and 15 days at the Aug. 15 council meeting, according to Anita Gutierrez, director of development services. After that, if the City Council wishes, it can be extended one more time for one year.
Exceptions to the moratorium may be made for existing businesses expanding no more than 20,000 square feet. Monday night’s decision also prohibits the addition of new trucking facilities. All other industrial uses, such as manufacturing, will still be permitted.
The moratorium passed 6-1 with Councilman Robert Torres voting against the measure but not commenting on his decision. He previously cited concerns about possible job losses.
In response to residents’ health, along with environmental concerns and impacts on city streets, city leaders make their decision.
During Monday’s meeting, council member Nora Garcia, who initially asked to put the warehouse moratorium on a future agenda, revealed she may have a lung condition.
While waiting for confirmation from her doctor, Garcia said she feared a diagnosis would reveal a related issue poor air quality in District 3 where she lives and is near much of the city’s warehouse development.
“I’ve never smoked, I’ve never done anything that I know of other than living for 22 years in the industrial area,” Garcia said. “These secondary effects from these businesses are affecting our community.”
The average sized industrial lot in Pomona is 55,865 square feet or about 1.2 acres. The city has a total of 33,273 parcels with approximately 1,681 zoned for industrial or industrial uses on them, totaling 1,940 acres of land, according to Gutierrez in an email Wednesday.
The warehouse in Pomona is located primarily south of Holt Avenue east of Reservoir Street and between Holt and Mission Avenue. In North Pomona, there is also development north of Arrow Expressway, Gutierrez wrote.
The decision to put a pause on the town’s warehouse development is the culmination of calls from residents for action. Many spoke Monday about the effects these projects are having on their health and their homes.
The city needs to “develop rules that are reasonable to protect” its residents and the city’s infrastructure, Mireya Escobar, co-founder of Parent Connection for Education, said during the meeting.
“Pomona does not need to be a dumping ground for this industry,” she said.
Another member of Parent Connection for Education, Gloria Miranda, told the council that “the residents of Pomona have had to put up with regular earthquakes all the time in their homes,” due to tractor trailers going through neighborhoods.
Not everyone agreed Monday that stopping warehouse development in Pomona would do more good than harm. Craig Furniss, president of Seventh Street Development, said the city’s ordinance is too broad as written and would have consequences.
“The moratorium would have the unintended consequence of ending or delaying projects by up to two years that generate low truck traffic and create significant jobs and local revenue for Pomona,” Furniss said.
The temporary ban gives the city time to study warehouses and their impacts on the community and craft policies to address negative impacts moving forward.
In addition to the moratorium, the council in it June 6 meeting adopted a package of strategies to address the cumulative impacts of storage.
That includes an update to the city’s zoning laws, an environmental justice element to be added to the city’s general plan and a possible warehouse tax on a future ballot.
August 12 is the deadline to submit a ballot measure for the November 2022 election.
Pomona approves 45-day moratorium on warehouses – Daily Bulletin Source link Pomona approves 45-day moratorium on warehouses – Daily Bulletin