© 2024 91.9 KVCR

KVCR is a service of the San Bernardino Community College District.

San Bernardino Community College District does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, creed, religion, disability, marital status, veteran status, national origin, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

701 S Mt Vernon Avenue, San Bernardino CA 92410
909-384-4444
Where you learn something new every day.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Proposed large warehouse near Riverside tabled by March JPA in meeting featuring over 70 speakers

Anthony Victoria
After three hours of public comment, the March JPA commission voted 6 to 1 in favor of delaying the West Campus Upper Plateau project.

The March Joint Powers Authority commission, following a three-hour public hearing in Moreno Valley, voted 6-1 to table a proposed large warehouse project near the former March Air Force Base.

The commission must secure a majority vote to reintroduce the West Campus Upper Plateau project for another public hearing, which means the project is postponed indefinitely.

The decision came after March JPA planning staff and the developer, Lewis Group of Companies, requested more time to review public input.

Riverside County Supervisor Kevin Jeffries proposed tabling the project.

"They're not ready to make a presentation," he said when making his motion. "They've asked us all to be here tonight. They don't have a project ready to go. Take it off the calendar."

Riverside residents Michael McCarthy and Jen Laratt Smith walk through land formerly used by the military as the March Air Reserve base on April 18, 2023. They’re fighting a proposal to build 20 warehouses on the land, which is currently used as open space.
Marisa Lagos/KQED
Riverside residents Michael McCarthy and Jen Laratt Smith walk through land formerly used by the military as the March Air Reserve base on April 18, 2023. They’re fighting a proposal to build 20 warehouses on the land, which is currently used as open space.

The projectproposes 1.8 million square feet of warehouse space on 800 acres of land near the Orangecrest and Mission Grove neighborhoods in Riverside.

Plans include a campus-like setting with industrial and office spaces, and a 60-acre park featuring walking and biking trails. The developer aims to mitigate environmental impact with clean vehicles and solar-powered warehouses.

Supporters from trade unions, like Jason Geiger from the Southwest Carpenters Union, emphasized the potential to build something good for the area.

"I've seen this vacant land for a lot of years and then have heard some things come around," he said. "But nothing's ever come to fruition."

Opponents of the project, such as Orangecrest resident Sandy Cabrera, voiced concerns about air quality, traffic safety and the area’s natural landscape.

"Why would you take a natural habitat and turn it into an industrial zone knowing that the community already has some of the worst air quality and traffic in the entire nation?"

Jennifer Larratt-Smith is with Riverside Neighbors Opposing Warehouses (R-NOW) and also lives in Orangecrest. She considers the outcome a win for her neighborhood.

"It was a huge victory in terms of the community coming out and speaking their mind and really showing their commitment to their community."