The Riverside City Council voted unanimously to adopt unique new guidelines to minimize the impact of bringing warehouses into the community on November 10.
Revisions to the 2008 Good Neighbor Guidelines and city zoning codes were five years in the making, but now the city has the strictest requirements for new warehouse developments in the region.
Critics have said both the original city guidelines and a county version passed last year lacked the teeth needed to give communities the power to hold warehouses accountable on air pollution, truck noise, and changes to neighborhood character.
“I think this is a big stepping stone in seeing that local elected and local officials are more responsive to the needs of the community and are understanding that [the] logistics industry does come with some drawbacks,” said Faraz Rizvi, spokesperson for the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice.
The industry is one of the largest employers in the Inland Empire, and Rizvi says with the pandemic online shopping boom and grassroots efforts to gain the attention of elected officials, those drawbacks have become impossible to ignore.
The revised rules include a limit on warehouse square footage, computer modeling of air quality impacts, and a health risk assessment for proposals that would put sites within 1000 feet of areas like neighborhoods, schools, and hospitals.
Warehouse projects that are currently in the approval process are exempt from the new rules.