A petition circulating in the community of Bloomington is urging San Bernardino County officials to reject a rezoning proposal that would allow for a three million square foot warehouse district. Community members say it would worsen the diesel pollution already plaguing communities of color in the region.
Bloomington resident Tommy Rocha, who started the petition with his wife Kim Rocha, describes his neighborhood as a rural community with wide open spaces. It is a place where before COVID-19, people had large family gatherings like weddings and quinceañeras in their backyards.
“It’s very family oriented, and that’s why I love it," said Rocha. "And to come in and destroy it, by putting up these warehouses, and to talk about the false income it’s going to bring to your neighborhood, and how it’s going to build up your community and make it better. We’ve yet to see any, any improvements to our community, and to have five warehouses as of 2014 built here and there’s been no community benefits at all.”
A warehouse already sits 60 feet behind Rocha’s house, and the new warehouse zone would be built near schools. Bloomington currently ranks in the 95 percentile for highest pollution according to the state-monitored CalEnviroScreen, and the region has been labeled a “diesel death zone” by researchers.
The Bloomington Business Park Specific Plan Project if approved, would mean, south of the 10 Interstate in Bloomington, 213 houses would be demolished to make way for a warehousing district the size of 173 footballs fields and an additional high-density housing zone north of the 10 interstate.
The Rocha's plan to present the petition during the February 9 County Board of Supervisors meeting.
Editor's note: An earlier version said the new development would be north of the 10 Interstate. A high density housing zone would be placed north of the 10 interstate and the warehouse zone would be south of Interstate 10.